Experimental Photography

MDMA Crystals with 200x enlargement

LSD Crystals with 200x enlargement

GHB Crystals with 100x enlargement

DMT Crystals with 400x enlargement

DMT Crystals with 400x enlargement

2C-B Crystals with 200x enlargement

Above is the work of Dutch artist Michael Mikkers, a former licensed medical lab assistant. In his photography above he investigates the aesthetic value of drugs on a microscopic level. Drugs have a large influence on culture and have influenced trends, music, scenes and eras, but rarely are they looked at in terms of their physical qualities.

Initially his worked focused on over the counter painkillers, substances and food additives, however through the use of bitcoins and the deep web he began to experiment with photographing hard drugs. To create his photographs he dissolves the crystals in demineralised water, the solution is then dropped onto a slide and left to crystallize. This method however does not work with all drugs, and therefore no successful photographs have been taken of cocaine, ketamine or oxycodone.

Top: MDMA, LSD, GHB Bottom: DMT, Amphetamine, 2CB

The reason he gives behind his work is that many of us will not tend to consume hard drugs but will willingly consume painkillers, food additives or prescription drugs without hesitation. No one tends to read the medication leaflet or product label when taking these socially accepted drugs and medication until things go wrong. Therefore through his microscopic photography he aims to create more awareness about the products we consume.

Not only do I find his work visually appealing and intellectually interesting but it also reminded me of an artist I did research into for my Type is Visual Speech project at the beginning of the year. Davy Evans is an award winning artist and designer who studied Graphic Design at the University of Brighton. His work mainly focuses on combining digital and analogue techniques to produce abstract experimental photography (similar to that produced during the Let There Be Light Project.)

Streams by Davy Evans

///// by Davy Evans. A series where he mixed normal household chemicals with high oil content

Article on Opiate Addiction for The New York Times by Davy Evans

These photographs produced by photographing chemicals and substances at a microscopic scale has very similar visual qualities to the series Michael Mikkers, however the approach varies. Mikkers is using his photography to record and document substances at a microscopic level where as the work of Evans is far more creative as he plays and manipulates his subject matter to get his desired visual outcome. Therefore comparing a very objective and subjective approach to photography that initially appears to be very similar.

Another artist creating work similar to Evans is Ruslan Khasanov, who has produced work for Adobe, Computer Arts, HTC, IBM, GQ and many more. The focus of his work is also experimental photography, however he also incorporates motion graphics into his work.

Lucidity by Ruslan Khasanov, 2014

Lucidity by Ruslan Khasanov, 2014

The work of these artists has inspired me to revisit experimental photography and to even possibly explore film and motion art. Let There Be Light was my favourite project from semester 1 and I am eager to further explore, develop and discover new ways of producing experimental photography, especially through the use of substances and chemicals to generate otherworldly imagery. Although these techniques do not currently fit into any projects I am working on I would like to explore experimental photography as a continuous personal project.

Explain the Unexplained

09/01/2017 – 06/02/2017

Brief: To visually explain an unexplainable concept through a series of sequential imagery. This concept should be chosen from a list of provided ideas and the final outcome should be in a format appropriate to the subject matter, experimentations /explorations and to my ideas and investigations. Through this project an awareness of content and aesthetic hierarchies should be developed, along with research and self-evaluation skills.

From the list of concepts, theories, processes, etc. provided I chose to explain The Bermuda Triangle. I wanted to choose a concept that had a long history behind it, and had many different interpretations which would allow me to choose information from a broad range of ideas for my infographic.

BBC Concert Orchestra events at London’s Southbank Centre by Studio Output, 2013 – Research into a series of posters to explain different interpretations

Erola Boix – Research into combining photography and graphics

Recipe Cards by Jing Zhang – Research into vector illustrations

The FÖDA Annual Report by FODA – Research into imagery dervied from infographics

Apollo Screen Print by Paul Button, 2016 – Research into simple, yet clear, infographics

For the format of my infographic I was looking at formats that could be tall and thin. The Bermuda Triangle mystery is based on planes from the sky and boats on the water that disappeared, and some of the explanations behind this could be found deep beneath the ocean, so the format I wanted to use should be able to span from the sky and descend down below the ocean. I looked into producing scrolling websites, books, and animations. Ideally I wanted to produce an animation in Adobe After Effects that would slowly descend from the sky to the bottom of the ocean, stopping periodically for graphics and text to appear on screen with narration. However due to the time I had available I decided this was not wise as I do not have any experience with the software. Instead I chose to produce a poster book, initially taking the form of a book it could be unfolded to reveal a poster on the reverse. I liked this idea as it would be as if uncovering the mystery.

I revisited my notes from my book arts induction and recreated the three different types of poster books we learnt how to create. I then roughly drew out my design to see how it would work when the paper was folded into a booklet and when it was unfolded. I decided upon the poster book format pictured below, I chose this design as it allows for a poster to be printed on one side and a booklet on the other, where as some of the poster designs do not allow for that isolation. Furthermore the slit is in the middle, so the paper is attached at both ends, whereas some of the designs have large slits meaning the booklet is fragile and likely to sustain damage.

A3 sheet of paper folded into 8 with a slit cut in the middle

One side has the design for the poster whilst the other side has the design for the booklet

The poster book folded up

In Adobe InDesign I created my template for my poster book, this involved producing 2 A3 documents. One document was split into 8 equal segments, representing the pages on the inside of the poster book, and one document remained as a normal A3 page which I later applied my poster design to.

To create the illustrations for my booklet document I created vectors using shapes and the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator and then exported the images as PNGs (as this allowed me to save the images with a transparent background). I then placed the PNGs into my InDesign document.

What I noticed through my research was that many good infographics were imagery focused with minimal supporting text, the infographics which relied on text too much were cluttered, confusing and tiresome to read. For my booklet I broke my research into the Bermuda Triangle down into segments (introduction, location, number of disappearances, noticeable disappearances, theories and the history behind the theories), I then reduced the information down to be as minimal yet still as informative as possible. In my sketchbook I created many possible design solution for the different booklet spreads, below is my final design.

Booklet Side 1

Booklet Side 2

As seen above me use of text is minimal and aided by easily recognisable icons and symbols (for example the location markers next to the information describing the location of the Bermuda Triangle), which help to reader to understand the information. Information that I chose to leave out of the booklet was descriptions of each of the theories, I did this as the descriptions are very text heavy and is key information, therefore I thought it appropriate to be included on the poster side of the booklet where there is more space.

Poster Design

Booklet Design

Booklet Design

Booklet Design

Above is a mock poster book that I had printed for my group crit. Once printed I became aware of some areas that need to be changed as they do not work well when the poster book is cut and printed. These I identified are:

  • The main title on the front of the poster goes across the centre cut and fold which can cause the letters to not align when viewed as a poster. I will shorten the title so that it does not go across the centre.
  • The folds of the booklet does not perfectly line up with the dashed fold lines on the booklet, therefore I will remove the lines as it makes the booklet appear messy.

During the crit the tutors and my peers raised some more areas of improvement and ways in which I could develop my piece further.

  • To make the map section look less dry possibly experiment with using an atlas rather than vectors
  • Reduce the size of the theories on poster side A as they look too tight
  • The vector illustration on poster side A looks too flat, look into topography maps or illustrating one of the theories within the constraints of the triangle
  • Try printing the poster book at a larger scale, possibly A2

Based on the feedback given I firstly increased the scale of my poster to A2, which would then fold down into an A4 booklet. I also adjusted the positioning of the main title so that it did not interfere with the centerfold cut. Furthermore, I removed the dashed lines across the booklet indicating where folder are to be made. Finally I reduced the size of the textual information on the poster containing the theories, this was to create more space between the theories as initially they were very cramped.

After making these small adjustments I began to experiment with illustrating the theories covered in my booklet on the Bermuda Triangle.

Experiments with using Bermuda Triangle news articles, however the rectangular format of the newspaper article did not fit well into the triangle causing most text and images to not be included

Using old maritime maps of the Bermuda Triangle but the fine detail of the maps is lost at such a large scale

Using imagery of iron filings, in relation to theory based on magnetic fields, this imagery is far more abstract and could also represent unusual weather

Based on my experiments I decided to use the iron filings imagery for my final design. To produce the imagery I used the trace tool in Adobe Illustration to create a vector, this was to ensure that no quality was lost from the image when increased to A2. I then saved this image as a PNG and imported it into Adobe Photoshop where I made it grayscale and converted it into a duotone, this allowed me to easily convert the colour of the abstract marks to the same green used throughout my design.

Final booklet design – Dashed lines removed from the original which indicated where to fold the booklet

Final poster design – The title was edited so that it did not interfere with the centre cut and fold mark, the theories textual information was reduced in size to give more space between the theories, and the theory ‘magnetic fields’ was abstractly illustrated to create more visual interest within the poster

After leaving this design for a while I came back to it once again as I was still not pleased with the final outcome. I felt the imagery on the front was still too flat and the iron filing imagery should be better utilised. I revisited one of my previous experiments where the map and the triangle outline had been removed, therefore just leaving the duotone triangle.

Previous experiment with the map and outline of the triangle removed

Layering a low opacity copy of the iron filings imagery in the background to add some texture to the flat design

Experimenting with various opacities

Experimenting with the composition within the triangle to ensure a visually interesting area of the iron filings imagery becomes the focal point

Final front poster design: The outline has been removed from the triangle and the triangles scale has been increased, a lower opacity copy of the iron filings imagery has been placed in the background to create texture and remove some of the flatness from the design

Explain

06/01/2017 – 06/02/2017

Brief: To visually explain a concept through a series of sequential imagery. This concept should be chosen from a list of provided ideas and the final outcome should be in a format appropriate to the subject matter, experimentations /explorations and to my ideas and investigations. Through this project an awareness of content and aesthetic hierarchies should be developed, along with research and self-evaluation skills.

From the list of concepts, theories, processes, etc. provided I chose to explain why we dream. I wanted to chose something that wasn’t just fact but left room for creative interpretation. Dreaming has different interpretations across different cultures and throughout history, it also has scientific explanations. Furthermore the concept allows for a lot of visual play due to its imaginative nature.

I initially began my investigation by researching infographics; how they are designed and what formats they can be applied to. For my final outcome I did not simply want to produce a poster for both of the two infographic briefs therefore I focused my research on unique ways of displaying infographics. A piece I found particularly interesting and relevant to my work was 44 Days of Sleep by Ra Bear / Adam Griffiths. Instead of creating a poster he printed his poster design, which focused on his sleep schedule, onto a duvet cover. After some brief research I discovered that printing onto a duvet cover would be quite expensive. A blanket or series of pillows would still hold the connotations linking to sleep, how they also would be quite expensive and the clarity of text may be lost on a small scale and with a textured fabric surface.

44 Days of Sleep by Ra Bear / Adam Griffiths

Infographics XXXXL by Coming Soon, 2013 – Research into creating three dimensional infographics

Interest Number 4 by Peter Ørntoft – Research into combining photography and digital graphics

The format that I finally decided upon was a mobile, such as mobile that would hang over a young child’s crib. Not only does this connotate to sleeping and dreaming but it would allow me to create clear graphical information and display it in a creative and three dimensional setting without fear of cost or not communicating well. This was inspired after seeing a tutorial on making your own mobiles on Pinterest for young children. To construct my mobile I used the same materials suggested in the tutorial, which was the inside of an embroidery hoop with my infographic elements being attached to it with colourful thread.

DIY Embroidery Hoop Mobile

Mobile with Paper Elements

To design my elements I first generated a colour palette using Adobe Kuler. When researching why we dream I discovered that the most popular colour palette people dream in is pastel, so I wanted to create a pastel colour palette that also had a variety of colours to fit in with the playful nature of dreams and a mobile which is usually aimed at children.  Below is my chosen colour palette, I did not want to make the colours overly pastel as it would make the final product not stand out and hard to understand so I chose slightly pastel but bright vibrant colours.

Adobe Kuler Colour Palette

Once I had selected my colour palette I sketched out the design for my mobile. When researching the DIY mobiles many compromised of 4 strands hanging from the hoop with a central stand hanging from the knot tied at the top. Using this design I sketched out how the information I collected from my research could be applied. I chose to break the information into 4 categories (1 category per strand) and then a small introduction which would go on the central strand. The 4 categories were the stages of sleep, the benefits of dreaming, dream recall and REM movements. For each strand I broke the information down further into 4 subcategories, each subcategory would have its own disc and on each disc one side would contain the information and the other side would have an illustrated image for the information. To attach the information to the mobile I took the information and accompanying graphic on separate discs and stuck them together on either side of the string, this was to hide the string in the middle so it did not interfere with the text or graphics.

Graphic Discs

Text Discs

During the group crit however it was suggested that I develop the idea of a mobile further. It was suggested that the mobile needs to be more sculptural and optically convey the elements that it informing, for example rapid eye movement. The visual language needs to be more radical which could be achieved by using projection, glow in the dark stars or a moving image piece. From the ideas suggested I was eager to try creating a moving image piece based on my mobile. The advice given for creating a moving image piece was to add a soundscape to the video, also to make sure that the video is very short so that it is manageable.

 

Screen Printing Induction

20/01/2017

Coating

  1. Choose a clean trough with no damage that is an appropriate size (within the area of the mesh)
  2. Clip on trough ends
  3. Hold trough in the palm of your hands with your fingers resting on the trough ends
  4. Pour an even amount of photosensitive solution throughout the trough
  5. Coat the back of the frame first
  6. Start 1cm from the bottom of the mesh
  7. Tilt the trough until the emulsion touches the screen
  8. Progressively stand whilst applying the emulsion
  9. Stop 5cm from the top of the screen, remove the angle of the trough and carry on moving the trough upwards for the remaining distance to ensure no drips

Drying Cabinet

  1. Place screen frame side up on the ridge
  2. Coated screens at the top of the cabinet, wet screens at the bottom

Cleaning

  1. Rinse the front of the screen
  2. Remove the unexposed emulsions from the back of the screen
  3. Can use a rag to remove any emulsion that won’t come off
  4. Rinse the front of the screen again
  5. Use a window wiper to remove any excess water
  6. Put back into the drying cabinet

Designing

Screenprint Design

For my design I used a photograph from my transmogrify contact sheet. As our final prints would consist of 2 or 3 colours we were recommended to choose images that could simply be split into 2 or 3 layers, therefore I believed that the simple geometric forms and monochromatic colour scheme of this image would make for an effective print. To get the image ready for print I made the image grayscale, increased the levels and printed it onto acetate as a 300dpi TIFF file. For the next layer I traced the black forms from the initial image onto acetate, I draw these forms on roughly with black ink to create texture. For my final layer I made simple lines onto another piece of acetate to highlight some key forms in the image.

Printing

  1. Fix the frame into the jaws
  2. Screw the bolts onto the corners of the frame
  3. Check the snap and adjust as needed
  4. Attach squeegee, make sure it is in the centre of your design
  5. Adjust the angle of the squeegee for printing and flooding
  6. Register
  7. Adjust the table if needed
  8. Apply a generous amount of ink (printing ink should be 50% paint, 50% mixing medium roughly)
  9. Test print
  10. Make any adjustments
  11. Can use screen filler to fill in any holes in the print on the screen
  12. Print
  13. Flood after each print to prevent the screen from blocking
  14. Don’t flood on your last print
  15. Wash the screen, squeegee and any other materials

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970 Reflection

Essay

In December last year I submitted an essay as part of my cultural and critical studies module. This essay was looking at the how the information presented in text at an exhibition supports the key ideas and concepts presented within an object on display. The exhibition I chose to analyse for my essay was “You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970” which was hosted at the V&A, which looked at the many revolutions that occurred in the sixties and their influence on fashion, music, film, design and political movements. The focus of my essay was a series of four psychedelic posters by ‘Haphash and the Coloured Coat’, I analysed how the information presented in text supported the ideas of psychedelia, the influence of psychedelic drugs at the time, and how members of society in the sixties were searching for new ways of freeing their mind.

Today I was given by my essay along with my grade which was a B. I am very proud of this grade as it had been a year since I last wrote an essay and I initially struggled trying to structure and word my essay in a cohesive, reflective and analytical way. There will be another essay brief set in semester 2 and I am hopeful that after writing this essay and reading the feedback given to me, the next essay will be a lot easier.

Direct Feedback

“Good image analysis and very good essay structure. However, the quality of the discussions focusing on the chosen theme needs to be improved by drawing upon academic sources.”

In order to improve my essay it was suggested that I utilise my sources more. I listed books in my bibliography however I did not use them fully within my essay which will help to strengthen my discussions. Furthermore within my essay there were places where I included factual information but did not reference the sources.

General Feedback

After receiving our essays with personal directed feedback attached, we had a short lecture on general feedback and areas for improvement.

Improving on a grade B

  • Consistently introduce quotes and significant authors
  • Write an essay plan (think through your line of enquiry, how will you meet all of the brief criteria and the order of material)
  • Use images and your analysis of them to clearly support your line of enquiry
  • Make sure for every point or assertion you provide evidence in the form of a quote, reference or an image
  • Include summary sentences through out that link back to your line of enquiry / to the question you are answering (an introductory sentence and concluding sentence for each idea / paragraph)
  • Reflect upon the limitations and implications of the references and interpretations you are including (how the sources could be developed, include other sources to support your analysis)
  • Leave time to do a close read of your document to check for spelling errors, grammar and informal language
  • Caption your images to influence the readers interpretation in time with your argument

Improving on a grade A

Despite achieving a grade B I also noted down the points for improving on a grade A for future reference.

  • Be aware of your reader, make sure you are clearly communicating every point to your reader
  • Keep bringing your reader clearly back to your line of enquiry
  • Make sure you have a good bibliography, including a number of current references (the last year or two) and a range of sources
  • Clearly and consistently integrate images into your analysis to support your line of enquiry
  • Caption your images to influence the readers interpretations in line with your argument

Tumblr

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2


As part of my new years resolution to create accounts on various websites to promote my artwork, I have created a tumblr. My tumblr can be found at http://ionegooding.tumblr.com/. On my tumblr I won’t be posting all of the work I create whilst at uni, nor in depth explanations of any of the work, simply strong selected pieces with brief descriptions. By posting some of my strongest pieces I believe my tumblr can help to positively promote my work online.

Semester 1 Assessments

Portfolio

In preparation for our semester 1 assessments we were given a list of work to present and how it should be presented. The work to be presented is as follows:

To present our work all of our layout pads should have cover sheets, held together with bulldog clips or another appropriate binding technique, and on each cover sheet should be a label. These labels should also be attached to any cover sheets for mounted outcomes, archive spines and on the reverse of final outcomes.

Finally to accompany our work we had to complete a self-evaluation sheet for the semester, write a cover letter explaining the work presented and any tutorial and critique note sheets.

For my semester 1 assessment portfolio I attached black cover sheets to all of my layout pads, which I held together with black bulldog clips, and to any work mounted on boards. By having all my cover sheets the same colour it allows my portfolio to easily be identifiable as a single body of work. Any final outcomes that weren’t mounted were printed onto good quality paper and had a label attached to the reverse. When collating all of my work at the end I realised that having my cover sheets as black was a very suitable choice as many of my final outcomes are black and white, therefore adding to the theme throughout my work.

The labels I created were based on the label I produced for my presentation board several months before, although it is not the most ground breaking design it does contain all of the appropriate information and is consistent throughout. Furthermore as I designed my labels several months in advance I did not want to redo the labelling on my work and risk damaging the prints or boards.

Semester 1 Reflection

I believe my work at the start of the academic year was not as strong as it could have been as I was settling into new ways of working and gaining new skills. Towards the end of the semester however my work developed hugely as I had a better idea of what was expected from me and could apply the skills I had been learning. Reflecting on past projects now I can now see how they need to be improved by applying the skills I have learned. Due to time, I cannot revisit and improve every project to the level I would like, therefore for my year 1 semester 1 assessments I improved those which needed it most. The new skills and knowledge I have gained through semester 1 however has put me in a strong position for the start of semester two.

Not only have I gained new skills and knowledge from semester 1 but I have begun to enjoy my work more and am eager to take on more personal projects. My goals for semester two are to create a series of online accounts on various websites to promote my work, to develop and explore my transmogrify project more, to explore experimental photography more which was inspired by let there be light, and to possibly develop my own font inspired by my handwriting. I would also be interested learning and experimenting with vector illustrations, an aspect of graphic design I have been eager to explore for a while but lacked the initial technical knowledge in Adobe Illustrator.

About Me

I am a BA(Hons) Graphic Design student currently studying at the University of Brighton. In my work I like to explore design, type, photography and print, and do not like to limit myself to purely traditional or digital techniques.

Outside of art and design my interests include social and environmental issues, music, film and technology.

Please get in contact if you have any questions, wish to collaborate, offer work, or to simply send a nice message.

Contact

University E-mail: I.Gooding1@uni.brighton.ac.uk

E-mail: ionegooding@hotmail.com

Social Media

Behance: https://www.behance.net/ionegooding

Tumblr: http://ionegooding.tumblr.com/

Instagram: @ionegooding

Twitter: Coming Soon

Facebook:  Coming Soon

 

Vector Illustration

Vector illustration has been a topic I have wanted to learn for a very long time, and now with the skills I’ve learned through my visual communication projects and the software I have learned through my software inductions I feel confident to take on the task. Two inspirational vector artists, whose work I’ve followed for years, are James Gilleard and Mark Usimani. Both use vectors skillfully to create beautiful imagery however their styles are distinctly different.

The illustrator / animator James Gilleard is from London, England and is currently producing work. He has many distinct styles however his most popular are his very detailed vector illustrations. In Illustrator he will build up an image through the use of layered vector shapes, varying in colour and tone. He will also add textures to these images, removing the often ‘over polished’ look present in many vector artists work. From a distance you may not believe that these images were produced using vectors due to the detail and three dimensional form created through his style.

Japanese Food by James Gilleard, 2016

His also produces very abstract vector work. Since completing the spatial awareness project I can now see a clear link between the project and the work of James Gilleard. As well as using shapes, like I did for spatial awareness, he has taken it further by introducing colour and tone. I am eager to explore experimenting with more complex forms like those seen below as well as adding colour and tone and seeing what effect that has on the emotions and feelings conveyed through my work.

Abstract Things Series by James Gilleard, 2016

Abstract Things Series by James Gilleard, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In contrast to his work is the highly polished vector work of freelance American designer / illustrator Mark Usmiani. His work compared to the work of James Gilleard is far more playful and child like. The content of his illustrations mainly focuses on fictional fantasy weapons and armour that he designs. This playfulness is also conveyed in his style, which consists of bright bold colours and highly polished bubbly vector shapes.

Loot Series by Mark Usmiani, 2016

Both artists use vector illustration effectively to convey different moods and feelings. When experimenting with vectors I feel it would be beneficial to experiment with both of their styles which would give me a broader understanding of the topic. I often feel mainly designers decide to use the more polished vector style, which personally I enjoy a lot, but being able to successfully create work in either style will grant me more flexibility if I choose to use vector illustrations in future university projects or industry briefs.