Monday, 2 June 2014

Week 9 - 14.5.14

I needed to think of a way that I could convey the opinion of many that "beards are for men" in a creative way that I could turn into a print to display at the exhibition. From the question I asked my bearded models, which is 'why' they chose to grow their facial hair, and the ever repeating theme of manliness coming through in most answers, I wanted to be able to put this view across to people who saw the prints, and even pose the question "are you a man?" - i.e. do you have a beard? or does the beard make you a man? - I wanted to be able to provoke thought with my display, not just presenting some pretty pictures.
I thought of a few ways to do this; a compilation of portraits on one print and a compilation of answers on the other, I also thought about having all of the images displayed on a large panoramic print. But then I thought about creating a mosaic. It'd be a way of displaying many images, as well as being able to put them into a bigger picture - both literally and metaphorically.
I had downloaded a piece of software called 'Foto-Mosaik-Edda' which I planned to use to create the mosaic's. The start of this process was to create a database of work - I created a new folder, and inserted all of the images that I wanted to be in the mosaics. I then filled out the crucial information in the software, including the size of the image, the resolution, number of tiles, the maximum number of times a tile may be repeated and of course, the main image that the smaller images will create.
After playing with and testing the software, I started to think about what I wanted the main image to be. I initially thought about using a floral image, to put across the theme that's been running throughout my project, I also tried using a street style image, but neither of these spoke the message well. And then I thought about using portraits. The idea of using portraits, got me back to thinking about how I wanted to look at 'double standards' towards the beginning of my project and how I could possibly still address that now.
I chose images of two different people, with two different belief systems, who still seemed to agree on the idea that 'beards are for men'. I chose profile shots, so that I could have them side by side, looking at each other.
When I first tried this, there seemed to be a consistency issue, in that the first image was a location shot, and the second was shot in a studio, so I removed the background in the first image and turned it black. I then tried to even out the spaces of black on both of the original images, to create balance as well as allowing space for text. When I'd fixed these issues, I ran them through the software and had gotten my results. I then got the images up onto Adobe Photoshop and added the words "Are you a man?", in both English and Arabic, to add to thought provocation.


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