Assignment 3 A staged photograph – final edit (warning self harm and nudity images)

25th January 2020

The following photographs are my final selection for this assignment. To view the research and preliminary work the link is here and the contact sheets, here.

It was very difficult to choose a specific image as the final ‘one only.’ However looking on other peoples blogs some students had presented three as their final selection. So I had filtered the final images to the following three, ‘Getting Ready’, ‘Call Out’ and ‘Here We Go Again’.

I chose these three shots as they are very different in feel and finish however within each image I am naked for two specific reasons. The first is I wanted the images to provide a feeling of vulnerability which the naked body provides, I am flesh and the scissors, sharp, cut my flesh by my own will. It is also how I sleep so this is true to how the scene would have looked.

Getting Ready

‘Getting Ready’ shows me in bed with the bedside lamp as light source. The light highlights objects on the cabinet and part of my body and face. The hand holding the scissors is silhouetted just off centre of the image and our eyes are drawn towards it straight away. The lighting is high contrast and the darkness hides the figure who is getting ready for the abuser to enter the room.

Call Out

With ‘Call Out’, the narrative is obvious by the look on the face, the hiding behind a pillow, scissors in hand and the phone used to call out for help. Although this is a narrative to show the idea of domestic abuse this photograph does not show a scene that would have taken place within my house because if I had ever got to the phone it would have been taken off me and smashed.

Here I particulalry like how the contrast works, the lightest section by the lamp in the top left hand corner and the darkest shadow in the bottom right hand corner. In between we have a gradient of shade from one to another with enough light still falling on the face for the viewer to read the victims facial expression.

Here We Go Again

The final chosen image has been left in natural colour with out any adjustments being made. I wanted the scene to look as though the viewer is in the room with the victim, looking at her crouched figure and unable to make out much of the facial expressions. The hands and the scissors form enough of a silhouette that the eyes can work out what is going on.

The conclusion for this assignment are these images do tell a narrative story because of the specific clues which are:

  • The bedroom scene
  • Naked body crouched and or hiding within the dark
  • Facial expressions
  • Hands holding scissors
  • Hand holding a phone up to a mouth that is in discussion.

However, the theme that I was trying to get across may not be easy to detect unless the viewers know my back story, or if these images are shown in an exhibition that has more work on domestic abuse/ violence within it.

The images first glance could be mistaken for a vulnerable women in bed who heard a noise, opened her drawer in the cabinet to get scissors out for protection.

So although the postures, facial expressions, scene setting, props, composition and lighting may be how I had planned the end story will ultimately be up to the the viewer to conclude.

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