An Artifact Informed by Extra-Curricular Activity

(For Example: Poem, Photograph, Song, Video, Etc.)

INITIAL PLANNING:

When I read this very small brief, I automatically jumped to the idea of creating an artifact that was informed by a song, merely because I tend to listen to music on a daily basis.

What I plan to do for this small project is to choose one of my favourite songs and for each line within the song, photograph something that relates to it.

The idea of this artifact is that my photographs will tell the narrative within the song lyrics by using still images to illustrate it rather than the use of a music video.

My next step will be to choose the song that I am going to work with, and for each individual line, plan what I would like to photograph.

POSSIBLE SONGS:

Original List:

  • The Drums – Hard to Love
  • The Drums – In the Cold
  • The Drums – Forever and Ever Amen
  • The Drums – Please Don’t Leave
  • The Drums – Money
  • The Drums – Make You Mine
  • The Drums – I Felt Stupid
  • Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
  • Florence + The Machine – You’ve Got the Love
  • Florence + the Machine – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
  • P!NK – Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
  • Scouting for Girls – She’s So Lovely
  • Ed Sheeran – Lego House
  • Dog Is Dead – Two Devils
  • Dog Is Dead – Get Low
  • The Lumineers – Classy Girls

Narrowed Down List:

  • The Drums – In the Cold
  • The Drums – Money
  • The Drums – Make You Mine
  • The Drums – I Felt Stupid
  • Florence + The Machine – You’ve Got the Love
  • Florence + the Machine – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
  • P!NK – Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
  • Scouting for Girls – She’s So Lovely
  • Ed Sheeran – Lego House
  • Dog Is Dead – Get Low

Chosen Song:

  • Dog Is Dead – Get Low

After narrowing my original list down to this song, my next task will be to plan out what I am going to photograph for each line within it. To do this, I will print of the lyrics and analyse them with my ideas.

DOG IS DEAD – “GET LOW” LYRICS PLANNING

The fear of the dark is a walk in the park,

  • Long-shot of Oli walking by the bridge near the train station at night

When you’re wasted,

When you’re wasted.

  • Shot of group of alcoholic drinks

It’s tearing me up but I want to do it all and taste it,

Now I tasted it.

  • Extreme Close-up of Oli’s mouth, drinking

Now I’m taking the vow of sadness,

I got misery on my mind,

  • Long-shot of Oli looking miserable, alcohol in hand

And I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low

  • Close up of Oli’s hands leaning on the table, alcohol in one hand

Mary in love,

  • Close-up of my face

Making friends starting fights in the basement,

In the basement.

  • Extreme Close-up of white knuckles

Tell me a lie for a cheap crooked smile I can face it,

  • Extreme Close-up of Oli’s crooked smile

I can face it.

  • Close-up of Oli’s face looking directly at the camera

And I’m doing fine with my head in the clouds,

  • Looking up at Oli so that the perspective looks like his head is in the clouds

Don’t tell me not to look so glum.

  • Long shot of Oli kneeling, leant against a tree

As I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low.

  • Mid-shot of Oli kneeling, leant against a tree

I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low.

  • Close-Up of Oli’s hands pouring a shot

At first twenty seconds of love,

  • Extreme Close-up of watch with a second hand

Blaming myself for the ride.

  • Mid-shot of Oli leaning against the wall, fists clenched

But you can’t fall apart,

No you can’t fall apart.

  • Mid-shot, long shutter speed of Oli sweeping empty bottles from the counter to the bin

When it rains, when it rains.

  • Shot of drop of rain hitting a puddle

But you can’t forgive yourself sometimes,

But you can’t forgive yourself sometimes,

  • Shot of drinks in the bin

‘Cause it’s hard being wrong for the 42nd time.

  • Looking up at the bottle as Oli is about to drop it in the bin

And I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low,

  • Close-up of open hands, palms facing camera

I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low.

  • Close-up of Oli’s relived face

PLANNING:

What am I planning on doing for this photo shoot?

As stated before, for this photo shoot, I was planning on taking a range of still images that would be used to illustrate the lyrics of one of my favourite songs “Get Low” by Dog Is Dead. As I said in my Initial Planning, I was going to create a photograph for each individual line within the song, however, whilst I was listening to the song and visualizing the images, there were some cases where I grouped two lines together as this made them more effective. Previously, my idea of presenting these images was to have them shown above the lines of the lyrics that they relate to, but after a lot of thought, I realized that it would probably be more influential to create a short Photo Film where the images where shown as the lyrics were being sung. I plan on completing both of these presentation ideas and then critically reflect upon them to see which one I feel is more dynamic.

What will I need?

  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 18-55mm lens
  • 70-300mm Tele-Macro lens
  • Camera Charger
  • Circular Polariser
  • Natural backgrounds
  • Black background
  • Studio lights
  • The lyrics and planned shots
  • Subject – Oli Dowling
  • Props
    • “Alcoholic beverages” (these will not be alcoholic and will merely be made to look like the typical drinks)
    • Empty bottles

What technical skills will I need to use?

As I plan on taking a variety of different types of shots, I will be using a wide range of technical skills. For the portraiture style shots, I will be using my knowledge of studio lights to create the most dynamic lighting along with using a large aperture with an f/number of about f/8 to blur the background. This large aperture will also be used for a majority of the other shots as well. I also plan on creating long exposure images where I will have to set the shutter speed o approximately 30 seconds to capture the motion that I have visualised. As I now plan on creating a Photo Film, I will also be using the Adobe Premier CS6 editing software.

DATES OF PHOTO SHOOTS:

Monday 25th March 2013:

  • All using the 18-55mm lens (except from one which is specified)
  • Morning
    • Extreme close-up of watch with a second hand (using the 70-300mm Tele-Macro lens)
    • Shot of group of alcoholic drinks
    • Shot of drinks in the bin
  • Afternoon/Evening (Outside)
    • Looking up at Oli so that the perspective looks like his head is in the clouds
    • Long shot of Oli kneeling, leant against a tree
    • Mid-shot of Oli kneeling, leant against a tree
    • Shot of drop of rain hitting a puddle?
    • Long-shot of Oli walking by the bridge near the train station at night

Tuesday 25th March 2013:

  • Using the 70-300mm Tele-Macro lens:
    • Extreme close-up of Oli’s mouth, drinking
    • Extreme close-up of white knuckles
    • Extreme close-up of Oli’s crooked smile
  • Using the 18-55mm lens:
    • Close-up of Oli’s hands leaning on the table, alcohol in one hand
    • Close-up of Oli’s hands pouring a shot
    • Close-up of open hands, palms facing camera
    • Close-up of my face
    • Close-up of Oli’s face, looking directly at the camera
    • Close-up of Oli’s relieved face
    • Mid shot of Oli leaning against the wall, fists clenched
    • Looking up at the bottle as Oli is about to drop it in the bin
    • Long shot of Oli looking miserable, alcohol in hand
    • Mid shot, long shutter speed of Oli sweeping empty bottles from the counter to the bin

Wednesday 26th March 2013:

  • Any shots that we were unable to achieve in the given time
  • Photo Film

Thursday 27th and Friday 28th March 2013:

  • Photo Film
  • Blog

PRESENTATION 1 – PHOTOS AND LYRICS:

Holly Constantine

The fear of the dark is a walk in the park,

Holly Constantine

When you’re wasted,

When you’re wasted.

Holly Constantine

It’s tearing me up but I want to do it all and taste it,

Now I tasted it.

Holly Constantine

Now I’m taking the vow of sadness,

I got misery on my mind,

Holly Constantine

And I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low

 Holly Constantine

Mary in love,

Holly Constantine

Making friends starting fights in the basement,

In the basement.

Holly Constantine

Tell me a lie for a cheap crooked smile I can face it,

Holly Constantine

I can face it.

Holly Constantine

And I’m doing fine with my head in the clouds,

Holly Constantine

Don’t tell me not to look so glum.

Holly Constantine

As I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low.

Holly Constantine

I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low.

 Holly Constantine

At first twenty seconds of love,

Holly Constantine

Blaming myself for the ride.

Holly Constantine

But you can’t fall apart,

No you can’t fall apart.

Holly Constantine

When it rains, when it rains.

Holly Constantine

But you can’t forgive yourself sometimes,

But you can’t forgive yourself sometimes,

Holly Constantine

‘Cause it’s hard being wrong for the 42nd time.

Holly Constantine

And I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low,

Holly Constantine

I get low, I get low, I get low, I get low.

PRESENTATION 2 – PHOTO FILM:

Get Low by Dog Is Dead Photo Film from Holly Constantine on Vimeo.

Sources of the facts used within the video:

CRITICAL REFLECTION – PREFERRED PRESENTATION STYLE:

As I stated in my planning, and as you can see from my products, I decided to experiment with two presentation styles: a print version, and a photo film. In this critical reflection, I plan on briefly explaining why I prefer the presentation style that I do, before moving on to a more in-depth analysis of the favored product.

I, personally, prefer the photo film to the printed version for many reasons. The first is the fact that to plan the shots that I was going to create for this mini brief, I actually had to listen to the song rather than just read the lyrics. This gave me an idea as to the atmosphere portrayed in each segment of the song and so enabled me to have a more visual response that created my image ideologies. Having the music accompany the images anchors the supposed atmosphere that the viewers previously deduced. This presentation of my images also allows the viewer to concentrate solely on the photographs in front of them. (The print version suggests that the viewers have to read the lyrics after they depict each of the photos before returning to the images to correct their original narrative thesis). The viewers are also metaphorically confined by this particular piece due to the fact that it requires two senses (sight and hearing), which makes it more difficult for their attention to be diverted.

During the editing of my photo film, I made a decision to cut out some of the photographs that I was originally going to include. This is merely due to the fact that they interrupted the rhythm and flow of the photo film by causing a slight distraction in the sense that they didn’t fit with the rest of the images that I included.

The rest of the editing was changed and produced to fit with the music in a more dynamic sense in order to highlight the oscillations shown through the music’s dramatized tension. One aspect of the photo film that I found I investigated more was the transitions between photographs. I was constantly conscious that any extraordinary transitions would detract from my photographs, and with the music playing simultaneously I felt that there would be too much for the viewer to concentrate on, thus creating a form of distraction. I therefore decided to stick with the two simplest forms of transitions: fades and cuts. To determine where I was going to use each transition, I had to spend time experimenting with their placement and lengths. The viewer can clearly see that these have been planned due to the fact that the cuts between images are usually found on time to the theatrical beats in the music. The fading transitions are the minority and are usually used to symbolize the start and end of a section with this particular song. The fades have also been placed to fit in (where appropriate) to the serene moments of music. Although these transitions were indeed planned, they are in no way “tacky” in the sense that they are blatantly obvious, and they repetitively enhance the relationship that is found between the two media.

Another feature of my photo film that I had to experiment with were the three instrumentals in the music. These instrumentals were only found to be accompanied by black screens during post-production. For the first instrumental, I thought that the best thing to do was to introduce the project, music, and who the photographs were taken by, much like that of the opening credits to a film. The middle instrumental was slightly trickier to comprehend, as I wanted to keep the audience interested by filling the space with something that related to the narrative and theme (drinking) of the song/photo film. This is when I came up with the idea to include shocking facts and statistics to do with binge drinking and alcoholism. The inclusion of these facts completely changed the purpose of this photo film from one that was of entertainment to that of a documentary helpline. Including these facts also enabled me to think about what I was going to incorporate in the last 10 second instrumental. Due to the fact that the purpose of this photo film had changed, I thought that it was pretty self-explanatory to include the national helpline number for Alcoholics Anonymous (GB).

Before the viewer reaches the second instrumental (found half way through the song) the majority assumes that this is just a typical photo film where the images have been created and sequenced to tell a narrative. However, once they reach this instrumental and see the included facts, the way they view this presentation tends to change, allowing them to see the second half of the photo film as more of an advertising tool.

As with every project that I have completed, there are always tiny parts that I would like to have changed. For me, it is the simple fact that I feel that the two outdoor shots don’t fit with the rest of the studio like images. If I were to change these, I would simply re-shoot them inside with the same studio lighting that I used for the rest of the shots.

To conclude, I feel that this photo film has been a success. I am happy with the way in which the photos have accompanied the music and feel that the overall atmosphere that I was trying to portray was captured. I enjoy working with this type of media, and can see myself working in this way in the future.

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