My Theme

My project idea falls under the theme of “optical illusion”. I will achieve this by experimenting with mirrors and reflections to create illusions within the photographs without the use of post-production editing.

Test Shots


My original idea for my photoshoot was Political Advertising and I had the idea of photographing litter and pollution around Torbay to highlight the damage we are causing to the planet.

I took the below photographs on my phone to experiment and build on my technique before my actual shoot.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My intention was to edit these photographs to look like billboard advertisements. For example, the picture of the litter trailing behind the bench would have had a caption like “Follow the littered brick road” and each photograph would have highlighted specific environmental issues.

This, however, I found to be a difficult task as the litter I found was in very public spaces, making it hard to photograph creatively. I imagined this would provide me with a bland and non-interesting photoshoot and would not create my intended political messages successfully.
I then experimented with grafitti shots, but again, these were also difficult to photograph as they were on busy roads or caused controversy when I photographed them. For example, the featured “Downies” image I took caused multiple members of the public to accuse me of sympathising with the writer’s slanderous message.

Controversy can be effective, however I was unprepared for my idea to cause as much as it did.


In groups we experimented taking photographs in the dark room. Pictured are some of the photographs we created.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I found the process of this form of photography to be time consuming and limiting, as we had to bring physical objects to photograph.

This process did educate me successfully on how to develop film, however as I wanted to create a spontaneous and colourful photography portfolio, this process was not for me.


Shutter Speeds

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Using a feature on my phone’s camera called “light painting”, I created the above images. I believe this feature works by taking a video of the desired length and condensing each frame to create an image.

These photos were taken as experimentation as I didn’t have my camera on me. We experimented with lengths and speeds of strokes with the sparklers to create different effects such as wider lines and longer sparks.

I really enjoyed this process and this can be emulated using a professional camera by controlling the shutter speed, such as the image below.


This is a photo I modelled for, taken by one of my classmates. This was his experimental shoot, in which he played with different timings for his shutter speeds. This was the most successful photo, which had a shutter speed of 15 seconds, allowing his time to carefully create our letters to create a details and successful image.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above are experimental images I took of swans. These images failed as the aperture on my camera was far too low, not letting enough light into the lens.

Next time I would take these pictures during the day and ensure the aperture was high enough not to spoil the images.



Displacement Map


Here is a project I worked on on PhotoShop using Displacement Map.

First I dragged the flag onto the wall. I then changed the flag layer to hard light. I duplicated the brick layer and desaturated it. I then duplicated the grayscale brick wall to a new document, applied a gausien blur and saved it as a map. I then selected the flag layer  and did filter -> distort -> displace. This made it look like the flag had been spray painted onto the wall.
Layer Mask


Above is another PhotoShop project I created using Layer Mask.

I used the Magic Wand tool + Shift to select the white around the diver. I then used Select+Inverse and with the Move Tool I dragged the diver onto the sea.

I went to Layer -> Layer Mask -> Reveal All and used a black brush to erase away half of the diver. I then swapped to white and brought back a part of the diver at 20% opacity to make it look like she’s in the sea. I used the tool along the curve of a wave to make it look more realistic.

Post Production


This is one of the images from my photoshoot that I decided to manipulate using photoshop.

I took this photograph experimenting with the rule of thirds. The daisy in this photograph in the lower right section of the thirds draws the attention of the viewer.

This inspired me to encourage this drawing element further through editing. I decided to make the entire image black and white and keep the daisy in colour to create contrast.

photoshop 1.png

I began by bringing the image into Photoshop and duplicating the background layer. I used the image as the locked background layer so I could easily refer to the original image.
Then, I used the Quick Selection  Tool to select the head of the daisy. I then copied the head of the daisy.photoshop 2.png

Then, I duplicated the whole image and turned it black and white by going to image -> adjustments -> black and white.
This then brought up the above page, in which I could manipulate the black and white levels. I enhanced the red and blue hues to create a grainy and slightly abstract image.

photoshop 3.png

Then I pasted the head of the daisy back onto the manipulated image.


Planning the Shoot



  • Canon DSLR Camera with spare batteries and charger
  • Class 10 64GB SD card


Location, Shooting Schedule and Props

Car park opposite Torre Abbey in Torquay at 9am on Monday 12th June 2017

My location became the props for my shoot. I found the mirror featured in my final images at my location and used the trees, plants, gravel etc to create my images. I didn’t need to source any of my own props.

Risk Assessment

My shoot had potential risks that I needed to consider to ensure I was safe while shooting.

  • Permission – As my shoot location was a public space, I did not need permission to photograph there or the members of the public.
  • Weather – I ensured my shoot took place on a dry day to ensure the equipment would not get damaged
  • Hazards – There were many hazards at my location such as litter, rubble, wires and moving cars. I walked around my location before shooting to identify these hazards before starting. I also ensured I was wearing suitable clothing that would prevent me from slipping or not being seen by cars
  • Injury – My main prop was a mirror that was damaged. I ensured I was careful when handling this prop so I didn’t cut myself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s