Sunday, 9 March 2014

Responding to Idea of Bullying

I have done a lot of research into my ideas about growth and evolution and now its time to show a initial response to this exam title.
Taking into account the work I have previously done I felt my anti-bullying piece based on the work of Benoit Paille was the best. It was incredibly emotional and I feel I could further with it to create a good final piece.

Brainstorming Ideas

Idea 1

My first idea is to take an up-close photograph of a set of eyes and within each set of eyes display a different form of bullying. 
Below is this response, I have done it quickly as it is just an experiment and if I chose to carry on with this idea I will need to take better photographs and spend more time planning lighting and staging. 

This series of three photographs I feel is quite powerful. The third one which displays cyber bullying I feel is the best as the use of screen and opacity and the blur of the original photograph meant it looked like a reflection in her eyes. I like the idea and I could work with this more. Possibly the fist could be coming towards the eye and could be half in one eye and half in the other this could show the reflection. With the words I could physically write them, photograph it and show it as a reflection in her eyes.

I edited these slightly further as I wanted to make them look more editorial so airbrushed the skin more and removed the reflection of the light in her eyes.

Idea 2

A up close close shot of eyes in each shot it shows how bullying affects a person - words covering them, being ripped up, screwed up and being covered in water.
Below is this response. If I do this as a final idea I will present it as four separate images so I have done this below. I have used a photograph which I have edited previously and experimented with already. If I do this idea I will re-shoot the photographs.

When I placed water over the photograph it made no difference, therefore to develop this I placed some blue paint over it to look like tears. I feel the blue paint idea worked very well. It made her look far more vulnerable and sad than before. I want to use this idea and experiment with it further. I also like the other ideas. Having the rips across the face could mirror the scars people feel from bullying. 

Idea 3

A 'beauty' shot of someone, both in the same position. One photograph has her looking beautiful, the other has words and bruises covering her face. The middle is ripped in half displaying this evil side.
Looking back on this initial idea I decided I didn't like it that much and wanted to change it slightly. Rather than having two separate photographs I will put make-up on half the models face but not on the other to show the impact of bullying and how she is trying to cover it up. I will also focus more on physical bullying using bruising rather than words. 

I do like this photograph as it shows both sides to bullying in a interesting way. My main issue however, is the models facial expression. She looks almost bored and very neutral. I feel maybe I should have done two photographs as I could of shown her smiling in one and maybe crying in the other. Yet the use of make-up to create bruising is interesting. I could further this within my final piece. Also combining airbrushing and making her look pale using a lot more white shows how she is trying desperately to hide her bruises and her pain. 

Idea 4

Shot of someone looking sad, then two of them screaming and merge together showing a motion style photograph.
Below is this response. I did it roughly and many more things need to be considered if I was to take this further, for example for lighting and setting.

I like the concept behind this idea but feel it links better with my ideas about mental illness than bullying. I could however, develop it to link to bullying but putting other people either side of her and make them look mean as if they are bullying her possibly verbally. 

Final Idea

From all this experimentation I have decided on my final idea for my first response within the context of 'Growth and Evolution'.
I am planning on doing a series of photographs showing the progression of bullying through physical punching. From my initial experimentation I found Benoit Paille up close photography to be very interesting and I wanted to twist this into my own ideas. I have experimented with creating a series of photographs showing different effects of bullying. However, this doesn't link very well to growth and evolution. I want to show the growth of bullying and how it can affect a person. Therefore, using the pervious experiment with bruising on the face and creating a development. I am planning on taking a up close photograph of eyes and will show the girl to have a sad face then the second photograph will have more bruising and the last to have more and then less and less. Below I have roughly sketched this idea to try and show how it will work:

Sketch of Idea

Contact Sheets


Editing Process

Image One
This was my first image in the series. I started editing it by using simply editing techniques. To illuminate the face more I adjusted the levels and curves. Then linking back to my original experiments in response to Benoit Paille I overlaid a Gaussian blur effect to make the face airbrushed. Next I needed to make the image slightly more dramatic. I plan on doing this by working with overlays and gradients.
I overlaid a black - nothing gradient with a soft light to try and make her look more trapped. Below is the final image:

Image Two

This image was to show the progression of bullying and how it can lead to physically being hurt. I have given the model a harsh bruise around one eye and a older bruise around the other to show it's something on going. I added a airbrush affect to this image and altered the levels and curves to enhance the lighting. I then created a new layer with a very low opacity and draw using different shades of blue and yellow enhancing the colour of the bruises. I then needed to add some darkness to the image so copied the gradient steps I had taken with the above photograph to do this.

Image Three

For this image I was going to take similar steps as I had with the other two to produce it. However, I worked more with enhancing the bars over the eyes as they were the main part.

Final Photographs

Looking back at these photographs I found I wasn't entirely happy with them, I wanted them to all look the same and I found they didn't really. Therefore to experiment a bit more I took the first image which I was very happy with and added fake bruising using colours and very low opacities in Photoshop.



My work is about the growth of bullying and how bullying can evolve from something small to a victim feeling trapped within themselves. I produce the photograph using dark lighting and edited it to emphasise this. I then used clever Photoshop to create  bruising around the eye using a combination of colours and overlays as well as low opacities. They are a series of three photographs aiming to display to growth of bullying from how it can make someone feel, to how it can physically hurt to how they feel trapped from everyone. I used a 17 year old but using airbrushing and by making her look vulnerable it changes her age to make her look younger and more innocent. She is looking directly at the camera to try and contact the viewer and communicate how she feels. This way it evokes a dark mood showing a darkness within her due to the bullying. 

My idea has developed from my initial thoughts about emotional photography and producing work which evokes powerful emotions from the viewer. However, I needed a subject mater which was emotional and I wanted it to be significant to me. Initially I thought about eating disorders as I feel the concept of a young girl/boy who feels they are never good enough and stop eating to be tragic. Then I went onto thing about mental illness as I watched some TV programmes and studied abnormality within psychology and found the way people treat those with a mental illness heartbreaking. They are shut out of society because we don't deem them 'normal'. Yet, I chose the concept of bullying. This was mainly because I heard about tragic bullying stories in the news and felt like I could include elements of mental illness and eating disorders within this wider concept. 

From this I want to go onto produce photography similar to this. I want to focus slightly more on bullying. I need to ensure I have more empathy behind the images and make people feel compassion towards them so they want to change bullying and help stop it. A good place to look would be anti bullying campaigns as they aim to cut out bullying and stop it all together. I also think I need to study bullying in more detail. When you think about bullying you think about the obvious things, however, to communicate more meaning behind my work I feel it would be a good idea to look more at case studies of people who have been bullied to understand how they feel and the emotions they felt when being bullied. I quite like the idea of following the line of cyber bullying. I feel this could be very interesting as people are powerless towards cyber bullying and they can't do anything about it. Cyber bullying, in my opinion, is more emotional than physical bullying as words can hurt sometimes more than bruises. Bruises can heal but words will remain in your mind forever. 

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