KB – Unit 1 Part A

My art form and why I chose it: Photography

Thinking about photography and the ways I could develop this art form.

Here are some of the photos I took before I started this project:

Still Life in the school garden
The school Chickens
My Media Studies GCSE Coursework

My project plan

My main art form is photography and I want to branch out into vintage fashion photography. I will create a set of vintage fashion photos, each image will represent a different era, I will also attempt to use processing techniques from the era the fashion is from.

To collect research I will:

  • Go to charity shops around London and go see if I can find anything in my house
  • Ask my family if they have any clothing that will go with my theme of vintage photography
  • I will search up on the internet to see what they wore in the 70s, 80s, 90s and onwards so I can see what I will have to buy
  • I will research vintage processing techniques to try and match them to the era

To plan, practise, and prepare for my project I will:

  • Find a local photography studio to visit and talk about my fashion photography
  • Research photographers who take fashion photography
  • Ask teachers if they have any vintage clothes
  • Draw the layout and lighting diagram for each photo.

To create my project I will:

  • Ask people to model and then dress them up in the vintage clothes
  • Get a pop-up fashion studio set up to take pictures of my fashion project (*this is one of the things I had to change when schools closed. My house became my pop up studio!)
  • Take photos with vintage and modern cameras (*another thing I had to change, I ended up using a combination of my phone and my polaroid camera at home.)
  • Develop the photos using traditional techniques (*another thing I had to change, instead I used Photoshop to mimic these techniques)

To evaluate the success of my project I will:

  • Ask an arts practitioner for their professional opinion
  • Send a survey round to everyone at my school asking them what they think of the project
  • Write an evaluation based on my experience and my feedback

Evidence of Progress

I wanted to get better at fashion photography, so to learn some new skills in the studio and in Photoshop, I took a series of images of my DT teacher Barney. I was inspired by this image of Colin Firth.

I found these tutorials for different lighting setups on the internet, and my teacher Melanie, who used to work as a photographer, helped me to set up the different layouts. I learnt about the studio lights and I even learnt how to replace a fuse and mend a broken light.

When I had learnt all about the lights, I drew a lighting diagram for my practice portrait.

The lighting diagram and the first photo I took

I set up the studio and took lots of photos of Barney, experimenting with using reflectors and different angles and poses. Because I am learning about vintage processing techniques, I learn to replicate these in Photoshop. I used a cross-process effect, a vintage wash effect, and a black and white effect. These are some of the photos I took in this learning shoot.

Vintage washed out effect
Trying to replicate 50 ISO black and white film
Cross-Processing in Photoshop

I also needed to learn about vintage processing techniques before I started and research what the school would need to buy to help me. We already had an enlarger and a polaroid camera but we needed film and photographic paper. My research into this is in my sketchbook and it will go here.

Preparing for the New Work

I wanted to create a series of images that looked like they could be from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and the future.

First I had to research styles from those eras.

Research into vintage processing techniques

I researched film photography and was interested in using colour slide film, cross-processed colour slide film, medium format film, and monochrome film. I found out that I would need an enlarger and lots of special chemicals to develop, stop, and fix the negatives and photography paper. I made a shopping list and a budget for everything I would need.

I also researched different studio light set ups:

These pictures show some examples of one, two, and three light setups for fashion. We have two lights at school but I found out that I could use a Lastolite reflector to replace a softer light. One of the lights had blown a fuse so I did some research and learned how to fix it myself.

Charity Shop Visit

To find clothes for the earlier eras, we went on a trip to Peckham’s charity shops:

Me buying the clothes
Looking at outfits with my classmates, we all worked together to discuss styles from different eras based on my research.

For the futuristic shoot, I decided to make a dress myself using recycled materials. I downloaded a simple dress pattern from the internet and made the base of the dress from supermarket carrier bags, making sure that the branding was clearly visible. Unfortunately, halfway through making my futuristic dress, schools closed and I was unable to complete it. Luckily, I was able to pick up my charity shop clothes before the schools closed completely.

Then the schools closed!!!

Now I was stuck at home the project became much more difficult, we knew that we needed to change everything. I didn’t have any studio lights, camera, or any models. At first, I had no idea what to do. Then me and my teacher did some research into how to photograph clothes without models and we found these images for inspiration.

abandoned clothes
clothes without people

Fashion spread

I decided to take a mixture of photos using my phone. I used the background of a messy bedroom for some of them so that I could suggest a certain lifestyle. I was able to find one model to help me but I also used some of the ideas without a model for the different eras.

The New Images

These are the raw images that I took with my phone before editing. I was sad that I couldn’t use a real film camera, the enlarger or any of the processes that I had learnt about so I tried to replicate these using the Pro settings on my phone. I set some of the photos in the messy bedroom and I kept the background the same to show although the clothes may have changed, teenagers are still the same.

The 70s

Loud shirt, patterned flairs, sheepskin jacket, faded colours, pose that suggests peace, love and hippy life.

The 80s

Tartan skirt, blue velvet blouse, sunglasses, wet curl hair. Pose that suggests disco dancing.

The 90s

Dungarees, South park T-Shirt, Ukelele. Taken without models to suggest the distance and moodiness of the 90s.

The 00s

Untucked pink shirt, gold sparkle mini skirt, photos taken from or without head to suggest the way people in the 00s can be anonymous with digital technology.

The present day

Comfy sensible clothes because now we are in lockdown we don’t need to dress up.

Editing the Images

I edited all of the images in different ways to reflect all of the different film and processings styles that I had planned to use before lockdown. Here are some examples.

  • Cropped
  • Contrast Added

Photo 1

  • cropped
  • I tried a higher contrast but I prefer it softer
  • I also tried a red and yellow vintage filter but I preferred it natural.

Photo 2

  • cropped
  • Again I experimented with increased contrast and brightness but I prefer this natural look.

Photo 3

  • I tried a tighter crop but preferred it a bit longer
  • I took the yellow out because this is for the 00s and I didn’t like the yellow

Photo 4

  • The photo has been cropped and the date stamp removed.
  • There is a pink wash on the photo to give it a dreamy feel
  • There is a glass texture underneath for a vintage underwater feel

Photo 5

  • I experimented with a tighter crop but I wanted the full body.
  • Again, I took some yellow out.

Photo 6

  • The contrast was increased
  • A blue filter added coolness

Photo 7

  • This was edited in the same way as the photo above.

Photo 8

  • This was cropped
  • The brightness and contrast were increased

Photo 9

  • This was cropped to focus on the clothes
  • This also has a dreamy pink wash.

Photo 10

  • This was cropped and brightened
  • I experimented with adding yellow but it was too much so I returned it to natural

Photo 11

  • Cropped
  • Date stamp was removed
  • A pink gradient was added to make it look dreamy

Photo 12

  • This was cropped
  • A red filter was added to the picture

Photo 13

Click here to see my online exhibition of the final images!


My Feedback Survey from Typeform

You can see the results of my feedback here. This report updates every time someone new fills out the form!

My Evaluation of this project

I still need to write my evaluation