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Week 3 reflection

For this weeks project we have been to asked to work in pairs or groups of three’ to create a collaborative piece of work. Whilst looking into the project brief, I wanted to look for a project that could challenge me in my own practice whilst bringing in elements I wouldn’t usually work with. I looked a lot of projects that used nature in them but in an unconventional way, I looked at photographers such as Anna Mika, who explored the idea of how nature could effect abandoned buildings, still maintaining the natural aspect of subject but focusing on architecture. Whilst looking into the idea of architecture, I found myself wanting to detach more and more from the buildings themselves and focus on the destructive nature that environmental change could have on an environment especially exploring negative space.

Whilst exploring this idea I came across a pair of photographers called Erica Simone and Jaci Berkopec. I spent some time looking through my peer’s responses to the project brief and was drawn to one entitled "The light of the day is followed by night, as a shadow follows a body" Aristotle. From this me and my partner have looked, into various ideas around the idea of nature and human’s interaction with it. We looked into the idea of mother nature, and what the idea of that could mean. Is it just a fictional character or does the idea of mother nature mean something more? We are exploring the idea of a connection we share with the environment around us and how are environment can shape who we are.

From our research we decided to focus on cultures that are effected by natures influence. we looked at how the human form can be changed and manipulated by nature. Whilst looking into the idea of different cultural backgrounds and how people change their appearance to show their connection with the natural environment. We decided to cast a Rastafarian model to represent the human element of the composition. In Rastafarian beliefs your body is considered your temple and the culture includes a strong link to the empowerment of people. Early on it was decided that the images would be headshots and dreadlocks were an important element to retain the the Rastafarian visual cues. To reinforce the empowerment element of the human images strong directional lighting was employed. After deciding how we wanted to take the images of the model, we then explored what type of botanicals would best represent our theme. We looked into plants that have an effect on our lives. We looked into certain trees and other botanicals that are know for the oxygen creating qualities, or air purifying quality We looked at plants such as Ivy Jessica which is know in the botanical world as a highly sort after plant due to its quick and efficient air filtration system. We also looked into the bark of a Cedar tree, which is used in Satmya, which is the practice of using natural remedies found in tree bark or fruits. It is specifically used for treating acne, warts and skin tags. From this we edited the images I had taken into the images of the model. We made strong reference to the respiratory system in the images where Ivy Jessica was used and facial impurities in the images the Cedar tree was present.

At the start of the project I found the idea of working on a collaboration rather daunting. It made me question every frame I captured in a different way. I had to think about our combined purpose for taking the images rather than just my own. At first I found the images I was taking were more focused on documenting the plant life, rather than thinking how they could work in collaboration with my partner’s images. Through more research and discussion with partner I came to the conclusion that I needed to focus on the natures natural movement that could follow the flow of the human bodies captured by my partner. The initial editing was also rather challenging. I have only ever edited my own images; I didn’t want to offend my partner for changes I made. So me and my partner worked together very closely in all post process decisions. I fell that that the body of work we have submitted has come to a point of conclusion, but we both feel that this project could be explored and expanded further. This is something we are both wanting to continue past this week. We have found a lot more contextual references which can develop our body of work further.

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