Winter Task 2012
Before splitting up for our Christmas Holiday, we were sent a simple brief for us to complete. Below is a copy of the brief, my plan for this task, the photographs, and a small analysis of the final images.
151MC Creative Digital Practice Christmas Task
Telling a story in stills
A date for your diary: December 27th
“If I could tell the story in words I wouldn’t lug a camera” – Lewis Hind
Building on the disciplines already developed, working with analogue technologies in 150MC, over the next term, 151MC will be looking at developing a creative digital practice, supported by an efficient digital workflow. During the term you will be given skills instruction to support your technical development and academic lectures and seminars to support your understanding of where digital practice is currently situated.
Mark out December 27th in your diary. Your task is to digitally record the day in a series of 10 digital images to present to the group early next term. Your brief is to document the day but you will need to select your narrative within that day. A narrative has a beginning, middle and end so think about how you can distil your narrative into 10 images. Think of what you are going to do that day and plan how you are going to document it. You will need to present this to the group in the first week back.
Points to think about:
- What is your narrative?
- How would you choose to depict an entire day?
- Would you choose the highlights?
- What needs to be left in and what should be excluded?
- What might be interesting to share?
After looking at the Winter Task Brief, I clearly highlighted the key aspects in order to make them more memorable. I then looked at these highlighted areas and decided to answer the lingering questions in my head to help me prepare for the photo shoot on that day.
What am I supposedly meant to be doing on the 27th December?
- At my dad’s house in the morning
- Meeting Oli at the train station at 11:45
- Going back to my mum’s house
What are the beginning, middle, and end of this day, as I know it?
- Beginning – preparing to see Oli and going to the train station
- Middle – spending the day with Oli
- End – going to sleep
What narrative theories did I learn in my A-Level Media course that could help with this particular photographic task?
- Todorov’s Theory of Equilibrium
- State of equilibrium
- Disruption of equilibrium
- Attempt to repair disruption
- Reinstatement of equilibrium
- This could only really be shown for this particular “visiting” narrative over a period of two or more days to show the full extent of the visit
- Barthes’ Theory of Enigma Codes
- Draw the viewer in
- Gives clues on the relationship between Oli and myself
- Could be seen through the use of abstract images or the actions portrayed by Oli within the photos; i.e. not giving away the fact that they are in a relationship but show clues
- Propp’s Character Theory
- Villain – there isn’t one
- Donor – there isn’t one
- Helper – there isn’t one
- Princess – me
- Princess’ father – dad
- Dispatcher – Oli?
- Hero – Oli
If I were to display these images in an exhibition, I would lay them out in a horizontal layout to show the visual representation of a narrative.
Todorov’s Theory Of Equilibrium
In my final collection, Todorov’s theory of Equilibrium was actually followed on a minute scale as my images have been shown in a chronological order and has not been interrupted by the use of photographs as flashbacks.
Barthes’ Theory of Enigma Codes
Barthes’ theory of Enigma Codes has easily been portrayed throughout my final images and the collection itself as I have not included the faces of either of the characters and have merely shown the viewer clues as to the type of relationship that these two people are in. Their relationship remains a mystery to the viewer in which they use as a tool to create their own form of narrative.
Propp’s Character Theory
As I decided to go for the slightly more abstract images to enable me to experiment with Barthes’ theory of Enigma Codes, there is no clear set character within the plot of this story that follows Propp’s theory. However, as the viewer’s start forming their own take on the narrative portrayed in the images, the majority of them would automatically assume that I am the “Princess” (person the hero marries, often sought for during the narrative) and the boys are the “Hero” (reacts to the donor, weds the princess). However, this is not the case. It turns out that I am actually the “Donor” (prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object) and the “Hero” (reacts to the donor, weds the princess), and the boy is, quite ironically, the “Princess” (person the hero marries, often sought for during the narrative) – according to Propp’s Character Theory.
Looking back at the photographs that I took on this particular day, the viewer can see that the beginning of the narrative is a much larger section than the middle or end. The viewer also notices that the length of each of the sections within the narrative actually decreases as they make their way through this particular story. Once noticing this fact, they then decided that this is because of one of two reasons:
1) I wanted to highlight how important a teenage girl thinks it is to look attractive and presentable in this day and age, as she is surrounded by constant pressures of the fashion and beauty industry to look the best that she can be, along with the social pressures that a young girl has to live through in the early stages of her life.
2) As this narrative continues and the viewers notice that I am with a boy, they think that I wanted to spend as much time as possible with this young man, therefore, I only photographed key aspects of our time together as I was too busy enjoying the moment.
So why did I edit the photographs the way that I did?
For each of the photographs, I started my editing by correcting the levels and curves within the image to make the colours and tones seem more natural. I then put each of the images into black and white before introducing them to a lens correction filter that added the blackened edges. I did this because, as this task was about creating a narrative, I remembered that in most Hollywood films, when they are portraying a characters story through flashbacks, the shots usually have a similar effect, which is then used by the audience to anchor the fact that this is a separate narrative. After editing each of my photographs like this, I then thought that this could be used to enhance the point of these photographs as being from my point of view. What I mean by this, is that no-body knows how another person views the world, and when I try to imagine what life would look like through someone else’s eyes, this is usually the visual effect that my mind congers up.