Assignment 5 so far..

I wanted to explore the idea of pink in my personal archive. I wanted to look in detail at the pink things that I photograph, especially in the context of my ten year old daughter who is indirectly responsible for a lot of the pink in my life.  I wanted to avoid “colour pop” style images, and simply removing the pink did not work so well as if the picture included a face then the face took the attention. I have therefore isolated the pink elements of each image. At the moment the landscape/portrait/square formats are dependent on the original image however I think this can easily be changed. I chose a fairly bright green floral background to begin with, but am trying other choices at present as there was some strong adverse feedback to the relationship between the lime green ness of the background and the pinkness of the images. Options now are to use a plain background, to use a set of “sugared almond” themed colours for the background or to work with different shades of pink. I have to say that I still have a fondness for the original clashing colours but recognise that I am probably in a minority here. My photoshop selection skills are still a work in progress so some of the images here definitely need more attention, especially the last one of the leggings.

My questions at the moment are:

Thoughts on the various backgrounds. What works?

Use of text. I would like to include text in some way, either as a simple caption stating what the image was of (eg “B in H&M changing room”), or as a brief feminist quote (eg “Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.” Gloria Steinem). I need to decide which if either set of captions to use, and how the work will be presented to include both image and text. One option on a plain background is to make the text look embossed within the background of the image (a nod to old studio photography), but without a change of colour so that it’s not immediately obvious.

I am drawing a blank on inspiration for the presentation format, I suppose this is related to the use of text above. I’m loosely kicking around the idea of fairy tale related formats.

Context – most of the images are related to my daughter but some are not. There is the opportunity to increase these second set, concentrate on one set or gain a better balance across the two sets. There’s also the unexplored area of my husband and pink, though that would garner rather fewer images and they would have to be taken rather than fished out of the archive.

These are some of the images that I’m working with at the moment.

As always, thank you for reading and I welcome feedback.

12 thoughts on “Assignment 5 so far..

  1. photosociology July 13, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    Hi Kate.
    From the first series I like the second and third background. The pastel yellow is a complimentary colour and they work well together (my photobooks branding uses these two colours). The third background, to my eye, becomes a substitute fabric, which I like. I also like the pastel pink from the second series. The sugared almonds backgrounds work well.

    I have a preference for the clothing series rather than the other object’s, I like the delicacy and subtlety of them, although my favourite is of the princess palace.

    • Kate July 13, 2018 / 8:03 pm

      Hi Richard, thank you for reading and commenting, that’s very useful. It’s good to have choices on the backgrounds. I see the pastel yellow on your website! I would love to learn more about colour.

      I find it a hard set to edit, I think because they all are so different. The palace was from a family holiday to Disneyland Paris, I loved how decrepit the palace became when I took out the non-pink stuff (though a bit of orange is still there…). It is so interesting to see how Disney uses pink – it is the colour of girls, of princesses, of castles, even of princes to a point. It is not the colour of step-mothers or fairy god mothers though!

      • photosociology July 13, 2018 / 8:55 pm

        It might be worth making a colour wheel so that you can become more familiar with colour. It’s good to make three. The first as standard, the second the same as the original but add white to each mix so you get your pastels, and the third the same as the first but add a very small touch of black so that you get your acids.

  2. Catherine July 13, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    So many shades of pink. I should have known but there’s something amazing in degrees of pinkness there are in the world and different hues and saturation likely need different backgrounds. of it. I think with the top one you’ve used the colour picker to pick out the colour of the writing of the cap and maybe it would work extra well if you lightened the background so it has less of a mustard hue and more of a gold one.

    I’m not sure about this but am wondering if in general a paler background enables the subject to stand out more.

    My husband has some pink tops and deep pink towards burgundy shorts. I like them so long as they’re the right shade because you have to think of complexions etc.

    • Kate July 13, 2018 / 8:10 pm

      Hi Catherine, as always thank you for reading and commenting. The cap was actually simpler than you give me credit for 😀 I selected everything that was pink and removed everything else using a mask, so you see straight through what used to be white writing to the background. The background texture was only relevant because it was irrelevant if that makes sense – I wanted something that wasn’t blue and the green seemed to be a strong “opposite” colour to the pink. I will try lightening the background and see what it does.

      There’s been some interesting stuff in the news this week about pink – it’s been isolated as the oldest pigment in the world. Far more history than I was giving it credit for! And yes, wearing pink can be a minefield, even well aside from the various gender connotations. My husband owns more pink shirts than I do!

  3. Doug Bell July 14, 2018 / 11:53 am

    Hi Kate,

    I fid the backgrounds to 1 and 3 too busy and distracting because of that. 2 Appeals to me, probably because of the simplicity. You may like to try a tighter crop to see if it works any better – it may not. The castle is good and seems to work well on the pink background. Apart from the tights, the cloths don’t really appeal to me and I am not sure why they do but it may be because they seem to take on a more human shape than the others do. The petals, diary and book are all appealing.
    This probably points to plain backgrounds and they are mostly pink although the initial shoes one isn’t and that was the most striking.

    • Kate July 16, 2018 / 8:06 am

      Hi Doug, thank you for your comments and for thinking about the work. I’m quite encouraged by the diversity of views on the images. I put the work up for critiques on the Forum Live last night and there were mixed preferences there too, including someone who also liked the leggings one because of the grunginess of it (more due to my PS limits than intention!) I’m going to write another blog post about the feedback on the call because it includes so much of what people have said here as well as some new points.

      I’m fond of the shoe one, that one may be destined for the wall at home!

  4. sarahjanefield512666 July 14, 2018 / 1:53 pm

    The lime green pattern is absolutely the most striking and eye-catching – not something I’d decorate with but perhaps within the context of your work….Take a look at Sandy Skoglund’s use of bright and garish colours.
    Are you aiming to decorate a lovely harmonious room or trigger something about the way we relate to the colour pink?

    • Kate July 16, 2018 / 8:09 am

      Thank you Sarah-Jane, your reply made me think. That’s the thing about pink, it’s so easy to fall into the tropes.. My aim is definitely the second! I had some brilliant feedback on the Forum Live hangout last night and will blog separately about that as it was a definite lightbulb moment in terms of how I take the work forward from here. Thanks again, and especially for the link.

      • sarahjanefield512666 July 16, 2018 / 10:13 am

        Great! Glad you had some useful feedback. The term ‘art’ is so loaded; aesthetic harmony has its place (and looking around, of course, seems still very much a thing for artists) but since it has been co-opted for some time by the advertising (editorial and sales) industry, if we are attempting to suggest something other than a sales pitch/illustration, I think we need to be really sure of how we are using it. It’s something I am grappling with too… Looking forward to seeing how you develop this work.

  5. sarahdandrews July 15, 2018 / 6:49 pm

    Pink has so many shades and for me it is the salmon end of the spectrum that works, rather than ‘sugar mouse’. That said I do like your dramatic working of the cap on bright green background.
    The history of pink is interesting. It is a flattering colour for those in poor health too.

    • Kate July 16, 2018 / 8:15 am

      Thank you Sarah! I do feel as if I’m only scraping the tip of the pinkberg, so to speak. One of the lightbulb moments for me on the course last night was when a peer on the Creative Arts pathway mentioned “Millenial pink” – it’s fascinating! There’s a huge raft of context available, thank you for adding to those!

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