My initial idea for the No Daylight project is a series of images that all include the colour red. The project will include repetition of different still life objects, with subject matter ranging from red paint to a red wig. I plan to experiment with studio lighting, rather than daylight, including experimenting with backlighting. The images will include a similarity in the composition, as I would like to experiment with repetition within a body of work. However, the main focus of the project will be the red objects and how they look close up. I will be experimenting with a macro lens, testing with different focal lengths e.g. 50mm and 100mm, and comparing which works better for my project. My testing will also include experimenting in the studio with different light set ups, but will focus primarily on using light in specific ways to distort the objects. The reason I chose to shoot my project in the studio is to further my studio skills, as well as allowing me to experiment with different lighting. This will also push me out of my comfort zone and the project also gives me the chance to shoot still life rather than people/portraits. This will also allow me to practice product shooting and could lead me into a career of product advertising which is a genre I would be interested in pursuing.
During the project I will be experimenting with different lighting situations, as well as using different objects that have different textures. This will challenge me to use different lighting on different textures to create the same effect. I already have existing skills in the studio when it comes to shooting portraits, however I have no experience in shooting still life or products so this project will be a challenge. I will be experimenting with using a macro lens to shoot the objects, and I will be shooting everything at an f-stop of f18-f22, so that the subject will be sharp, and not blurred. I will also be experimenting using different lighting heads such as using a soft box and a snoot. As I will be experimenting using harsh and direct light, I will have some problems trying to minimize hot spots in the images, which can become quite distracting if not carefully placed. This will force me to come up with different solutions to lighting objects such as when photographing a coke can or a glass. I will also be using a lot of liquids or gels that the light can shine through, this again will cause some highlights that I will not be able to pull back in post-production, so I will be using different reflectors to prevent the light from bouncing off the glass/container. I will also be using post-production to make sure that every object in each image will be the same red, this will include boosting the colours.
I will be researching into photographers that use repetition in their work, such as repetition of colour throughout a body of work. For example, Gabriel Isak uses a single colour repeatedly in a body of work, and uses colour, as well as composition, to link a series of photographs together. Isak’s project The Red Line uses a line or something symbolic of a line in each image, uses models that are all wearing the same jumper to continue with the theme of repetition. This must be something I have to consider whilst shooting, so I will be continuously comparing images to ensure the shade of red is similar if not the same in the finished images. Isak’s other project The Blue Journey is another body of work that uses colour repeatedly, however this is not just blue objects being photographed, but a blue object within the image e.g. the sky or background.
I will also be researching into strong product photographers, such as Alastair Strong and Charlie Surbey. This will be research into photographers who use singular lighting in the studio, as well as research into shooting close up still life. Another part of my research will include looking into how to stop or solve problems such as light reflecting off my objects and causing highlights with no information. I will also need to fill out a health and safety form for using the studio, especially with having liquids and gels in the studio. During this project I will also be considering a career in still life and product advertising photography, and looking into the wider commercial context. My research will include using websites such as the AOP and looking at specialized magazines such as The British Journal of Photography. I will also looking at beauty magazines, which contain product photography, and specifically looking at perfume bottle advertisements, as it will give me an insight on how to photograph a bottle, which reflects light as well as shooting through a liquid. I will also be researching into photographers that are known for using a macro lens, which will allow me to understand how to use a macro lens effectively, as well as researching the best conditions to use a macro lens. Furthermore I will be researching into Bowens studio lights, as well as using Snoot light heads and spot lights.
I would like to see these images possibly as part of a photobook, or as product or advertising shots in a magazine or website such as for perfume or make up. I think that still life/product photography is a field I would be interested in working in, as I enjoy being in the studio working by myself in a small space. I enjoy working without interference or a model, and just using one light and a really simple, but quite effective setup. This project is a really good opportunity for me to experiment in the studio, especially with different lighting and allows me to expand my skill set in the studio, which could be useful at a later date in my career.