Neoteric Photography aims to explore photography in an age where the image is everywhere. The image has become prolific yet easily forgotten. Hoping to find something to hold onto, something that will survive longer that it takes for pixels to appear upon a screen.
This was a short project just to demonstrate how to create a Game Art Portfolio - I am hoping you enjoy and see that to create something like this you need a mixture of digital skills and a great concept and narrative to design you story.
Although you can view my film on my website, you can also view it here and on Youtube. Overall I am quite pleased with the result of this film, it has the feeling I wanted to demonstrate throughout ad technically it actually does work in the way I intended from the beginning with the movement in the images and the narrative, I think the music works well with the message.
If I could change anything perhaps I would have made this longer, included a more comprehensive history of my memory, however, in a way, I like the brevity, I think perhaps longer would have been too much and I did not want everything just a touch from each moment, a dip in and out through memory.
I also am pleased with the website even though this still needs more work as it has some issues (text too large in places, not looking the same on all devices - on my own computer at home my name drops off the edge!) I am actually quite glad I did create this as I think this is definitely something I can build on and improve constantly if I am going to use this as my main website - I have directed my domain to the site and once I have completed this I will connect this properly.
As with anything I do with photographs, I am always slightly amazed at how much I do fall in love with them every time and I think my introduction to the project reflects this. I hope that you will enjoy watching my film and visiting my website as much as I enjoyed making them!
To begin I added all my final images to the Movie Maker editor. I could then begin to move them into place.
I then needed to add the narrative so I went 'caption' in the home menu and then I went to text editing and set the duration to 7 seconds for each image. I also changed the font to Palatino linotype for each one
As it was starting to come together I began tweaking the transitions so that the text would fade in and out at the right moment in a fade between images - this took some time as the text would move and lose time so this had to be reset for each every time I moved one as it made the text out of sync
Here you can see the text lined up and then I also faded the music at the end here in the music editor so that it was a slow fade and did not suddenly just stop as this would have been quite jarring to the viewer.
Did some final checks on the texts, improving the English and making the text flow easily and checking all text was consistent and in the right font.
Once I had completed this I rendered the video so that it was high quality and saved it to my computer. I then uploaded it to my website as you can see below.
I changed the portfolio pages so that they were all consistent and added an introduction to each page.
I also redirected (temporarily) my domain for my website so that this can be found - I have now published and I am just testing this and improving as there are still some tweaks that and one page that I still need to add.
Very pleased however with the finished film - you should now be able to go to zoevan-de-velde.com and find my website!
I will explain my process for Slow Beauty - I was going, to begin with a storyboard but this does not really work well as I am piecing together memories and images like a jigsaw puzzle so I began by scanning in the images I wished to use. I have a Canon scanner at home as you can see, I customised the scan to ensure high-quality high-resolution scans:
I then had a bank of images that I wished to put together as these are all of varying quality, light, place and time I had already decided to make these all black and white - for quick edits I am using Picasa which I have used for years as it will quickly and easily find my images and I can make quick easy adjustments.
Here I used a Black and white filter and just adjusted the contrast slightly on the image.
This image I used auto-contrast, rotated the images and used the black and white filter.
I also cropped a few images to ensure the anonymity of the subject there are things that should always remain in obscurity...
Now I have completed the curation and the editing of the images I should be able to complete the final film edit and narrative which I will be posting very soon!
I wanted to discuss the music of Erik Satie (born May 17, 1866, Honfleur, Calvados, France—died July 1, 1925, Paris) and The Residents (a music group who released their debut album in 1972), in relation to my project on memory.
I am looking at these artists as I am interest in how they layer and experient with sound just as I am layering and experimenting with photographs and memory. Music has the ability to take you anywhere in the mind and so does an image - we create our own stories, call up old memories. The Residents have stayed anonymous for their entire career and this means that their work is not overpowered or interfered with by personality and it something to be hugely admired in these celebrity/self-obsessed days.
This is a film about them: The Theory Of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents
What is interesting about this is about creating a myth, the myth created by obscurity, by stories told, by whispers. We can all tell our own stories building layers of myth and truth that make up our own story.
Satie also led a strange life mostly in obscurity: 'Film-makers have missed a trick with the life of Erik Satie. A biopic would have pretty much everything: the heart-warming story of a talented but strange man whose early failure and obscurity led to late-in-life celebrity; some acrobatic sex (literally – his one-and-only girlfriend had previously run away to the circus); strong language, violence, scandal and litigation (he was famously irascible, and was imprisoned over a spat with a music critic)' (Bowen M: 01/07/2015) Satie was eccentric and that is why his music was so avant-garde in its experimental nature - using 'high' and 'low' music, sounds and what he called 'furniture music' which is essentially what we have everywhere we go today.
I want in my own work to explore these ideas much further than I really can in this project but I will try to produce my film on memory and then I do hope that I can explore a larger body of wor that uses more of these ideas of obscurity, eccentricity, and memory.
Eckhaus Latta is another designer who has brought into the gender neutral trend and has created a collection that, yet again, shows that this kind of clothing is not made to make you feel good but make you feel righteous. The Zoe Report states: 'According to a runway diversity report from The Fashion Spot, the Spring/Summer 2019 casting of models who openly identify as transgender or non-binary reached an all-time high with 91 models walking in a total of 52 shows' (The Zoe Report; 04/07/19). As part of this rise in gender neutral clothing is the rise in transgender awareness, I do not think that there is anything wrong with awareness per se however there is an anomaly in proportions. 'It is estimated around 1 % of the population may be transgender that is about 650,000 .' (Quora; 13/08/18). So, it seems proportionate that only a very small number of models are actually transgender.
It has now also become a political and social issue in schools with many schools trying to avoid gendered clothing so that children have a right to choose their gender. However, a backlash has begun and in one school in Lewes the students staged a protest outside the school gates; 'Up to 100 pupils and parents gathered at Priory School in Lewes in a silent protest, after the school sent out a letter at the end of the summer term requiring all students to wear trousers. The change to uniform policy, which the school claimed would “address inequality” was met with outrage as parents said the rule made female pupils feel “awful”. Female students held up banners that read “choice” while a number of male students turned up in skirts. ' (Carpani J: 06/09/19). Choice is good but forcing students to be 'gender-neutral' clearly did not work in this instance. The rise in this kind of clothing is interesting in this age, where generally clothes are blander, reality perhaps not so important as to an image online. Perhaps the question of virtual fashion becoming more of a trend that real fashion. This would certainly free us from fast fashion and sustainability issues if trend was only needed virtually!
Working on the website to try to improve the galleries - particularly the photography gallery as this needed several galleries that it is able to accommodate each project individually. Also, the final project is a film and this will need to be under the performance section will also need to work in a similar manner.
Originally I had tried to add all the galleries on one page but this looked very untidy and really did not work - it looked like this:
So I started working on creating buttons from the original portfolio pages and adding links to make these navigate directly under the titles:
I think this works much better and now each project is clearly signposted to the viewer and the button takes them directly to that gallery whilst still retaining a 'homepage' on the portfolio navigation and keeping it clean and simple in the top menu.
The portfolio of conceptual postcards for instance now looks like this - I have added here a button to ensure that the viewer can easily click back to the portfolio main page
I think taht this site is now really starting to work in a user friendly way and is consistent throughout - there are still tweaks needed but overall it is just about ready...
It is important to check the look of the website in the mobile view as it is likely this is how most people will view the site. My home page here I have removed the white space between the image and the copyright footer however there is still a small white area underneath that I have yet to be able to remove. I will try to remove this before publishing.
My portfolio pages worked well and everything links into these and scrolls for good navigation.
The photography section here just needed the title to be made smaller to fit into the page correctly - this I adjusted.
These writing links I thought were too large and so I made all these links smaller so that the majority could be seen and clicked into as you open this page as below.
I was happy with the about page as I felt this was easy to read and well laid out
Although my mouth does not fit entirely on this page I actually still like this and so made the decision to keep this as it is.
Overall I think now the site works really well on the mobile - at the end, this will be tested again when all galleries and projects have been added and prior to publishing
As you can see here this is a short draft of my idea and how I would like Slow Beauty the final film to look. The images here work quite well and I chose to use black and white throughout, I lie the soft movement and I think the music serves these images well. The music needed to be deeper and stronger. The narrative is still coming together and needs work. I will continue to work on the storyboard as I have been exploring this using the images that I am unearthing. A lifetime of images....
To begin the rendering of my project I will investigate Movie Maker and make a short practice film to explore the possibilities of this software.
Movie Maker is a simple tool for film making and if you are not looking for stunning effects this method really is quite simple - I really do want quiet and simple for this so this is a good way to try this out.
I began by adding my initial photographs to the Movie Maker by just clicking on the Home - add photos or videos. As you can see below this the home menu. On this menu, I always added titles and captions to each image as I have made the decision to subtitle this film with the narrative
In the next image you can see the titles and also you can see I am on 'animations' in the menu this is where I changed the transitions from shot to shot. I wanted again a slow and gentle transition - I do not want any hard jumps throughout thsi - I want this to flow like a stream of consciousness or a dream. Therefore I also changed here the pan and zoom so each shot slowly zooms in closer and then the transition comes in.
Here you can see the effect withe transuition, the caption added and the duration. I have applied the same pan and zoom to all shots.
Next I added very minor effects to one of the images just to make it sit slightly better with teh other images - just making it less sharp. I added a very minor blur to this and applied the same transitions to this.
Lastly I added music and some temporary end credit just for this piece. I used a free music archive bensound.com which it states you must credit. I chose Ofelia's Dream as I thought this was sad and dark and matched the mood of the film. In my next post I will show the final experiment.
To continue with my website I have now added the contact page. I chose a form for this and then changed the colours to match the rest of the website and the text so that this also matched the design.
I then went back to my Portfolio main page to add the writing section and to add the writing links. These are links to my work online where I have written about photography and photographers
I then worked on the home page and changed the title to reflect the rest of the site and I moved the text to align on all the pages and added a background colour. I also added a photography piece however this gallery will still need more work when I add further pieces - this is what it looks like when you click into the image.
The galleries are the areas that really need work so I will keep working on these to ensure that these are ready for my project work that I need to add at the end of this term.
I chose a template from Wix to create my site. I began just by changing the background strip to a generic photography picture from Pixabay just so I could decide how I wanted it to look. I like the one image on the home page. Not sure about the title at present but I will consider this further later.
I clicked on the left-hand menu to choose menu and pages and when I had looked at images I chose my own front image which I had taken, This has a sepia look to it and therefore I considered that those beige/cream colours might work well throughout.
After doing this I looked at the text, I kept the Cinzel font and have used this throughout. I also changed the copyright to my own so that this is at the bottom of each page throughout. I then went to the About page and changed the image and began to wite my Bio and changed the font.
This is the image I changed this to in keeping with the sepia colours I also ghanged the coloured background by right-clicking on the right-side column and find a colour that would work with the image and my home page.
I think the font looks better like this and is larger and easier to read. The navigation bar probably will also be changed however at the moment I am leaving this until I have decided on how all the pages should work.
I have also started to play with the portfolio - I have added one film and will add photography and writing.. This is the progress so far!
Here, an appropriate image where time has speeded up and the character, played by David Bowie, rapidly ages. Time does march on...' At its core, though, the film is really about fear of aging and loss of youth. The aging effects on Bowie (done masterfully by Dick Smith) are great and through his condition, there’s real sadness and loss being communicated here.' (Gordon B. 11/09/2012). Perhaps in my own work this sense of loss will also be present, often wish I could feel the energy I felt when young, now I feel (like in this film) that time is speeding up and the end is much closer.
I actually really love this film as it has Susan Sraradon, Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, Bauhaus, violence and sex - a perfect combination! Empire magazine disagreed with this: 'The Hunger remains a baffling, obscure effort – too arty to work as a horror film, too pretty-pretty to be a character drama. Tony Scott’s first mainstream directorial credit, it’s the tonyscottiest vampire movie ever made' (Newman K. 01/06/2006) which is a pity they couldn't see the joy in the film! I love the arty horror and I feel now that there is less beauty being communicated in film as technology stands in the forefront.
As the project I am trying to conceive is about memory and photography I am going to write a little here about Chris Marker, as an introduction, I will quote the introduction here from Encyclopedia Britannica;
'Chris Marker (Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve), French filmmaker and multimedia artist (born July 29, 1921, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France?—died July 29, 2012, Paris, France), pioneered the essay film, an avant-garde cinematic form that brings a personal approach to documentary and nonnarrative footage. His best-known work, La Jetée (1962), is a short subject composed almost entirely of still photographs, with the exception of a brief film shot; the “plot” later served as the inspiration for the cryptic time-traveling drama Twelve Monkeys (1995).' (Encyclopedia Britannica 2019)
Marker is known to be quite elusive however one of his great passions was on the subject of memory or what he termed 'immemory' he considered that memory was unreliable and that memory was more a kind of geography. In his film Remembrance of things to come (2001) the film is about a photographer Denise Bellon going over two decades from 1935-1955 however it is essentially a play on memory, biography, and history. It is non-linear and plays with words and images. This montage has great beauty in its layers of history, it's feeling for the moment. This piece jumps from African masks to Picasso, artists with cats and Nazi death camps it causes a feeling of moving through memory. The narrative speaks over the images and offers insight but no feeling, the feeling comes through the images from sad, melancholic to tremendous, overwhelming. This film has a sense of what I would like to show in my own film. A sense of moving through time but through memory where memories come in disorder at the whim of something that jars memory like Proust's Madeline memory will be provoked. Sometimes we wish the memory had not come but the smell, taste, or feeling brings the memory to the fore without warning.
Mitchell states in his article from The New York Times: 'Mr. Marker's own intrigue with impatience -- his fleet films dance by in an instant, while using the music of pauses and silence to convey an almost inscrutable density -- is a marvel when married to an admiring biography. His singular talent is in melting one image into another in a manner that serves as on-the-fly narrative; it's as if he has the power to anticipate dreams.' (Mitchell 28/05/2003)
If only I could anticipate dreams, I often try to write down my dreams as they are often disturbing and it is with this thought of dreams I will consider that the film itself, like a dream, will have that surreal element where time and place jump and fade into each. In my dreams a room can change to a rocky landscape, the voice of my sister will become the sound of a scream. Dreams are perhaps how I begin to storyboard this piece.
'Marker, 81, has always preferred to allow his filmed images, rather than his image as a filmmaker, to speak for him. Less than a dozen photographs of Marker exist, and his interviews are even more rare.' (Film Comment May/June 2003)
I like it that little is known and few pictures exist - his work is him, through this we, the viewer, get a sense of the artist.
Encyclopedia Brittanica (2019) Chris Marker [Online] Available from: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Chris-Marker (Accessed 19/10/19)
I started to play around with Photostory just to get a really basic feel of what I wanted to do - here a really simple story that uses motion and text - Photostory is quite an old photo editor that really is just used for putting albums together. It can be downloaded and installed on the computer and then you can very basically edit the motion, text, sound and transitions. Normally I would not use Wikipedia however the best explanation can be found here of how Photostory started and what it was used for - the links on the Wikipedia page do not work properly to the original sources so this is the best information I have here: Photostory (this is why you shouldn't use Wikipedia!)
The video here is like an initial sketch here, I shot these pictures and the rain was pouring down it was new years eve. - I will begin to start researching and practicing using Photoshop motion.
To begin where there is no beginning is how this project shall proceed - Sebald writes in memories, in streams of consciousness, in layers of beauty that are like waves of feeling that wash over the reader. What is most appealing to me is the use of photographs with the text as shown above. Preuschoff writes:
'Sebald’s literary work is exceptionally visual, and his writing from and with images demonstrates an approach to literature not in competition with (or afraid of) the visual, but in dialogue with it, knowing that for both description and photo or drawing there first needs to be careful observation and study.' (Preuschoff N: 2019)
This dialogue is what interests me and the same could be said of Chris Marker's work. There is a layering of meaning that means that you may never actually know what the whole answer, as is true in life, Preuschoff goes on to state:
'What makes Sebald’s prose unique and sets it apart from both his 19th and early 20th century patron saints and other contemporary German writers is a technique of montage, of which the included images are only the most visible expression: the extensive use of quotations and references taken from all kinds of sources, sometimes marked and exposed in the text, sometimes hidden and included like little academic riddles for intertextual research' (Preuschoff N: 2019)
I enjoy the riddles, the strange references. It reminds me a little also of Beckett's 'Dream of Fair to Middling Women' in that strangeness of language and surreality. I want to incorporate many of these elements into my photofilm, I want it to reflect the inconsistency, the chaos and the beauty of memory.
I have been considering my project for this term and I have spent some time really trying to envision what I would like to create. I really wanted to spend time over photographs both past and present and I came up with these ideas below. I used Milanote to add the ideas and initial research - to see the board and to be able to look at all the links Click here for Slow Beauty
From these intial thoughts I will begin to start to plan my project I feel that this may use a mixture of photographs and the final piece will be a short film with narrative (not spoken) possibly there will be some non-diegetic sound ...much still to be considered!
This is my final advert and I do think that the beauty of this is that it is timely - I genuinely did not find anything quite like this for Transylvania! I think that the text works really well with the image and the logo could work with other horror tours. If I had a little more time I would have made the image myself - taken the photo and this would have been much better. I would also have perhaps added some further scarier elements, perhaps some blood or bats!
Overall I think the final result is clean and works well and I wish I could go on my own tour of Transylvania to meet Good old Vlad the Impaler's ghost....
To begin I looked at lots of stock images here - these were from pixabay and petapixel - I liked the idea of a castle and I thought I could Photoshop something from Romania that would work well - I tried this out but actually preferred the image with the girl as I thought the spaces around the image would work well:
I then began to start working on Photoshop I created a new image with a black background like this - so I had a canvas:
I chose A3 size at 300ppi and made this black by choosing the colour - I also made the canvas landscape as my main image was landscape.
I then opened the image that I wanted to use and then changed this to Black and White by going to Image, Adjustments and then Black and White and then I used the colour balancing sliders to create the effect I wanted here - a deeper red and purple hue. 0I then added the image to my canvas and I began adding the text as above - so the main message is Visit Transylvania with the tagline: 'Meet your nightmares' I thought this worked really well with the girl looking towards the castle... I used the Text tool here and used the colour picker to change the text colour, I also changed the font and size of my text in the top menu.
I now needed a logo so I found this image and it was the doll that I was interested in so I cropped the dolls head and started working on this.
I wanted my company to be called 'The dollshouse' and underneath I would put Horror Tours Inc. This gives it more longevity so it is not just for Halloween.
I used the text tool again changed the font to Blackadder and made it white so that it would work with the background, I added this to my main image in the left hand corner but this was far too blue and did not match my image. Therefore I also changed this to black and white and slightly lowered the opacity to blend this more into the background of my image.
This is the final result! Please see my next post for reflection...