Here’s the first bit of progress on my Independent project. The process involves spray painting familiar, organic objects a glossy black before shooting them in studio. This series represents a collection of product shots showing off BLaCKs new range of designer vegetables. The work intendeds to explore the relationship between commercial advertising and individuality.
The concept was inspired from watching the 2002 Documentary “The Century of the Self”. A fantastic insight into the history of marketing and its relationship to social control. Well recommended to watch it. Here’s a good quote from the third episode (43:00) that relates:
“The answers were then analysed by computers. It revealed that there were underlying patterns about the way people felt about themselves which fitted amongst those categories, and at the top of the hierarchy were a large and growing group which cut across all social classes. The SRI team called them the inner directives. These were people who thought they were not defined by their place in society but by the choices they made themselves. But what SRI discovered was that these people could be defined by the different patterns of behaviour through which they chose to express themselves. Self expression was not infinite, it fell into identifiable types and the SRI team developed a new term for it, Lifestyles. They had managed to categorize the new individualism…It was the beginning of lifestyle marketing”
I have a year to complete it so and will be posting all progress to this blog.
We hired the infamous Prado, the one with tires made of glad wrap, for ten days. Each day I set up the tripod exactly six paces from the middle of the bumper. Focus point was set one notch lower than the centre and fixed on the Toyota emblem. The idea being to keep everything as controlled as possible to accentuate the change in surroundings, if our beard growth became more evident in the process then no harm done. ( :
“Ten days? I see but eight!” I hear you exclaim, a little pretentiously I might add. Well my astute, make believe companion, the first day I gave the shot a miss. Being almost delirious with exhaustion from the flight (I refer you to the post I made during this period) AND having been almost arrested in the immigration office of Dar es Salaam for taking some, not so sly, documentary style photos, I couldn’t be bothered to set up the shot.
Incidentally, as a self diagnosed dyslexic, Dar es Salaam is not a fun name to fill out on a visa form, although it does lend itself to some ironically fitting word play. Not the cleanliest city in the world. I did take a shot the second day but I didn’t have the system down yet, six paces and so on, and what’s more, we had yet to pick my brother up from Mt Kilimanjaro, so it was just me and dad. It’s a nice photo but something big and scary is missing. Repetition is a cheap trick and I plan to use it.
The time has come! Dangerously close to the end of the uni year and I’m desperately trying to get together a folio to present as my last assignment for “Illustrative Studio Techniques” .
The assignment calls for 4 shots: a character portrait, fashion shot, studio set, and a still life. They all should be linked with a theme of some sort.
As usual I left the planning to the very last minute. I figured “incongruity” was a suitably flexible theme for a man on deadline.
This is the first shoot and should tick the “fashion” box. I’m very pleased with it and can’t thank Emily enough for being such a fantastic model. A photographer/graphic designer herself you can see her work here: http://emily-jayne.net/
(shot on rooftop of train station car park in Fortitude Valley)
Welcome to the Motel Molly Morgan
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Plenty of room at the Motel Molly Morgan
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…
Welcome to the Motel Molly Morgan
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! ”