This is an evaluation of my final photographic portfolio.
My photography falls into the genre of abstract and I circled my work around the theme of “optical illusion”.
As mentioned in my sketchbook, my original idea was based around the environment and I used elements of this planning my my final products.
For example, as my shooting location was a recycling centre, I was able to utilise my surroundings by using the setting as my prop. While there, I found the featured mirror in my shoots.
My theme was inspired by works by Daniel Kukla that I discovered on the Daily Mail website called “The easels in the desert: Photographer captures stunning mirrored reflections in American valley that look like paintings”
Kukla places mirrors in easels and took photographs at careful angles to make the reflections appear as paintings.
One of my images was directly inspired by Kukla’s work (pictured below).
My pictures are above. I didn’t include these in my final shoot as I found that they didn’t provide my desired optical illusion. However, I enjoyed experimenting with the direct reflection of the bricks, similarly to the rock reflection image of Kukla’s.
Also, the crack in the mirror spoiled the illusion.
Similarly, below is a side-by-side comparison of another of my images that was inspired by Kukla.
My final images, although intriguing, are quite contemporary. I believe an audience of young adults, or perhaps aspiring photographers like myself, would appreciate my work the most.
I believe most of my audience would appreciate figuring out how the illusion is created, and then perhaps realise the simplicity of the images and not be as impressed.
Culturally, I think my images could be used to portray images and ideology. For example, the reflection in the image could be that of a hardship in the world such as homelessness, but the location of the mirror could be in front of a rich person’s house.
This is one of my images that I feel could potentially reflect this. I used a grid with large bars over the top of the reflection of the trees to create this image.
The bars reflect the cold and constrained society and the trees represent the trapped or imprisoned organic culture in our society.
Critique – If I was to take this image again, I would reinforce this idea perhaps with a caption or by placing the mirror underneath all of the bars.
This is my favourite photo from the shoot. I like the strong contrast between the plain gravel and the bright trees. The strong tree branch running through the middle of the reflection is also a drawing point for the viewer.
If I was to take this image again, I would centre the mirror to maintain an element of symmetry.
I would also avoid fingerprints on the mirror as they spoil the illusion, however this was somewhat unpreventable as I couldn’t manoeuvre the mirror without touching the glass directly and I was at risk of breaking the mirror further if I wiped it too often.
I found with all of my photos that my camera really struggled to focus on the whole desired image. Because of this, I decided my main focus was to be the reflection in the mirror.
I believe this image works well because the mirror is well-centred and the contrast between the two elements of the photo compliment each other.
I would, next time, take this image from a more direct angle as the mirror is too obvious. This may also have increased the possibility of focusing the whole image.
With this image, I really played with my theme to create an illusion. You can just about see the mirror in this image, and I achieved this by taking the photo from a low angle and holding the mirror enough so that I, myself, couldn’t notice the mirror immediately when first looking through the camera lens.
With this image I also practised working with the Rule of Thirds. The head of the daisy in this image is the focal point/point of interest as it is in the lower right third of the photo.
I think the clean, bright daisy also compliments the overall photo because it features all organic life.
With this image, I played with the reflection to create a straight line between the role and the its reflection.
If I was to take this image again, I would attempt to create a stronger contrast in the reflection in the mirror, as the trees are uninteresting.
The outline of the pole works as leading lines and draws the attention down to the mirror where the viewer can be told how the image was created.
I achieved this image successfully be keeping the pole and its reflection in focus and I think this worked well to achieve my intentions. If I was to take this again, however, I would try to focus the whole reflection in the mirror to create a stronger image.
With the above two images, I played with the theme of “portals”. There is a heavy contrast between the blue background of the left image and the reflection of the trees. This photo also feels the most natural as the angle is centred. I didn’t have to take this photo as a strategic angle to avoid my own reflection and thus I achieved a balanced image.
The image on the right captures a car, road signs and trees, almost reflecting a different world compared to the rusty background. I also attempted to line certain elements with each other like the top of the ground.
Overall, I found this shoot successfully achieved my intentions. I really enjoyed this shoot and managed my time well to avoid rushing these images.
If I was to take these images again, I would avoid fingerprints in the mirror to not spoil the illusion.
Also, I would work harder and seek guidance from peers such as my tutors to try and get my camera to focus on the whole images to avoid blur.