Digital Deux

Workshop number two for the Digital Photography part of the Media and Methods module on my BA Hons Degree in Photography at the university Of Wolverhampton.

Went for a walk around the Art Building’s surrounding area with Gavin and he talked about Geopsychology. This is the study of the way the human mind works when being directed or routed through a space by planners. We see barriers, arrows, closed gates, fences, dark alleyways, lit alleyways, signs, smells, amongst many more designs that guide us to walk/drive/cycle a certain way that’s deemed to be the “correct” way by town/city planners. By looking at the components that guide us we can ask questions about how and why we are being manipulated.

We stopped at the automatic doors from the building as they were opening slowly and talked about what society might be like if all doors opened that slowly.

Then we walked to Molineux and looked at the Student Services building that used to be a pub, discussed the surrounding area before the presence of the football ground, the bright yellow colours, the dots on the floor for socially distancing queues and he wondered what an alien might make of the stadium if they landed in there. Would they think it was a space to go and watch grass grow, like a grass museum cos we all love grass?

We looked at the Subway tunnel and counted on the pictures, the men, women, disabled people, structures, happy people, and art works then discussed how it was a bit pointless as it didn’t really represent Wolves as a place.

We looked at the bollards up by the church and civic buildings and discussed how they’re a big waste of money and energy to make them as they’re only there as people aren’t trusted not to drive on the pavements.

In the same sort of area I mentioned that the lovely church walls had been fitted with anti-skateboard bobbles and we discussed how skateboarders and graffiti artists probably wouldn’t do anything on a church anyway. Also we mentioned the aggressive architecture used to prevent people from sleeping in doorways and in sheltered shopfronts, these can take the form of uneven pavements, or spikey metalwork etc.

Back in the classroom we discussed making documents 300dpi and big enough to be 10×8 printed.10 inches at 300dpi is 3000 pixels and if you want to put images on phone screens or monitors then it’s only needing 72dpi. Gavin said that newspapers generally need 150dpi to print successfully.

As I was playing on Photoshop with a picture of the Empire State Building we discussed about planning in cities with the lecturer mentioning the old houses in New York City surrounded by skyscrapers (like in the movie UP) and I mentioned the fact that you can build higher if you buy the buildings in the area’s airspace. If you buy their height allowance you can make your building super tall.

Gavin mentioned something I’d never heard of before, that there were eight landmarks that were required to have a view of St Paul’s Cathedral in the Protected View guidelines, I’d never heard of this before but it means that no building can be built which blocks the view of St Paul’s from the locations listed below.

  • Alexandra Palace
  • Parliament Hill from Parliament Hill,
  • Viewing gazebo at Kenwood House
  • Primrose Hill
  • Greenwich Park, north east of the General Wolfe statue
  •  Point Hill Park, Blackheath, near the orientation board,
  • Westminster Pier
  • King Henry VIII’s Mound in Richmond Park

He also mentioned about Sheffield being surrounded by 8 hills each consisting of a village, like Rome originally was and that it was a great place to visit for photos as there was always a green background.

He talked about if you can see the edge of a town or a city you are more grounded and not stuck in the city…

We did some more work on images we’d taken on the walk, to Futurfy them on photoshop and also found out that the assignment for the module would be to do that on at least five images, or have a series of images as to how you think the future will play out.

For my Image this week I played with one of my images taken on the walk, of the top of the old building by Molineux, with the Art Building in the background and lots of sky. I thought I’d put a big skyscraper in the rear of the image, but I had to find a stock image that was at a similar angle and perspective to match my image.

I googled some images that might fit with the perspective of this old building with the George Wallis in the rear. I searched for Skyscrapers from ground level and an ideal photo of the Empire State Building appeared to fit the bill.

I needed to lighten the original image a little by playing with exposure and contrast in Lightroom so that it would be obvious that it showed two seperate buildings. I then used Magnetic Lasso to go around the building roofs and copied them to a new layer so I could then slot in the Empire State Building between them and the sky.

When I’d done this and transformed the EMpire State to fit into the picture a little better I figured that there would likely be air-travel galore in the future. Something that we all noticed as part of the Covid Lockdowns and Pandemic was the decrease in air travel, a single contrail in the sky was often referred to as it was so unusual. I looked for images of Contrails in google images and found one.

I imported the sky image into another layer and slipped it behind the Wolves Buildings and Empire State layers. The following was the resultant image but the sky with the contrails is not a high quality image so pixelates a little. Which was disappointing but I’ve still got the PSD file so can always swap it out for another sky.

You can also see where the images are cropped and overlaid from the border breaking up on the bottom part of the picture. In general I’m happy with it as an early work but I do feel like it’s not really representative of the year 2100. The buildings being erected in the UK are already getting taller and spreading across the country, as well as the rise of air travel again once the worst of the Covid Pandemic is over for the developed nations. It could be five years time rather than 75 years time..

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