Studio Shoot – The Good, The Bad & The Dirty…

 21st November 2017:

Systems of Value: Re-Capturing & Re-Imagining Commodity Disposal…

  • Items that are used and are permanent, not considered as disposable (e.g. Furniture, kettles)
  • Items that are single use and are recyclable… (e.g. cans, cardboard)
  • Items that are single use and are not recyclable thus having no value…. (E.g. Toothpaste, Pill packets, Condoms)

This week I booked more time in the studio, I wanted to use this opportunity to photograph the items I wasn’t able to in the previous shoot. I also used this as an opportunity to find and photograph other discarded or damaged items that symbolically perpetuate my principles of waste disposal mentioned in previous week. This week I focused my attention on smaller more personal items such as cigarette butts, condoms (removed from packaging, void of purpose/use), discarded pill packets and more obscure items found in my garden… including an aged/weathered mug and garden decoration.

Studio Eventualities and Challenges…

Although, I booked an extended duration within the photography studio, this week I struggled, and faced some difficulties in achieving the shots I desired.  Rather ironically, on this occasion; I faced difficulties in controlling and directing my lighting. For instance, I attempted to backlight more of my objects, because I really liked how some images came out in this way in from previous shoots. However, I failed to re-create the same visual aesthetics as some images worked better than others. Consequently, I have now come to the conclusion that when attempting to backlight objects, some inevitably work better than others. Backlighting works best with solid, metallic or objects with smooth surfaces; as the light reflects and accentuates the edges and curvature of the object. However, items that are flattened, paper, cardboard or objects that are really small or minuscule are particularly problematic to light.

I really struggled to photograph really small items such as cigarette butts, as these were very problematic to light in a desirable way. Due to their size, shape, and lack of surface areas, it was nearly impossible to light the object that makes visible the texture and form of the cigarette whilst simultaneously abstracting the background that makes it completely black. The only way I could potentially achieve this effect is to use post-production editing heavily, although this may allow me to achieve the desired aesthetics; with this, I run the risk of degrading my images through heavy manipulation. In reality, what is most desirable is to light the object in an optimum way that also allows just the object to be lit and the background will become abstracted; thus allowing for more flexibility and HD quality images that have higher resolution.

Lighting the cigarette was also an issue because, despite post-production editing, the lack of fully blackened background means that these images are not completely consistent with my other images meaning that they are less likely to work well as part of my final image selection.

In a slightly, unrelated note, I feel that when photographing the objects such as the condom and the used cigarette butts. (Collected from University) was especially difficult for me because these objects were really distance and of no relation to me personally. The smell of the cigarette, in particular, was particularly off-putting and I found it difficult to spend prolonged periods of time photographing these. I also feel that it is important to acknowledge this exercise, to me it felt quite intrusive, although a discarded cigarette is not at first glance a particularly personal item, there was something quite discomforting in photographing these because to me, it felt like an intrusive exercise; There is some odd about removing an item from its place of disposal…

Firstly, the cigarettes I had collected and photographed have all be smoked, used and discarded by living breathing people. These cigarettes also have been in direct, close and physical contact with the people who have smoked them.

Lastly, there is something oddly intrusive in removing that somewhat personal item (traces of DNA, indexicality etc) from the place in which they were discarded. The people who smoked them had or have no knowledge that they have been used for this purpose. I guess to a degree, I am being too empathetic, I would imagine that if I smoked a cigarette, and threw it away, I wouldn’t want it to be picked up and salvaged and photographically dissected by an unknown individual. Although to a degree, if you don’t want your waste to be scrutinized and dissected then it is important that as an individual you manage your own waste appropriately; not leaving it on the ground when you’re within walking distance of a bin!

Studio Shoot & Post-Production Edits…

Below are a set of successful images from the shoot, these images have all been edited in Camera Raw, allowing me to enhance and accentuate details, highlights, contrast and tonal variation that fits well with some of my existing images. Within this shoot, some images are more successful than others…

It is also interesting to acknowledge that due to post-production editing this has allowed me to salvage some shots, allowing me to incorporate editing techniques such as “Graduated Filter” that adds to and accentuates the tonality of some images.

Despite the fact that this shoot wasn’t overly successful, I was still able to photograph some objects such as the KFC wrapper in a way that fits well with existing images, and I may be able to incorporate some images from this shoot in within my decisive image selection. I also feel that shots of the pill packet also work well in terms of style and aesthetics and tonality.


Final Draft Audio Mixup…

This week, with Christmas fast-approaching I am growing increasingly conscious of the looming deadlines that are thick and fast around the corner! Consequently, I want to get as much of my physical intensive production work completed and near submission as to leave adequate time to evaluate my project and revise for January exams and assessments. As a result, I made an attempt to finalize my backing track that will be presented as part of my audio/visual installation.

After drawing up the first edit during independent study week, I have reflected on my first draft and have become conscious to what works and why… I feel that overall, my first draft represented a successful starting place in which to build on. This allowed me to develop and identify what works for example…

  • Gradually layering and cutting different TV adverts worked well to build tension and unease.


  • Also incorporating micro-narratives within my audio extract (e.g. “could this mark the end of the million dollar man?” and “I’m here with Gill who uses Cillit Bang Grime and Lime, So Gill, What do you think?! -Its happening all around the house, right about now -Use it to stay fresh…”


  • Intensity builds along with volume, works to un-nerve and unsettle audience members; Potentially provoking Panic and reflection.

As a result, I built on and developed things that worked, incorporating further adverts that directly advertise some of the objects I am photographing. I have then also added the original draft towards the end of the new edit. However, on the second time it plays, I have started to experiment with distortions and effects by adding an echo which further heightens the effects of the audio. This ultimately works to disorientate and unsettle the audience, as they are exposed to unnerving audio that at first may incorporate a sense of familiarity (I have used popular and well-known adverts, provoking personal reflection, perhaps even a sense of nostalgia) and as the track progresses it becomes loud, obtrusive and disorientating, breaking the viewer’s original sense of security but rather using this mix to unnerve and violate its audience.

When editing this, and listening to it back, I personally became quite triggered and anxious by this loud and overwhelming cacophony of advertising. Triggering a very visceral response to the point where I forced myself to turn the volume down on my Mac. Certainly did the trick for me! The final edit is now just under 7:30 minutes long and will be on a continuous loop.

***Its is important to note***

This is an MP3 Format, as the. WAV file was exceeding the 100MB limit imposed by WordPress; As a result, I was unable to upload it to the WordPress site. However, I will send the .Wav fils as a Google Drive link to the Submission…

Experimenting with Echo…

Indicative Advert List…

  1. “48 Classic Retro Soft Drink & Beverage Commercials” à


  1. “Pepsi Commercial 2017 (USA)” à


  1. “58 TV Commercials from 1977” à


  1. “Cillit Band Advert 1” à


  1. “AXE – Body Spray vs. Dry Spray- An Education” à


  1. “Samsung Galaxy- The Rest of Us” à


  1. “Dior Love Chain” à


  1. “Walkers- ‘Do Us A Flavour’ TV Advert” à


  1. “BMW Commercial. It’s only a car.” à


  1. “Ford Capri Advert” à


  1. “Bud Light Present- Real Men of Genius Commercials” à

(Extract Up to first edit) 

  1. “The Whole Chicken” à


  1. “Lunch is coming…” à


  1. “The KFC Clean Eating Burger” à


  1. “KFC Mighty Bucket Commercial” à


  1. “1950’s Camel Smoking Advert” à


  1. “Hilarious Infomercial Struggles Compliation” à


  1. “Russel Hobbs” Kettle Advert” à


  1. “Morphy Richards – Accents Pyramid Kettle & Four Slice Toaster (102004 & 242004) à


  1. “TYSKIE Radler commercial” à


Classical Commercials (2014) 48 Classic Retro Soft Drink & Beverage Commercials. YouTube [Video] 21 Jan. Available from:[Accessed 8th November 2017]

SiggasNation™ (2017) Pepsi Commercial 2017 (USA). YouTube [Video] 24 Jun. Available from:[Accessed 8th November 2017]

Vinnie Rattolle (2013) 58 TV Commercials from 1977. YouTube [Video] 7 Jun. Available from:   [Accessed 8th November 2017]

InsaneNutter (2007) Cillit Bang Advert 1. YouTube [Video] 17 April. Available from:  [Accessed 8th November 2017]

AXE (2017) AXE|Body Spray vs Dry Spray: An Education. YouTube [Video] 21 Jul. Available from: [Accessed 8th November 2017]

Samsung Mobile USA (2017) Samsung Galaxy: The Rest of Us. YouTube [Video] 26 Feb. Available from: [Accessed 8th November 2017]

Christian Dior. (2017) DIOR LOVE CHAIN. YouTube [Video] 26 Aug. Available from: [Accessed 8th November 2017]

DoUsAFlavour (2009) Walkers: ‘Do Us A Flavour’ TV Advert. YouTube [Video] 16 Feb. Available from: [Accessed 8th November 2017]

yann jones (2011) BMW Commercial. It’s only a car. YouTube [Video] 16 Sep. Available from: [Accessed 8th November 2017]

Gadjann (2012) Ford Capri Advert. YouTube [Video] 14 Jul. Available from:[Accessed 8th November 2017]

Zatoblade (2007) Bud Light Present – Real Men of Genius Commercials. YouTube [Video] 31 Jul. Available from:  [Accessed 8th November 2017]

KFC UK and Ireland (2017) The Whole Chicken. YouTube [Video] 17 Jul. Available from:  [Accessed 27th November 2017]

KFC UK and Ireland (2017) YouTube [Video] 3 Jul. Available from: [Accessed 27th November 2017]

KFC UK and Ireland (2017) The KFC Clean Eating Burger. YouTube [Video] 28 Feb. Available from: [Accessed 27th November 2017]

Andrew Anthony (2016) KFC Mighty Bucket Commercial. YouTube [Video] 5 Oct. Available from: [Accessed 27th November 2017]

luvthe1950s (2013) 1950’s Camel Smoking Advert. YouTube [Video] 20 Mar. Available from: [Accessed 27th November 2017]

Amazinglife 247 (2014) Hilarious Infomercial Struggles Compilation. YouTube [Video] 18 Mar. Available from: [Accessed 27th November 2017]

erranmann43 (2012) Russel Hobbs Kettle Advert 1984. YouTube [Video] 19 Nov. Available from: [Accessed 27th November 2017]

Morphy Richards (2015) Morphy Richards – Accents Pyramid Kettle & Four Slice Toaster (102004 & 242004) YouTube [Video] 6 Aug. Available from:  [Accessed 27th November 2017]

Jan Forys (2016) TYSKIE Radler commercial. YouTube [Video] 29 Aug. Available from: [Accessed 27th November 2017]



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