Monday, May 28, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 3: Final Image Choices

So, I've finally made it. I've captured my five final images for my final project. I couldn't be happier. Or more tired, frankly. Duct taping the walls to mark electrical cabling, getting weird looks from my floormates about the lack of light in the hall at odd hours, and having to fend off questions about my project. But it was all worth it.

What I've created, I feel is rather spectacular in an odd way. Light is energy in one form. Here I am highlighting energy in one form with another form of energy. I think that's pretty cool. The images I've created show an intense matrix, a network of energy that perforates the building, supplying all the lights, all the rooms, and all the sockets. It's one hell of a network, and I really have to commend the electricians who did it decades ago. In a way, this network of energy is like the veins and arteries of the building. It is alive! In a weird, non-living way.
Making the unseen seen in this case really helps you understand what little of the world we see, both in an energy sense as well as a physical sense, as in not being able to see the cables or the energy that runs through them.

Light painting straight lines on the ceiling is really hard. I can attest to that. Doing the second image in the dark took me at least 10 tries, just during the FINAL shoot! And really, I would say it's still not that amazingly straight. Having to stand on your tip-toes and draw a straight line while holding the torch at an optimal angle for the camera is really tricky. I don't recommend it if you're under time constraints.

Overall, however, I'm really pleased with the results, I achieved what I set out to do, after changing what I wanted to do once, and I'd call that a success.
I really wanted to capture this as a documentary style series of images (or image pairs, in this case), and I've done it. I wasn't sure to add the location in on the images, but in the end I decided it went with the documentary style I was going for.

One of the things I really wanted to achieve is a really bland setting that would let the light painting really show through as the dominant aesthetic, which the building I live in lent itself perfectly to. The lack of adornment on the walls was really a lacking in my favour.

Given more time I'd want to study the electrical plans some more and do one or two more spots. But marking up the electrical cabling accurately is really time consuming, and given the time constraints imposed by my other courses as well, maybe that one is better left for another time.

So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I give you "The Unseen"...

DSDN 144 Project 3: Contact Sheet / Final Shoot

The final contact sheet for the final shoot of the final project. It's so META!! 

DSDN 101 Group Task Two: Nana Technology

As a group (Holly Bain, Dylan Hughes-Ward and myself), our intentions were to produce an engaging advertisement enforcing simplified technology that appealed to the older generation. We aimed to keep our advertising consistent by using similar concepts as the first group project. By doing this we have created a strong and distinct brand identity.

The process involved coming together making a 15 second advertisement that enticed customers to buy a product or become interested in the company. Ours was technology for the elderly/older citizens. Making it easier for them to communicate using modern day technology. We evaluated our strengths as a group and decided Adobe Flash would be the most appropriate program/media to use as we had used it in previous projects. This was an efficient program that enabled us to get the assignment completed in the time provided.

First we did some brainstorming into our idea, so as to make sure our video had consistency and could be easily justified.

This was then our finished advertising, after much work done in flash and recording sound.

Then here finally is our signed form for the group projects.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 3: Aesthetic Test

One thing I really want to do before the shoot is see what the aesthetic I'm going for will look like. The idea of a direct comparison suits what I'm trying to achieve, namely trying to make the unseen seen. One of the things I need to decide on is how the two images interplay in the single frame. The nature of the light I'm using is a rather blue-ish white light. While this does make for an interesting image, it might be overkill? 

Possibly the highlighting of the electrical cables could be black and white.

...Which is what I tried out here. Overall I think it makes the image a little more subtle, while at the same time offers a different kind of contrast. It has a classier feel to it as well. The blue almost seems a little bit tacky in comparison. 

Oh, and don't worry, the masking tape is only there as a marker for the final shoot. It won't be there in the final images. 
One thing I also really wanted to achieve is the sense of blandness next to something completely other-worldly, that still has an element of technicality.

Another thing I experimented with for my photos was testing to see how the images were altered if the angles of the torch was changed. I discovered that having an actual light bleed along the walls, ceiling and floor helped to show the space as well as giving the sense of the "energy matrix" more form.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 3: Choices from Third Shoot

I've closed in on my final spots now. These are the five photos of the 5 different spots, I just need to refine the actual photos. I'm going to do a final shoot on Monday night, and achieve these spots just the way I want them. For this shoot I experimented with different colours as well as electrical arrangements, however I decided that simplicity is best. I've also decided that for colours, my white light is best. However, in the first four photos, I had the white balance on the wrong settings, which meant that the light came out far too blue for my liking. In the final image, I had figured this out and adjusted it to the correct setting to counteract this blue-shift.
These images are all of spots that dominate my life significantly in my Hall of Residence.

Location 1: Stairwell

 Location 2: Kitchenette

 Location 3 (possibly 1 in stead): My Room Entrance

Location 4: Bathroom Corridor

Location 5: Fire Escape

DSDN 144 Project 3: Contact Sheet / Third Shoot

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 3: Choices From Second Shoot

I found a new aesthetic I want to test for this third project, and I think I've finally nailed the idea. For this shoot I was really trying to test the aesthetic and understand the electrical plans of the building. Surprisingly, there are actually a huge amount of cables in the walls, floor and ceilings, so I have a feeling to not overdo it, I would do different sections at any one time, a concept that I tried to experiment with here.

Here I experimented with doing the light painting with no flash-light exposure to capture the actual surroundings. It was here that I began to realise that there are a hell of a lot of wires, and that the lighting itself illuminated the scene when there was enough around. 

A little bit of a rogue light going on here at the bottom middle of the shot. The aesthetic achieved in darkness is more interesting, and kind of portrays the space as almost non-existent, flipping the standard world on its head. Usually we see the space but not the electrical cables. Now we see an abstraction of the electrical cables and not the space.

Here I experimented with the aesthetic of taking shoots that had a flash-bulb exposure. I exposed the image for a few seconds with the lights turned on, then flicked the lights off and painted my electrical cables in the darkness. The overall image than creates this aesthetic.

Here I had a look at the floor around my room, and according to the plans, there are a lot of deviances from the main central cable. One thing I really need to think about doing is using a big ruler to do all the straight lines, because for this aesthetic to look good, I really need to make sure it looks really crisp.

Here I made a number of mistakes with regards to the continuity of all the lines. I also chose too many lines to do for this image. I need to think about marking out all the lines with masking tape before actually painting them. This would save any doubling up of the lines and also keep my lines very consistent between images. Overall however, I think the bright lines in darkness is a more effective aesthetic.

For this image, the overall composition of the space could have been much better, so in that respect it is lacking. I tried to split some of the available cables across two images here, just so I get the idea of seeing if fewer lights looked better. The aesthetic of the flash-bulb exposure is not as effective as the straight darkness, so for the next shoot that's what I'll be looking at in more detail.

Another thing I want to try is seeing what the images could look like using different coloured lights to highlight different types of electrical cables. I could use one colour for the electrical lighting, one for socket power, and one for miscellaneous power appliances.

DSDN 144 Project 3: Contact Sheet / Second Shoot

Monday, May 21, 2012

DSDN 101 Project 3: Storyboard Research

For The Clip, I have to create a storyboard which shows my idea and my overall video progression. It needs to be artistic and stylised, so I've had a look at some examples of storyboarding and comic book styles. I'm toying with the idea of possibly presenting the storyboard as a photographic comic book rather than drawing. We shall see. 

This comic strip has elements of the way I want to present my storyboard. Not entirely linear, but still with a general sense of direction. The comic is dramatic, and the simplicity of the black and white works in its favour. It gives the whole comic a grungy, visceral feel. It seems any sort of colour would immediately be a huge focal point in this comic strip. The website source for this image shows that the author actually states that this comic is spliced together from multiple pieces and frames from a storyboard itself, which makes it even more relevant to my work and research.

This comic inspires me by the way the fight of the bottom frame extends up into the the one above. It immediately makes the whole sequence more dynamic. It also then aids in showing us the direction of the action. The chaos of the moment is conveyed via the overall feel of the storyboard.

This image is an extract from the film Sin City, and shows a different series of storyboarding, where photos are used in stead of drawing. I think it adds a totally different feel to the whole storyboard, maybe a much more exact variant of storyboarding. The emotion that plays across the face of the woman is much more exact and visceral than that present in the drawing, and I think we associate more with real people more. This also shows a potential aesthetic I want to go for. This Film Noire aesthetic could really give my clip's storyboard the edge it needs. 

Image acquired from: 

One of the things I really want to achieve with my stop motion clip is to give a sense of over-the-top-ness, with both expressions and actions speaking of the amazement at the technology. For the storyboard, I want to convey this through a possible usage of colour, value and line, in a grungy, comic book style. This image kind of captures the sense of speed and motion that could only really be captured in a video, an aesthetic I really want to mimic.

 Image acquired from:

The aesthetic I also want to consider capturing is using words and sketchy-style additions in the photographic storyboard to aid the comic book feel. This ideally will help convey the actions that I want to portray.

So at present, I'm looking to create a storyboard that is composed of photos as opposed to drawings. The elements of these photos will overlap other "frames" of the not-entirely-linear story progression. The photos will include elements of comic books such as dramatic line and tonal areas in the photos for effect. This will be punctuated with dialog as well, to convey the story.
The story seems to be more effectively portrayed with the use of black and white/grayscale,  with colours accenting certain points of interest or focus in the storyboard itself. The final stop-motion film clip will potentially be mimicking this. 

Tech Lecture 9: HDR (High Dynamic Range)

For this Tech lecture we had to create two images using a technique know as HDR or High Dynamic Range. This is a technique whereby multiple exposures are taken for one scene, exposing each different image correctly for different parts of the scene. Then, all the correctly exposed parts of the image are brought together to create one meta-image, where everything in the shot is exposed correctly. We were given instructions to do this in two ways, one photo for effect, and one as a more basic image correction.

The "corrected" image, where the window's overexposure has been negated.

The more "for effect" image, where all the areas of the image have been properly exposed.

DSDN 144 Project 3: Revised Proposal

For the last project in Photographics, I want to capture the unseen. I want to capture the things in our everyday world that we simply take for granted. There is an extensive matrix that is all around us in out lives, at home, at work, and at university. This is the matrix of the electrical cabling. There are cables in every single wall that surrounds us, and I want to make them visible. Light is energy, so displaying the presence of energy as light is a natural atomic progression. I'm very keen on achieving this through light painting. I want to find a way of getting much better at using this technique effectively and to convey the ideas that I'd trying to portray. One of my inspirations for this was the Wi-Fi light stick, that made visible the invisible fields of information in a 3-D space. I really want to document the electrical cabling that we just forget about. The style I want to achieve is a documentary style, showing the real world that we can see, right next to the real world that we can't see. I want to capture the images in pairs, so that I can really document the spaces I live in.

The way I plan to make these images is to use a standard exposure alongside with a long exposure, where by using the bulb setting on my camera, I can expose the image for as long as I like. I have the plans for the electrical cabling that I have been given access to by my Hall of Residence's warden. Sadly I am not legally allowed to post these plans on the internet, as this information being available could potentially endanger the lives of the residents. For my examples, I'll find freely available plans on the internet. During the long exposure, I will then paint the electrical cabling on the floors, walls and ceilings with a torch.
The purpose of the true image accompanied by the painted image is to document the spaces I live in and how perforated by electricity they are. Them being next to one another will allow for a direct comparison. To make sure that the light looks as natural as possible, I want to use a rather small aperture, which would then allow all of the space to be in focus.

I chose this idea because of a fascination with the unseen, and then when I saw the Wi-Fi light stick, I had my idea. Sadly, I don't have access to such technology, nor the knowledge to assemble it, so I went for something far more doable. I asked for the plans, was given them, and then I had my concept. I think this series of paired images would definitely interest people because it is displaying something people just don't think about any more.

I want to capture this concept via a series of pairs of images, showing different places in my everyday life and how the electrical cabling is evident there.

DSDN 101 Project 3: Preliminary Stop Motion Test

This is NOT the final look of The Clip. This is merely a test run to get a feel for stop motion and how it can be used effectively for what I want to do. It's also a test of the special effects I plan on using.

I really enjoyed making this clip. It presented multiple challenges, the most difficult and time-consuming of which was definitely the special effects. Photoshopping the clip photo by photo was no easy feat. For my storyboard for the actual final clip, I really want to capture the awe and amazement present in this kind of technology. I also really want to incorporate humour and more emotion. I haven't had much sleep this weekend, so the emotions present on my face were minimal at best.

For the main project, I plan on integrating far more future tech and enhancements on the AUG-REAL Specs as well.

Many thanks to Mark Lindsay for being the camera man! I shall employ you next time as well!
Check out his blog here: 
Mark Lindsay Portfolio

DSDN 101 Project 3: The Glasses

Today I spent all day making and planning for my brief part of my final stop motion video. Part of this process was to make the "Augmented Reality Glasses" for the clip. I constructed these out of wire, thread, and a small circular piece of plastic that I found. The design was rudimentary and functional. There really isn't a futuristic feel to them at all. In fact, I'd almost say that what I've created has a "Steampunk" feel to it, and the latch-style lens is a cool touch. 
The Aug-Real Specs!

The "ubiquitous" latch holographic lens!

Top notch quality craft!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

DSDN 101 Project 3: Project Ideas

After consolidating the brainstorming I had done to what Media Design means to me, I've decided that I really want to explore the idea of virtual worlds in combination with the real world. In that sense, what I really want to do is show where Media Design could be going in that particular field. We're starting to see this kind of augmented reality in futuristic prototypes and advertising such as the Google project, Project Glass.

Could interfaces such as this be the way of the future?
Acquired from:

However, I want to explore this concept as a separate entity. I want to see if it's possible to mimic technology such as holographic displays, holographic interfaces, and other methods of screenless display in a stop motion video. The kind of things I'd love to mimic are in films like Iron Man, Minority Report, Avatar, and in many video games too.

This technology looks absolutely fantastic and is now almost synonymous with the future in films and other videos. We see these UIs and automatically we are transported to the fantastical world of future technology. I believe Media Design is going to have a huge role to play in the development of these user interfaces. People will want interfaces that work for all of us individually.

Free-form interfaces would be even more awesome.
Acquired from:

I think what I really want to create is something along the lines of Tony Stark's interface in the film Iron Man. I anticipate this will be far more difficult than previously anticipated though. I don't have the tools or the ability to create something 3-D, however, I believe I could possibly create something much more simple and 2-dimensional.

I think what I'll do is start with a glasses-style augmented reality and then work up to an actual standalone system.

DSDN 101 Project 3: Preliminary Brainstorming

Friday, May 18, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 3: Precedents

I found some appropriate precedents for Project 3: Light that fit with my idea of analysing energy currents and tracking the lines that we don't see in our everyday world. They inspired my ideas for the project and are both beautiful and astounding.

My first precedent is a group of people who developed a method of measuring the invisible patterns of the wifi network in an area. These people are: Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen andEinar Sneve Martinussen. They created a "light post" that measures the available wifi strength of a given point through the amount of lights lit on the post. The lights go up the length of the stick, and when the wifi is weak, the height of the lights lit is low, and when the wifi is strong, more lights light up and the lit portion of the post extends much higher.

Taken in Oslo, copyright Timo Arnall

Taken in Oslo, copyright Timo Arnall

This presentation of the non-visible as something much more tangible and visible, in this case a light painting, makes the whole thing far more real. In a way, wifi signals aren't even real to us. We only see them as little bars on our phones and laptops and don't experience them per se. This presentation of them as something far more real is therefore why these images are so interesting. 

Pablo Picasso is an inspiration to light painting all over the world. It was some of his light paintings that made the art mainstream. He made it popular and brought it to the world. His small, arguably inaccurate sketches were done with a tiny little lightbulb attached to the socket.

Taken in Vallauris, copyright Pablo Picasso

Taken in Vallauris, copyright Pablo Picasso

His light paintings were uncommon at the time, and the art was only just starting to appear, so in many ways it's this showing what is new and different that makes his work a precedent for me. I want to do the same. I want to show things that are different, things that we just haven't seen before. I want to demonstrate originality.

My third precedent is a lady called Vicki Dasilva, who does some fantastic work in the field of modern light photography, and who calls up a very unique look at the whole art form. She uses a combination of different bulbs and colours to generate a whole range of different effects. Most of her light work is used to enhance the area in the photograph.

Taken in Paris, copyright Vicki Dasilva

Taken in Paris, copyright Vicki Dasilva

Her work is really cool and presents a whole range of different light effects. Sadly I don't have her tools at my disposal, but the effects she does are still very achievable.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DSDN 144 Project 3: Choices From First Shoot

For this shot, while the idea is very cool, like light paintings in general, it's not terribly crisp at all. I think for this, I should definitely look at making stencils, since they would also aid in the cool futuristic look I'm trying to achieve. Let's face it, the light painting is pretty sh*t. But the idea for it is rather cool.

Possibly looking at this idea also from a mapping or pathfinding sense?

Reminders? Again, a stencil would greatly improve the overall feel of this and not make it feel as crap. This is the future! It's a holographic display, not a crappy light painting.

Potential direct interaction with the environment itself? The light could take on many different forms depending on the area it is used in.

Highlighting and selecting specific items?

DSDN 144 Project 3: Contact Sheet / First Shoot