CoP Practical: Socially Engaging Piece of Art

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I spent a while considering what I wanted to create for my socially engaged work, and then came up with the above idea, which the people who I told about it also liked. So I decided to follow it through.

I timetabled my shoot for a Thursday after a lecture, and set out towards Hyde Park. I walked through the Leeds University campus and took a few photos there, too, as I liked some of the autumnal scenes there.
The photos are all below, not in order but showing instead the folders I created as I narrowed them down to what I felt were the most successful images.

This is something I wrote to both reaffirm myself about what I was trying to say, and also to go a bit more in-depth – to help myself to go through the photos, so that I could be more critical about them.

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Here are, going from the least successful to the most successful, the photographs I took in total…

Not as ‘good’ (Not working for my message as well as others)

These basically weren’t as successful because I felt that they didn’t communicate my message as well as the ones do underneath, and likewise the same with them compared to the photos underneath them…

Good Photos

CLOSER TO MESSAGE

FINAL

Click on images for annotations

I presented my “final” images on 2 sheets of A3 paper, like contact sheets. We then had a crit and passed them around the table for everyone to look at.
However, nobody really understood what the message was…

SCAN_20141127_0002These are my notes from the crit.

It was suggested that I therefore choose 1 or 2 photos together to communicate my message, and submit that as my final.
So I began to choose photos that I felt could work alongside another photo, and a few that might work on their own…

Narrowed down further

Here are some shots I was considering putting together, to show a contrast…

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I was considering using this photo as my final, however I felt the rotten mushrooms on the left of the photo blended too much into the dark brown mud, and wasn’t as distinctive as the mushrooms on the right. I also felt it was saying that the dead mushrooms on the left are not as good as the ones on the right, which I didn’t want – I wanted for both to show their positive qualities, whilst also showing a comparison.

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Ultimately I didn’t use these ideas though, because I felt that it was communicating that one is better than the other, and that the prettier scene is nicer than the not-so pretty scene. I didn’t want this, because I wanted an image/images which could contain both of these aspects.
So I studied the above images again for ones which may work on their own, and I chose this photo of leaves…

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This image shows rotting, broken leaves in mud – yet they are still vibrant and together they look beautiful. Despite them being torn and having imperfections, they still look beautiful individually, and together they are even stronger. I also feel it is strong because there is no distraction within the composition – one can simply focus on the detail of the leaves, which I think helps in conveying its message. Which, to reiterate, is basically that imperfections can be beautiful and that everyone is beautiful in their own individual way – combatting the pressures put on to all genders by society.

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