Illustrated Report.

Full Illustrated Report.

January 2012

 Presenting context and process


Within this Negotiated Module, I have chosen to further my previous projects on the city. I started by taking photographs while out with my camera and building up a collection of images, of things that interested me. With these images, I started to draw out particular areas of interest, which were mainly canals and subways. After researching Birmingham’s subways, as well as reflecting on previous work, on Birmingham’s regeneration. I decided that this was an area of interest for me and I would document the subways in my work. This appealed to me for many reasons: I find the subways to be quite fascinating to look at and have lots of potential for some good images.  In addition, they are quite important feature in Birmingham and seem to be slowly declining.

So I took lots more images of subways as well as the surrounding areas, so there was more of an interest in subways. I had a very fixed idea at this stage in the process that wanted process my images as HDR’s. I went and took more images with multiple exposures of either 3 or 5, I then merged the image sets to make HDR images in Photomatix and Photoshop. After looking at the works of other artists such as Edgar Martins and David Rowans, and not really achieving the effect I was looking for I decided to move away from HDR.  Processing images in varying styles to get an idea of the kind of images I wanted to produce.

I then set about taking more images. This time I tried looking at the area from different angles as well as focusing on smaller details. I took many additional images and studied them after deciding on my likes dislikes and improvements to be made to the images. I had to take some of the images I liked a few times to get what I kept missing, and some of these didn’t make it through to the final piece.  I found it hard to think of any of the images as being able to work as a collection as intended.

When I had gathered a collection of images I was happy with, I decided I was that happy with them that I was actually just going to leave them mostly alone. I did tweak the highlights a little as well as colour and luminance to get the desired images.

After taking a large amount of images I wanted to work with, I had to narrow down the selection. I found this difficult,. I decided not to ask anyone for their advise in choosing my prints as I think this would have made the decisions much harder and managed to get my final selection down to 8 prints. I decided to print my images as c-types on metallic paper



Within this module, I looked at a range of work, that I felt related with my own. I started by researching subways and there place in Birmingham, looking at old maps as well as asking others about their ideas feelings and memories of subways. Previous lectures on Birmingham’s regeneration and the links with the decline of the motor industry, gave me an interest in these areas so it was an expected step to take.

I also looked at many artists; two in particular, as previously mentioned Edgar Martins and David Rowan. Both these artist works interested me especially Edgar Martins, projects ‘When light casts no shadow’ and ‘Hidden’, The simple viewpoints are still striking and he effectively uses colour with a not particularly large palette. He effectively captures his subjects in an interesting way giving the viewer his interpretation of the matter.

I revisted the book Endcommercial, thinking about the arrangements in the images and trying to incorporate this way of thinking in my own work.



At the start of this module, I was not very sure which area I was going to be working in. However, after taking many images I quickly started to focus on the subways in Birmingham. I feel this was the first good step I enjoyed taking the images and seeing how they turned out. I had to be patient at times and also keep going over my images and looking for something I can add.

I feel maybe I delayed my progress a little while working on my images in HDR but nether the less I still believe that it helped me get a better understanding of the kind of image I wanted to achieve.

Studying the areas with my camera gave me a better understanding of what I wanted to achieve. Which is ultimately a collection of images that are interesting that have questions to be asked about them and that can document a moment in time.

Luckily, my prints turned out well. I did not get any test prints of the images. I did have a test print of the metallic paper but not my own work, this left me worried while waiting for my prints.  This is something I will definitely be doing in my next module, I would like to be sure of the colour and sharpening coming out of my computer.

The final stages of this module went really well, I was happy with my prints. The metallic paper has enhanced the colours in the images giving them a more professional appearance. I chose to frame my images in plain black frames. The reasons I chose to frame my images are, in the past I have mounted my images on foam-board. This I really wanted to protect my work, framing them has also further added to the professional impression of my work. I previously wanted my images to be printed larger, but had to compromise with the price. However now having all the images framed and printed, I am very happy with the size and I am glad I did not get them printed larger. I think that printing them larger would have forced the viewer into looking at each image individually, and not getting a good view of them as a collection.

One the images I decided against printing, I actually ending up regretting. This image I decided not to put in as I did not want to have to tell the viewer what the collection was about, neither that it needed an explanation. With hindsight, I am confident enough with my work that I think it holds up not only as a collection but also as individual pieces and I would have put this image in too.