Today I finished off editing my first and second sets of photos, I used Photoshop Lightroom as all my photos needed was some lighting and colour fixes and some needed cropping. Above you can see I've improved exposure, contrast and colour - exposure on over exposed and under exposed images as well as contrast to bring out some of the shapes a little better. I also improved the colour on some of the more natural photos to bring a bit more life into yellowed grass and leaves and to give the blue sky that little bit extra. Later on I'll take some of these photos into Photoshop to have a play around with different effects and to see what I can do to improve on them.
I went out and took some macro photos today, focusing in on small objects but making sure that it was still obvious what they were. I also took photos of these things from more of a distance so that the size of these objects was put into perspective. Once I've done some editing and colour/light correction to these photos I think I'll take them into photoshop again to zoom in on them and see how obscure I can get the photos to be without them becoming blurry.
This morning before I went into college, I thought I'd take a walk up to the church near where I live. The weather today was kind of all over the place with the clouds playing a big part in that so I took a few photos of the sky to look at the contrasting weathers on the same day. I also took more photos of shadows and looked at other contrasts such as 'wet and dry', 'close up and far away' and 'big and small' - once I got into college I printed all my photos out as contact sheets so that I can look over them all at once and annotate over which photos are good/bad and why. I then printed all the photos that I liked best from just the raw, unphotoshopped files and I printed them all out with intent to go up on my wall, surrounding the mind map that I'd made earlier in the week. I hope to start photoshopping my images over the weekend and maybe make some drawings from the shadow photos.
My first outing on my new project was just around the outside of the college. I started with an open mind, just trying to see anything that caught my eye as a 'contrast'. This lead to me taking photos of plants and trees at first thinking of contrasts such as 'living and dying' or 'close up and far away'. As I travelled around the area, I found more things to take photos of, such as shadows for interesting photos surrounding the contrast of 'light and dark' - I think I'll be making drawings inspired by the shapes I see in the shadows and as I was moving on from the shadows I saw a wrapper sat in a bed of daffodils which made me think of the contrast 'natural and man-made' - this opened up my eyes to a brand new opportunity of images and I started playing around with aspects and framing - taking photos of buildings and other man-made places/objects from behind trees and bushes to see what sort of contrast it would create. I think the images are quite interesting as you're focusing on the focal point of the image your subconscious is thinking about what is happening in the background, be it a building poking out from the trees or an abandoned patch of concrete. I've really put a lot of thought into all of the images I've taken so far and I'm going to be putting my favourites and the ones that convey contrasts the best up in my studio space.
Later on I went out again just as the sun was setting to try and get some night photos in contrast to the ones I got during the day. The photos that I got weren't great as I didn't want to use my flash for fear of it ruining the images but my camera couldn't quite pick up enough light without me putting the shutter speed low making a lot of the photos I took blurry. I think I'm going to try to get a tripod or borrow one from the college so that I can get better photos at night - I think it would be a good idea for me to get two or maybe more photos of the same places at different times of the day to see what it looks like and to see how the different lights treat the landscape.
Today I spoke with my tutor about both my doubts about my project and my decision to not go to university this year. She agreed that if it's not the right time, it's not the right time and helped me come up with a new project that I would have more passion for. We looked back over my poetry brief and saw that even in such a short time as two weeks I managed to get lots of work done and had a lot of fun doing it, I decided to base my new FMP idea around photography but wasn't sure what to study. After thinking back over my experience in the woods last week I started thinking about the shadows that I'd been looking at and started thinking how that could spark a project. After skipping over ideas about maybe looking at a new poem or revisiting the last one I looked at as well as thoughts about things like 'light and dark' we came to the idea of Contrast as a project - I made a mind-map of things that could be considered contrasts and started thinking about ways I could photograph these contrasts and different ways I could look at them.
I had a lot to think about over Easter, I was meant to send off my UCAS application over the holiday but I didn't. I've been hesitant about it because although a set and costume design course would be fun and I'd get to do a few things at a time, it's not the field I want to go into. I still feel so unsure about it that I definitely don't think that it's the course for me. There's so much that I want to carry on doing, like big pieces of art and small sculptural pieces as well as costume and jewellery making, photography, film making and make up. There's just such a variety of things that I want to continue doing and no single course covers all of those topics. I really think that I can continue to do these things on my own for a year, self-teaching and creating my own work without the guidance of an educational institute. I want to have the time to push my online store as well as spend more time on projects that I've wanted to work on such as small video parts of skating and learning to skate myself. I think I need another year to make a decision on a course or to not go to university at all and I've had a lot of people agree with me on this, giving past experiences of not doing the right course for them or rushing into something and then never using the skills they've learned.
University should be something that you're so sure about and have such a passion for that you apply months before the deadline. University is for people that have at least one career in mind before applying or even before starting college or 6th form or sometimes even their GCSEs but I believe there's too much pressure to make this decision early on. I doubt that I'll want to be doing the exact same thing for the entirety of my life so I'd rather teach myself and be average at a lot of things and take my career path wherever I want than be excellent at one thing and be unhappy stuck in the same job. Of course there are a lot of people that are more than happy in the same job and just have such a burning passion for one single career path that they never feel the need to do other things, but I just feel like I have that same burning passion but for so many different things I can't let myself settle on one or two - I have to follow them all.
I find myself thinking back to my poetry brief a lot. I've already started my FMP but I can't seem to find the motivation to work through it. The FMP I've written for myself is overly-ambitious and I don't know where to start with the work that I've set myself. My poetry brief was photography based and looking back, I wish that it was longer so I could focus more of my skills on photography. It may not be what I want to do in university but it's certainly a passion I'd like to follow again before I head off to university and not do anywhere near as much photography. I'm going to talk to my tutors when I get back into college about this as I haven't really done much work on my current project.