Top Art Exhibition - Photography

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Andrew Witty, Christchurch Boys' High School 

My plans for 2013:

Studying film at Victoria University of Wellington.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Having grown up in an industrial town, I focussed on how society is desensitised to these shapes of buildings - that they're hollow, without meaning and simply shapes. I wanted to demonstrate the subconscious idea of reality.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

  • First panel - establishing, starting to show repetitive nature, begin to morph.
  • Second panel - focus on abstract, linear shapes, negative space. Use Photoshop for colours and blocks.
  • Third panel - new formed buildings on blank background. Represents subconscious ideas of shapes.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

Gaining access to industrial areas was difficult. I was often asked to leave at night.

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Ashley Kibblewhite, Tawa College

My plans for 2013:

Studying at Massey University in Wellington doing a course in photographic design.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

The idea I wanted to portray was "the butterfly effect". My board is my own interpretation of this, showing the evolution of a butterfly, rather than the theory itself. As well as this, I wanted to show freedom and the idea of breaking free and becoming something big.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used a lot of slow shutter speeds to express the transformations and changes the 'butterfly' is going through. My artwork is black and white because it relates to Francesca Woodman's photography and I used her as an artist model. But as you can see, the colour comes through slightly toward the end, which shows and symbolises life and being alive.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

The weather sometimes became a very stressful issue, but other than that the whole experience was so much fun. Of course, sometimes I wouldn't get the shot I wanted, but I also produced shots that are my favourite and I didn't even intend them.

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Esther Ige - Top Subject Scholar, Northcote College

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

At first, I had this idea of childlike nature contrasting with adult nature. I wanted to show the difference between the two. I went to the store and bought children's things, like a colourful teapot and cups, a wooden clown, fairy wands, a miniature horse and a hobby horse. I put these items on the table to photograph them, but I preferred the simplicity of the white hobby horse standing alone. I decided to focus on the white horse and what it represents - simplicity, innocence, fantasy and childlike nature.

I used that to come up with an idea of a girl who loves horses. She wants to ride a horse, and she wants to feed a horse. She wants this horse so badly that it starts to become more real to her. All girls have grown up under the influence of fairy tales and I wanted to show how they shape our perspective. This horse is not real, it is 'make believe', but her fantasy has become reality.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I had to make a popup card of a horse and a popup card of a fence. First, I traced the shape of the horse on the cardboard. I cut the horse out leaving the bottom still attached to the cardboard, so that when folded up it will stand. I also had to make a life-size head of the horse with thicker cardboard and a material silhouette of the horse.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

The main issue that arose during the production of my work was the shadows. I wanted to show strong shadows to emphasise my idea of fantasy. I tried to take photos when the sun was out and bright, but the shadows were not strong enough. I tried to taking photos when the light was going down; again the shadows were not strong enough. I decided to use a normal desk lamp to focus the light on the object. This created a stronger shadow. I was really happy about that.

For my second board, I wanted a larger shadow of the horse. I tried to do it with Photoshop, but it didn't look realistic. My school happily lent me a projector, which worked perfectly to create the large shadow of the horse on the wall.

Another problem that arose during the production of my work was creating the photo where the girl looks like she is thinking of the horse. I had to layer a horse picture over the girl's face. It took a while, because I didn't know how to show the transparency of the horse on her face. At the same time I wanted the horse to stand out enough, but I also wanted the features of the girl not to fade. I had to find a balance and eventually I got there.

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Gabrielle Alexander, Kerikeri High School

My plans for 2013:

I am studying a Bachelor of Design at Massey University in Wellington, majoring in Visual Communication Design.

Information about my work: 'Peter Pan Syndrome'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I started off photographing miniature figures, with the intention of making them larger as I progressed through my boards, so that I could use the technique of scale. To help with this I introduced a model, to represent the scale. I then decided to add a slight narrative to my work. It ended up being about a boy who refused to grow up, eventually diving into his toy box to escape adulthood.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Various techniques have been used throughout my folio, however my favourite had to be the tilt-shift technique, which I produced in Photoshop. Tilt-shift is usually an in-camera technique, but I did not have the lens for it, so I produced the effect myself. (Tilt-shift has been used in my work to take a miniature scene.)

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

My model was not always available, which made it hard for me to take photos. Using no model or a sibling might have been easier, but I am happy with the final result of my work.

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Gabrielle Gill, St Hilda's Collegiate School 

My plans for 2013:

Bachelor of Architectural Studies at Victoria University.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I started with an apocalyptic/zombie movie-type setting, in a run-down kitchen surrounded by darkness. I had the idea that when all humans/civilisation had left, plants would then take over, kind of like what is happening at Chernobyl. I originally planned to do some sort of B-grade zombie theme using elements from Gregory Crewdon's photography, but instead developed the idea to be more about plants.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Throughout the three panels there has been a lot of Photoshop work, particularly in the third panel, where I created a whole cityscape in plants. All of the photographs were taken on a DSLR camera in a studio and I used dark, chiaroscuro-like lighting, which relates to the B-grade horror genre.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

Some low points were developing an idea/theme that would fill the three panels, as well as presenting a strong narrative. Losing my model in the second term was another low point.

A high point was when I had finished about a panel and a half and had most of my third panel planned, to the point where I only needed a few more photographs taken - my time management is usually terrible.

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Kimberley Getley, St Cuthbert's College

My plans for 2013:

University - AUT, design.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I developed the themes, concepts and ideas in my work by using artistic references such as Abelardo Morrell, which inspired me to work with books and encyclopaedias in a way people haven't seen them before. Another concept that helped me develop my work was the idea of encyclopaedias becoming out of date due to the introduction of the internet and the idea of bringing them back to life.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used a camera and tripod in studio conditions to create my photographs and also used flash lights and a black backdrop.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

An interesting point that arose in the production of the cut outs/pop ups in my work was that I found that only certain types of paper would be able to be used successfully. For example, if the paper was too thin it wouldn't stand upright, or if it were too thick it was hard to place it in interesting ways for it to be shot.

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Meg Ferguson, Rangi Ruru Girls' School 

My plans for 2013:

Victoria University of Wellington studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Japanese.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I was interested in the New Zealand statistics about child abuse and how many children are constantly living in fear as a result of this phenomenon. Children's innocence can escape due to this fear and uncertainty.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I was interested in the use of shadows to portray fear and using dirty greenish lights to make it seem very dark and fearful. I also used the technique of overlaying and using different opacities to make it seem as if the subject is trying to get out.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

I found editing photos on Photoshop difficult as I had never used it before so had to get help, slowing down my production of work!

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Nicholas Rean, Auckland Grammar School 

My plans for 2013:

Studying architecture at Unitec.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Started off looking at aircraft at Ardmore Airport, then developed into an investigation of history.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used HDR techniques to begin and ended with an installation using light movement/long exposures.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

I documented the first Mosquito plane to fly in approximately 10 years. It is the only working plane of its kind.

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Nicole Hefford, St. Cuthbert's College

My plans for 2013:

Bachelor of Architectural Studies at the University of Auckland.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

The concept of the exploration of light was developed through the original subject matter of my selected environment.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Physical manipulation of the subject matter and recreating an in-studio environment allowed me to explore the subtleties of light and texture.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

My main issue was to not cast the 'horse' in a stereotypical light - instead it was to be used as a vehicle to investigate the actual subject matter in all its subtlety.

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Te Paea Hoori, Pompallier Catholic College 

My plans for 2013:

In 2013 I plan to take a year off to create - both client-based freelance photography and my own personal work. I'm hoping for this year to be one of inspiration, creativity and relaxation!

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I was approached by local theatre company Northland Youth Theatre, who asked me if I could photograph their upcoming derived production, later titled The Misadventures of the Urchin Theatre. It was interesting as the themes of the photographs had to reflect those in a play and the challenge was developing a visual representation of a theatre piece that was growing and changing almost right up until its public release.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

One of the primary techniques involved with creating these photographs was stage lighting. I was fortunate to have a variety of different stage lights at my disposal. While I had the production's lighting plan as a guide, it was intriguing how frequently the lighting the audience experienced during the show did not translate well to a two-dimensional medium. Therefore, the challenge was to capture the vibe and atmosphere of the show.

Later on I began to experiment with motion blur and multiple imaging, which involved taking a series of photographs as the cast were moving and overlaying them so that only elements of the image progress. This look was inspired by Duane Michaels' transitional photography.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

The highlight of creating this body of work was definitely working with such a large cast and crew. It was so much fun being surrounded by so many personalities - both on stage and off!

It was quite difficult, however, trying to remain relaxed when I was aware that my images would not just be used for my own portfolio, but also to promote the production and feature on posters throughout the city. It was also challenging having to direct and orchestrate so many people and create images that embodied the atmosphere of the show when in drama so much is communicated through movement and dialogue.

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Xavier Ellah, Wellington High School 

My plans for 2013:

Bachelor of Design with Honours (Spatial Design) at Massey University in Wellington.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I was initially interested in portraiture's ability to depict the surface, but also hint at what lies behind facades, after looking at the work of Rineke Dijkstra. This led me to think about how people - and ultimately the self - are perceived.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used a tripod and the self-timer in my camera to take most of the images. As I was taking self-portraits, I had to rush into the frame in the space of 10 seconds. I was very lucky to receive help from assistants who held the camera and pressed the shutter for the images in public spaces.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

The idea of self-portraiture arose out of necessity rather than desire because using models proved too stressful and less accessible. This forced me to confront my own anxieties and issues of vanity, narcissism and self-importance surrounding how people perceive me.

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Zoe Webb, Napier Girls' High School 

My plans for 2013:

2013 for me consists of doing a Bachelor of Design with Honours in photographic design at Massey University in Wellington.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Five different objects were used to portray the effects relevant to global warming along with the artist models. Through the boards, the objects were combined in a variety of ways and developed to suit and convey the theme.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used a variety of techniques, such as fluorescent lighting, and edited with applications found in Photoshop.

I used skulls and bones to represent death, and flesh and plant materials to represent the living. Manufacturing and energy use - contributing factors to global warming - are reflected in my use of metal, glass, bulbs and steel.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

A high point while producing my folios was being able to converse with people about the depth of my work, the representation through the use of five objects and a growing awareness and knowledge of global warming.

 

 
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