Emily Sinescu Silver Unit 1 Part B

Making the artwork

Planning the Project

I really like graffiti and I wanted to use some in the backgrounds of my musician portraits. This is some graffiti I found online for inspiration:

Near my school there are football pitches which have a lot of graffiti on, I took lots of photos of the graffiti to use in the backgrounds of my pictures:

I took these photos with a digital SLR camera, this is the page from my sketch book but here are some more photos that I took:

Making the Project

I drew plans and lighting diagrams for each photo:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5

How I Made Each Photo

I learned how to set up the studio lights from my teacher Melanie and then I set up the lights for each picture. You can see my lighting diagrams that go with each picture:


For each photo, I had to use photoshop to add the graffiti. In my bronze, all I had to do was adjust the colours a bit and use a brush to add the spell for the Harry Potter pictures.

In this project it was a bit more complicated because I had to use layers. This is how I did it:

  • First I opened the picture of the musician that I liked.
  • I adjusted the original picture using adjustments in photoshop, I used curves to adjust the lighting and I used hue and saturation when I wanted to make a black and white picture like the one of Orla
  • Once the picture was how I wanted, I put the graffiti picture over the top on a new layer. Instead of changing the opacity like I did for the spells I started to play with the layer blending modes which was fun.
  • I chose different blend modes for each picture depending on how the graffiti looked and what the colours were like.
  • I did this myself without help from the teacher which was one of my goals.

Sharing the Project


These online exhibitions are shared on our school website which you can see here.

Some of the people who filled out my survey are people who looked at the school website like new students and their parents.


Click here to see my feedback survey about my photos.

Here are some screenshots from the online survey


Click here to see the results of my feedback survey.

If you click the link above, you will see the results change every time someone does the survey.

Here are some screenshots from the survey on the 15th of September:

Skills Development

  • An idea that is all my own – My pictures are not based on anything, like my Harry Potter photos, these photos were all my own idea and I was inspired by music magazines but they were my own original photos.
  • Connected to music – The photos, some of them have musical instruments and all of them are creating a personality in the way the musician portraits do.
  • Professional looking – People said that the pictures looked professional. I think the one of Orla in the mask looks professional and also the one of Amber and the drumsticks.
  • Using the studio independently – I set up the studio myself and decided where the lights would go and how bright they would be.
  • Using Photoshop independently – I was able to sit by myself and use Photoshop with only a little bit of help.
  • Working with other students – This is the first time, I was using other students as models when there was no teacher around and I had to talk to them and tell them where to stand and what to do. For the photo of Amber, I had to say 1,2,3 jump so that she would jump at the same time as the flash went off. This was quite scary especially as these students were not in my class and I didn’t know them very well.


For my photography project, I decided to take pictures of musicians. I used studio lights and I took the pictures in the school building and in the school garden. To make the pictures look more edgy, I added a background of graffiti. To put the background and foreground together, I used Photoshop.

To research the project, I looked at magazine covers, my particular favourite was Smash Hits. I liked them because they were colourful and showed people with different and interesting looks. I also liked NME because it is about real musicians and not just gossip like some of the other magazines.

I went on a trip to the BFI and to some virtual exhibitions. While I was at the BFI I watched a film and a TV series called On the buses. I also saw some Laurel and Hardy and Top of the Pops. I liked the lighting in the black and white style and it gave me ideas for some of my photos. This trip helped me with my project because I saw lots of photos of celebrities and made observations about people through images.

While I was making the project, I found it hard to use Photoshop as I hadn’t really used it much before. I overcame this challenge by asking for help from Melanie, my art teacher who also works as a professional photographer and by looking at tutorials on the internet.

During this project, I learnt how to use Photoshop and layer blends, how to pose models, and how to take pictures of people that they like.

Other people said that my photos were poignant and that I tend to really convey a sense of the person’s personality. If I did this project again, I would like to learn more about how to use Photoshop independently and I will try to do this if I do the Gold award. My favourite part of the project was using the SLR camera and I would like to use it again in future projects.

Next Part

Go back to the start of my project