(I only included some of the photos from my project)
1 – What was your idea, concept, and/or frame of reference for this project?
For one of my final assignments of my undergrad, I wanted to make this one reflective of my time here. I figured this would be successful when considering that photography is often used as a means to capture memories and is used to make things like photo albums and scrapbooks. The aim was to construct a sculptural component of the work to house the photos I wish to display. I decided to create a photo film roll out of cardboard with an interactive piece that allows you to unroll and reel in the photos which I printed on clear film. However, it doesn’t stop there. Not only did I wish to take photos of people, places and things that have significant nostalgia in my university experience, but I also wanted to demonstrate the skills I have learned throughout this time, portrait photography, photoshop file preparation, s-curves, photoshopping subjects out of an image, composition decisions, printing on clear film and more! Additionally, I made reference to a few other skills I learned that I didn’t outright utilize to create this piece but has a place within my concept. Of course, the idea of working with film and processing comes from the display of the piece and the idea that you have a restricted amount of photos you can take, but also the use of the scanner when considering that the images themselves are positive photos. In digital non-silver and the group project of this course, I was able to use the scanner to turn the negatives into positive images, therefore this makes reference to that process. Lastly, the use of tape to attach the photos was influenced by physical manipulation of the film where I found in my research that people have purposefully cut negative images and taped them back together to achieve an interesting effect that is seen when scanning the photos.
2 – What was your motivation to make this project? List any references.
My motivation to construct this was influenced from something I purchased as a special anniversary gift for my boyfriend which was a keychain of a film roll that had custom photos inside the film of us together. Further, the fact that I am finishing my degree at the end of this semester gave me the idea to create something nostalgic which helped me look at it from both a skill level point of view, but also the literal content within the photos. Further, as previously mentioned, the idea of taping the photos together was an attempt to save paper, but also was influenced by a website I found that used photo manipulation of film which I will list.
3 – What aspects of your project work well to support the concept?
I think there is a strong concept behind the processes of photography which are demsontrated by the individual components such as the display (film roll), the use of clear film paper, the idea of using a positive image as opposed to a negative image, and the idea that these images were all made using digital photography. Additionally, there were 12 photos enclosed in this film roll speaks as a fraction to the regular number of photos that are usually found in a film roll which is 24 and 36 (12 being half of 24).
4 – What detracts from the concept?
Something that I wanted to do with my piece was to put the notches at the edges of the photos on the borders similar to how an actual film reel has, but because there were some issues with my image sizes, I chose not to do this as it would make this flaw more noticeable. Additionally, I would have had to cut out each of these notches by hand, making it a very time consuming process as I was unable to find an alternative option such as a square hole punch.
5 – How does your work engage scale?
Scale can be seen in both the sculpture itself, but also the photos. I had a variety of images of large buildings which contrasted with the smaller scale images such as my cat or friends which give a more intimate impression. This serves to reflect on the differences in milestones and the relationship these items have to me personally.
6 – What role does colour, composition, materials, and/or scale play in this work?
I used black and white to emphasize the idea of the film roll, despite the images being positives. I thought the images were more successful this way, but also it adds to the nostalgic element of these subjects becoming a part of my past. Additionally, the materials I used to make this were specifically chosen. The sculpture was made from cardboard to reflect a project I made in sculpture 1 but also the fact that it was the most cost effective and available to me as a student. The clear film was decided upon to imitate film. Further, the order in which my photos were displayed signified a timeline in which I interacted with the subject according to my university experience, excluding the first image of the scanned note/keepsake collage since it functioned as a “title page” for what my upcoming photos related to; nostalgia.
7 – What are some presentation qualities of your work that you considered?
I made the sculpture interactive but requires you to view the images more successfully when you have at least two people interacting with the piece which is related to the concept of my piece. I feel as though having this element of the viewer having to unroll/roll the work creates a more prominent memory of my work for the viewer rather than simply viewing it hanging on the wall. Additionally, it emphasizes the need of a helpful friend to allow you to view it properly which by looking at some of the images I have, you can see that there is a strong importance on the friendships I have made through university.
8 – What areas of your project would benefit from more work?
I think in the future if I could do this again, I would really want to add the notches as I think it would make this piece that much more successful. This would require me to redo my image sizes and reprint all my photos so that they are the same size with the same borders. I had tried to make sure this happened in the first place by documenting the sizes I was using for every photo, however I am unsure what happened when it came time to print them. Perhaps something changed in my photoshop file that I was unaware of, but unable to correct because I had to send a print request form to get them printed by an external source. Further, by the time I had the photos, I did not have time to submit a new request form because at least 24 hours is needed to complete the request and printing on clear film is only available on Tuesdays – Thursdays during the week, where I got the photos on the Thursday before our crit. Additionally, I needed to have all of the photos before I was able to complete the sculptural aspect since they were to be attached to the dowel inside the reel that is enclosed around the casing, unable to take out unless you break it apart.
9 – What did you learn in the process of making this work? Any notable
I learned that file preparation is extremely important and needs to be one of your highest priorities in making a piece like this. This is partially what inhibited me from being able to add certain elements to my piece to make it stronger, such as the notching on the sides. Additionally, saving your files before you flatten your image is another extremely important practice to carry forward as I had to completely redo at least half of my images when my files weren’t properly prepared for printing. Additionally, I learned about how there are more ways to manipulate images than just digital mechanisms like photoshop (cutting negatives and scanning them is something I would love to try in the future). Additionally, I learned to experiment with photoshop more on my own using techniques such as enhancing the resolution in camera raw, cropping to a certain ratio, file preparation for printing, removing objects from a photo that are affecting my images composition and playing with the S-curve, brightness and contrast of the images. Additionally, I was able to use the flatbed scanner for the first time to scan some notes and keepsakes I kept from over the years.