Sunday, 24 January 2010

Rekindled Love

Tegan and Sara – Back In Your Head

I dont really like the idea of two posts in one night but whilst I'm here I thought I'd share with you just what (or who?) has helped me work through the night to reach my assessment deadline. I love this band. I havn't listened to them for years but after my flat mate Shauna started listening to them I thought I might rummage out my CD's . They are the best kind of music for having on in the background to keep you happy, dare i say 'chipper' even when its 5.30am and your still up working like a trooper on projects.
This I one of my favorite tracks and I was hoping they had an awesome music video to go with it that I could show you, but sadly I think its a little boring, oh well. Love Love Love.

Cut, Glue, Fold

For Silence part 2 I decided to make a concertina book of one of the photo montages I have made.  I wanted to use each of the layers of the montage as the pages so when you first opened the book you could see the final image and then as you turned each page the image would be stripped away until you were just left with the back image of the empty fairground (make sense?).  I thought this was the best way of showing my concept of the fair/circus leaving town.   

 I am pleased with the idea but quite disappointed with the finished book.  I printed the back image on glossy photo paper so you could tell this was the important image, and the rest on tracing paper so you could see through each layer to see the full image.  I then put a hard cover on the back and front.  Unfortunately I think my book looks a little messy because of the way tracing paper reacts when you put glue on it.  The pages have all wrinkled at the join and a couple has split down the edge.  The book has worked how I planned it too I just wish it had turned out a little nicer.
I have handed it in for assessment now but I plan to carry on with this project next term.  I think I will try and make some other versions of the book to make a neater one, perhaps a hardback.  My film for the Bell + Howell 624 8mm Cine camera arrived and I went out to the Pleasure Beach again with my friend Jodie to shoot some footage.  I thoroughly enjoyed playing director for the day even though it was freezing cold.  We even tried our luck at getting inside the Pleasure Beach whilst it was closed but it turned out you have to call up in advance and get permission first, some health and safety rule (should have guessed really). I have a month until the Pleasure Beach opens again so I think I will order another film and do that.  Anyway the film that I shot unfortunately wasn't ready for my assessment but I will hand it in at the next ones, for now it is being processed somewhere in Germany. Note to anyone shooting on 8mm cine film, there is nowhere in the UK that will process it so send it off at least 3 weeks before your deadline, not 3 days before like me.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

It's A Mix Up


Here are some photo montages I have been doing for my 'silence' project.  They are a mix off my own photographs of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and some found images of old fairgrounds and circuses, including some photos of the Pleasure Beach when it was first opened.  I am really pleased with how they turned out and I think they could look nice cropped and printed in a larger format.  

I plan to now turn them into little books where each layer of the montage is taken away as each page is turned, leaving the photo of the empty Pleasure Beach at the end.  I'm hoping this will represent my concept of 'when the fair leaves town/after the circus has left' in a simple way.  I'll post up my books once they are made.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Jodie, Yashica and Numb Toes

The other day I went out to Blackpool Pleasure Beach to shoot yet more photos for my silence project. I realise I haven’t blogged about this project yet so just a little info: we have been asked to create a visual representation for ‘silence’. I have chosen to have my concept to do with the idea of ‘after the circus has left town/ When the fair has moved on. I chose this concept with it being winter and out of tourist season in Blackpool (where I’m from) when non of the attractions are running and the buzz of the summer has gone. It is something that Blackpool and its residents experience every year and I thought it was interesting and a nice personal side to take for this project. In response I have been visiting the Pleasure Beach and the closed down Pontins on Blackpools front and taking collections of photos whist there is no-one around giving the place an eerie quietness which doesn’t sit quite right with a garish environment like the Pleasure Beach.

On this occasion I took my wonderful friend Jodie G and a couple of cameras from her amazing vintage camera collection. I wanted to get photos which have a different an less precise effect than a digital camera. Mostly I wanted photos that looked old, fuzzy and a little sad, but that didn’t loose the brightness of the structures like the roller coasters. One of the cameras we took with us was a Yashica 124G-MAT Twin Lens Reflex (seen below with Jodie). I loved using this camera (props to Jodie for talking me through it and being patient with my pretty much non existent knowledge of cameras) mostly because it felt more real than using a digital. I realise that doesn’t make much sense, I guess there is something about having to manually load and wind on a film in a camera that is much more satisfying. 

Anyway I finally scanned in the negatives today for the film we shot and these are some of my favorites of the group.

I love these images, how they aren’t sharp or perfect. The flecks of white and the grain add to the feel of them and I think they are exactly what I was looking for. I have been using my other digital photographs in some photomontages but I don’t think I will use these for that. I think they are just nice as they are and something I can simply display to show I had a go at using a different technique. I definitely learnt something by trying this style of photography. I found I had to be more precise with the way I set up a shot, because it not so easy just to take ten more if that one wasn’t quite right. I sent the film through each process of development and finally got to learn how to use a negative scanner. Although it’s a much longer process than using a digital It feels like I’ve really accomplished something because it took more effort.

Thanks to yummy mummy for her wonderful help and patience x

Friday, 8 January 2010

Oh My!

So after finding that super 8 video on, that I love so much I have been hankering for a go myself but with no luck on finding a camera to borrow, until the other day.

I was round my friend Jodie’s house having a good old nosy through her boxes an boxes of amazing vintage cameras (about 37 different ones I think she said) and came across this little beauty, a Bell + Howell 624 8mm Cine camera, given to her by her grandfather. If my life were a cartoon there would have been a pounding hearts in the place of where each eye should be. It’s such a pretty camera and the tatty leather case just tops it off. I feel I should mention that Jodie is a photography student so there is a reason for her obsession with cameras.
I instantly ordered a film for it off ebay, which arrived 2 days later and a plan was made for us to go out and shoot some footage for a project I’m doing at university on the ‘silence’ left behind in Blackpool when all the tourists have left. However, without either of us having any real knowledge or any previous practice with this camera we realised the night before that I had ordered a 8mm cartridge for a 1980’s super 8 camera instead of a spool for the 1950’s camera we had. Massive disappointment!!
So my excitement for having a go at shooting my own super 8 will have to hold off until the right film arrives, when it does I will post it up for all too see. Well if its any good that is.