After finalising my selections for Colour and Black and White, it was time to choose the final images for the Digital Photography submission.
Since picking up my first digital camera in the early 2000’s I’ve really only ever used digital photography and editing using Photoshop in the early days and Lightroom and Photoshop in the later years, but I don’t really do a lot of compositing or serious changes to my images. Usually a few adjustments here and there with a spot of dodging and burning, maybe a spot heal or two now and again but this module needed a tad more than that.
The brief of the Digital Photography was “In The Year 2100” and we had to imagine Wolverhampton and Bilston in 78 years time. To this aim we went out and about with our digital cameras into Bilston, Wolverhampton and for me a little bit of Birmingham too.
The first of my submissions for Digital was a photo of a Tailor’s in the Bilston indoor market that I’d looked at and first thought that it wasn’t going to be a useful image.
Using Photoshop I updated the scene to better represent what may be there in 78 years time. Not much has altered and people still need clothes changing to fit or be repaired. I left the majority of the image alone and added a few subtle ?? changes in the price list and added some yellow text into the taped over areas under the big headline sign. I sprinkled around the scene a few articles that hint to the tailors being used to adapt space suits for users of the nearby Space Elevator in Birmingham. (see further down)
This is my favourite of the digital submissions as it’s not so blatant as my other images but to me still could represent what might exist in the year 2100.
“George Wallis Avenue”
This image was a concept image by an architects group so I slotted the MK Building in on the left side of the green lined street.
There was only one other piece of editing and that was taking the top of the Chrysler building in the rear. The image reflects what a city centre could be like if green public transport is prioritised and walking becomes a more accepted method of transport.
The big robots are a bit spooky but they were in the original image. This image reminded my a great deal of the High Line in New York which is an old Elevated Rail system turned into public walkways and gardens.
I find the process of imagining a place in at the turn of the next century challenging as I’m not usually someone who looks too far ahead and I take a lot of my influences from films that I have watched over my lifetime. This particular scene might be part of Delta City, the fictional rebuilt Detroit from the Robocop movies. Again the subtlety of my edit is is the fact that the School Of Art building is visible on the left side of the street but it’s not stand out obvious.
A Basic photoshop effort we took some images of Wolverhampton out with Gavin and this one of the Student building by Molineux and the art building behind it, seemed to be a good perspective to insert a large tower behind it.
In hindsight I could have used this for a space elevator shot going off into the distant atmospheres. The contrails was an image from google images and was used to imply that air travel was ever more present in the sky in the future. Especially strange since during the lockdown and covid pandemic it was very rare to see any aeroplanes in the sky. It seemed a long way off that we would see aircraft trailing across the blue sky like this illustration and today after the worst (hopefully) of the pandemic the sky still appears quiet compared to 2019.
This image was one of two that caused a colleague to say something that I would question, he believed that the contrails are part of the wider conspiracy theory that these trails are made purposefully to aid in the controlling of the weather systems. The same individual also made a slightly racist comment about the staff in the tailor’s shop of my first digital submission. Calling people out and engaging in a meaningful discussion might be beneficial for the whole of the human race.
In a previous paragraph I mentioned that I am inspired by movies and this was the case with this, the first image I created in the module. We’d been out with the Uni’s digital Nikon and not realised that we should have had some wider shots to be more useful to our cause.
This image shows the sculpture and the corner of the George Wallis building in a seemingly futuristic scene, inspired by Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner. It’s not a particularly successful”S image but taught me how to get a wider shot for ease of further manipulation, since I had to warp transform the MK building way more than I should have done.
It was black and white to help blend the two images slightly better as I couldn’t get the colours right especially with the misty/foggy background image. I’ve read up on this since so it should be easier to deal with in the future using colour grading techniques also used in the movie industry.
One of my shots from Birmingham feature the old Smithfield market area which has been completely flattened in preparation of a new vision to be implemented.
I altered it to include a space elevator, which is a real project concept that I’ve spoken to some my engineering colleagues about, it’s a fascinating and intriguing way of moving cargo between Earth’s surface and space without the aid of rockets and all of the negative effects that has on the climate.
Originally I had it surrounded by industrial units and shipping containers but thought that this wouldn’t happen in a city centre today so I moved it slightly into the background where the scale felt better suited. I then incorporated a few public park images and some architecture award winning buildings to act as a spaceport style centre. The idea of the spaceport ties in with the tailors photo from earlier.
If I’m brutally honest with myself, I’m not 100% happy with this image as I feel I could improve it with further finagling, I’d choose a stock photo of grass that isn’t so zoomed in on, and also try and colour grade the obvious illustrated nature of the space elevator compared to the other real life images.
Thinking back to the earlier photo that brought to mind Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop movie, this image was of a chap trading on the Bilston Outdoor Market. It was a cold damp day so he was wrapped up warm with his hands safely ensconced in his pockets and I figured that this would make a perfect candidate for a Robofying operation.
I digitally altered the image using Photoshop to rebrand his stand as selling jewellery and fusion reactors for mobile electronic devices.
In the future I think that markets will still exist, after all nothing has really changed in the past 100 years. The fusion reactors and handwritten note on the stall come about as the progress on nuclear fusion is advancing and will make great gains in the next couple of decades, so in 2100 it may be that fusion powers all of our electrical and electronic requirements.
This was one of my more successful images in the digital section and I tried to be as subtle with the details that did not exist in the frame prior to being manipulated. Some of my coursemates also enjoyed this particular image and gave me a positive vibe about it.
This was not my favourite of the four different workshops we had to complete and I found the imagination part of the task to be difficult. Hopefully the images I submitted will be examined for what they are. Some of the notes I include on this post are included in the Powerpoint Notes on the file so whomever assesses the images may find that useful to help understand some of my choices.
The next and final part of the submission is Studio Photography, where we had to choose a portrait painting and reimagine it using the photography studio. Catch you in Pt. IV