Assignment 6: Pre-assessment tutorial

During my tutorial for my fifth assignment, my tutor and I discussed how I would present my work for assessment. Now that I have completed the course, it is very satisfying to look back through my work to see how far I’ve come during this module. Overall, there doesn’t appear to be much that I need to change. I agree with my tutor’s view that my work is very much at an experimental stage, due to the very nature of the photography that I have produced. This is very much like the current nature of digital photography. It is continually evolving and reinventing itself.

Almost ten years ago, I began studying photography with the Open College of the Arts. At the very start, I was encouraged to ‘find my voice’ and develop my own photographic style. As my studies have progressed, I believe I am closer to achieving this. However, the ever-evolving nature of photography has meant that I have had to adapt and refine my own practice.

Digital Image and Culture has enabled me to address how images can be created, manipulated and distributed in the digital-age. By reviewing my assignments and coursework, I can see what motivates me and my photography. I am fascinated by the fragility of the digital images which we faithfully upload to servers and clouds. Our digital family albums consist of bits and bytes of data, which magically appear on the screens of our digital devices.

Throughout this course I have been very mindful of my assessment feedback for previous L2 Landscape course. The assessors had referred to the potential of my work being let down by its presentation. It was my first Level 2 course and I naively thought that I could submit samples in a similar fashion as I did at Level 1. Therefore, I am going to consider my submission for this assessment much more carefully.

Since my course officially finished in December, I won’t be able to submit my work for the next assessment event in March. Therefore, I have chosen the July assessment date instead. This will give me enough time to prepare my work properly.

Assignment 1: Coalition  

Since the first part of this assignment was to create composite images from printed photographs, I will present these as the original pieces of artwork. There is also an animated gif, which I will need to slow down. For the second part of this assignment, I will print a large version of the digitally manipulated images of my son.

Assignment 2: Contactless

This was the first photo book that I had ever made. It enabled me to also explore the use of different materiaIs and their qualities. Using transparent sheets enabled me to communicate on a much deeper level than just opaque paper. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, but acknowledge my tutor’s view that the images are very close to the gutter. He has advised that I submit it as it is for assessment, since I have learnt from my mistakes by producing a photo book for my 5th assignment.

Assignment 3: Critical Review

My essay will be printed and uploaded to the G Drive, ready for assessment. I have made all of the formatting changes that my tutor recommended.

Assignment 4: Digital Identities

This assignment was a transitional moment for me. The images that I produced for this assignment were not used for Assignment 5. However, I will provide the assessors with a sample of the images that I produced, since they illustrate the development of my ideas.

Assignment 5: Glitched

A photo book of glitched images, with QR code links to related online images. My tutor has suggested that some pages have too many images on. I did this to represent the many pixels which make up each image. However, my tutor’s feedback has made me question myself about this. It is still possible to identify aspects of the original photographs, when looking at all of the constituent parts. In order to stress how a new piece of artwork can be produced by being ‘glitched’, I will choose one image to represent each glitched photograph. These will be presented as a photo book, with the QR code linking to the online images. The camera app on any smart phone should be able to view the QR-coded image, without the need to download any app.

Learning Log

Following earlier tutor feedback, I have reorganised my blog. Therefore, I need to ensure all tags and categories correctly direct the assessors, and other visitors, to the correct content.

Photo Book

For the final outcome for my final assignment, I have decided to produce a photo book and a video. Based on what I have learned during this course, it seemed appropriate to have both an analog and digital version of my images. 

I have started to put together the layout of my photo book. It comprises images which have been intentionally glitched by me using either Audacity or Text Edit to manipulate data behind each image.  

 Each set of images will be accompanied by a QR code. This will provide a link to the original and glitched images. 



Japanese stab bonding kit

To help me to create my book, I bought a Japanese stab binding kit (Above) from Amazon. It contained everything I needed and was really easy to use.

Responding to my Assignment 2 feedback, I made sure that my images were clear of the spine of the book.Also, whilst I was printing each page double-sided, I noticed that the QR codes were printed upside down. Instead of reprinting them, I liked the idea of it being similar to a glitch, and the QR codes still work anyway.

Having the audacity to databend images

Whilst I was researching about how to intentionally glitch digital images, I came across the term ‘databending’. Basically, this means opening a file in a piece of software which it wasn’t meant to be used for. For example, using Audacity, which is a sound editor, to open an image file, also known as misalignment.

First of all, I needed to convert my chosen image to a TIFF file, so that there was more data to play around with. After importing the image in Audacty as raw data, the file is converted into an audio wave form. Then I selected a section of the ‘audio’ to add an effect, such as echo and reverb. This then alters the data, which ultimately will distort and glitch the original image. 

Below are some of my experiments with data bending an image with Audacity.  

Echo and reverb

Echo and reverb

Wave form for the image above.

Wave form for the image above.

Fade in and echo

Fade in and echo

Whilst in Audacity, it is impossible to know what the resulting image will look like, until it is exported and opened. This reminded me of the times when I would open my pack of photographs from Boots to see if the negatives from my camera film had developed corrrectly. Sometimes, the photos would be damaged by being double exposed or negatives overlapping. 

For my final assignment, I am going to explore the different audio effects further, using one image.  

The path to corruption

Every now and then I will find that one of my digital photographs has been corrupted. It reminds me of the days when, after waiting 48 hours to get my negatives developed, I’d find that some photographs had two overlapping exposures. 

With digital, you don’t expect that sort of thing to happen. However, I sometimes find distorted images containing unusual coloured patterns and streaks. These corrupted images are a reminder of the fragility of digital. In the past, just dropping an external hard drive has led to me losing hundreds of images, because they are unrecoverable. 

After discussing how images could be corrupted, and viewed as art, I wanted to explore this further. I found out that jpegs are made up of hexadecimal text files. The idea of being able to get inside an image and alter it’s structure really appeals to me.