352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Video Experiment

As you may have seen throughout the development of my FMP, in a one-to-one tutorial that I had with Anthony Luvera on the 11th March 2015 (please see the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Lecture 8 (Practitioner Talk by John Blakemore and a One-to-One Tutorial with Anthony Luvera)”), he suggested that, due to the very “static” style of shooting I was employing throughout the creation of my photographs, it would be interesting to see what I could do with the use of video within my project. After he suggested this particular experimental development, Anthony then provided me with research to conduct regarding the videography used by the artists Patrick Kellier and Jane and Louise Wilson (for the research that I completed surrounding these particular practitioners, please visit the blog post entitled “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research”). As suggested in the research surrounding the pieces of work by these particular artists, I was able to gain a variety of inspiration that I could apply to this specific video experiment, including the use of “static”, composed shots (that often incorporate mundane movement – incorporated in the work of Patrick Keiller), black transitions to symbolize the next section of the displayed narrative, an insight into more contemporary visual (and auditory) videography examples (expressed from the Wilson’s work), as well as (like suggested in the previous two ambient experiments) their considered (generalized) use of audio (including the type of audio included) which, as previously stated, enhanced the viewers engagement and immersion with the project, creating a greater contextualized understanding of the subject depicted, thus increasing the viewer’s accessibility.

Similar to the “Ambient Audio” experiment that I conducted (please see “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Ambient Audio Experiment”), throughout the fourth and fifth weekend trips up to the Lake District (please see “352MC Fourth Trip to the Lake District (Thursday 12th March – Saturday 14th March 2015)” and “352MC Fifth Trip to the Lake District (Friday 3rd April – Monday 6th April 2015)”), I therefore decided that I wanted to record a variety of videography data from the different locations that I was shooting in, in order to see if a video was a relevant output to consider in terms of representing the narrative and concept that I wish to portray.

Below you can find the notes about the “Video” experiment (including the equipment and methodology that I used), followed by the singular video that I created depicting Buttermere (please see more information below) and a reflection regarding the use of the technique within my FMP:

 


 

Equipment:

  • Canon 5D Mk II
  • Canon EF 24-105mm lens
  • Tripod
  • Sekonic L-308S Flashmate (light meter)
  • Adobe Premier Pro CS6

 


 

Methodology:

For the methodology of this particular experiment, I considered a number of variables in order to allow me to try and create a video that not only appeared to be of a professional standard, but that also showed my influences from the research that I conducted, as well as eliciting the concept behind my project in a successful way. This section therefore simply bullet-points some of the factors I considered, why I decided to incorporate different sections within the video, and the general technique I underwent:

  • As previously suggested above, for this particular experiment, I only decided to create a singular video that depicted one of the six locations that I was documenting throughout my FMP: Buttermere
    • This is because, as I obviously wanted to experiment with the technique first, before deciding on it’s successfulness and relevance in relation to my FMP, I realized that, through the creation of a singular video (that would act as one of the sections within a longer “final” version), I was still able to gain an understanding surrounding the technique and the positives and negatives that came with it
      • However, if I decided to continue with this videography technique throughout the rest of the module, I would obviously spend time creating a longer video that would incorporate all of the locations I have documented and their accompanying soundscapes/interview sections (see more information below) – and, as briefly mentioned within the inspiration section of my Patrick Keiller research (please see the blog post stated above), I would also experiment with the use of black transitions to symbolize the next section of the displayed narrative (as suggested above)
    • With regards to the fact that I decided to use Buttermere as the location for this particular experiment, this is because although I had obviously decided on the use of a “middle-of-the-road” aesthetic within my FMP images (please see the blog post entitled “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Project Development (Using a “Middle-of-the-Road” Technique to Document the Pathways)”), as you will see from the video I created below, I realized that, whilst I was there, I had captured a larger variety of shots compared to some of the other locations (including vast and condensed landscapes), to show my influence from my research, and I therefore thought that this would provide me with more information behind the use of the technique within my FMP
  • In relation to the editing of this particular experiment, I mainly used the Adobe Premier Pro software to combine all of the pieces of data that I wanted to include within the video (including titles, footage, photos and audio), but I obviously, technically, also used the Adobe Audition software in the previous audio experiments to create the auditory data that I wanted to incorporate (for these particular “audio” experiments, please see the previous two 352MC blog posts)
    • Please note, that more information regarding the editing choices I made, including what to include within the video, can be found below
  • As you will be able to see from the video that I have embedded below, at the beginning of the film I decided to include a couple of title screens
    • The first of the title screens is a simple, introductory still that provides the viewer with knowledge regarding the fact that this particular video is only an experiment within the development of my 352MC module
    • The second title that I have included is therefore the “official” title of the video and is comprised of the name of the location represented throughout the film
      • This is because, I wanted to provide the viewer with enough locational information that offers a slight contextualization of the project, whilst also making sure that it doesn’t provide them with too much information as a way of intriguing and engaging them
        • Please note, although I suggested that this is the “official” title of the video experiment, as briefly suggested above, this video is simply a section of a longer, “final” video that I may use for my final piece, and so therefore symbolizes the transition from one of the locations to another – similar to the black transitions used by Patrick Keiller (mentioned above)
      • For this “official” title, I also carefully considered which text I wanted to use, and decided on the font “Handwriting Dakota”, as I thought it could symbolize an individuals calligraphy, thus representing the personal aspect of the project
  •  With regards to the audio that I have included throughout this particular video experiment, as suggested in both the “Interview” and “Ambient Audio” experiments (as already suggested, please see the previous two “352MC” blog posts), I decided to experiment with the incorporation of both of these created audios, in order to see if they enhance the contextualization and immersive aspect of the project
    • In relation to the ambient audio that I included, I obviously chose to use the relevant soundscape that I created for this particular location and, as suggested in the “Ambient Audio” experiment, I took time to loop the clips using the Adobe Audition software in order to increase the length of the piece
      • Whilst also removing the “unique” aspects of the soundscape in order to reduce the ease of the viewer identifying that the audio piece is in fact looped
      • I also decided to experiment with the inclusion of the footstep ambient noises (which, as suggested in the experiment, I created two version in order to allow me to compare success of each type in relation to future experiments) in the sections of the interview where I mentioned “walking”, but soon found that the footstep clips overshadowed both the interview and the other ambient noises (even when reducing the volume) as it created a contrasting flow to the original audio clips
    • Looking at the interview section of the audio that I decided to include, I also chose to edit the original Buttermere section of the interview so that it only incorporated the part of the discussion where I explored my personal memory in relation to the location
      • This is because, when listening to the whole of the Buttermere section, I thought that the inclusion of the entire Buttermere discussion would overload the viewer with information that wasn’t necessarily relevant to the FMP output that I was creating (because, as I hadn’t included any portraits of the interview that I was conducting in the audio, the viewer may become confused surrounding the concept and reasoning’s behind the creation of the video)
      • I also decided to exclude any auditory information that provided the viewer with an understanding regarding the reason behind the recollection of this particular memory which, until the viewer gets to the photograph that I included at the end of the video, allows them to remain questionable, enhancing their engagement with the project
  •  In relation to the shots that I included throughout this video experiment, as suggested above, I included a range of shots that usually incorporate a more “static” videography approach (taken from the inspiration I gained from Patrick Keiller), whilst also varying in the use of hand-held filming, composition and the subject of the footage (enhancing the contemporary feel of the video, taken from the inspiration I gained from Jane and Louise Wilson)
    • At the beginning of the editing process, I thought that I originally wanted to include each of the clips in a chronological order as a way of showing the literal journey that I took around this particular lake
      • However, after I had incorporated the Buttermere section of the interview, I then decided to carefully consider the positioning of each of the shots in order to create a relationship between the visual and audio information provided (i.e. relating the shots to what was being said throughout the interview)
      • Now, although this was the case, most of the footage that I included within the video doesn’t tend to depict the literal subject being discussed at the time and, through its representational and metaphorical capabilities, can often appear to be a contrasting tool for irony
        • This therefore means that the shots included within the video can be used to represent the projects concept of me revisiting these particular locations, which therefore provides the viewer with more information aiding in their contextualization of the project
      • As you will see within the video below, at the end of the film I also decided to incorporate an image of my Grandpa
        • As briefly mentioned above, this therefore provides the viewer with a final, visual suggestion as to the reasoning behind the creation of this particular project (to reconnect to my Grandpa through past memories), after supplying them with little previous knowledge about the concept to allow them to remain questionable and engaged throughout the video
      • Finally, looking at a slight disappointment in relation to the final video, as you may be able to notice, throughout the capturing of these varying pieces of footage I decided to switch between using and not using a tripod
        • This was originally considered as I thought that the use of a tripod would allow me to show influence of the “static” videography undertaken by Patrick Keiller, whilst the hand-held recording could represent a more contemporary style of shooting as discussed in relation to Jane and Louise Wilson’s work
        • However, when incorporating these two styles of videography together, I found that it created a contrasting, “stop and start” flow throughout the film, acting as a distraction from the subject being depicted and decreasing the professionalism of the video
  • Finally, however, with regards to the type of transitions that I used between each of the visual clips, I decided to incorporate the two main techniques used by both Keiller and the Wilson’s: simple black cuts, and fades
    • This is because, not only did I want to show my influence from the research that I had conducted, but I also found that these two specific types of transitions could be used to symbolize conceptual aspects of the project
      • For example, the “cutting” transition can be used to enhance the pure documented recollection of the past event that can be heard throughout the interview, whereas the fading transition could be used to represent the more metaphorical process of an individuals fading memories

 


 

Experiment Video:

352MC Professional Photographic Practice Video Experiment from Holly Constantine on Vimeo.

 

Password: videoexperiment

 


 

After-Thoughts and Reflection:

After watching back the video experiment that I created for the development of my FMP, I personally feel that, although it wasn’t of a high, professional quality, the experimentation of this particular output was a success. This is because, after conducting this experiment, I have been able to identify the fact that the use of photographs (as well as other accompanying aspects to enhance the contextualization of the images – for example, text, collected materials, or audio) within my FMP will create a much more successful output for this particular project. This is not only due to the fact that I personally feel my photographic skills are much more enhanced than my videography, but also because, after conducting this experiment, I found that the photographs I have created can be seen as more conceptual through the representations and the readings that they provide (creating a more “interesting” project), whereas the video provides a literal documentation of the landscape (which is also enhanced through the incorporation of the interview audio) that decreases the personal and creative concept behind the project. Also, as suggested within both of my proposals (please see the blog posts “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Original Proposal” and “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Revised Proposal”), I stated that I wanted to return to my photographic roots of landscape photography as I feel that this was a major part of the relationship I shared with my Grandpa, and is therefore very important to include as a representation of the projects concept. Finally, I also personally feel the connotations associated with the photographic documentation, of capturing a moment in time, could be used to symbolize the fact that, through the recollection of my personal, fading memories, I am trying to (psychological) return to a singular point in time.

Taking all of this into account, I have therefore decided not to continue on with the use of videography throughout my FMP.

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