Weekly Log 1 (Tuesday 29th September 2015 – Thursday 1st October 2015) – Light Play Project

Below is the first Weekly Log that I completed which was based around the end of last September, the beginning of last October, when I was experimenting with darkroom materials for the first time.

Research / Context

The artists I’ve looked at: August Sander, Rineke Dijkstra, Nicholas Nixon, Joel Sternfeld & Fazal Sheikh. These artists relate to my experiments, as I have taken an in-depth look on the research that I have gathered, ranging from a small aperture to a wide aperture, and I’ve used the ideas that I have gathered from my research and put those ideas to good use by producing some test strips and full-size prints.

In terms of one of the artists I have researched, I think I may have seen one of August Sander’s works in a gallery up in London. I remember quite well that I studied on one or some of August Sander’s works when I was in school.

Practical Tasks Done

In order to know how to do the darkroom process, I wanted to find out how the development of darkroom equipment works. I found out by being given a guided tour on how to use the equipment, though I did initially have certain darkroom anxieties and some difficulties when it came to certain parts of the darkroom equipment, as I did have some difficulty at first with how I could use the equipment properly, though most of the difficulties and anxieties have been resolved as I’ve got the hang of the process and how it works.

What worked well? As it was my first time experimenting with darkroom equipment, I was genuinely surprised that I got a lot of good results with my test strips, prints and photograms.

How could I improve this? I can improve this by experimenting more with the darkroom equipment, as well as aiming to overcome my fears and worries of messing a darkroom process up. I can also improve this by making sure to adjust the exposure of a test strip, print or photogram to make sure that the end result comes out a lot better than before.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, I wanted to make sure that I could position the objects in a format where order/disorder connects to it. To do this, I had made sure to position the objects carefully, so that what I would be creating wouldn’t end up being compromised. I had made sure that the texture depth of the test strips, prints and photograms were completely sharp, and that I could keep them within the frame. I had also made sure to adjust the tone of the lighting on the darkroom equipment, for example, the yellow, magenta and cyan colour’s picture balance, as this would help me to get the clarity of the objects to project better onto the test strips, the prints and also the photograms.

The research/contextual studies that I did on all five artists can be applied to the darkroom project, as I will be able to take a look at all of the five artists I’ve studied, and create new ideas that can help me to produce my own test strips, prints and photograms. All of the research I’ve gathered will most certainly help me in developing my own pieces of work, so that what I create is entirely original and not copied.

This brings the first of the Weekly Logs I’ve done from September to now to an end. Check back soon for the second Weekly Log.

Alex Smithson

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