For my photo-book I have decided to base it around culture as I felt that this name is more effective than wealth and power as there’s a variety of cultures within the communities which have significant impacts on how the power and wealth people have has a varying impact on the overall community.

I personally feel that my book will look at its best if I use a hard cover and matte paper as this may make the photographs look vibrant. Additionally I also feel that the way in which I have laid out the photographs clearly show the different cultures as well as the effects that the power and wealth have on people in days to days life.

Overall I feel that I have successfully achieved what I wanted with this photograph and the topic around it this is due to the fact that each photo can be interpreted in multiple ways. Furthermore I also feel that each of my photographs have meaning behind them as the different people within some of my pictures all follow different cultures as well as having different levels of wealth and power.

final prints

for my final prints I have decided to structure together 6 different framing styles. I have chosen to include images from my seascape topic and my past abstract topic.

For my first photos to be mounted i decided to use two plain pieces of white foam board. I connected them together with spare pieces of foam board taped over both parts. I wanted to create a simple and clean photo board so i lined up and measured the gap space between photos to match each other to look neat. i roughly placed images with either similar or contrasting colours between the two.

My second board I decided to mount the black and white abstract images. These 4 images are grouped together to replicate a life of repetition and dullness in an abstract approach. So to make this message more clear to viewers I have decided to print out the same image twice but in A3 and A5. I started off with bordering the A3 images with black card and the A5 images with cut to size white foam board. I placed the smaller images on top of the bigger ones to create an illusion of the same scene happening over and over again. Finally I stuck together two white foam boards vertically and placed the images in a sequence of creating a spiral effect in the middle, looking like a square. I trimmed the edges for a clean looking cut.

for my next prints i chose a black card background to work from using my colourful abstract plastic bag images. These images tie well together with my seascape images as some photos can look and replicate waves. I mounted my A5 images onto white foam board and cut to size. Then arranged them to colour co-ordinated and a pattern I liked then glued them onto the small black background. Another square shape was created in the centre of the board with the measurements between the images being the same.

A different approach to mounting up, I decided to use a glass white photo frame with a black boarder to hold my (sea/plastic) image. This was a simple process of sliding my A3 image through the back of the frame.

My next group of final images I decided to frame each image with a black boarder as all were black and white. These images represent abstract repetition with a subtle but strong contrast between black and white. I yet again chose two vertical images and two horizontal images to place together and measured to create a square within the middle. Finally I mounted up the images into a singular piece of white foam board.

For my final board I decided to include a range of styles to create a interesting and eye catching outcome for my chosen images. These images work well together as for the contrast and tonal balance between colours. I chose 4 x A5 images from a seascape photoshoot and one A3 image. I included 2 window frames diagonally across from each other for 2 x A5 images. Then for the remaining 2 x A5 images I cut to size white foam backing and then arranged all images around the boarded pineapple onto a black card backing then cute to fit onto a white boarder.

Final film

New Normal:

This is the link to our final video, New Normal.

This film was created to emphasize the fact that everyone can wear what they want, when they want. We have added voice acting and music in the background of the video. We did this so that the video’s message was fully understood and conveyed.

The background of the video highlights the fact that color is often gender stereotyped. However, the white color emphasizes the fact that the clothing should be neutral, which is why we’ve got a male model wearing a skirt.

Voiceover aims to further emphasize that people should be themselves and that no one’s opinions should affect how they feel about themselves or prevent them from expressing themselves. The voice acting is masculine because many people judge men dressed as more feminine and call them hateful terms. Fashion stereotypes can be harmful to a person’s mental health. Men are often seen as strong, emotionless and closed-minded. Usually, if men don’t act this way, they are seen as weak and fragile. The most common derogatory names given to men who do not have the idea of ​​masculinity in the media are called “bloc”, “gay” or “considerate”. Although these words are not generally used to be offensive; The media has made these common words rude and if someone is called that, they are not good enough.

Although we have focused on men’s perspectives in our project, this does not mean that this topic does not apply to women. Women have been called “sluts”, “tramps” or even “slaves”. The media judge women for their clothing length and appearance (e.g., makeup) and label them as seen by younger audiences, susceptible to media influence and their opinions more, and will come up with ideas about What they “should” wear when they can wear what they want without fear of someone telling them they don’t look normal.

The media is the worst thing to read if you want to feel good about yourself. The media is constantly focusing on the topic of fixing yourself or making yourself look like the most famous person (usually wearing hair and makeup, and possibly plastic surgery). The media point out the “flaws” of celebrities, then influence the minds of the readers into what they consider an acceptable way of dressing and dressing.


We asked ourt model to wear different outfits for the film:

  1. Normal clothes
  2. Baggy sweatshirt with jeans ( masculine)
  3. Dress
  4. Crop top alongside jeans

Screenshots from film footage

At this point of the short film, our model is dressed like this at the start. This is because we want our model to be perceived as serious and having a strong physical presence. Furthermore, this had our model juxtapose to also being feminine later on in the short film, having the two contrast against each other physically and in the clothing worn in later in the short film.

When this is edited, the green screen will be blue at this stage. The reasoning behind this is to portray the colour blue being associated with the male gender. As even when a male baby is born the only colour to portray a male baby is blue.

Pose 2

The second pose was used to slightly contrast between the poses displayed with the 1st and 3rd poses. From what you can see, the model is a lot more relaxed and not as tense as the first pose. Therefore this goes to show how in recent years gender stereotypes have changed from the past. As in both genders can now can be whoever they want to be without being judged by society. Furthermore, both genders can even swap roles as this is expected in our society today as people may feel like they were born the wrong gender.

Pose 3/4

As you can see from poses 3(dress)/4(red and black top), we had our model in more feminine and fluent poses. In addition, we had our model wear feminine clothes.

Overall, the reasoning behind having our model in these poses is because we wanted it to contrast from the masculine poses earlier displayed in the short film. In the short film you see flickers of pose 4 from the masculine pose. This was to show the juxtaposition of the stereotypes behind the male gender on being able to be free and wear/ be whatever and whoever you choose to be. As for pose 3, this was displayed at the end of the short film with our model doing different poses in the outfit of pose 3. Furthermore, we had our model do feminine poses with a smile on his face. This was to show how both genders should be able to be comfortable in being whoever they want to be even if it means wearing feminine clothes as a male and vise versa. In recent years we see things such as pride month which is amazing as people get to express their feelings without embarrassment. Also, society gets the education of not judging these people.

Images of final film

Mario Testino is a famous fashion photographer who has been nicknamed “[the] godfather of fashion photography”. He has had a very close relationship with the fashion magazine VOGUE, and He has photographed celebrities such as Kate Moss, Oprah, Serena Williams and also the late Prince of Wales with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Cambridge.,wear%20and%20how%20they%20look.

Above is a link to a photography project Mario Testino done on how “Men have changed”.

Edited Images shoot 1

These first set of images displayed above is mean to portray the over exaggeration of what the stereotypical man is mean to look like. As you can see the images show a physical presence to them as the model is pointing directly to the camera. Also, the model appears to be tense in most of the images which portrays the masculine aspect to the images.

Furthermore, we added pink to some of this masculine set images in order to show juxtaposition form the colour pink being feminine alongside the poses being masculine. The outcome of this was to display that the male gender can be associated with the colour pink. Furthermore, how old stereotypes don’t have to be associated with today’s society. Meaning we can move on from old stereotypes and people can be comfortable within the genders.

Final/ favourite image

These are my favorite images because they remind me of Uncle Sammy’s propaganda that was used to call people to join the United States Army during World War I.

This is a powerful pose as it gives the viewer the impression that the model is observing and pointing at them. It shows that this problem needs to be fixed and that we need to stop expecting people to be like this or act a certain way.

Images are in black and white to represent outdated ideas that many have received from the media. The media has been the main thing for generations. The media generates opinions and many readers are influenced by what is said.

Black and white can also represent a metaphorical prison. This shows that the model is stuck in a society in which he feels out of place.

Edited images shoot 2


she used a quick Shutter speed in attempt to capture as much of the model’s movement as possible. The quick shutter speed allowed her to get a lot of images that looked similar so that she could get a range of images for the same pose and then choose the sharpest image.

To edit the images, she went onto Lightroom and changed the exposure, as the images were initially very bright, she then went and changed the levels of white and black in the image, once she had done that, she was able to change them to black and white. She kept the shadows quite prominent to highlight the fact that her model could be influencing others to express themselves and to not feel embarrassed.


Men can wear whatever they want without fear of being judged. She asked the model to do this shoot because she knew he would be confident throughout the shoot. This is important to her because she don’t want to create a specially chosen photo session to depict people feeling good about themselves, when my model feels awkward, etc.

She separated black and white photos from the colour photos to emphasize that people are always two-faced.

Favourite Image


To capture these images, she used two solid white lights to cast shadows on the background. She liked that the lamp creates two shadows. She believed it represents the fact that everyone has personalities that we hide. It concerns Novella, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson writes about how a very respectable Dr. Jekyll doesn’t always want to be what everyone sees. This is where Mr. Hyde comes in, Hyde is the evil faction of Jekyll, he does all the things that if Jekyll were seen doing them, he wouldn’t be seen again.

She edited this image in Lightroom. She increased the black level in the photo as the light created a slight sheen on the dress. It also makes the safety pins holding the shirt together more visible.

She used a fast shutter speed to try to capture most of the movement of the model made. The image she chose has a bit of a blur around the arms; However, she felt it works well with the rest of the image. The fuzzy arm helps highlight the change in people’s perspective and the fact that more and more people are starting to accept other people for who they are.


This is my favorite image because the model accidentally copied the iconic pose adopted by Freddie Mercury. Freddie Mercury doesn’t care what people think of him, that’s why I think this image is a success because our shoot was done to show that people shouldn’t care what others think about him. their appearance.

The fact that black-and-white images may show some people have very old-fashioned beliefs, such as the belief that people should limit themselves to one style of dress. The black-and-white image also depicts the model’s fear of speaking out about being trapped in a male stereotype, which is often portrayed as strong, emotionless and the backbone of her family.

The two tones of the shirt show that there is never just one explanation for something. You can always find another way if you really need it. The fact that the black and white images are rather ironic because we are a group shows that nothing in this world is truly black and white.

Personal Investigation – Presenting Final Images


I first began by creating two virtual galleries after completing my ‘Identity Coursework Personal Investigation’, I wanted to experiment with using photoshop to see how my printed images may look when mounted up. I started by taking three images from my Robert Darch inspired shoot and exploring how different layout options may tell different narratives. I wanted there to be a synchronicity between images, as if they follow after each other in a similar location – possibly all taken in the same place but representing the different emotions of anxiety. I experimented with the sizes of each image also, seeing how when I changed the layout so one image was bigger than the other it created a contrasting atmosphere. Nevertheless, the image below is a final display of my first virtual gallery, where I decided to keep a synchronized and cohesive design which fit with the classic style of imagery, a symmetrical layout suited the images best. This was also the decision I came to when exploring my imagery from my Pictorialism/Josef Sudek inspired shoot, where I created a display using the same gallery format to compare how the different techniques of photography created a different mood when presented in the same setting. I think that when mounting up my final prints for this project I will explore a smaller size and layout of my Pictorialism images due to their delicacy and fragility, the images come across as soft and light, so I believe using a more compact layout will contrast the boldness of the Robert Darch imagery well.

Gallery 1:

Gallery 2:

Final Personal Investigation Prints:

Sequence One: After creating and ordering my photobook I made a selection of my final images that I wanted to be printed for display. I planned on printing a range of A3 A4 and A5 sized photos that I could set out in sequences and narratives. I first planned how I wanted to set out some A3 prints; I knew I wanted to use my Robert Darch inspired imagery for my largest prints due to the amount of detail within them, therefore I decided to print four photos that each held different moods and atmospheres from this shoot. The first image was inspired by Darch’s photographic techniques of capturing the warmth and comfort of a surrounding that may otherwise be seen as unnerving, yet it also holds a link to Pictorialism with its soft blurred focus. I wanted to include this image as a contrast to the others, but also as a reminder of this idea of ‘seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses’ that features in the images to come – the perfect world that just doesn’t quite seem real. The other three images are sharply focused, holding small details from reflections and providing an atmosphere of escape and adventure – for me, this sequence is an introduction to ‘Wonderland’ in the way it hints at the anxiety to come, without giving away the completed book’s full narrative. I decided to mount up these images using foam board to create a 3D frame effect, first sticking my image on a piece and using Stanley knife to cut it out, and then sticking this piece on to a larger foam board rectangle which created this frame effect. When I display my images I hope to have them stuck on the wall one after the other, leaving a small amount of space between each one to separate them and keep this theme of a clean look.

Sequence Two: For my second sequence I wanted to create a display of the more ‘nightmare’ style images, having the idea to create a triptych of mirrors and clocks to introduce the idea of ‘anxiety creeping into Wonderland’. I began by choosing three images in an A5 format to print and experiment with, I then played around with the order of images and the layout, deciding to begin with the darkest image. I liked this layout due to its subtle hints towards hope, like a light at the end of a tunnel, with each image holding circular compositions that seem to lead into another world. The first image conveys clouded vision, seeing only part of a solution or problem that has been clouded over by anxiety and worry. The second is what can be seen once that fog has faded, what lies beyond the fear and doubt when we can see clearly into the future. The final part of the triptych is an image of a clock with the reflection of a candle on it, there is a dark blue hue which gets interrupted by the orange candle flame, hinting towards a brighter future or a flicker of hope in the distance. I wanted to print these images smaller than the others due to their boldness and vibrancy, I think that having this pop of true fantasy and this break from reality helps to convey a sense of fluidity between my other sequences, as if they are all somehow linked through the world they are set in. I mounted up this triptych using a long thin strip of foam board as the backing with my images also on foam board so they stuck out from the background. I really like this way of displaying photographs as I believe it gives the impression of a frame, but also allows for artistic expression as we can measure and decide how big or small, what size and orientation we want the frame to be.

Sequence Three: My third sequence is the combination of a singular mounted image with a diptych juxtaposition layout. I wanted to create a separated narrative that holds themes of nature, growth and evolving – allowing me to experiment with how I wanted to display each theme. The sequence begins with a singular display of one of my Pictorialism inspired images, a flower growing over a pond surrounded by the natural environment. Next I wanted to layout a juxtaposition between nature, nature left untouched compared to nature in an unnatural environment – nevertheless I also recognised the juxtaposing ideas between how colder colours would go with the ‘unnatural’ and warmer with the ‘natural’, which is of course not how I edited these photos. I really loved how these ideas contrasted each other and each image, I want the truth to lie in the message of nature in the ‘unnatural’ environment is used to adapting to change, it is able to still thrive after being cut down (holding links to my struggles with anxiety and picking myself back up again etc). The juxtaposition is not necessarily about cold and warm, or sad and happy, but more to do with the change in mood between letting go and continuing to grow. I plan to present these three prints next to each other on the wall due to their similarities in colour, theme, subject and message – there is a softness and innocence that is disrupted by coldness which I believe to be ambiguous in meaning and observing. I mounted these images onto 3D foam board and experimented with whether the diptych should be presented on a landscape or portrait strip – due to my second sequence being on a landscape strip I decided to contrast it with this portrait orientation, also allowing me to set my images out in a cleaner shape.

Sequence Four: I have named my final sequence ‘A Window into Childhood’, having the idea to present four images in a rectangular sequence depicting childhood nightmares and fears. I chose to print these four images in A4 size to set them out on one of the larger pieces of foamboard, again I wanted to use the technique of sticking each image on foamboard before onto the background piece to create a 3D effect like the images are jumping off of the page. I believe this layout and technique worked well when presenting these images as the nightmare-style imagery contrasts the Pictorialism images so much it is useful for a clean and ordered layout to not distract from the chaos on each page. I started by laying out my dark blue images in each corner of the board to set out how I wanted the disruption to occur, next I chose two soft focus images that had connotations of childhood and calmness to juxtapose these images from above, below and on either side. Altogether I wanted to create contrasting ideas of the reality of childhood, anxiety was not a constant state I was in, it fluctuated between strong and weak and it was never something I knew was anxiety at the time. The nightmares are clouded with over-exposed highlights coming from the Pictorialism images and ideas of truth vs manipulation are created – there is a sort of comfort in knowing the extent of how anxiety is effecting the images, it disappears and reappears but it is never constant. I wanted to create a window-type layout as if the observer were looking into the past, nature can seem so different in the light and in the dark, I wanted to create an atmosphere of safety and fear opposing each other so strongly that it seemed unreal – questions as to whether childhood fears were all in our head or actually haunting us daily.

Final Prints – Previous Projects:

The presentation of my previous final prints was important to me as I wanted to create themed responses that related to the project’s themselves. For example the outcomes from my abstract unit, where I captured close ups of flowers and the natural environment, had quite a classic format and style – the black and white filter created a vintage atmosphere around the images. Therefore, when deciding how I wanted to mount up these final prints I experimented with how either a black or white background would make the images stand out – the black background was a similar tone the the darkness surrounding the subjects of each image, so using white foamboard was the obvious choice to create the best effect behind the prints. I explored how making some images more 3D with extra foamboard would contrast others that were flatter, however due to their symmetry and composition I made the final decision to keep every image the same distance of foamboard away from the background. I really like how the black and white of the foamboard frame to the shadows in the images contrast each other, the sharp edges create a triptych with a classic and original style. From my portrait project I chose 3 images that were captured during my experiments with chiaroscuro lighting, I believe they show photographic skill without the need for heavy editing or manipulation. I mounted the first diptych on several pieces of foamboard to create a 3D effect as it complimented the style of photography used and allowed both images to stand out against the bold white. The final image from my portrait project had a mysterious atmosphere surrounding it, I knew I wanted to experiment with creating a window mount for this image so after measuring it and deciding how much boarder I wanted around the image I created this final display. During my abstract unit I also studied the work of Saul Leiter, responding to his images capturing raindrops and experimenting with soft focus and blur. My final two print sequences are mounted on black boards due to their dark surroundings and mysterious atmospheres – I wanted to try and create a window mount display of my ‘umbrella’ images, sequencing the photos in an abstract narrative and using this classic mounting technique to reflect their style. Overall I am extremely happy with my final prints from each project, there is a range of technique and style that shows my strengths and best outcomes throughout the course – altogether I think the mounting up and framing of each image reflects its style and atmosphere successfully.

Identity & Community Newspaper Reflection

Being apart of this project is an amazing experience and has developed my photography extensively. This project has inspired top quality work and brought together a group of likeminded photographers who are presented to the public in Jerseys biggest newspaper. This allowed for my ability to connect with the subject I am photographing to be developed significantly as well as learning a lot about a communities and being able to present that in an artistic fashion.

Here is an example of this connection I was able to develop with my subjects in order to capture their identity.

And an example of how I exhibited the community I was in alongside a peer to display the theme in an aesthetically accurate manner.

I was also able to learn and experiment with modern real world climates and contexts through photography. For example this is a montage of screenshots from a group project where we explored the theme of the metaverse and modern technologies such as NFT’s.

Overall it was a highly beneficial project and it gave me a reason to continue being excited about practicing photography.


The images seen on the pages of this newspaper supplement are extracted from a variety of projects and final outcomes produced over a two-year academic programme of study by a group of A-Level photography students at Hautlieu School. In their final year the themes of Identity and Community offered a specific focus and through a series of creative challenges students developed a body of work that were inspired, partly from visiting heritage institutions to learn about aspects of Jersey’s unique history of immigration and exploring migrant communities and neighbourhoods in St Helier in a series of photo-walks. In the classroom additional inspiration was provided from workshops on NFTs (non-fungible token) and digital art, embroidery and textile art, animation and film-making, zine and photobook design led by professional artists, designers and teachers.

As part of the research and contextual studies students were asked to engage with some of the key questions raised by the Government of Jersey’s Island Identity project and explore through their own photographic studies how they interpret and identify distinctive qualities of island life. What can we learn from looking at a set of photographs produced by young islanders? At first sight they show us a seemingly random set of images of places, people and objects – some familiar, others surprising. On closer inspection each image is a visual sign and also a conundrum. For example, a fish stuffed in a plastic bottle may ask us to consider more closely our marine environment, commercial fishing or food consumption. As a combined sequence of images they represent different views that in many ways comment on a wider discussion on some of the primary objectives explored in the Island Identity project, such as ‘how we see ourselves’ and ‘how others see us.’

The newspaper was kindly sponsored by Deputy Carolyn Labey, Minister for International Development and Assistant Chief Minister who in her foreword shares her personal thoughts on what makes Jersey special to her in context of the Island Identity project led by her department. She says, ‘identity involves searching our soul, engaging with difficult issues, and asking not only who we are, but how others see us and what a vision for the future might look like. The perspective of students and young people in this debate is critical. Identity is a broad and far-reaching concept, one unique to all of us. This collection of images recognises both our differences and our commonalties. These times may be uncertain, but in my view the topic – ‘what Jersey means to you’ – is a fundamentally optimistic and forward-looking one.’

The Identity and Community newspaper is the fourth supplement produced in collaboration between Hautlieu School Photography Department and Jersey Evening Post. In 2018 the first issue was The Future of St Helier and last year the themes of Love & Rebellion explored experiences of isolation and lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. Photographer and teacher Martin Toft, comments: ‘The question of ‘what makes Jersey special’ matters a great deal to every islander and as visual signs, the images printed on these pages are an attempt – not so much to provide answers – but rather asking questions about the essence of this island we call home, and how it actively will overcome current challenges in shaping a prosperous future for all.’

Various workshops and school trips for inspirations, recording and experimenting with new images and ideas of making

Personal Study – Final Prints

The following presents and explains the process of selecting and displaying my final prints.

Two of my most compelling landscapes work well together side by side with a large boarder. I presented these images together the two images both complement and contrast each other at the same. They juxtapose with the black and white sky’s. They work well side by side with the leading horizontal line of the horizon staying mostly consistent and in line through both compositions.

I did experiment with a different layout for these images before deciding on this one. I liked the obscurity of the experiment with the two pieces of land meeting in the middle creating a sort of kaleidoscopic illusion.

The following layout I decided to mount includes a collection of images sharing physical similarities with a clear theme of long vertical leading lines and eerie colour grading with all images sharing a navy green and low saturation. The random scattering of the layout makes it more impelling. I arranged them in an order where the central images share the same colour properties to create a seamless conjoined landscape while the greyscale images surround them and create a border around the larger central image.

I then mounted prints that fit the theme of industrialisation and the Anthropocene. These images all share warm yet lifeless hues. This demonstrated an apocalyptic theme with these images. I once again decided that a scattered collage would work well the the images all having different orientations. I preformed photomontage with the photo of the construction sight with the rubble being split into two images on opposite sides of the layout.

I then decided to make another large mount but this time followed a more symmetrical layout to satisfy the rule of thirds. I rotated the image on the left from an originally landscape image to portrait. The images all complement each other colour wise as well as all following the same contextual and conceptual theme.

I then displayed a set of prints from my photobook in a simple triptych format.

I then mounted images that work well on their own. The following image presents my photographic ability with sharp focus high clarity and a bokeh effect. Therefore I chose to present it by its self.

I then decided to complete the some variation into my final displays by mounting a small A3 headshot.

I finally decided to create a virtual gallery from my favourite diptych of the two landscape images.

Personal Investigation – Final Photobook

Online Link: Here is an online link to my final photobook – ‘Escaping Wonderland’.

Book Specification:

Narrative: What is your story?
Describe in:

3 words

Escaping, Comfort, Reality.

A sentence

In a ‘Wonderland’ reality where everything is dreamlike and calm, often reality hits and anxiety creeps through again.

A paragraph

Within my photobook I want to convey themes of comfort, security and warmth – an ethereal display of locations where I feel at ease within nature and/or areas at home. My narrative will tell the story of my imagination, a dreamlike collection of images in a Pictorialist style that get disrupted by waves of anxiety being represented by darker colder images. My narrative will consist of juxtapositions, comparing the feeling of unease to instant comfort – the photobook will be a journey through ‘Wonderland’ (representing a world where anxiety is calmed but reality isn’t quite real, certain comforts may feel a little too perfect). With landscape images being broken up by still-lives of flowers and objects, it is as if this perfect world of calm and tranquillity is breaking down to reality; escapism can only be a comfort for so long before reality hits.

Design: Consider the following

How you want your book to look and feel?

  • Paper and ink – Premium Lustre
  • Format, size and orientation – Standard Portraits
  • Binding and cover – Hardcover Image Wrap
  • Title – Escaping Wonderland
  • Design and layout – Clean & Rustic
  • Editing and sequencing – Use of Juxtapositions, Contrasting Colours
  • Images and text – Use of Alice in Wonderland quotes & Own Writing


Front Cover:

I wanted to create a title that summarised the key themes within my photobook; escapism, anxiety and imagination. Alice in Wonderland was always a film I loved watching, the fantasy world of giant flowers and talking rabbits was one I would find myself wanting to escape into when the world seemed scary or stressful, hence my title ‘Escaping Wonderland’ – bringing together ideas of running away to a world that is almost-too-perfect, at times unnerving. The whole concept of escaping is usually chaotic, similar to the events and inhabitants of Wonderland – therefore I wanted to juxtapose this fanciful expectation with a very simple and plain front and back cover. I had the idea to use the same soft pink colour, that was a motif throughout the images in my book, to be the block background colour. When deciding where to place my title, I wanted it to be visible, but not too imposing and bold so it kept the same soft theme. I decided to write in dark grey and use the font Times New Roman for my title as I believe it looks clean, but also quite whimsical as the letters flick at the ends.

Page Layouts:

I wanted to follow quite a classic photobook layout when I first started creating my book, placing one image on the right hand side of a double spread and leaving the left side blank. I liked how this created quite a clean and neat look, it helped with creating a calm atmosphere that I could disrupt easily with a ‘nightmare-style’ image or juxtaposition spread. Firstly, I planned on creating a display of my images that was free, without a set sequence or narrative, just a demonstration of locations where I feel safe and have positive childhood memories – I wanted the darker blue images to break up this soft display by being placed randomly on pages throughout the book. Nevertheless, after experimenting with how I could sequence my images to create a narrative, and having the idea to bring text into my book also, I found a natural storyline of exploration that I could have beginning at ‘childhood’. I knew I wanted my book to begin with an image I captured at Reg’s Garden, the public garden space I would visit with my grandparents full of fairy tales and nature, which showed a sign saying ‘please enter visitors welcome’ which I coupled with the phrase ‘a comforting invitation’ on the left hand side. I wanted the inclusion of text to be natural, but also haunting, as if the book was sometimes warning the reader of anxiety creeping in on the next page with sentences such as ‘the water is clear, safe…wait’. The next display of images in my book hints towards child-like imagination, as if I were entering this magical world through a doorway – the images after this one are all inside this fantasy world without anxiety. The layout of juxtapositions range from cold vs warm to natural vs unnatural to reality vs fantasy – I wanted these reminders of the ‘real world’ to pop up during the photobook, it was important for me to show truth in how I have dealt with anxiety, and how sometimes running off into a world of my own (my it be by overthinking or escapism) is not always the best option. I wanted to create a contrast in colours between blue and peach through the book, with phrases next to them such as ‘but it creeps in time after time’ hinting towards anxious thoughts etc. Altogether, my photobook has an ambiguous layout, there is a narrative to follow, but the reader doesn’t have to follow it if they don’t want to – there is always another story within that they may connect with more, maybe the Sudek-inspired images are more sad than optimistic for them for example, it is for the reader to decide what to take from the book.

Strongest Double Spreads:

Throughout my photobook I wanted to create both strong and subtle juxtapositions, may it be through colour contrast, atmosphere or subject – I wanted the images to oppose each other. One of my favourite examples of juxtapositions in my book is the first double page spread below, showing two images with branches creeping into the frame – one light, and one dark. There is a clear contrast in colour with these images, but also in atmosphere; the left image holds lots of highlights and bright horizons giving it a welcoming and positive mood, however the right side image holds darker connotations with its deep blue hue and silhouette-like shadows. Additionally, this juxtaposition gives the impression of ‘anxiety creeping in’, as the branches in both images are twisted and reflect ideologies around horror films/nightmares. There is a subtle overlapping of theme which I also love between these images, the hint of orange that covers the right image’s branches could be seen as a reflection of reality in this darker world – I want the images to seem like different versions of each other at different times, one optimistic and one nightmarish. Furthermore, I wanted to create a spread in the book which represented how much I’d grown in confidence over the years, trying to stop letting anxiety get to me so much. The second spread I have included is how I conveyed that idea, using two of my dream-like images of flowers next to each other, one in its natural environment and one adapting to a new space. The soft focus and pastel colours of the images creates a warm and cosy environment, however sometimes growth is not easy, which is a reminder I wanted to give. With my idea of using text throughout the book, I decided to use the phrase ‘Growth, wait’ to go along side this spread and convey the idea of ‘fear of change’ – sometimes growing too much too quickly is overwhelming, which is what I wanted to show. My final juxtaposition holds similar connotations to the first, of nightmares creeping in when anxiety seems to have disappeared. I really liked the similarity of composition between these images, there seems to be a circular space in the middle of both almost as if it leads to another world, or another escape route. The composition of these images also reflects the idea of this scene being the same, but happening in another reality of either calmness or terror, I wanted to create a contrast that was still recognisable and questioned the idea of ‘fantasy vs reality’. I am extremely happy with the outcome of this photobook, the links to my childhood and memories allowed me to explore how I could represent them through manipulation, or just capturing them as I see them in truth.

My use of Quotes:

I wanted to highlight the idea of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ throughout my book, while some images where clear reflections of Wonderland themes (such as distorted clocks and mirrors) I still wanted to use text to further these themes. I researched quotes from Alice in Wonderland and wrote down ones I thought could relate to certain images/locations I had captured. For example, the first spread below shows two strange objects which could be mistaken for different things if not looked at closely, this spread reminded me of the quote ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ as the observer may question what these images are actually capturing. Also, the soft focus and dim light makes the images seem mysterious and unrealistic, there is curiosity in their meaning. The second use of Alice in Wonderland quotes falls next to a singular image that I captured of the branches over the pond at Reg’s Garden. I really enjoy how this image is so ambiguous, it is abstract in its composition and use of aperture to focus behind the front branches which I wanted to seem mystical and creepy. This blur also allows the observer to look beyond the main subject of the branches to see the water and landscape behind, I really liked how strange this composition was and how much of an abstract texture it created. Next to this image I wanted to use the quote ‘if I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense’ as it reminded me of the weirdness that had been captured, the blurred focus and disjointed composition reflected this phrase entirely.

Personal Study -Photobook Process

Link to my Photobook: Big Boys Don’t Cry

The following is an in depth analysis of the process of constructing my photobook.

Before I began physically developing images and collating them into a photobook I conceptualised the narrative and design of the book in writing.

One I had a clear understanding of how the images I had produced for this project where going to form a narrative I experimented and developed a criteria for how the book would be designed. This includes all the tangible elements of the book such as the material of the paper the orientation as well as the colour scheme and layout of the images. Once this was pre-decided I could begin the physical process of creating the book in Lightroom.

I began by importing all the images I would be potentially using and loading them into the filmstrip.

After this it was time to develop the images by editing them and making any final tweaks to make sure they worked well with each other in sequence.

Once all the images were edited sufficiently I moved onto the “book” tab of Lightroom and began by selecting the design preferences for the book.

I then moved onto choosing the front cover images. I decided on an image of the main subject of my book to feature on both covers. I chose an image of the subject facing away from the camera so that his identity is not immediately disclosed. This image introduces the theme of masculinity as we see a stereotypically muscular back of an athlete. The back cover image ends with a similar medium shot of the subject however this time he is looking directly into the lens. I chose this as it juxtaposes well with the front cover and the reader has flipped through the book and been introduced to this character, ending with a shot where the character is looking at the lens interacts with the reader and solidifies this introduction. I wanted the cover to be captivating so I altered the image in photoshop to give it a layered illusion, creating more depth. While undergoing this process I decided on a font that would work well for my book and also layered that behind the subject.

To complete the covers I finally added a blurb to the back cover to briefly describe the contents and added the title and my name to the spine. I also changed the colour of the spine to black to add some contrast to the cover and it complements the greyscale images I chose for the covers.

Moving on, I left the first page blank with only my name on the second page featuring stylistic typography for aesthetic affect which adds to the uniform style of the book. I created this text by experimenting with the tracking, leading and kerning of the text and then overlapped them.

The first image I feature in the book is positioned on the third page, leaving the second blank. I chose this image as it embodies the theme of sportsmanship and masculinity from the outset. This is due to readers being introduced to a character who is stereotypically masculine with his motorcycle helmet and a serious expression on his worn face. I placed this image on the right to ensure the subject wasn’t looking away from the spine. The image also features a composition which accentuates the subjects side profile and a clarity to the image which introduces the overall aesthetic of the book. I felt this image worked well with a tight crop and central page positioning with medium padding with the boarders.

The next spread consists of two long shots. The first image was chosen as a more arbitrary link to the previous image as well as the one following it. The use of an image of objects between images helps to tell the narrative and avoid mundane repetition. The image features an interesting framing with the motorbikes being half concealed by the bush in the foreground which creates a strong leading horizontal line which dissects the image into two, giving it more depth. I also chose the images for its vast tonal differences which help bring out the objects from the foreground. This photo of bikes leads well into the next image of a man putting on his helmet. This image is powerful as it initiates interaction with the viewer as the subject is looking directly into the camera. I also like the framing with the subjects face in the direct centre of the image. The subject is in the middle of putting on his helmet which adds more action to the image and links back to the idea of masculinity in sport with the man in the image “armouring up” almost like he is getting ready for war.

The image sitting isolated on the following spread of pages is a portrait action shot of a man riding a motorbike in a river. It follows on nicely from the previous image of the man putting his helmet on. The image is powerful with the use of a wide aperture creating a sharp focus on the subject and a blurry foreground and background. Along side this, the deep colours and texture of the make it an effective image. After this I left a blank page to allow for this image to work on its own and to allow for an interlude before the next spread.

This brings me onto the first double page spread. I felt this image works well as across two pages as it s one of the more powerful action shots encapsulating the sport that I am shooting. With the “wheelie” being shot up close with an ultra wide lens starting on one page and finishing in another it really immerses the viewer in the image.

I chose the next image for its emotional impact. It is a perfect demonstration of masculinity and emotion shown in sports with the team mates gathered around congratulating the main subject who has a proud expression on his face. This exemplifies the sense of identity and belonging young men achieve through sport. The images tonal range and texture created by the low saturation give it a dramatic feel adding to the emotion that comes through with this image. I feel it works well on its own to simplify the spread and create distance from the previous double page spread.

This leads well onto a double page spread of the same player in action almost trying to live up to the pride he was showing in the previous image. I chose this image for its sharp focus and bokeh effect. It works well as a double page spread as it allows for the quality and sharpness of the image to be appreciated up close as well as allowing all the elements of action to be displayed with each of the subjects faces sitting on a different page.

The subsequent image portrays a sense of masculinity through mentorship. The way this image is shot with the main subject guiding the younger man portrays the idea that young men idealize powerful sportsmen. The main subject is made to look powerful through the use of a low angle shot and the way his head is held high with a proud expression on his face.

This idea of mentoring younger generations and finding identity within a sporting community carries on through the next spread. This image is compelling due to its engaging manner. This is achieved in the composistion by the subject in the center frame looking directly at the lens while everyone else is not. The positioning of the camera makes the style of this image feel intrusive like we are part of the players “huddle”. I decided to utilise this image as a double page spread as it this intrustive style feels more effective as a larger landscape image. I offcentered the image so that the subject who is looking at the lens is not positioned too close to the seam or gutter of the book; this style also allows for a difference from all the centre positioned spreads in the rest of the book.

The following spread I chose two complementary images to introduce a process of comparison. Both subjects are seen to have their hands above their heads but can be juxtaposed through their emotions with the subject on the left looking frustrated and sullen while the subject on the right embodies a more elated mood. This helps to portray my idea of sport placing pressure on young men. Both figures are seen to be playing masculine roles however the sportsman seems less content with his masculinity. When editing these images I focused on using the red colours in the first image to portray that sense of anger while going for softer less saturated tones on the other image.

The next spread embodies the narrative. The young sportsman on the left is seen to be impugning on his abilities, as we see him hanging his head as if in defeat. This transitions well into the next image where we see a coach like father figure giving words of encouragement which can be seen as belittlement. This portrays the idea that young sportsmen are put under pressure by their father figures to “be a man”. I created a high contrast image on the left with high clarity and tonal range with no colour to further develop the dreary, defeatist mood. While the image on the right still edited with lower exposure and high contrast, has colour to represent a sense of comfort in role models.

This theme of exasperation continues in the subsequent spread. This image captures that emotion well as we can see the exaggerated, reprehensible frustration on the players faces up close with a bokeh on the background, thus singling out the subjects and framing them well in the composition. The large double page spread allows for the two subjects to be somewhat split while still having that immersivity into the situation where this image was shot.

Following this, I introduce a sub narrative into the book by announcing a sportsman who has a less traditional and more rebellious attitude to sports. I do this by including a shot of him in action and then subsequently a dramatic portrait/headshot.

I continue this sequence in the next spread by using an obscure image of the subject with his equipment and then reveal his identity with a side profile portrait. I use low saturation and high contrast to create a grungy texture to add to the theme of rebellion.

This is followed by the final set of images in the sub narrative. These fit well with the rest of images, having the one obscure and one portrait in common. I am fond of the deep black background and the sharp whites contrasting with each other. The way these images are edited to create that dark black adds to the theme of identity as a sense of isolation is being portrayed, isolation from other communities therefore feeding into the rebellious aesthetic.

The next narrative sequence shows the life of a sportsman as a fly on the wall. These series of images are taken in a photo-documentative style showing all the behind the scenes. The images portray the idea that when these young men are isolated and away from their team-mates the act they preform to appear masculine is dropped. The idea that it is not masculine to share emotions and being unbothered is idealized has an effect on the subject. The “brave face” comes off and we see the degradation of the subject and how he really feels when he is alone.

The first image starts the sequence off well as we see the subject opening his car door which essentially opens us up to this narrative.

Next we see two complementary shots that give us insight into the home life and setting of the subject. We see two angles of the subject sitting down in an almost defeated fashion. We see him hanging his head in the second image illustrating his feeling of emptiness which gives more understanding of his identity. The under exposed dark shades in these images start to construct a gloomy mood.

Thereafter, a closer up image where we can see the expression on the young sportsman’s face. The use of natural Rembrandt lighting creates an effective chiaroscuro and defines the subjects face well. I chose to make this a double page spread as the form of the composition works well with the subjects arms acting as the pages. I designed it like this to also create an intimacy with the subject when we open this page.

This leads onto the same position with a juxtaposing composition. We can see the subject lying down from a birds eye view. This carries the narrative well as we feel like we are moving around the subject. With the layout of this image I decided to further juxtapose from the previous image by creating distance instead of close up perspective by placing the image on its own in one corner of the spread.

The book ends with a unique layout of two narrow portraits and a full page spread on the subsequent page. The two narrow images end the book off on a sense of self-realization with the subject appearing to almost be looking into the future. The side lighting creates a chiaroscuro and a dramatic effect to end the narrative off. The final image has been cropped tight to create an obscure composition and end the book with an intimate interaction with the protagonist and leave us with a tactile image when the book is closed. The high clarity allows for the texture of the image to be demonstrated adding to this tactility.