Homage to a Precious Object

On Friday 12th October 2012, we were given our second task to complete by Tuesday 15th October 2012. It was entitled “Homage to a Precious Object” and our brief was to take one or a series of photographs of something that was important to us and that we felt was precious. This word, ‘preciousness’ is key in this brief as they want to be able to know and understand that our object is special by merely looking at the photograph. They will not be reading any critical analysis and simply want us to speak in a visual language by showing a narrative in our image(s). We were then told that we had to use at least one of the tools that we have been taught to use over the past three weeks. These include:

  • Digital Camera
  • 35mm Camera
  • Light Meter
  • Mamiya 7
  • Mamiya RB67
  • Film Development
  • Dark Room Practises

I decided that I would use my digital Canon EOS 600D camera and the light meter to capture and create my photographs. By using the light meter to show me a combination of shutter speed and aperture for an ISO of 100, I subsequently shot with a shutter speed of 1/250 seconds and an aperture of 4.5. For each photograph, I then opened them up into the Photoshop CS6 software, checked the levels and curves, before decreasing the saturation to -60 and increasing the contrast to 15. Below are my three favourite, edited images from my first “Homage to a Precious Object” photo shoot without a critical reflection to see if they are able to show my effective narrative.

After looking back on these three images, I decided that they didn’t fully respond to the brief that I was given as they struggled to show how ‘precious’ these items were to me. This then led me to do a re-shoot with more abstract images in the hope of capturing the meaning and story behind each pair of shoes. Below are my 3 favourite, edited photographs from my second shoot that were edited in almost the same way as the first but with a desaturation of -45 instead of -60.

I personally feel that this shoot was more successful than the original as I was able to create dynamic and atmospheric photographs by enhancing the shadows of each pair of shoes. This aspect has also given the viewer more to work with when it comes to constructing a narrative behind each pair.

We then had a dedicated feedback session on Tuesday 15th October 2012, with our part-time teaching assistant Julia, who gave us constructive criticism to enable us to go back and work on this particular task. I was told that the second set of images where much stronger than the first and that the lighting was very creative and gave each photograph a deep atmosphere. I then explained to Julia that my reasoning for having my shoes as my ‘precious‘ object was that when I wear them out, they give me a different sense of confidence that allows me to become more socially conventional and enables me to evoke my personality. After this, she then said that she could see that the photographs portray the different personalities that I elict when wearing these specific shoes through the way that I have positioned them. She then suggested, for an improvement, that I could take my shoes to different areas and photograph them where I would be seen wearing them, much like a visual diary for shoes; for example, my heels outside a club. Below are my favourite, edited images from my third, improvement photo shoot. I edited these images in a similar way but used the quick selection tool to select my shoes then chose inverse and desaturated the background to -50 to enable my main focal point (the shoes) to stand out more. I then increased the contrast to 10.

I feel that this photo shoot was very successful in showing the context and the place in which I would wear this particular shoes. This enables the viewer to create a larger narrative around each pair of shoes, but, on the other hand, the second photo shoot creates a greater atmosphere. My strongest and favourite images can be found in both the second and third photo shoot so I have placed them below to show which ones I think I more aesthetically pleasing and the most effective.