I have chosen a concept to photograph to use as the basis for the photographs in my fictitious exhibition. Following the brief’s statement that the concept for my photographs is ‘Object of Desire’ I have decided to use photos of a place that is special to me. The place is some land in Kent that I go to a few times a year, it is usually the place where my family go to meet for special occasions such as birthdays, or just when the weather is good and we want to see each other. Apart from being special to me for personal and sentimental reasons this place is also special because its not like any other place. It is owned and run by two men, one is my boyfriends brother and the other is the brothers friend. The two of them are heavily into all things western and cowboy. They follow the cowboy style clothes, lifestyle, job, hobbies….which is where this land comes in to the story. On the land, about 5 acres is just grassy fields, but in the middle is a log cabin, built by them in the 1970s. The ‘bunk house’ as we call it has a kitchen, two bedrooms, a living room, all centred around a working stove for cooking. So I have many photographs taken here, it is called Circle R Ranch and when we all go most of us dress as cowboys and girls, just for fun, although some people dress much more authentic than others! One of the men also does leatherwork and has made beautiful leather saddles with decoration. One thing I forgot they have 10 Arab stallion horses for riding who live on the land. So in photos I take sometimes the only thing that shows it is modern not authentic western photo is a Budweiser can someone is holding! I have a lot of images taken from the many times I have been and am going to use a selection of them to manipulate in Photoshop. I think that they are perfect because although taken over 2010 onwards some of them could be authentic American Western photos, if the viewer didn’t know any better, so I feel that adding some post-processing effects will make them look all the most real.
What I plan to do
I am going to turn a selection of digital and film images of mine into authentic looking Western photos circa 1880. I will do this with a number of Photoshop techniques and effects such as scratches, adding defects, surface markings, this will all add to giving the photos a old feel and will complement and fully suit the content of the photographs. I will also change the colours to black and white, also sepia as this was all that was available and used to photographs in 1880. I know that only black and white film was used so I will be adding a film grain effect to any digital photos I use. Some photos I did take on film so they won’t need any grain adding. Another thing to think of is that ‘old’ photos, especially as old as 1880 will have become damaged permanently by sunlight over time, this is normal for any printed photo, so adding slightly bleached out areas or loss of detail would also help add to the effect I am creating. This effect is called ‘light leak’ sometimes, as it is used today as a post processing effect to lomography as a way to make digital images look like they were taken with film. A light leek on the negative would have easily happened in 1880 as camera technology was basic and mistakes were made easily and often by photographers as the whole process of taking a photo meant that the negatives had to be processed at the location they were taken in a mini-portable-darkroom by the photographer. So I will add a effect to resemble this, as it is common to have bleached out areas on a old print or a light leak. I am aiming to select and edit around 10 final photographs, writing up each editing process into my blog as I go, also showing a ‘before and after’ photo so that they can easily be compared.