This exhibition explores the aspects of social smoking in this modern age. Teenagers are increasingly participating in smoking only in social gatherings and with their peers. Taken with a modern editorial theme, we explore two friends removed from their context of being with friends and place them entirely in what they perceive themselves as smokers. Incorporating a surrealist theme, the exhibition progresses towards exaggeration and sensationalism, attracting a final scene of smoking out of a saxophone.
This drew inspiration from Vampire Weekend’s Diane Young music video. Look for cues in the sequence such as a fat cuban cigar billowing artistic smoke and Marlboro Gold, a low tar and easy to smoke cigarette favoured by occasional smokers. Watch as the scene grows more and more vivid as they start to smoke. Black and white turns to colour. Formal conservative attire is replaced by colour and edgy casual wear. Examine some highlights from the gallery but also scroll past the break to see all five boards in sequence.
Originally printed on A1 boards.
My first board was shot using just black and white which really taught me the intricacies of balancing contrast with exposure in the photos. I was surprised to find that so much more detail that you do not normally notice can be found in black and white photos. It was a very amazing experience that has taught me wonders. The first board also taught me to frame my shots especially with the use of models to shoot. Directing them and telling them how i wanted to take the photograph was tricky at first but later become very natural and as we did more shoots, Emerson and Helena knew what I wanted to achieve.My second board brought me back to the use of photoshop and the use of selective colouring and the subtleties of smoke and how difficult it was to photograph it. Using slower shutter speeds to capture a haze or faster shutter speeds to capture the ‘moment’.
Originally I had only planned to have 3 boards but I found that I wanted to have a slower transition from black and white to full on, blown out colour. So i was able to use some of my photos from my first shoot to have my second and third boards. I was extremely happy with the end result. My fourth and fifth boards took a lot of preparation and set up involving over 10 hours of actual shooting and many more in preparation. This was caused by a re-shoot and lack of understanding of the saxophone and the fact that it was much more difficult to light as a smoking pipe than expected. We by chance lit a tissue on fire which burns very well and use that to simulate the effect of smoking.
In conclusion, although my idea of exploring the translucent nature of smoke and the smoking culture of the 1950s was at first complicated, I felt that it was much easier as I started making progress during the shoots. I felt that the black and white photos gave a timeless feeling to the first board, the selective colour a great transition to colour from black and white in the second board, the use of more lighter colours in the third board and the craziness of colour in attire, flames, saxophones in the fourth and fifth board. I feel as though the flow of the board has been positive in that the ‘smoking has made the individuals seem more interesting on the outside’, through the use of colour and addition of the changing backdrop but they are still the same boring people with see through, translucent personalities.