Following on from WiP #11, where I received some interesting feedback from a fellow student, I have decided to experiment further with conveying to the viewer something of the chaos behind the order of my composites.
This process of experimenting with the layers and layer masks making up the composites isn’t strictly a work in progress. Instead, I feel it is a subordinate way of presenting the work. It has also been quite a fun process which has made me look at my own work a bit differently. I have looked at it in a way where I can see how constructed my image of Deptford is. Not only have I been selective in the locations and framing I’ve chosen to use but I have been selective with regards to the people who appear in the scenes. As I commented in WiP #11, I am comfortable with this manipulation as I will be presenting the work in an art context with some mention of the composite approach. Presented alongside my poems to form a diegesis, the composites show my subjective view of Deptford.
In terms of experimenting, I was sure I wanted to show some of the landscape while still highlighting where the people had been composited into the frame. I wasn’t sure how to do this at first and I experimented with opacity so that the layer masks of the people were showing but only part of the landscape was visible. This wasn’t the cleanest look though so I experimented further. It became clear to me that I wanted the layer masks to be obvious to me so I composited the layer masks as one, similar to WiP #11. Then I had the idea to make a solid white layer where I copied the inverted layer masks onto the layer’s layer mask. All of this got me the result of having a white background with the areas I’d inserted the people into revealing the background landscape.
This was quite a pleasing result but I tried experimenting further. I found by making all layers apart from the background layer and the new solid white layer with layer mask invisible, I was left with an image that showed my process effectively.
In my opinion some of these images show the process better than others. Two images that stood out for me was the image with a gated community where in the final composite a person is riding their bicycle out of the gate of the development. In the image that reveals my process, the gate is shut which is revealing of my manipulation of the scene.
The second image which reflected my process with this method of presentation of ‘behind the scenes’ chaos was one where graffiti fills a wall and there is a new development behind it. Here, there is quite a lot going on in the distance especially, with the Docklands Light Railway train and the people on the wall in front of it. When comparing the composite with the solid white background with layer masks revealing where the people on the wall would have been, it becomes apparent that quite a lot has changed from the initial background layer.
Here are the other images of a solid white layer, layer masks which correspond to where people are in the final composite, revealing the background layer for sake of reference/interest:
I’m not convinced these solid white images with layer masks revealing the background layer will appear anywhere other than this blog. That is because I would like the final composites and poems to take precedence for my body of work in a book or exhibition. Nevertheless I feel these images make for a compelling supplement on my blog. It has been rewarding to experiment further with the composites which for the most part I had considered as ‘finished’ and have been sitting in the hard drive of my computer.