Wednesday 25 November 2020

History of De Montfort University: Focus on Architecture

 In this post, I am going to show you the start of the process of writing an article with images.  It is assumed you would have researched your article thoroughly in earlier posts so I will condense the research here ready to use for the piece.  

De Montfort University campus sits in the heart of Leicester City.  An ancient city that began as a military fort in AD 43.  The city grew and prospered through the ages and was at the centre of the industrial revolution (1837-1901) and the city grew from 40,000 residents to 212,000 residents.  The Victorian building erected during this time still dominates the Leicester landscape.  

'The Leicester Municipal Technical and Art School was then formed in 1897, when the Leicester School of Art was merged with the Leicester Technical School, under the control of the town council. Construction began in the Newarke on what we now call the Hawthorn Building. Initially, only the wing facing the Hugh Aston Building was completed. The other parts were added later, with the Richmond Street wing built in 1909, the Gateway Street wing in 1928, and the wing facing Trinity House in 1937.' (History of De Montfort University: 2020)

Today to really start to get the feel of the university into this article and to create the focus I took some initial photographs of The Queens Building

Test Shots 

Olympus SH-2, F3.7, 1/40, ISO 200, FL 40mm

Olympus SH-2, F4, 1/50, ISO 250, FL 49mm

Olympus SH-2, F4.2, 1/15, ISO 800, FL 60mm

Olympus SH-2, F4.2, 1/60, ISO 500, FL 60mm

'De Montfort University set out to design Europe’s largest naturally ventilated building in 1989; it was completed 4 years later in August 1993, costing roughly £9.3 million. After construction on 13 August 1993, the Queen herself christened it as The Queen’s Building. ' (Compton M 2006)

'According to Bill Bordass, “The architect’s concept for the Queen’s Building was for a highly insulated, thermally-massive envelope with both a shallow plan and generous ceiling heights to facilitate natural ventilation and daylighting.” (Compton M 2006)

'The original brief for the Queen's Building called for innovative solutions that would reflect the creative nature of the then-new university. The architects were Short-Ford Associates and environmental engineers Max Fordham LLP, backed-up by a team of advisers, such as Cambridge Architectural Research on the stack-effect chimneys, and Bristol University on the physics of airflow.' (Bunn R. 2006)

There is much written on the Queen's building above I have just added some snippets of what I might include.  R. Bunn who wrote in 2006 wrote about how the building faired since its creation and on many levels, it has not faired so well.  There are still issues with the ventilation and although it has been improved and altered over the years to adjust with the times the building itself now is more about its status as an iconic building rather than what it does well, at the time this was high innovation but as with all architecture, it has to stand the test of time the users (students and staff) need it to work for them.  Bunn writes: 'The saving grace of the Queen's Building is that its occupants seem willing to forgive the building's transgressions on comfort and lack of user control in the belief that they are working in a building worthy of being loved for its very idiosyncrasies.' (Bunn R. 2006)

I will now begin to draft this part of the article and I will retake these images when it is not raining so I can avoid rain spotted images.  

I want to add an element of psychogeography as I would like to include my own connection to the city, the university, and my own history.


Bunn, R., 2006. Queens Building. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 November 2020]. 2020. Home - Story Of Leicester. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 November 2020]. 2020. A History Of De Montfort University. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 November 2020].

Compton, M., 2006. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 November 2020].

Thursday 19 November 2020

Developing a Villanelle

 .A villanelle is a poetic form with nineteen lines and a strict pattern of repetition and a rhyme scheme. Each villanelle is comprised of five tercets (i.e., a three-line stanza) followed by one quatrain (a stanza with four lines). The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated in an alternating pattern as the final line of each next tercet; those two repeated lines then form the final two lines of the entire poem.' (Literary Devices: 2020)

Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas is a very famous villanelle

Felt the shadow, creeping, crawling upon my back
Hot breath upon my ear, loud and urgent
The spirit of death was coming, I was under attack

Spent the night, screaming, dying silently, anxiety attack
Slithered under the bed, curled up, shaking
Felt the shadow, creeping, crawling upon my back

My eyes wide open, forevermore, now the eternal insomniac
The winter cold had seeped into my veins
The spirit of death was coming, I was under attack

Now the window open, evil draft, a sign of the maniac
Was it within me, does it exist beyond my shattered mind?
Felt the shadow, creeping, crawling upon my back

Falling through the air, my life in flashback
I returned to the womb sucking in the sweet solace
The spirit of death was coming, I was under attack

Time ran out, I knew I had been running
No escape, the hand of fate had chosen and now I must go
Felt the shadow, creeping, crawling upon my back
The spirit of death was coming, I was under attack

This is my first draft of a villanelle, this form works well and the scheme is correct however it need work on the composition and concept.  I think I could make this stronger with a narrative that becomes more urgent throughout to finally end on the two repeating lines. Considering this was a 20 minutes exercise I think it was not a bad start!


Wednesday 18 November 2020

Portrait Image for Website

 Today we were looking at how to take a portrait image using our mobile phone for our website. To create my images I am using a Doogee X95 phone and I have an HD Camera app.  All my images get backed up automatically on Google Photos so I can easily access them from the cloud. On the camera app I can change the settings manually or add a simple filter.  I choose to take my images black and white and square and I used the normal colour photo on auto settings and the beauty settings in my second set just to soften the light.  

I downloaded these onto my desktop and then created contact sheets on Photoshop (File-Automate-Contact Sheet) 

These images above were in my office today 

These images were from Sunday in my home - I think the light was much better in my apartment so let's take a closer look

Settings: F2.2, 1/20, ISO167, FL 3mm

This is okay but I think I look a bit tired!  The light is okay and has been softened - lets compare to one of the colour images form home

Settings: F2.2, 1/20. ISO 194, FL 3mm

I do prefer this the light is more natural, I look less tired and may just be presentable!

Now let's compare a couple of the black and white images 

Settings:  F2.2, 1/20. ISO 194, FL 3mm

This I like as the light falling across one side of the face and looks perfectly reasonable.  Always more difficult when looking at yourself but overall an acceptable image

Settings: F2.2, 1/25, ISO 171, FL 3mm

I have decided the light in my office actually ages me! Or perhaps I am just old but no, I think I prefer the one above with natural light.  The mixture of artificial and natural light in my office does not help me!

I may use one of these images on my site or I could retake these or do something different, the important thing is to represent myself well on my site.  

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Building on Digital Skills: Photoshop & Painterly Effects

 I have used Photoshop for many years, however, as I am sure is the case with most people, I use the same tools and functions of Photoshop all the time and rarely do new things.  So considering this photoshop rut that I am in and wanting to expand on my skills I considered carefully what I would like to do on Photoshop that I have never really tried.  I have a love of all kinds of art and so I thought it would be great to learn how to create a painterly effect on my images perhaps for a project.  

As is usual with photoshop there are usually many ways to do the thing I want to do so let's try something out! Here is the first youtube tutorial I looked at:

Unusual Slider to Create Painterly Effect in Photoshop! by Piximperfect

Now I will follow this and show you my own process of following this instruction.  

First I need an image I would like to work with. I will use this one here: 

I am now opening Photoshop and adding my image.  The first step was to create a background copy of the image and this is what I have done here.

Next I go to filters and convert for SMART filters and I click ok.  I then go to filters and camera RAW filter and then a new dialog box appears 

The next instruction on the video was clearly in a different version of Photoshop to my version so I can see what the man is doing but now I have to work it out on this version - the 'luminance' that he is using does not appear as it does on the video 

I, therefore, begin to improvise I go instead to grain and increase this, then to texture and increase this, and then to clarity which I reduce and then I reduce dehaze and reduce the contrast.  All of this adds a soft effect to the image

The rest of the video seem to do just what I did and play with the filters etc.  So I thought okay I have not learnt that much! But here is the final image...

It is basically softened and perhaps does look slightly more 'painterly' however I think I want something a little stronger here and perhaps more complicated than manoeuvring some sliders and filters!

This was a good start and so I will now continue to investigate further options to build upon my Photoshop skills.

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Ferris Bueller's Day Off: The Opening Scene - A Critical Response

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) Directed By John Hughes 

Ferris Bueller's Day Off directed by John Hughes is now considered a classic 1980s film, it includes classic Hughes themes 'the philosopher of adolescence, whose credits include "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty In Pink." In all of his films, adults are strange, distant creatures who love their teenagers, but fail completely to understand them.' (Ebert 11/06/86).  Buellers Day Off uses the main character to speak directly to the audience this creates a kind of intimacy between the audience and Ferris as he gives his thoughts directly to use and make us feel we are with him throughout.  He takes us on the journey and this journey is a real ride.  A great day off school, a feel-good movie that makes me certainly wish I was young again!  

Also, it is a movie of its time, the 1980s, Adam Smith writes: 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off is, in fact, an unadulterated celebration of what it's like to be young white, middle class and well-heeled in mid 80s America.' (Smith 01/01/14).  Times certainly have changed but there is something interesting as we are treated to the idea that consumerism is great and how we did aspire to have the things that Ferris experiences through the day, posh car, the best restaurants.  

This is obviously a feelgood movie and all the kids are essentially alright which is why as a viewer we enjoy experiencing it, movies are an experience we feel with the characters, through the magic of editing, music diegetic and non-diegetic. 'John Hughes, the writer and director of "Ferris," was an obsessive music fan who cemented the legacies of several artists by building film scenes around their songs.' (Smokler 14/09/16).  

I saw this movie at the time and have seen it again later and I think it has stood the test of time well.  But perhaps I have a nostalgia for what I saw as a simpler age where mobile phones didn't exist computers did not connect to the internet and we did have a home phone and used it.  We went out with our friends and perhaps we were not so watched over (in many ways) as we are now.  Imagine no social media and then imagine the freedom that affords you...

In terms of what I really get out of this work in relation to my own is that it is the kind of thing that I would find incredibly difficult - something feelgood, happy, a little movie of joy... that is why I admire this as it has qualities that I would find incredibly difficult to emulate! The filming of the scene is very straightforward in terms of the shots used such as close up to the medium shot, shots of the TV, the Sky representing exactly what the character is saying.  The editing is fairly quick to keep this moving forward quickly and keeping the narrative flowing.  Again this makes us feel as if we are on the journey with the character.  As with all works the artist/media producer needs to find a connection with the audience and my overriding response is that this connection is very well executed here.  In my own artworks, I do find it challenging to find that connection and ensure that there is some universal meaning that will connect people to the work. 


Ebert R (11/06/86) Rogert Ebert Reviews: Ferris Bueller's Day Off [Online] Available From: (Accessed 11/11/20)

Smith A. (01/01/14) Ferris Bueller's Day Off Review [Online] Available From: (Accessed 11/11/20)

Smokler K (14/09/16) Secrets of the Ferris Bueller's Day Off Soundtrack [Online] Available From: (Accessed 11/11/20)


Pierre Bonnard: Nude in The Bathtub - A Critical Response


Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Nude in Bathtub (c 1938-41), oil on canvas, 121.9 x 151.1 cm, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. The Athenaeum.

This image by Bonnard is one of many that show Martha, his mistress bathing.  This period in Bonnard's work just prior to the second world war, he spent in France on the coast of Normandy exploring the colour and light.  

Bonnard was part of a group of painters that called themselves Les Nabis, this came from the Hebrew word for prophet.  'Les Nabis used flat patches of colour, and admired Japanese prints and the work of Paul Gauguin. Gauguin was known for experimenting with colour. Bonnard worked in the years following Gauguin's death in 1903 and was directly influenced by his style.' (Tate 2020)

Bonnard was a post-impressionist and intimist and as stated he was highly influenced by Gauguin's use of bold vivid colour.  In this image we can see how he has used bright yellows, purples, blues on the tiles surrounding the bathtub, this colour palette also reflected on Martha's body, the floor the tub reminds the viewer of a bright summers day, the warm colours and French light in mid-summer.  Martha's body is relaxed and this intimacy of seeing he rin the bath that Bonnard shares is the gift that gives to the viewer.  The dog lying on the floor represents loyalty and domestic scenes which is what Bonnard is most fond of produce that intimacy as we are allowed into a private space.  

When looking at this work it feels as if we are a quiet eye looking on as Bonnard did at the person he loved the most in the world, Martha. 'Pierre Bonnard met Marthe Boursin getting off a Parisian streetcar in 1893 and they remained together until her death in 1942, although they didn’t marry for at least thirty years.' (Linely 14/03/19)

As a photographer when I consider this work by Bonnard, I consider how he has used the light and the colour of the light.  The French light here in mid-summer is very distinctive and as one of my favourite place in the world is Cognac, France, I understand this light, it's gentle orange/yellow warmth that permeates the image.  When looking through the lens and photographing flesh this is same light is present.  I photograph often in black and white but in France, I see this light and how it changes through the day and through my lens it touches everything in the frame to create this feeling of intimacy and warmth.  Bonnard demonstrates the pleasure of intimacy, love, his place in the world through these colours.  


Hockley (15/08/18) The Eclectic Light Company, Pierre Bonnard: At home with Marthe, 1937-1943 [online] Available from: (Accessed 11th November 2020)

Tate (2020) Eight Essentials to Know about Pierre Bonnard [Online] Available from: (Accessed 11th November 2020) 

Linely N. (14/03/19) Oxonian Review, Marthe [Online] Available from: (Accessed 11th November 2020) 

Sherwin (25/01/18) The Guardian, Pierre Bonnard’s Nude in the Bath: a woman in the tub or a corpse entombed? [Online] Available From:  (Accessed 11th November 2020) 

Thursday 5 November 2020

Biteable: My Jobseekers Video

 A very exciting day as I have created my very own jobseekers video on Biteable!  Check his out here:

Zoe Van-de-Velde: Jobseekers Video 

In your own biteable video post ensure that you add all of the processes here.  Also, add a small reflection on the success (or not!) of your video.  

Reflection: This video was fun to make and I did it in a limited timeframe.  If I were to improve this, I would add more seconds for some of the film slides so that they could be read and some go slightly too quickly.  Also, I would change some of the colour of the words so that they are easier to read against the background. My son said that the music made him cringe, so perhaps a different music track!  If I were to actually use this in my CV I would pay to get the watermark removed and ensure that this was of high quality for a job application making the changes I have suggested here.

Friday 25 September 2020

Week Three: Ideas Generation

Here is an example of what would be expected from your initial post on Ideas generation 

Title: Ideas Generation: Exploring the Doppelgänger

Dante Gabriel Rossetti  (1864) How they met themselves 

A Doppelganger is ‘an apparition or double of a living person.’ I first became interested in this concept when I was young and reading ‘Mysteries’ by Colin Wilson (he actually came from Leicester!) The stories he told of instances of Doppelgangers were absolutely fascinating. Here are a couple of stories:

Goethe, wrote in his autobiography that 'one day he was riding along a road in Alsace, having just said goodbye to his sweetheart, when he saw 'with eyes of the spirit' his own apparition coming towards him dressed in a grey and gold suit. (The phenomenon is known as the Doppelgänger). Eight years later, on his way to visit the same girl, he passed the spot and suddenly realised that he was now dressed in the grey and gold suit. He had seen his future self.' (Wilson 1978:380)

'Perhaps the most striking case in the whole literature of phantasms of the living is that of Emilie Sagée, an attractive French schoolmistress who lost eighteen jobs in sixteen years because of her strange - involuntary- ability to be in two places at once. One day, as she was writing on the board, her pupils were astonished to see two Emilie Sagée's standing side by side, both apparently writing in chalk. As Emilie turned startled at the sudden noise, the 'double' vanished. On another occasion, as Emilie was helping fix the dress of a Mlle Antoinette de Wrangel, the girl looked into the mirror and saw two Emilies, she fainted.' (Wilson: 1978:380/1)
There are many many other examples of doppelgangers appearing and strangely I have been followed and approached on at least three occasions by people saying that I looked just like someone they knew. The strangest one was a man who insisted I looked so much like his sister he thought I was her and when I laughed he said I even laughed like her. Also online you can search for your doppelganger and even find works of art that look like you. This fascination with finding ourselves is really quite interesting.

So to create a project using this concept this is where we can start getting really creative. So let's consider some different continuation routes.


I could do a double exposure project
Slow shutter speed to create 'ghostly appearances'
Simple photoshop to appear twice in the same image


I could look at the concept of twins/Gemini and use imagery ideas for the collection - creating perhaps mirror pieces that reflected each other

Fashion Styling & Communication

Fashion shoot using twins/lookalikes as a concept for an editorial

Animation/Comic Art

Create a character with a doppelganger and then create a postmodern adventure - create a comic illustration piece or a short animation film


Use split-screen editing to create conversations with myself

Graphic Design

Create a set of six book covers that were the doppelganger detectives with titles like 'Double Trouble' . 'Twice as Nice', 'Double or Nothing'.

As you can see the concept is far more important so that you can then apply the idea to your subject.

Now it's your turn create a post that explores your ideas first before moving onto creating a milanote for your ideas board and initial research.


Wison C. (1978) Mysteries, Hodder & Stoughton, London.

Sunday 20 September 2020

Research Task: Week Six Example

I am not necessarily going to go in order here on my blog but as I am writing the course content I am also providing examples where I can.

So in class, we are looking at what is research? and then three forms of research that we should be expanding upon by application in our blogs.

In class, you learnt that research was; “the systematic investigation into, and study of, materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions”

This is how your post should look however please do not copy my post just use this as an EXAMPLE

Research Class Exercise

Name something you have researched in the past for art, design or media.

I have researched the Czech photographer Josef Sudek

Explain how you researched this

I chose three internet sources that were most useful after looking at over 10 internet sources that contained information about the photographer and his work.  I then read the three internet sources that I wanted to use in my post very carefully and I began to write a post with the intention that I could explain how Josef Sudek's photography would inform my own still life/object images that I was taking for my project.

What facts did you discover? 

  • Josef Sudek was born in 1896 and died in 1976.
  • known as the ‘Poet of Prague’, was drawn to desolate landscapes, simple, solitary objects and the quiet, unpopulated street scenes of Prague, a city to which he dedicated his whole life.
  • Sudek was originally a bookbinder but after fighting in the first world war and losing his right arm he studied photography.
  • He was expelled from the local camera club for arguing for more progressive photography that moved away from a pictorialist style. He then set up his own group The Progressive Czech Photography Society in 1924. 
  • People rarely appear in any of his work and between 1940 to 1954 he photographed The Windows of my Studio which were his best-known work of still lives and objects within his studio.

What NEW conclusions did you establish?

I did not necessarily establish new conclusions about his life however I looked carefully at his photographs and analysed these to inform my own practice. I looked at composition, tone, his methods of capturing the images, the use of windows, light and shadow. I also discussed the idea of time and how moments in time in a photograph.

In the next three sections, I will discuss research examples from a major project. Therefore to begin I will outline an example of a major project so it is clear the context of the research.

My major project is a short film that uses split-screen called 'Conversation with my walls'. I intend to create a script, storyboard, shooting plan and will edit this using Premier Pro. The finished film will be 3 minutes long.

Research into my major project

My project was about the doppelganger therefore I was interested in suing split screen in a film to convey this idea.  I will research into films using the split-screen effect. These will be: Annie Hall By Woody Allen, Snatch by Guy Richie. Back to the Future II. I will also look at the history of the split screen in cinema on how this evolved and how it is still used in cinema today.

I will consider how social and cultural factors have been exposed (such as in Back to the Future II and Annie Hall) by using split-screen. In Back to the Future II culturally how times have changed from when Marty's parents were young to being young in the 1980s. In Annie Hall it is the culturally and social differences of the families and the characters which are exposed through the split-screen techniques and also talking directly to camera - which is another technique that I am hoping to incorporate in my own film.

Here is an example of Split Screen use in Back to the Future II:

Research through my major project

I will be researching and testing Adobe Premier Pro to use as the editing tool on my project however I will also research other online editing tools for the film. I will try Videograbber and Pixiko as well to test these out.

I will also be creating a storyboard and script so I will use Celtx for the script formatting and for storyboarding I will try out Storyboardthat and Canva.

I will experiment with all of these and create posts to show how I have tried and tested these before deciding on the software I will complete my project with.

Research for my major project

For this area, I will be looking much more deeply at the concept of the conversation so I will research Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Shirley Valentine directed by Lewis Gilbert and her conversations with the wall

Please see the trailer here;

I will also look at Daniel Schreber and Memoirs of my Nervous Illness. These three very different sources look at how we talk to ourselves, think about ourselves, and how in the case of Godot it is what are we waiting for, and sometimes it feels that perhaps we are all waiting in some way for something ...

This is the outline of the research I will be carrying out, through this research I will discover new methods of working and I will explore my concept fully so that I can write my own original work.

Welcome to a New Term: Autumn 2020

 Welcome to a New Term: Autumn 2020.  Normally I would introduce the term by saying that I intend to create a project with the students however I have been doing this now over the years and so I am going to retire myself from the project making and concentrate on giving examples throughout the term of how to use your blog, how to research and how to really develop work in art, design and media.

However, I will begin with an inspirational image from the book The Invented Eye: Masterpieces of Photography 1839-1914 by Edward Lucie-Smith.

Notman Studios, Bake-Oven, Chateau de Ramezay, Montreal

This photograph is by the Notman studios founded by William Notman (1826-1891 - Born in England, but active in Canada from the mid-1950s onwards) His studios created a vast amount of images at the time. I chose this image just for its stillness, the beauty of the man alone sitting by the oven, contemplating.  The emptiness and of the place ads to the serenity, there is no clutter or chaos just these vast empty rooms.  The lighting is perfect with the man casting a long shadow across towards the fireplace and the shadow cast across the floor in-between the bright skylights where the sun is shining in.  The composition with the beautiful framing of the door within the door, the rule of thirds with the man sitting perfectly to balance the image.  Beautifully shot and beautifully still I could contemplate this image for hours.  

I am looking forward to seeing your inspiring images and hopefully, this will tell me something about you and what you are interested in.  


Lucie-Smith E. (1975) The Invented Eye: Masterpieces of Photography 1839-1914. Paddington Press Ltd, London.


 Over this term, I created a project that incorporated both digital and traditional skills.  I met my objectives for the project and developed skills in using decal and digital design.  I created this final design ..

I have to say that I do not really like it that much even though the geometry of the triangles really works with the photography and it met my criteria.  I just do not feel it had enough to it in terms of depth and it needed more work to really develop this further.  I would be inclined not to use my own face next time and explore the idea of identity in another way here.  If I was going to do this again I would use objects rather than my face and I would not add the names of the elements here - they would be underlying elements embedded into the image. Overall I definitely will not be adding this to my portfolio as this does not meet my own standards of what I was trying to achieve conceptually.  

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Peer Review

 Today we were peer-reviewing each other's websites so I picked Angy Ebrahim's site from my class which can be found here:

What do you think of the homepage?

Good clean homepage is well designed and easy to understand. 

Is the navigation bar clear and easy to use? 

Very clear and easy to navigate 

What did you think of the galleries/portfolio pages? Consider the design, ease of use, and how well the work is presented? 

Portfolio pages are easy to click into.  The featured article I think I would have preferred to see the title for this or you could have a front image for all your projects and then a button that clicks into these so that this is more visually interesting 

What do you think of the biography?  Is it well written? Are there any spelling or grammatical errors?  Does it give you a good impression of the person?

The biography is well written and clear.  You may wish to update this as you have moved forward in life.  It does give a good impression and I think it represents you well as a person.  I would also update the image making you look more professional 

Is there a contact page? Is this well presented and easy to find?

Yes - clear and easy to find and well presented 

Do all social media links work?

No social media links and think that this needs to be corrected you should have a social media presence of some kind. 

Any other comments?

Good website that with a few adjustments could be excellent

Updating Website & Testing

 I have not updated my site for a while so I am going to do this now to really improve on being found on the internet and trying to gain more connection to my site.  I am going to begin by updating the SEO on my site

This makes the site easier to find and to share on social media.  

I then realised as I had been showing students things on the site many things did not actually belong there!  So I removed all extraneous items and changed the homepage buttons to reflect the correct pages.

I check my copyright was up to date and then checked all my social media links 

These all worked well and everything was up to date.  I then went to my Bio page as I prefered a bio I had used elsewhere so I changed it to this version 

After each of these actions, I republished to ensure that the site was updated live!

I then began checking the mobile view as I had made other changes this could have been affected 

The contact page was fine, but the portfolio pages the writing and buttons appeared in the wrong places so I fixed this in the editor. 

I checked all the pages and then previewed and when I was satisfied I published again

I will admit that I had neglected this site a little and as I had used it for teaching purposes it had got int a bit of a mess!  So I have now given it a bit of love and care and I can now consider how I can further improve this for the future - I think more connections with other social media and work online would bring together my work online and cross-connections will hopefully lead more people to my site. 

Sunday 23 August 2020

Process: Creating the Canvas and Developing on Photoshop

 So now I have the images I have the difficult job of picking the four that will really work together for this magical altarpiece.  So the element should go as follows:

Earth: Lower Left Corner

Air: Upper Right Corner

Fire: Lower Right Corner

Water: Upper Left Corner 

So I began by creating an A3 Canvas as this is the size I will be printing on the decal.  I then started to choose the images and add to the canvas - the images here areas shot in-camera no editing or adjustments made. I used here the resize image and ensured that all images were 300ppi

So here is the four shots together I am not sure if I like this yet but this is the base layer for the work..

Now I am going to add elements to these to see if this will work...these are the copyright free symbols I will be using

I then added these as new layers over the correct image 

This is the final result:

I will now print this onto the Decal paper and add to the wooden board - please see my next post for this process.


The Buena Vida (07/11/18) Four elements to building a sacred altar [Online] Available from: (Accessed 23/08/20)

Regardie I (1989)The Golden Dawn 6th Edition, Llewellyn Publications, Minnesota.

Process: Taking the Shots

 So the shots I wanted to take seemed initially to be fairly simple.  I wanted four headshots that I could then add the four elements for the final piece.  I realised quickly that four headshots had to be interesting in some way to convey what I wanted in the final images and so I began with some really simple test shots to see if I could discover what I was after as I did not have an exact picture of how this would work. I used my Olympus E3 with a remote shutter release and a tripod. 

So I took the shots using natural light, in my flat, I had the ISO quite high as I wanted to slightly overexpose them so they had ethereal look in the final piece.  I created the contact sheets on Photoshop (File - Automate - Contact Sheet).  I took around 200 images so that I could experiment with the shot. While the contact sheets were processing I had a quick look at a couple of the shots:

ISO 500, F4, FL 15mm, 1/50
Edited on Picasa using Holga-ish filter. 

This is kind of the look I was after to try to get the feeling of transcendence.  The piece itself will be like the casting of a spell using ritual symbols.

ISO 500, F4, FL15mm, 1/40
Cinemascope on Picasa

This one I just wanted to see from a different perspective so I added the cinemascope to have a look!  My contacts are still processing...and finally seven contact sheets so I will just go through these here:

These first shots are just test shots to decide the angle and the light I tried them in different places in the house and looked at composition.  They were shot in black and white here you can see I also shot in RAW.

I continued to experiment with quite 'straight' shots but realised I wanted more movement in them to give them more impact 

I started to move my head a little more but realised it need more violence and spontaneity 

I started to get the look I was after and the images started to really move within the frame - sort of pain contained in the frame!

This is a long post and I think I look like pure evil in the last shot!  The best images here are the ones where my face is obscured or there is movement so now I will choose the four shots I want to represent fire, earth, air and water on the final canvas. 

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Target Market: Photographic Art


Fighting Pure Madness by P. Urbanek

Trying to pin down your target market, the audience who would be interested in your work can be tricky.  The art market is particularly challenging as much of what art is worth is based on what people essentially think it is worth.  But who is buying art and where are they buying it is what I will explore here in this post.  

Art conscious state the following: 

'Active online buyers purchasing more and on higher prices. In 2018, the share of online art buyers paying an average price in excess of US$5,000 per fine art object increased to 25%, up from 21% in 2017. Confidence of buying online increases among people. Surveys show that 52% of those who bought online last year will buy more art in the upcoming year, 38% will buy the same this year as they did last year, 28% of those who have not bought art online in the past year, say they are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to do so this year.' (Artconscious: 2020) 

So from these statistics, we can see that that online purchases of art have been increasing and that buyers will buy art year upon year, this is all very promising however this was written prior to the pandemic so how has this affected the art market?  Although art is still being bought with the financial times stating that; 'Earlier this month, the hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin was reported to have bought a Basquiat painting privately for north of $100m.' (Gerlis M. 13/06/20) this is certainly not representative of the whole market.  Gerlis further states that it is the two extreme ends of the market that are hit hardest, the very expensive work (over 1 million) collectors will not buy unseen online and the lowest end of the scale with new and emerging artists as people are less willing to take the risk on emerging artists.  The middle ground where established contemporary artists are selling and responding to the times are still in demand.  So tough times for artists and finding a buyer for their work.  

However not to be too downhearted as Art Business points point out the art market is particularly difficult to quantify and assess as art is being sold everywhere: 'on social media, artist websites, gallery websites, websites where artists or galleries pay fees to display their art, fixed-price secondary market and resale websites, classified ad sites, online auction sites, art galleries, art fairs, art walks, open studios, flea markets, estate sales, bricks & mortar auctions, museum sales and rental galleries, "Nothing Over $39.95" sales, local country auctions, directly out of artists' homes and studios, street fairs, wine bars, antique collectives, framing stores, on the street, interior design showrooms, coffee shops, condo lobbies, cruise ships, county fairs, and on and on and on. Obviously, assembling any kind of meaningful data on overall art market transactions is not possible.'  (Art Business 1998-2019)

So art can be found in many places online during the pandemic and some believe that sales although lower will stabilise CNBC states; 'Still, the recovery in the art market in the coming months is likely to be highly uneven, especially for nonmasterpiece works that aren’t already well known. Bank of America said in a new report that sellers are likely to stay on the sidelines over the summer, constraining the supply of works for sale. It said supply could “spike sharply” in the fall, leading to lower prices, and then stabilize, with prices 10% to 15% lower,  depending on the course of the virus. ' (Frank R. 29.06.20) So perhaps the answer here is that artists need to lower their prices until the art market picks up, do special offers and really work on improving their social media profile as this will help to direct art lovers to their work.  

Creative people now need to get even more creative to reach their audience and to make a living - so going forward and considering this in terms of my own work is very important - I will consider how I would share my website to those interested in photography, consider my online presence and really overhaul this at this time. 


Artconscious (2020) Art Market Statistics [online] Available from: (Accessed 19.08.20) 

Gerlis M. (13/06/20) Who's Buying What Art Online? [Online] Available from: (Accessed 19.08.20) 

Art Business (1998-2019) Domestic and International Art Market Sales Statistics [Online] Available from: (Accessed 19.08.20) 

Frank R (29/06/20) How a $60 million painting may mark the biggest test for the art market during coronavirus crisis [Online] Available from (Accessed 19.08.20)

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Developing Ideas: Student Card to Work of Art

 I have a great love of old photography books and manuals and so here I wanted to look at Dixon's 'The Way to Professional Photography'  (1984) I took some quick shots this morning of a few pages:

I will reshoot these but I wanted to add just to show you this morning in class.  So this book aims to improve your photography through various techniques and here it begins with the double exposure - so what I will do is create the same effect as a further experiment in how to produce the images I would like on the wooden panels I wanted to create.  Obviously, this method is prior to Photoshop but I will essentially do the same with two images ...

So I took my student card image from 1997 

I then cropped the photo on Photoshop so I had just my face.  I then found some images from a macro class of roses.  I changed this to black and white by going to Image, Adjustments, black and white.  Then I adjusted the size and resolution of both images so they were 10 x 8 cm, 300ppi.

This means that I could then simply put the flower over my face and then lower the opacity to around 35% essentially making the image see-through 

I then adjusted the flower around my face until I felt that it made a good double exposure.  Then I simply flattened the images together and cropped to create this final image...

I actually considered that this image worked quite well, it looks as if I am wearing a head covering and this changes the original meaning and look to the image - original purpose student identity - end result - a work of art!