Photographs themselves capture a moment in time, forever frozen, forever existing. And this is one of the predominant reasons why the power of a photograph is so profound. They act as mementos and immediately trigger a memory to resurface whether its deep within your mind from childhood or as recent as the previous night. Regardless, photographs can end up being included in some of your prized possessions, and this image of my late grandad and myself is definitely one of them. My grandad was a great man and he was definitely unique but he suffered a lot medically but it never derailed his spirit and uncontrollable ability to laugh and for that laugh and insane sense of humour to be infectious to anyone around him. The framing of this photograph and the beautiful shadows cast by my fairy lights and the shadows the illuminating light creates works to create a very aesthetically pleasing image that mirrors that of the picture I photographed. The tonal range in this photograph introduces great harmony to the piece but also immense depth, with the shade of light to dark slowly progressing through the image from top to bottom. The intimacy present in this photograph is overwhelming to me personally, however I feel that strong emotional connections can be evoked through the sheer depth and clarity of the love displayed in this image. This image evokes love and joy, for remembering the brilliant and crazy man Joseph Perkin was, but also great loss and pain for the fact that he has departed this world, he is no longer with me and I can no longer share my experiences on this earth with him. Until the next life.
Christmas time at my home is such a special time for my family. It is my mum’s favourite holiday so it is celebrated surrounded my family, food, and fun. This photograph that I took of both of my parents opening presents that my sister and I had bought them, I feel, fully encapsulates the feeling of Christmas. The excited, the anticipation, the joy you feel for absolutely no reason just because it’s Christmas Day. All of these elements work to evoke such strong feelings of wonder and happiness. These kinds of moments and the fact that they are capture on camera, allow me to look back and instantly be reminded of that Christmas when my parents were so happy radiates through the entire image. Studies have shown that we are more likely to remember things like photographs and advertisements that are in colour, and in most cases I would agree, however, there is an element of a black and white image that just holds so much more feeling and emotion within it that can sometimes be more easily overlooked in a colour image because you are so focused on the different colours present that the actual message the image itself is trying to communicate to you. Feelings of comfort and warmth are present in this photograph, thus making it incredibly compelling as you, as the viewer, feel as if you are right there with them, due to the vantage point of where the picture was taken, wanting to know what gift they’re going to open next.
For the social media generation, for most of them, their phone is their life. Whether its three dozen selfies, drunken videos you’re your university friends at three in the morning at a Burger King or at home with your family, everything is documented. This provides people with a literal library of memories in the form of pictures and videos, each one having the power for a memory to resurface. This photograph is a representation of that, as it displays an image of my sister and I at her graduation that I used as my wallpaper. Meaning that every time I check my phone I am greeted with the image of this photograph and am instantly taken back to that day and with that the emotions of pride and joy that came from watching my older sister leave university with a sense of achievement and accomplishment, and a promising future ahead of her. The juxtaposition to the strong emotional connections held with the photograph on display and the haphazard nature it is immersed in, being that of my messy university bed, currently riddled with various clothing articles, introduces a unique energy to the piece. It makes the photograph evoke feelings of familiarity, as well as giving a slight insight to the type of person this phone and environment might belong to, thus allowing the viewer to create a sort of narrative which brings great depth to the photograph.
The juxtaposition between the sharp, formidable, uniform lines present by both the balcony itself as well as the solid black shadows across the concrete patio and the soft, rippling waves in the pool water are so captivating. The drastic difference of texture presented by both of these elements work to bring a sense of confusion and balance to the piece, thus increasing the intensity of the juxtaposition present in the image, thus creating a very visually dynamic photograph with great depth. From the vantage point at which this image is, taken there are many possibilities that the viewer can come up with in terms of narrative. The idea of surface and what lies beneath it in layers, from the balcony down to the water’s surface, then even deeper under the water, evokes an intensity in creating a feeling of wanting to get through all of these layers and obstacles to figure out what lies beneath the surface, but contrastingly, they also the scene itself can depict sadness and lonliness. This is intensified through the tonal range and the strong presence of dark shadows from both the balcony at the bottom of the image and the trees present at the top of the image, with their reflection bleeding into the water. This feeling of sadness is heightened by the monochromatic nature of this photograph, as if it were in colour the vivid blues of the water and pure white of the balcony and the shadows cast by the beaming Greek sun would offer up a completely different set of emotions.
I love the composition of this image. The way the eye is immediately drawn to the single glass on the floor between the two sunbeds is stunning. The use of having the foreground of the image out of focus and the background in focus makes the image very visually dynamic but also highlights the importance that of the glass, forcing the viewer to think deeper about its relevance and what it means. The sense of narrative is key in photography as it is a still, a frozen moment where nothing exists beyond that image, we as a viewer are given free rein to decide what it’s trying to communicate with us, with varying conclusions and interpretations which is why photography holds so much power. This image, and the lone glass, makes me refer back to the novel, ‘The Leftovers’ whereby suddenly 2% of the world’s population “depart” from earth, leaving everyone else behind to try and make sense of what happened and how they move on with their lives without them. Maybe the glass has been left by someone never to return, the glass that holds their DNA, the only remnant that they existed? Or perhaps that person has just finished the contents of the glass and has placed in on the floor whilst they return to bathing in the sun? Sometimes the real story behind a photograph and the one that a viewer concocts in their mind can be wildly different or incredibly similar, though ultimately creating the opportunity for pure imagination.
Hypnotic. That is the very first word that comes to mind upon my first glance at this photograph as the fluidity and movement present in the image is just instantly visualised by the viewer, purely from the memory, thus bringing great complexity to the shot. The tonal range is simply stunning and brings both balance and harmony to the pieces and also works to bring great depth to the pieces. The unique lines and shapes created by the ripple effect caused by the water is simply enthralling and almost acts as an optical illusion to the viewer, instantly pulling them in. The intricacy and immense detail present by the shadows cast by the sunlight directly above the water is beautiful and evokes a calming effect as well as a sense of urgency. These conflicting feelings mirror that of the strong contrast between bright white and dark black tones in the water. My favourite element of this shot is how occasionally (particularly at the bottom right), the white streaks almost blast across the image like lightning bolts, introducing great clarity, but this is then juxtaposed with the slightly blurred lines that introduce an almost ghostly effect to the photograph. Much alike the first image, the perspective of the shot, and how it is taken from above, provides the viewer with the feeling of placing themselves as looking right over into the water. Providing this feeling of the wanting to immerse yourself into the water, breaking that barrier, and discovering what lies beneath the surface of that beautiful, complex pattern works to intensify that initial hypnotic element.
After analysing my analogue photography images, I then chose to experiment further with a different medium, manipulating the shots digitally, overlaying them with the colours that I personally see when I look at them, remembering the memory and time attached to each image. This I feel great personal significance for me, and as a photographer the ability to look at black and white photographs and transform them into colour in this way makes for great and powerful images both visually as stand-alone experimentation and also when compared with the original black and white photographs. Using such a simple digital technique to transform these images from striking monochromatic photographs to sit almost in an in-between state between black and white and colour is quite striking. I chose for the first image to be given a light purple overlay as I felt that with the strong emotional attachments to the piece that colour is instantly what I envisioned when remembering my grandad. Blue has calming associations and green represents growth and life and the purple connotes a combination of the two, infusing all of these elements together to symbolise pure remembrance and celebration of the life my grandad had. There is a subtle level of romanticism linked to the image in this sense, which works to capture the feeling of love and bond so apparent in this photograph. I gave the second photograph a green overlay and made it quite intense to symbolise the time of year that the photograph was taken, as it synonymous with various Christmas decorations and of course, a Christmas tree. Also, green presents feelings of comfort and warmth and evokes a strong sense of being grounded, and for me that is what family represents – a place where you can truly be yourself free from judgment. On the day of my sister’s graduation I wore a coral dress that I bought especially for the occasion, and when I look back on that day I always think about that dress that I was wearing, which is why I chose for the third image to be overlaid with a coral, red colour. This, in terms of memory, strikes up some interesting ideas in relation to the various elements that can trigger a certain memory. It’s the same on the inverse, as whenever I see that dress hung up in my wardrobe, my mind always takes me back to that day and I am brought back to the feelings of pride and adoration for my sister.
With all of these photographs being taken in Kefalonia, Greece, all of the colours I used were bright, bold and vivid all laced with warm and vibrant connotations to mirror that of the vacation itself as well as the spectacular location it was alone. I loved the sombre element and feeling of loneliness and isolation that was present in the original of this first shot, so for the first image, I chose to make this overlay the least intense and remain much softer, in order to maintain that dark edge, but also introducing a hint of romanticism, thus also presenting feelings of comfort and hope to the image. The intensity of the two shades of blue used in both the second shot, with the introduction of the pop of glistening turquoise, and the third photograph, with its stunning electric cobalt fully embody the colourful landscapes of the location where the photographs were taken. This element makes both photographs incredibly captivating and instantly grab the attention of the viewer. The gorgeous turquoise seen in Figure 187 mirrors that of the colour of the crystal clear waters of the caves and beaches we visited on the island, so this colour holds strong associations with the sense of calm but pure wonder I felt when present at these truly breath-taking locations. The unique and dynamic shapes present in the water of the third image are even more striking and entrancing with the use of the piercing blue hue added to the original image that work to add great depth to the shot. My prior research of colour theory and the importance of colour connotations and associations for dementia patients is my main source of inspiration for my experimentation solely with the use of colour overlays to communicate the emotional responses to a memory. I feel that certain emotions and feelings also have strong associations with specific colours and I thought it important to emphasis the strong effect that this can have for the individual.