Final Evaluation

On this final blog post I will select my favourite photographs from this project and analyse them. I will point out their strengths and reasons why I think they are the best images out of all the shoots I have taken.

There is a consistency of monochrome tones and grainy, heavy contrasted images. Throughout my project I have looked at documentary photographers such as Larry Clark and Jacob Sobol, and upon reviewing their work i have grown a love for their styles. They have influenced the way i photographed for different shoots in this project, and I adopted this grainy, monochrome typical documentary style into a realistic representation of my teenage life as an A level student in Jersey.

I really like the brightness of the background contrasting with the deep dark tones of the foreground in this photo. The way the cars elongate out the side of the photo and merge into the silhouette of the person create an interesting trail for viewers eyes to follow. I brought up the whites to define to silhouette of the person even further, create a sharp contrast. I think the composition of this image is very interesting as the silhouette aspects almost looks like a flat shape on top of the photo. The photo has good depth as it stretches from the car frames at the very foreground  to the building in the background.

I really like this Image as it has captured a whole part of the room along with my friend Rick at the side, whom is seemingly under a cross of the rule of thirds. His expression is interesting as he is pulling back his coat. The lighting on the bed is interesting as it is lighter then the rest of the image which its noticeably more grey, including Ricky.

This image has a very interesting composition. It allows us to catch Miguel in the background light against the wall, yet has deep textural contrasts throughout the depth of the photo. I think this image is well composed as Ricky is leaning toward the edge of the frame lining up with the rule of thirds, and the other space is occupied by the dark looking wall with Miguel sat against it.

I love the image above shows a fairly abstract experimental photo from a shoot in my project. I used flash and took a close up from behind my friends shoulder, capturing the side of his head in an interesting composition. I edited the image by bringing down the black tones as much as possible, and bringing up the whites slightly overall making up the photo with just the highlights of his head. This gives a very abstract, mysterious feel to the image, showing interesting subtle tones and shapes.

This is one of my favourite images from the project. After my friend smoked a tobacco pipe I decided to take a close up image of his face as he blowing out the smoke. I used flash when doing this, and the outcome was a cloud of smoke completely blocking out his face. I edited it to make the darks extremely dark, and the lights fairly light to really make the smoke stand out from the shadows. The texture of the smoke itself is very interesting as the flash has capture different layers in front of each other, overall producing a very 3 dimensional cloud.

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I really like this image for several reasons. The chiaroscuro made by focusing the flash on the roof extends the depth of the image greatly, as the light slowly fades off the roof beams as the room gets deeper. The roof beams themselves look very interesting also due to their repetition, and the breaks of shadows in between distinguishing them as they go on and on.

This is my favourite portrait overall from this project. I think this because of how it is composed well, capturing an array of texture with the focal point being my friend Ricky. His expression is content and he has quite a strong posture with his legs wide and hands together. The simplicity of his clothing looks interesting over the business of the textures in the sofa and on the desk. The lighting in this image is very interesting as I used flash along with the lighting from the lights in the bedroom, create heavy chiaroscuro.

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In this image I captured and interesting expression of excitement using flash, which lit up the shoe brightly causing it to stand out. Zac bought these shoes as a birthday present for his girlfriend. The grainy monochrome not only fits in with the style of my project but also suits the setting of what is happening, that being the fact it was taken as soon as he has woken up, whilst he is still tired and groggy.

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This image is strong mainly for its composition. I love the way the walls and bannister in the foreground almost symmetrically shoot in towards Zac and the darkness emerging from behind him. I used flash again to highlight Zac in this narrow corridor, along with highlighting his cup of tea which stands out against the slightly darker tones of his skin. The composition of this photo is very aesthetically pleasing, as the arch is surrounding Zac almost perfectly despite this being shot fairly quickly as he was walking up the stairs. The depth created by the darkness behind Zac in contrast to the foreground really spreads out the image and makes us feel almost as though we are in front of him.

Photobook Design

Here is a link to my photobook, The Getaway

I need to look closely at how I am going to lay out my photo book. The order of the images is important as the book needs to flow, almost the same way a story does. I need to find similar groups of images and order them carefully one by one so the book feels as if it has a narrative.

I started with a small, shadow filled image of my face as the book is about my teenage life with friends. I followed this by a double sided silhouette of a friend in the school car park leaning up against a car. I wanted to start the book of with images based around friends and our utilisation of cars.

These next pages were organised to follow the theme around cars, starting with another image of friends in the school car park between lessons, leading to images in cars at night time. I tried to get a nice balance of image size, and I layed out the images accordingly depending of the subject of them and how they are composed. For example, the images below were arranged like this due to their similarity. I wanted to add both pictures instead of one as they are both interesting portraits of my friend Ben. 

With the images above I slowly moved the theme from these images based travelling in cars towards time spent with my girlfriend. I broke up the flow of car pictures with a large picture of the christmas tree in my girlfriends house with our friends bags and belongings below it. I followed this by two portraits which i arranged with one high up on one page and the other lower down on the other page. I did this because of the angle I was sitting at in the room, and by doing this it made a fitting correspondence between the portraits.

I focusing on my girlfriend by placing a large double paged picture of her lying on my bed with the LED light in my room focusing on her head and arms. Because of the way the lighting is focusing on her I though I’d place that large image in the book this way to move the story along.

Above is my favorite page composition of images in the book. I wanted to add in a group of  small, intimate, close up images when focusing of this part of the photobook’s story. Therefore, I arrange some close ups in the order seen above. It has a good sense of symmetry in the aesthetics of the page as well as the reality of the images themselves.  I made it so if there is a small picturing focusing on me, the picture on the opposite side would be of Jasmine.

I then moved the narrative more towards one of my friends Zac. I focused the story on Zac and his home by putting in an interesting, grainy photo of his lounge on a double page spread. Below you can see I continued this part of the story by adding in images of him making a cup of tea. Unlike the other images, I added in a double page spread of a more abstract black and white image involving subtle light painting. I did this to help move the story onto a more lively theme involving friends hanging out at Zacs house. The following images are arranged focusing on different friends and using similar page designs as previous pages to continue the flow of the book.

 

Final Photo Displays

I have created 4 displays of my images for my personal investigation. I have created a simply foam board mount for my tableaux image, a 3 piece article mounted on foam board to be displayed in the correct order, a collection of images on a large piece of white board to create a story and finally a 3 image window mount for my ID cards.

This was a very simple mount because it is not one of my best images as i believe that the tableaux topic was not one of my strongest topics. The image was very dark which meant a window mount would not work so foam board was the best option. I then tried to place it on a white background but this did not work also. This is the worst final i have produced as the quality of the image itself it poor as i struggled getting a good image. Also the light in which i took this image of my final was not good which is why it seems worse than it is. This was the only final that i got printed for my tableaux because i do not think it is very good. Overall, i think this image is disappointing compared to my personal study finals as it is not very well composed and the light is wrong. I think i did not succeed on this topic because i do not like being restricted to one painting as i do not get my inspiration for my work from other artists.

This was the article i wrote for my personal study on St Saviours Hospital, this has turned into my picture story section for my personal investigation because i wrote a news article on the Three Asylum Monster for my personal study and i used images from my studio shoot, an image taken by Tom Killick of the inside of the building and a photo of the outside taken by me. To mount these, I have simply put them on white foam board and added Velcro onto the back so that they can be displayed along side each other in the correct order. I have printed them in A3 so that all the writing can be read and the whole story is based around some ID cards i made and i used some of the details from that as my inspiration to write this story. I also added extra value to my book making it much more interesting because it is a fake story which appears real. My first idea for these images was to do a large horizontal or vertical window mount but this would of been too difficult with 3 A3 images. There wasn’t any paper big enough plus i think it is easy to read them if they are on separate pieces of foam board.

This is my large display as it is a combination of 9 images which are all from my personal study, i have mounted them on a large piece of foam board and i have centered the images around what they wanted St Saviours to look like before it was built. It is a grand painting which is why it is in the middle of the board. The rest of the images are a combination of my photos, Tom Killick’s, Archive photos and the front page of my news article. This is the best piece which i think i have made as it is well organised, the spacing between the images and they tell a story. One of the most important photos is the one which has the title of my book which is why i think it is a good display as it combines many of the important features in my book.

This is my final display, i made a window mount of my 3 ID cards which i created used studio portraits, a Microsoft publisher template which i made, small passport size photos and two pieces of paper. I put them in a window mount because they are a very important part of my work as it makes it much more personal because i have created a whole story around my 3 models. I created the window mount used a black board and to create the white boards, i stuck the images to white cardboard paper and then sellotaped them to the back. This took many attempts to try get them central but they are not perfectly straight.

Book Layout

I have made a book which is called Handle With Care, it is about the history of St Saviours hospital from when it first opened in 1869 to when it closed. The layout of the book starts from the outside, goes inside then, then you meet 3 patients, it stays inside then it goes outside again to finish the book. My book is 108 pages and it has a combination of text, double page spreads and single image pages. My book is split into two parts of Archival material which was the basis of my work which i went a collected and photographed then next part is of my own images which i made of the outside of the abandoned building.

The building is now abandoned and it often broken into and whilst i was investigating St Saviours or Jersey Lunatic Asylum, youths broke it and destroyed the archive and it was also the victim of an arson. This is why there are plans for it to be boarded up as it is a listed buildings and needs to be protected.

My book took around 10/15 hours to create and my essay took 1 hour to write. My essay is a combination of my archival knowledge of St Saviours, information from an interview i conducted with a former nurse of St Saviours. I also used information from internet sources on Bedlam and how conditions were in the 1800s and compared them to St Saviours. I used images to illustrate my ideas and added my opinions as i have many on this subject. My essay was 1719 words.

The front and back cover of my book is an archived oil painting which is so large that it was scanned into the computers at Jersey Archive as they refused to get it out. This is what the architects wanted the building to look like but they did not have sufficient funds to great it and the Queen’s farm was not large enough for such a building.  This was one of the original oil painting from 1868 and it is now in preservation. I chose this as my front and back cover cause i think it gives a good idea of what the architects were thinking back in 1868, it starts the project off nicely. I left two blank pages so that the book looked neat and uncluttered. My book starts off with a translated text from a paragraph in the first case book from 1870. It was written in french and i translated it as closely as possible to English. After this i have a double page of another oil painting of the real St Saviours and what it actually looks like now. This was done after St Saviours was built and it is a good introduction to my book as it shows a different way of portraying the building rather than just in a simple photo. It also shows how they documented construction of buildings before photos were made. The next double page is a photo which i have taken of the entrance to St Saviours from behind a bush which separates the field at the front and the entrance to the swimming pool. It was changed into black and white because it makes the photos look a lot more dramatic and it matches with the old building and all it’s history. After this is an image which i took of commemorative bench with the Name Eva Wishart written on it as it was placed there by her husband Dr. Wishart as when he died, he invested all his money into creating the Wishart Gardens. Next to it is an image of a fake flower dying, it did this as they are both linked to death as images which are placed next to each other have a hidden link which isn’t always obvious. The final double page spread is a photo which i have taken of the whole building, the original image has watermarks on it but i photo shopped the image so that it looked clear. This section is primarily based on the outside of St Saviours apart from the image of the dying flower which was inside but it linked so well with the other image. Oil paintings, drawing, blue prints and plans will all be double pages are they are very important as they are the start of St Saviours history.

The first image of this section is of a plan of the swimming pool changing rooms, as gender segregation was very big at this point in time so it was essential that men and women were separated in the swimming pool as well. This map was drawn in February 1891 and was approved on the 12 july 1891. The next image is of a shipping container which they often used to ship vegetables and other products to and from Romania but it has not been in use since St Saviours closed down. After this is a note written by a Mr Nicholas who wished to remove his son from the asylum on the 8th august 1885. The next image is of an fresh air and pipe channels in the walls, i chose this image because it looks like a drawing of stairs which is why i placed it next to the stairs which lead down to the Wishart Gardens. The next plan is of the nurses home, i zoomed in on this plan because the door/gate looks very similar to the one which is covered by vines now and like i said i want all single images to be placed next to one which links with it in some way. After is a plan of a psycho-geriatric ward which they wanted to build so that the elderly patients could be separated from the others as they were often there permanently till they passed away. This image is more of a sketch of what they wanted it to look like rather than a plan, there idea was to have buildings which look similar to houses with courtyards outside but the space of Queen’s farm did not allow them to do so. Next to it is an image which i took of the workshops which were most likely built on the land they wanted to build the Psycho-Geriatric wards but as they were too large they built these. The workshops were very useless for mentally ill patients as it gave them a consistent routine all through the week and they often made things like tables and chairs for furniture shops. This allowed them to have some sort of normal life as back then when an individual was admitted, they would most likely be there until they pass away as they would not be accepted back in society, because they were considered contagious. The double page spread is a plan of the proposed Jersey Lunatic Asylum on Queen’s farm land. It can clearly seen that the asylum was split in two with males on one side and females on the other. This was considered standard practice when St Saviours was open and it only got removed in the 1980s which was 5 years after the UK. I put another double page spread which links with the other as it has the plaque which  says Queen’s House which is named after the land it was built on. After this is the original blue print was on the left wing of the proposed St Saviours building, i placed this next to an image i took because they create the same shape as the building name when placed together which i thought was a really interesting feature to be placed in my book. Finally the last image was taken from behind the building which had a stretch of road which went all the way round so people could access the back from any direction of the building. At the back, there was more workshops for patients to use and also in this image you can see a part of the building which is not the same brick work and this is because it was built in the 1970s as it is a lift for patients living on the top floor because before this, elderly patients living on the top floor and who could not get downstairs would spend the rest of their time up there if they could not be carried down the stairs.

The first image is of a newspaper article which says “Modern attitudes towards mental illness” i think this is very interesting as it talks about the divide between the mentally ill and normal people, it also takes about a new approach which they use a combination of the right drugs and physical treatment. The image next to it, is a recent news article which was published after there had been an Arson at St Saviours and now Jersey are planning on boarding up all windows to protect what is left. This links with the other news article because i think it ironic that one talks about modern attitudes and the other talks about boarding up windows. The next two images are simply the covers of the first and second case books which contained reports from many different medical superintendents such as Dr. Wishart and J.Jackson. These were the only ones i could get access to as they are not available for public access until 100 years later. The next small image is one which i took as i think a single chair can be very symbolic and mean many different things to people which is why i put it next to RIP boxes as the empty chair could be symbolic of those who have left the world. The double page spread was taken from a photographer called Tom Killick as i was not able to get access to the inside of building which would of been perfect but i selected 14 images of his which were representative of the inside of St Saviours. This image is of a modern patient bedroom which is completely bare and just abandoned as it was. All the rooms seemed to have a very medical feel but they tried to combat this with bright colours such as yellow which often represents happy and it is a warm colour. The image of the single flower stem was taken by me and it is fake. It this as i think it represents the abandonment of the building and how everything has been left as it is and nothing has been moved as you can clearly see the broken glass and the dust around it. The image next to it was also taken by me and i put it next to this image because this window was broken and I think the glass in the first image could be the glass from the broken window (it isn’t). The news article is a snippet of a large article on what it is like to live at St Saviours. Next to this image is a photo which i have taken of the locked doors to the swimming pool, i put this next to the news article as i think it links because of how St Saviours was mostly a prison for the mentally ill as they never came out. The next two images are archived photos taken by a journalist of a patient bedroom and the nurses lounge. I left a blank page between the old images as the two new ones which were taken by Tom Killick which were of a patient bedroom and a double page spread of a hall which is above the main entrance.

I left a blank page between the beginning of the main part of my book to illustrate it’s importance. The first image is an archived scanned photo of a German occupation ID card in which they were admitted into St Saviours. These were the only ones available as all other ID cards were not available for public viewing for 100 years. I then created a set of 3 images in which i got my models to sent in a photo of their faces and shoulders for me to Photoshop a rejected sign onto them. This was to represent the process which happened during the German occupation in which people had the chance to send in their own photos but if they were not approved which was quite often, a photographer would take their photos. Only one photographer called Scott was allowed to photograph for ID cards. I wrote a paragraph on the patients and why their photos were rejected. The image which closes this section off is another image of an ID card from the German occupation. After this is the ID cards which I created to replicate the archival ones. They had a double page spread each as they were the biggest component of my book including the news article i wrote, i got my models to create fake names, ages and locations for these and i sewed on the photos myself onto printed out ID Cards. I then photographed them and added a vintage filter to make them look much older.  I wrote a small background story which explained the context of the article and why it was written. I created a 3 page article on the Three Asylum Monsters which were my models are i created back stories and events which occurred during the time they were at the asylum and i used photos from my studio shoot to illustrate the stories. The article makes references to dates and has stories told by nurses.

The text at the bottom of the page just gives more context to the article and what happened after it was written. I wrote this all myself. The double page spread is of a box which says Handle With Care which is the title of my book which is why i have turned it into a double page spread. The next image was taken by Tom Killick of  one of the wards inside St Saviours, as you can see it is all colourful but it still has a medical feeling to it. The image next to it was taken by me and it is linked to the previous image because of the window creating a frame and the door in Tom’s image creating a frame for the corridor. My image was taken from outside the building through a shattered window pane and the room that is in the photo is the training room for nurses and doctors. The image with the cupboard door with writing on it was taken by Tom and it says “PLEASE Do Not Block This Door otherwise i’ll smash your face in!! Zorro The Fox” and this was placed next to another image of Tom’s of a real drawing which was done on a bedroom wall. I put them together as they are both inside the building, both taken by Tom and they are both unusual. The next image is of a plan of the basement under the western wing, this is an original blue print drawing before the building was constructed. The image which is linked with it is another photo by Tom of the eastern wing and the stairs leading up to the next floor. Patient beds can be seen clumped together at the end of the corridor. I put these photos together as they are completely opposite because of image is a plan of the western wing and the other is the corridor of the east wing. The next to images were taken by me and they are of the inside of the building viewed through windows. The first image could potentially be a former kitchen or lounge as it has bathrooms and bedrooms leading of it. The second photo was taken through a intact window for once and it is of the window ledge with coffee cups left on it most likely from builders and they have no bothered to clear it up showing how completely abandoned it is. After this is another image taken by me and it is of the training room again from outside but it is from a different angle and we can see more of the room. I chose to place it next to the image taken by Tom of the cluster of patient beds as they both are messy which is why i put them together. The image of a door blocked by a pane of wood and hidden by a bush was actually flipped so that it would match the bush of the second image which was also taken by me of the mortuary. This was the first mortuary in Jersey and it was constantly full. The next two images were linked together because they both contain metal fencing which is a very simple link but it works really well.

The double page spread is of a proposed plan for the eastern wing of the asylum. It is split into 3 parts and there are 3 floors to the building. I then left a blank page to split up the book a bit as i didn’t want it to look to clustered. The image that follows was a photo taken by me of the pool which is now locked and i wish i could of got inside as it would be really interesting to see what it looks like. The next image was taken by me and it is a door bell with a sign which says “please ring bell before entering” the words after this as too faded to read. I then related this image to a photo of another entrance to the building which was covered in pigeons before i walked up. This was a wheelchair access door as the front entrance did not have a ramp. The next image is of a close up plan of the swimming pool changing rooms which are divided into males and females. this is written in bold in the center of the plan. The next image is of the pool building from behind including St Saviours. This area would of had the generator and other pumps to keep the pool clean. After this is a photo of a window of a workshop with a keep clear sign and a pole which is part of scaffolding. This is the least favourite image of my book as i do not think it is good quality. The image next to it is of side stairs leading up to the first floor but these stairs have a dark past as some patients have jumped off them before in attempted suicide, only one succeeded. The next two images are of the front entrance, one a drawing which was done after it was built which is why it looks similar to the photo i have taken of it’s most recent appearance. The final image is a zoomed in photo of the box which says Handle With Care which is the title of my book and this image was my inspiration for my title.

I have added in my essay to the end of the book which includes an archived image of a patient bedroom, a modern bedroom taken by Tom Killick, One ID card which i created, and two images which i got online one taken by Roger Ballen called Death Bed and the other of a drawing of a patient chained up in Bedlam.