This collection of images explores the subject of Mental Illness, Depression and Phobia through the use of Vanitas.
The set produced for a project whilst studying at university, and was inspired by a bout of depression i went through the year before. The first image in the set is most representative of the subject matter as most people will understand the symbolism portrayed in the image. It was produced in the studio with two lights, some blue tack and a cereal box, which doesn’t sound that professional, but it actually worked really well as the box held the scalpel in position whilst blocking out the light, creating the beam of light you can see in the image which focuses the audience on the scalpel and shadow.
The second image portrays how money and desire can lead to problems in life. The coins are loosely stacked and in somewhat imperfect towers to show how money can have unstable foundations and uncertainties. The use of silvers in the foreground and coppers in the background gives the eye something to focus on.
The third image portrays vanity, the never ending quest for perfection and how people are never satisfied with what they have.
The forth portrays fleeting time, to be honest, i can’t remember what the book and compass mean, the watch is about ageing and how time gets away from us.
The firth image portrays phobia, Koumpounophobia is the fear of buttons, and it is more common that what people think. This subject was quite simple as it meant i didn’t have to jump to the more common phobias such as height or spiders, but it also meant i didn’t have to round up spiders and try to photograph them in a studio.
Two images have been omitted, one portraying addiction, and the other loneliness.
In the arts, vanitas is a type of symbolic work of art especially associated with still life painting popular in the 16th and 17th centuries,Common vanitas symbols include skulls, which are a reminder of the certainty of death; rotten fruit, which symbolizes decay; bubbles, which symbolize the brevity of life and suddenness of death; smoke, watches, and hourglasses, which symbolize the brevity of life; and musical instruments, which symbolize brevity and the ephemeral nature of life. Fruit, flowers and butterflies can be interpreted in the same way, and a peeled lemon, as well as accompanying seafood was, like life, attractive to look at, but bitter to taste.
These sun glasses were photographed as part of a project whilst studying at university, the brief was take marketing photos for a fictional sunglasses company including still life and portrait shots. The portrait shots can be found in the portrait section of my portfolio.
They were captured in a studio and really made you think about lighting an composition. The images had extensive post production work carried out to remove dust and scratches from the lens and frames. No matter how much polishing and dusting using compressed air you do, you can never remove all the dust, which is why more and more product shots are being produced using computer graphics rather than photography.
From phones and watches all the way to new car designs, the shots and footage in adverts are computer generated; allowing for a product with no dust, marks or imperfections, as well as enhanced flexibility; with the press of a button; a product can change colour or lighting can be altered, in a fraction of the time compared to adjusting studio lights.
Another advantage of this method is that new products can be kept top secret. For example; if a car manufacturer wanted to film a revolutionary car design for some promotional footage, but did not want people to see the car before the unveiling. They would have two options, the first would be to film somewhere with no witnesses, either inside of a hangar or dessert. The second option would be to capture the footage as if the car was present, and then add the car in using computer generated techniques, which can even add lighting and reflections onto the car as if it were really there. This might sound a bit far fetched, but this technique is regularly used for advertising.
After hours of removing dust and unwanted reflections, i thought it could make the reflections into a feature of an image. The picture on the top left has reflections of a Cambridge skyline in the lens and frames. I attempted to warm the towers and building to appear as though the reflections are being bent by the curves in the lens and frames.