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Analogue Photography

Personally, analogue photography, can allow for a much deeper insight into your chosen subject than when shooting on digital. This is due to the fact that you cannot see your outcomes until they are developed, thus ensuring that the photographer takes the time and care to curate the shot that they envision. This is how magic can happen with analogue photography. When in Barcelona, I used a film camera, alongside my phone to document my time there. When I returned to the UK I got the film developed and revisiting this trip allowed all the memories to come flooding back. After admiring Gaudí’s craftsmanship for many years, seeing the Sagrada Família was such a special experience. All the photographs I took here, hone in on the incredibly intricate and stunning detail of the architecture. I love how the elements at both the foreground and the background contrast amazingly with the vast amount of negative space in this shot. This draws the viewer’s attention to the stunning details presence in this structure, being captivated by the strong, solid lines and dynamic shapes.

 

Hampstead Heath Garden and Pergola is such an extraordinary space. The structure is so rich with a sense of grandeur and discovery that it just envelopes you, immersing you into the location. Again, the contrast between the predominant focus of the structure and the negative space present from the centre of the image to the left, allows the wooden strips across the top of the pillars to create such an amazing pattern that is so striking to the audience. The tonal range present in this image is very well balanced, thus evoking a strong feeling of harmony. Although it is a visually stunning location, the vantage point at which this was shot, being below the subject, automatically puts it above the viewer, thus creating a dominant effect. This element, combined with the contrast between jet black and bright white, present a Gothic-esque feeling that radiates through the shot, juxtaposing with the soft and calming presence of the actual location itself when in the space.

 

I love the contrast between the strong vertical lines presented by the pillars the lead us deeper into the shot and the dark horizontal lines that also work to lead us further in they work to evoke feelings of both confusion and balance simultaneously. Ultimately, this element introduces an ambiguity to the shot as well as an intriguing hypnotic feeling, almost like an optical illusion, that instantly pulls the viewer in deeper, urging them to want to see what lies deeper within this photograph: Where does it lead? The juxtaposition also present from the powerful straight, solid lines and the dome wooden structure with beautifully curved lines, seen at the top of the piece produces yet another interesting contrast, that adds to these conflicting emotions of feeling lost but also intrigued by the sense of what could be discovered here. This particular aspect works to make this a very visually dynamic piece.

 

I love the immersive element that this shot has, instantly grabbing the attention of the viewer with the way in which the pillars appear at the foreground of the image, and progressively deeper and deeper into the photograph. Thus, introducing a hypnotic and entrancing feeling to the piece. The contrast between the presence of both powerful vertical and horizontal lines work to give the photograph create balance. The composition of this image is very aesthetically pleasing, adhering to the rule-of-thirds, and the aforementioned element of the repeat pattern of the uniform structures of the pillars, bring great depth to the piece. The tonal range is quite balanced; however, I would’ve liked for the lighter elements to be slightly brighter, just to make the photograph even more striking.

 

I cannot believe the amount of detail that is present within the design of Gaudí’s Sagrada Família. Every time I look at a photograph of a different area of it I am stunned by the intricate carvings and pure craftsmanship that radiates through his work. It is this mind-blowing concepts for design, that were so far ahead of his time, that make Gaudí’s buildings truly iconic. The tonal range in this piece is very aesthetically pleasing, with the light and dark elements not being so severe. The tones gradually shift throughout the image, and blend to make the overall shot so captivating and appreciate every detail instead of a case where the drastic tonal shifts highlighting specific sections. This element introduces a softness and delicacy to the piece, thus evoking a calming presence.

 

The way in which the wooden slabs are laid out over the top of the pillars, mirror that of a train-track structure, introducing a sense that there is a journey to be had here, evoking a powerful sense of adventure. This is an incredibly captivating element for the piece. Although, I would have liked there to be slightly less grey present in this image, I love the drastic tonal shifts between the contrasting jet black vertical and horizontal lines of the track-like structure and the brilliant, clear white of the sky. The relationship between these two particular elements highlight the juxtaposition between what lies in the foreground of the shot and the negative space in a way to works to grab the audience’s attention. I love that you can tell there is more that beyond this image, thus urging the viewer to want to go further, go deeper, to get lost in this amazing space.

 

I am absolutely in love with this shot. The composition adheres to the rule-of-thirds and think it is a very well-crafted photograph. With the window archway sitting just off-centre at the very back at the image, even though it is the predominant focal point of the shot, makes it instantly demand the attention of the audience. The staggered layers of the brick walls reaching out further and further towards the centre of the piece, work to introduce a sense of balance and harmony to the image, leading the viewer’s eye around the image beautifully to the arch window. The presence of nature contrasts beautifully with the sturdy, solid, structure of the brick walls enhances the true beauty of the location as St. Dunstan in the East is no longer a building, the church it once was it no longer, it remains ruins of a religious space. Thus, the way in which the nature is so imbedded in within the ruins and the two elements have essentially become one, bring life to the space, enveloping you in warmth and comfort.

 

 

The first image is a stunning shot taken at Hampstead Heath Garden and Pergola. The clarity in this image is brilliant, with the tonal range introducing balance and contradicting feelings of both adventure and a sense of detachment, thus ultimately creating a powerful feeling of intrigue. The overall grey tone of the piece, works to elevate that Gothic-esque element that is forever-present in the photographs that were taken in this location. The black and white form seems to transform the rather majestic, peaceful space into one that could urge the viewer to feel fearful and unsure of what the space represents. Indeed, it is undoubtedly a place that promotes power and stature with the incredible display of craftsmanship and stunning architectural design but it is interesting that the feelings this location can evoke when shot in observed in both colour and black and white format is amazing, thus proving that it is a formidable location that will captivate the audience when featured in my film.  The second image is a photograph of the mesmerising details from an area of Gaudí’s Sagrada Família. I feel that the contrast between black and white could’ve been much better in this image as it’s tonal range is predominantly quite greyscale. However, I feel that this aspect of the image, introducing a rather intriguing element to the piece, as it presents the details of the building on a much more balanced level as it doesn’t draw the viewer’s attention to any particular section of the structure, thus making the viewer really observe the photograph in order to discover the most interesting and dynamic design elements.

 

The spectacular nature of this building and the true artistry that it conveys is evident in this image. The wonderful detail in the design and the execution in the build of the structure is simply magnificent. It’s extraordinary display of grandeur works to evoke a feeling of power and status, thus marking the structure one to be rivalled. The contrast between the perfect circular shapes and the strong, solid lines present throughout this image work beautifully to captivate the attention of the audience. My use of black and white film for all the shots taken at Sagrada Família, heighten the Gothic theme of the design of the structure, thus illuminating the feeling of intrigue and potential danger that this building presents. This Gothic design element combined with some stunning religious scenes carved into the structure, introduces an intriguing juxtaposition that, again, works to evoke a strong feeling of power and influence.

 

 

I am in love with the intense exposure displayed in the first image – it is so heightened that it has created a silhouette effect for the structure, and leading out into those beautiful clouds makes this such a visually dynamic piece. There is such a strong contrast here. The pillars presenting strong, solid vertical lines juxtaposed with the grid-like curved lines present in the dome above, combining to introduce great harmony and balance to the piece. Although the severity of the tonal range is very demanding, evoking strong feelings of dominance, control, and power, the sky introduces a softness and stillness to the image that works to create an overall sense of calm. The obscurity introduced with the nature element being the in-focus element of the second image, with the stunning structure being shot out of focus in the background immediately captivates the attention of the audience.  Although a dominant focus of the image, the nature element is not at all encroaching on the rest of the image and allows for the background section of the photograph to shine through. I love how there appears to be a white light on the concrete floor guiding the viewer all the way to the end of the shot, in a very hypnotic way, almost like its enticing you, urging you, to go over the edge – testing your limits to see how far you will go.

 

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Final Shoot Locations

St. Dunstan in the East

 

This location holds strong connections the topic of Science vs Faith I’ve studied in this brief, as it is the ruins of a church. The archways and stunning architecture and design work to entrance the person who enters the space – you are instantly enveloped with a strong sense of heritage that only works to make the site more visually striking. The foliage that covers the grand arches introduce contrasting textures, bringing life back to the ruins, showcasing that they have lived on even if they do not stand to do the function they were originally built for, they still mark the location with a strong sense of what the ruins represent. They are not forgotten; they are remembered through the countless people that come to this site to witness the beautiful views that this structure creates. This location will work incredibly well as a site for filming with the model. The various shapes, strong lines, and strong bond to nature will tie in perfectly with the all-white styling aesthetic that the lone model will display, interacting with the ruins alone in a space that is remembered but could so easily be forgotten.

 

Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola

     

This location is absolutely breath-taking – located deep within Hampstead Heath, it is one of London’s greatest hidden treasures. Surrounded by woodland and forestation, the grand structure of the garden and pergola entrance you as soon as you step foot inside. The scenery it produces from any vantage point are simply stunning and the design and architecture of the structure offer up incredible displays of bold, strong lines and shapes that are so captivating. When you walk through the site, you have to take in every detail, the artistry in the design is so intricate and the layout is so entrancing, in some areas, it pulls you in, much like a maze. The nature present at the site also works, much like St. Dunstan in the East, to introduce blasts of colour and interesting textures that contrast with the strong, grand structure that has such an elevated presence – evoking powerful feelings of discovery and admiration. Observing this location, I could visualise the way in which the structure, and some of the uniform, repeated aspects, present almost create an optical illusion-esque feeling, thus creating an enthralling, hypnotic feeling that will work well with the model and it will be interesting to play around with the sense of feeling lost, introducing a sense of confusion and bewilderment that comes with the topic of ideas surrounding the “truth” and conditioning that I have studied. Given its isolated nature, this site will also capture that element of existing within something far greater than yourself. I think that filming from interesting angles and vantage points will give the footage an edge and great depth that will create some incredibly captivating visuals, drawing the audience in.

 

Wat Buddhapadipa

 

When I first discovered this building online, I was simply stunned by its architectural artistry and unique design, I could not believe that something so beautiful could exist, let alone be located in the UK. But in the residential area of Wimbledon, South-West London, lies the Wat Buddhapadipa temple. Being in the presence of this structure was nothing like looking at photographs online. The rich, bold red and gold accent colours of the decoration of the building, that contrast beautifully with the bright, brilliant white of the main exterior are truly mind-blowing. This temple is such a special building and you can feel that energy when existing in that space, it’s simply infectious. When you’re staring in awe of this structure, it empowers you to feel more open, present, and inspired. This is the predominant reason that I knew this had to be a key feature in my film, it touches on so many important themes that I want to explore: religion, unity, harmony, power. Also, I think that this location will provide some of the most stunning visuals that will appear in the footage. They will be so entrancing to the audience, working as a beautiful backdrop when interacting with the model, as well as showcasing the gorgeous details and powerful presence of this building.

 

Chapel of St. Peter & St. Paul, Old Royal Naval College

 

Again, being immersed in such a visually beautiful space and being exposed to such stunning display of artistic design, is what ensures striking footage that will create an amazing juxtaposition between the sheer beauty present in this space to the message of lies and deceit that derive from government and media power. With spectacular high ceilings, stunning attention to detail in the craftsmanship presented in the cream and blue design of the decoration, these elements contrasts wonderfully with the feature mural displayed front-and-centre of the chapel. Becoming lost in the carvings and strong lines of this decoration is one of the primary elements of the space that work to fully captivate the viewer’s attention and causes them to be fully immersed in the space. It’s beauty and the presence of rich colours will create great contrast between the strong, impactful, hard-hitting message that this film stands to communicate.

 

The Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College

 

The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich marks its Painted Hall as “one of the most spectacular and important baroque interiors in Europe”. British artist, Sir James Thornhill is responsible for the spectacular ceiling and wall decorations which were executed between 1707 and 1726: “The artist drew on a cast of around 200 figures to tell a story of political change, scientific and cultural achievements, naval endeavours, and commercial enterprise against a series of magnificent backdrops. The characters he included are allegorical, mythological, historical and contemporary.” A combination of both art and architecture, this symbiotic relationship between the two join forces to create some of the most beautiful visual imagery, experiencing these paintings up-close was absolutely incredible. The attention to detail and being able to observe the brush strokes so clearly intensified the impact that the work evoked. Ultimately, the work “presents a vivid and compelling picture of Britain’s place in the world according to those who governed it at the start of the eighteenth century.” Thus, the scenes in this artwork mirrors the areas of the conflicts posed in the Science vs. Faith argument as well as the topic of Myths and Legends, conveyed through the focus on subjects such as astrology and the signs of the Zodiac, which connect to the research I have conducted in this brief. This location connects closely to my research in this brief as it draws parallels to the paintings I studied within the theme of Myths and Legends as well as the artwork I sourced when studying the rapture. Thus, this location is a direct response to that form of communication in terms of exploring narrative and themes of faith, science, and mythology. I think that this location will serve as a truly great asset, in creating some mesmerising material to be featured in my work.

 

Sagrada Família

 

Observing the spectacular artistry and design created by Gaudí was an experience that will be hard to forget. The way in which he combined two art forms in a seemingly effortless way to produce pure beauty, elegance, and a formidable display of design and architecture that, despite being designed in 1883, triumphs over many if not all noted building structures. His genius radiates throughout Barcelona – after visiting every Gaudí site, it felt like Barcelona was Gaudí’s own city that he created and everything in between was just of insignificance, almost like every other building was built to fit around his work. The beauty and charm of Barcelona is due, in large part, to the bold shapes, beautiful craftsmanship and the overall stunning and unique aesthetic that exists in every Gaudí structure in the city. It is a huge testament to Gaudíi’s talent that still, to this day, stand to be some of the most iconic, influential display of architectural genius that will forever stand as the ultimate example of exemplary design, style, and skill. It for this reason that the inclusion of footage of this particular location, Gaudí’s most notable work, to be featured in the film will work to captivate the attention of the audience.

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Location Scouting

  

Donnybrook Quarter – East London

This is a housing complex where every building is painted white, and is laid out in a uniform structure. When immersed in the pathways that lead you around this block of flats, you are completely enveloped by white. Beautifully shapes are created when you glance up above, allowing for great displays of light. On the other hand, the existence of the exact design for every single building can also evoke a coldness and sense of detachment which could be interesting to draw on.

 

 

Watts Memorial, Postman’s Park – East London

The Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice commemorates ordinary people who died saving the lives of others, and who might otherwise have been forgotten. The oldest tablet was introduced on July 30 1900 with the latest being unveiled on July 11 2009. Each tile represents a person who showed great courage and put the lives of others ahead of their own. These acts of bravery could make this a great location to utilise for my film.

 

St. Dunstan in the East – East London

Originally a Church of England parish church, that sat halfway between London Bridge and the Tower of London, it was largely destroyed during the World War II. The stunning ruins are now a public garden. The overall aesthetic of beautiful architecture and structure along with its religious roots would make it an incredible backdrop to feature in the film.

 

 

Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola – North London

Hidden away deep within Hampstead Heath, this structure is visually stunning and evokes a strong sense of wonder that leaves you in absolute awe of your surroundings. With spectacular views, lines, shapes, and architecture, the structure includes some striking and visually dynamic elements that will make some amazing imagery in the film.

 

 

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – North-West London

Also commonly known as Neasden Temple, this Hindu temple was built solely using traditional methods and materials. It has been described as Britain’s first ever authentic Hindu temple. The building itself offers up some of the most breath-taking architecture I have ever seen. The intricacies and the sheer details present in this structure are a true representation of grandeur. It is one of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings I have ever seen – it is simply spectacular. It would be amazing to include this as a shooting location for the film.

 

 

Wat Buddhapadipa – South-West London

The first Thai Buddhist Temple to be built in the United Kingdom. The striking bright white exterior is juxtaposed with the red and gold accents of the roof and decorations of the frames of the windows and doors, contrasting beautifully to create a truly visually stunning structure. At first glance I was absolutely floored at the beauty of this temple and immediately knew that it had to be included in my work. With its unique design, pure artistry, and the fact that it’s a religious temple, means it will produce incredibly striking visuals that will immediately captivate the audience’s attention.

 

 

The Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park – South London

A Buddhist stupa, a monument, built to inspire peace and promote harmony amongst all people. A symbol of unity, this structure is a stellar example of the way my work aims to promote an overall sense of community and unite people to remember. It offers an interesting juxtaposition to the focus of my work being on lies, deceit, and manipulation. Monuments of this nature a representation of hope – inspiring us to dream of a better world.

 

 

The Hogarth Staircase, St Bart’s Hospital Museum – East London

On the walls of the staircase are two murals painted by William Hogarth, ‘The Pool of Bethesda’ (1736) and ‘The Good Samaritan’ (1737). The hospital’s museum displays the development of medical care over time and explains the history of the hospital. ‘The Pool of Bethesda’ presents the scene of Christ curing the sick. These combined elements of faith from the inclusion of Christ and the fact that scientific study is practised in this building link incredibly well to the research I have completed that has led me to this point, making it a great potential location for filming.

 

               

Chapel of St. Peter & St. Paul, Old Royal Naval College – South-East London

This chapel is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul due to their connection with the water and the sea. Spectacular scenery and architecture is present inside this building, in addition to a beautifully painted mural that stands front and centre of the chapel. The stunning cream and blue colours of the decoration of the ceiling are so incredibly captivating that work to accent the solitary mural, presenting the mural as the focal point of the space.

 

 

The Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College – South-East London

I was in absolute rapture when I entered this space, the artistry and imagery were breath-taking, and given the opportunity to observe the paintings so up-close whilst the building was under restoration was simply spectacular. The intricate details I was able to see that I would only be able to imagine if I were simply glancing up at from the ground made it such an amazing experience. The tour also enabled me to acquire more information regarding the murals and see the journey of the imagery which made it so much more interesting.  From the stunning views looking up to the vestibule ceiling, with the beautifully contrasting gold and blue colours present to the grandeur and mind-blowing two large-scale paintings, which cover 400-square-feet, work to fully encapsulate the audience, evoking a strong feeling of wonder and awe, thus making this an amazing location that would provide stunning visuals in the film.

 

 

Sagrada Família, Barcelona

An unfinished Roman Catholic church, designed by the ingenious visionary, Antoni Gaudí. After taking over from architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, Gaudí transformed the project with his unique architectural and engineering style, joining elements of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles to create, arguably, one of the most beautifully crafted buildings in the world.  art critic Rainer Zerbst said “it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art”, and Paul Goldberger describes it as “the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages”. After admiring the work of Gaudí and, in particular, the Sagrada Família, finally seeing it in real life left me thinking one thing: wow.

 

             

33 Montagu Square, Marylebone – Central London

Scot Young, an associate of Berezovsky, whom he helped launder money, fell to his death in December 2014, being impaled on railings after falling from the fourth-floor window of this address. A coroner concluded that there was insufficient evidence that could concretely rule it a suicide, making it one of the many controversial and suspicious deaths surrounding Russian-linked UK deaths. This spot marks a source of corruption and conspiracy, making it an incredibly intriguing potential location to feature in the film.

 

Going forward, given the number of locations I have scouted as potential sites to use in my film, I am going to have to eliminate quite a few to ensure that there is a strong, cohesive aesthetic and link established between all the locations I use. This will ensure maximum impact to the audience. Thus, I have decided to exclude the following locations from any further shoots: 1) Donnybrook Quarter. This is purely based on the fact that it holds the least relevance to that of my deeper subject matter. The complex itself would create some beautiful imagery, but the sole fact that it’s white is too loosely related to my chosen topic. 2) Watts Memorial, Postman’s Park. Although the site holds beautiful historical value and remembers great acts committed by ordinary people, the aesthetic is not synonymous with the rest of the locations I looked at. 3) BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Since this is a place of worship, I had to seek permission from the temple in order to shoot there. Sadly, I was not granted permission to film at the temple, which is so unfortunate as I think it would’ve created some truly stunning visuals that would’ve been incredibly captivating to the audience. 4) The Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park. I felt that this structure didn’t have that extra element of “grandeur” that some of the other locations exhibit which is vital in order to achieve maximum impact upon creating strong and visually dynamic visuals. 5) The Hogarth Staircase, St Bart’s Hospital Museum. Although the subject matter ties in well with my Science vs. Faith focus, getting permission to film in this location was unfortunately not possible. However, there are other locations I have scouted that also relate to the Science vs. Faith theme, so it is not a complete loss. 6) 33 Montagu Square, Marylebone. Although it was the story behind this location that attracted me to it so much, this location’s lack of that “grandeur” element is a main factor in my decision to no longer using this location for further shoots. Also, it being on the corner of a busy Central London road would’ve proved difficult to achieve a sense of isolation and solidarity that I wish to illustrate in the film.

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The Colour White

In Western society, the colour white is usually synonymous with ultimately positive connotations, such as purity, peace, and holiness. However, in Eastern and Asian cultures, white is attached to negative associations, including death, mourning, and loss. In the Middle East, both purity and mourning as bonded to white. In Iran, this expands to include holiness and peace, and in Egypt, white signifies someone’s high ranking status and power. Also, the universal symbol for truce is the white flag, meaning that, in this one instance, there is ultimate positivity surrounding the colour. There are also strong religious associations with the colour white depicted through symbols of purity, innocence, and virginity – evoking a majestic and angelic feeling, white is attached to some incredibly powerful emotions. The aesthetic created by the colour white, is linked to that of a clinical environment and sterility. I find that often, completely white spaces, work to evoke contrasting feelings of a type of vastness and sense of entrapment simultaneously.  Realising the significance of the colour white and the strong symbolism it represents in the Guilty Remnant in the TV show, ‘The Leftovers’, it is very important that I harness this element in my film visually, in both the locations I choose as well as the styling. The fact that the slightest imperfection can be seen with immense clarity against the colour white also holds great symbiosis with my focus on the truth, transparency, and reliability surrounding our government and the media.

 

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The Leftovers – The Guilty Remnant

      

The Guilty Remnant (G.R.) are a collective that stand to be “living reminders” for those that “departed” when 2% of the population that disappeared from the world suddenly. Their overall goal is unknown to the other residents of Mapleton and their public demonstrations and actions are severe, jarring, and sometimes simply cruel: all in service of making people remember. The G.R. live in subdivisions together and are easily noticed by others. They wear all-white clothing, they chain-smoke, they don’t speak, solely communicating through written notes, and they stalk the people they wish to recruit. The stalking element to the G.R. fuels chaos, as they don’t speak and all they do is follow you, stare at you, and relentlessly smoking whilst doing so, leads to outbursts or breakdowns, both often resulting in their targets joining the cause. They wear white to set them apart from everyone else, making them stand out amongst those who have “forgotten”. However, I see there being a religious aspect to it as well, wearing white to signal to God that they have reclaimed their faith and are worthy, indicating that some believe in the ‘rapture’ theory that has been presented regarding the missing 140 million people. In a sign in one of the G.R. homes it reads “WE DON’T SMOKE FOR ENJOYMENT, WE SMOKE TO RECLAIM OUR FAITH”. This statement represents how to the G.R. the world ended on the day of the “departure” and that they accept that they’re all going to die so they no longer worry about the threat of death that is synonymous with smoking –  everyone is dead anyway. In the post-Departure world, everyone is searching for an answer. The G.R. however, feel that there is no answer, so for them to collectively assign that they belong to nothing and their sole purpose is to never forget, and more importantly, ensure that no-one ever forgets is the only way their lives have meaning anymore. The overall aesthetic of the G.R. and the way in which they have such a bold, unavoidable, unapologetic presence is what draws me to them for inspiration for my film. Their philosophy to stand as “living reminders” is tied to my desire to revisit things past that have affected our world so much but that we have forgotten, is also what has made me continue to focus on the story of The Leftovers and this aspect of that world. The G.R. is my major source of styling inspiration moving forward. Maintaining all white ensembles will project both striking and dominating visuals that will work to instantly captivate the attention of the audience.