Due to a lack of response from people I was hoping to interview and photograph I needed to change the way I created my images and chose to make composites (see blogs posts The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men & Of Onions and Images – Quick Task 5).
I initially searched the internet for images falling under creative commons licences that allowed me to use and manipulate things how I wanted them but I had some very specific ideas of what I wanted and soon found that imposing these sort of restrictions too inhibiting. As a result I expanded my search to include all images, regardless of copyright.
This image was a combination of 3 separate images.
I wanted to show an old person that was trapped to represent the issues of how old people can feel trapped in their homes. Sometimes by poor weather and other times because a lack of affordable small housing allowing them to downsize. The hands were the hardest part as the original hands from the prison bars image just looked to young so I had to find older hands in a similar position that I could use.
My second image reflects rural poverty. Many elderly people are asset rich but cash poor, Their houses are often large but in need of repairs and maintenance which drains what small income sources they have. A shortage of affordable small housing means they are trapped and unable to move. I put the old man in affluent surroundings to represent the misconceptions people have that the elderly that live in such areas are all wealthy.
My third image was about the problems with rural technology. The iPhone is an iconic piece of technology that is easily recognisable and i wanted to use a broken one to represent the failing and faulty technology that exists in rural areas. Matching the colouring and ageing the hand to match were the trickiest areas.
I decided to create a studio style shot for my 4th image to represent depression which can lead to suicide. A common trait of depression is the speed in which it can turn a happy person too thoughts of suicide and depression. I created the image in Photoshop and used the ‘render light’ function to create the effect.
Being trapped, loneliness and isolation are key problems which accompany rural living. I wanted to show this through my 5th image with the main focus on being trapped at home. I used blending techniques in Photoshop to make the woman feel like she was behind the window and I positioned her low in the frame to give her a more diminished appearance.
With image 7 I wanted to show the problems that rural people face with public transport. As the are the services that tend to be very inconsistent and are the first areas to be cut when local government needs to save money. The effect to residents is often devastating, far more than those faced in urban areas and the elderly can find themselves with long walks or even becoming trapped and not able to get out at all. To create the image I cut out the old person and added him to the pathway. I then changed the light source to match the main image and I decided to add in the shadow from the trees to give the image a more dramatic feel.
My final image was another representation of the problems of rural public transport. Without a car you are at the mercy of the bus companies and when they do not perform you can be left stranded. I wanted my image to conjure up the feelings of loneliness and isolation again so I combined 2 of my own images with one of a bus stop I got from the internet. I enlarged the tree on my main image and then placed the picture of Alex Taylor sitting on the bench into it. I added the bus stop and then added a flare for the sun and used the render lighting to ensure the lighting looked correct. Finally I added a filter to make it look warmer and it feel like it is early evening.
For my presentation I wanted my photo book to be more like a magazine. Country Life has producing magazines for over a hundred years since its first publication in 1897 and I felt their style would work well with my message. I designed my cover using other country life cover examples I found on the net and used an online printing firm to create the magazines themselves. I had 6 made in total and my ideal positioning would be to place them on a waiting room table and allow people to casually pick them up to read.
For the image sequence, as I had made a series of both portrait and landscape images then I did not want a reader to be constantly flipping the magazine back and forth so I chose what I felt was my strongest portrait image to start then followed it with my other two portrait images. I then switched to my landscape and finished on my strongest ones here too. This meant that the reader only needs to flip the book into landscape once to continue reading. I also included an actual news article about some of the issues with each image. I tried to link a suitable article with each picture that i felt the picture reflected. This added greater context to the images and anyone reading would quickly understand their meaning.