Category Archives: Science

Edward Weston’s

Edward Weston’s was as a 20th-century American photographer. He has been called “one of the most innovative and influential American photographers and “one of the masters of 20th century photography.” He shot an expansive set of subjects, including landscapes, still lifes, nudes, portraits, genre scenes and even whimsical parodies.


in 1930 Weston began taking close-ups of vegetables and fruits. He made a variety of photographs of cabbage, kale, onions, bananas, and finally, his most iconic image, peppers. In August of that year Noskowiak brought him several green peppers, and over a four-day period he shot at least thirty different negatives. Of these, Pepper No. 30, is among the all-time masterpieces of photography.

The reason I have looked into Edward Weston is because he makes the everyday objects such as fruit and vegetables and creates them in a glamorous and in a way we never have looked at them before. The heightened tones used in his black and white ‘negatives’ creates a sense of the object being unreal.  :It is classic, completely satisfying – a pepper – but more than a pepper: abstract, in that it is completely outside subject matter.” – E. Weston.

‘Weston still considered himself a realist, but, as his work shows, his restless imagination could not be contained by labels or movements. His work throughout the 1920s can be read as a record of how photography moved from the pictorial to the modernist and beyond, becoming in the process an art form in and of itself.’

No one would question that photographs such as these are works of art. Art historians can explain the technical and artistic decisions that elevate photographs by the masters, whether it’s Weston’s use of a tiny aperture, Adams’ printing techniques or Doisneau’s distinctive aesthetic. It’s clear that Pepper No. 30 belongs in a museum.

Today, few would debate the artistic merits of a photograph like Edward Weston’s Pepper No. 30 – Weston has shown that photography can be an art form in its own right.


Final Double Page Spread

Science Spread2


Evaluation Science and Magic

Evaluation and Reflection:

1) Visual Communication:

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

My outcome meets the needs of the brief by producing a double page spread researched from Nautilus and NewScientist’s style, and I have chosen an option of photography, researched many pathways into this such as the history, developments, debates and culture to produce an image I believe helps the narrative of the article to be understood by the ordinary person, and not being to literal.

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?

As I initially referred to the brief a lot at the start because I wasn’t certain of the pathway I was going to take I developed a good understanding of what was needed from me. I dont see how I have failed to meet the needs of this brief.

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

The strengths lay within my research and development of my photographic skills to produce an image using new found skills. The light trails I feel is the best part of the project that I am happy with and flows well with my double page spread.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

I feel the weakness lay within my type and image combination. However from looking into NewScientist and Nautilus there isn’t anything to adventurous when it came down to mixing type and imagery. I didn’t want my spread to look out of place for a science magazine and wanted to create similar feel and layout in my work.

In what ways could the piece be mis-read or mis-understood by the audience? Be specific about who the audience is.

People could mis-understand the image without reading into the article, thinking it is about traffic etc. However the brief stated to not be too literal in my work which I haven’t been so I believe it works well with my article.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

Improving photographic skills by more practice would allow me to create high quality imagery to use next time. I will push myself in project X to deliver professional level images for the brief.

2) Good Design? Evaluation

In what other ways have you considered the sustainability of your project process and outcomes? 

Juggling two quite large projects hasn’t granted me a great deal of time to think about sustainability as much I would have liked. However one thing that I did realise through this project especially with charity work is emailing clients and the saving on paper ink showing lots of variations in my work.

In what ways have you considered the ethical implications of your project process and outcomes?

Because my article is about conspiracy theories I didn’t want to offend anyone affected by any of the theories,  I had some ideas about scientists being held hostage however I didn’t feel this was appropriate so I left this idea.

In sustainability and ethical terms in what ways was your work in this project an improvement or a backward step for you as a socially conscious designer?

I think it is another step forward as I have completed another 2 briefs as a socially conscious designer. It is always good to have more and more practice to develop my skills and improve my knowledge as a socially conscious designer.

What targets can you make at this point for your work in the future as a socially conscious designer?

Think more about sustainability in the early stages of my work and apply this when I am developing and evaluate my work in this respect.

3) Reflection of own working practices:

How was my time keeping?

My time keeping wasnt great as I had a hard time deciding what option to choose which wasted a lot of time for me in this project. Also having a loss of a family member set me back a bit to jump back into the flow of my work.

How was my analysis of the brief?

As I looked at it a lot at the beginning to decipher what it was actually asking of me allowed me to develop a good understanding of what I needed to do.

How was my research?

My research was strong in this project and it was what crucially allowed me to produced what I have done. Without researching I would of never came up with this idea and find techniques to do so.

How did I draw conclusions from my research?

Looking into conspiracy theories gave me a lot of divergent ideas to work from and start to develop. Without researching this I would have had no idea what I was going to photograph to stand aside my article.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas?

By using information especially from Youtube videos and news articles I could understand what the conspiracy theories were and this allowed me to generate lots of outcomes and pathways I could explore.

How did I use evaluations to help with my ideas generation and development?

Using ethical evaluations on my work I ruled out any potentially that could cause offence of unease in the reader.

How did I use experimentation during the project? How can I make this more effective?

I experimented with sketching and illustration on computer to allow me to freely generate ideas and not be too precious over them. I also experimented with photography techniques such as light painting my car.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time? 

“Developed an understanding of different historical approaches to photography and the historical and cultural debates relevant to the medium”. + Developed a knowledge of technological developments in photography.  + Created practical work relating to various concepts and genres of photography. – These elements of the brief I have completed the best, I have developed a large understanding of historical approaches to photography and created practical work derived from my research. I can improve this next time by making sure I always refer to the learning outcomes so I can cover as many as possible to the best of my ability.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

The best part was having a project with a dedicated medium to experiment in. Photography was really fun to go outside and start experimenting. There are also so many parts to the camera it was enjoyable to explore all of these and find out what all the parts do and the effect they can have on a picture.

What parts of the project did I enjoy least? Why was this the case?

I usually dislike researching however this topic was quite interesting and a conspiracy theory I feel I could believe in.  If I had to choose a part I enjoyed the least it would probably be building the spread as I enjoyed the rest a lot more.

At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at al times?

I worked the best when isolated, when experimenting with my camera I allowed myself time to myself to get to grips with the camera, learn the settings and produce imagery I was happy with.

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case? How could I follow these up?

Looking at photographers like David Wallace inspired me a lot, as one day I would love to produce the quality of work he does.

What areas were challenging or difficult?  Why was this the case?

Learning camera settings such as exposure, shutter speed and aperture was a lot of information to take on and learn however I managed to learn this now and feel much more confident shooting in manual mode and coming away from the easier auto mode.

How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?

Practice again is vital,  going out and shooting more photos in different environments will help me learn the camera more.

Do I need to develop certain skills? Do I need these now? Or later?

Developing my knowledge of the camera is something that needs to be done now as I have project x coming up with I will need to use photography for in this.

Article | Justification

My Article:

There are many conspiracy theories around the search for cold fusion and free energy sources. One of the largest historical noting of this was in the 19th century, when Nikola Tessla hypothesized that electrical power could be generated using the natural resources of the Sun and the Earth.  He understood that if he could harness the planet’s natural energy, it could be provided to the whole worlds population for free. Tessla had already demonstrated that he could transfer electricity wirelessly, he now wanted to implement his findings on a much larger scale. In 1901 construction began on the Wardenclyffe Tower, in New York. The tower stood 57 metres tall supporting a 55 ton dome of conductive metal. Beneath was an iron root system penetrating 300 metres into the Earth’s crust. He believed the tower would harness the Earth’s power and transmit it into the atmosphere. He envisaged these towers across the world, providing cost free wireless energy to the masses.

The conspiracy theory starts to come in soon after JP Morgan funded the construction for 51% control of the patents. In 1905 the construction was abandoned, Morgan had withdrawn his support, and the tower had been abandoned. Why did he back out when Tessla was on the verge of a break through for free energy? By the next century Morgan had become one of the most powerful men in the world, by making his fortune in fossil fuel, the tower he was investing money into would of threatened the industry he was thriving in. Conspiracists such as Tom Retterbush believe this is what caused Morgan to abandon the tower to preserve his financial dominance, and believe the free energy sources are being concealed and suppressed by financial interests of the governments and major corporations. Tessla’s lifes work and equipment was also seized by the FBI after his death and has never surfaced since meaning we would never know if his tower would have succeeded. Fossil fuels remain the number one source of energy and continue to make billions every year for multi-national companies.

If Tessla did succeed where would we be in the world now? With global warming being a overarching problem for us all it’s a conspiracy theory worth thinking about. It has also been mentioned numerous times with similar free energy sources that have also been suppressed, a quick search of Stanley Meyer and T.H Moray will also add  to this theory. We can only hope one day this conspiracy proves to be untrue.

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Here you can see the benefits of using justification in editorial text. It is something subtle that can really make it look more professional and consciously thought about rather than  just type on a page. The settings I used are what I have done for all editorial spreads as it works so well – Letter spacing: -5%, 0, +5% Glyph scaling: 98%, 100%, 102%.

Below you can se the difference. A much tighter use of leading (the space between lines of words) and tracking.

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Building Spread

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 10.42.41Setting up my spread I knew the sizes by measuring an existing copy of a NewScientist magazine. The brief also states that my main image will need to bleed of the page, I always use a 3mm bleed around the whole document when designing editorial pieces.

When opening up my document  I like to block in stuff first usually by dragging quick colour boxes on the page to start building a foundation as I sometimes struggle to get composition right when faced with a blank page.

After the mid term crit and discussing page layouts the layout that was suggested in the brief was like something above. These have one full image on the page which bleeds of and then followed with a heading and type on the opposite page. In my thumbnail ideas I hadn’t followed this layout like a lot of my peers didn’t, however I want to stick to the brief as closely as I can so I will keep with the one image bleed.

I then added my largest piece in which was my photograph. I didn’t feel it worked on the left because the light trails taper of in to the left hand side. With the image on the right I feel it flows better when looking at it, as your eyes can read from the heading and into main spread image.

It was then a case of building the rest up, choosing which type I though was fitting to go with the spread. I found my article to be quite serious in the fact if these conspiracies theories were proven to be true crisis like global warming would or been eliminated. So I wanted to keep this spread quite serious, using serif typefaces to communicate professionalism, knowledge and reliability, that the information I am giving the reader is based on evidence and not made up.

Next was to add elements such as the information at the top and bottom of the page. At the top I created a category of where they are in the magazine which says ‘Science | Energy’ and then the page number at the bottom left with the publishing date which I saw was a feature in NewScientist.

Then I had to start writing my article. I didnt want to copy and paste my blog posts as I wanted it to be a realistic spread that reads well with the imagery I have produced. I wrote my article around my research especially around Nikola Tessla, not a cold fusion inventor however it was one of the largest conspiracy theories around the suppression of free energy.

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Final Photo Edits

Below are my two final edit photos capturing Light trails for my options brief looking into science and magic. I have been in a bit of dilemma on which photo I will use on my double page spread. I feel the first photo is better in technical terms and my skill as a photographer however it doesn’t communicate what I was after. I feel the light trails behind the trees may be misinterpreted for something else. The second photo has clear car light trials featuring the grid of the fencing in the foreground looking through. I discussed with Sancha about this in the photo but it could also be decoded as the energy grid, the public looking through the fencing being shut out of the conspiracy of free energy relating to the article I have chosen.

I am happy with how my experimantion has turnt out and I have successfully captured car light trails which was my main objective. I also believe I have used good compositional technique such as the rule of thirds to create a pleasing photo for the viewer. The image I have produced isn’t ‘too literal’ which the brief stated it shouldn’t be, however I have said my reasoning for my work, the relationship between light and energy, and the light trails have a element of speed to them, suggesting they are out of our control. The article being ‘The search for cold fusion and its conspiracy theories’ I wanted to also relate it to global warming, how we would of certainly conquered it if a free energy source would have been viable around Nikola Tessla’s time, but the conspiracy’s surrounding this may be true.

Light Trails: Photoshop & Lightroom

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 21.56.48.pngI first opened up all my shots from my trip out to try and capture car light trails. Inside photoshop I layered each photo, keeping the darkest one at the bottom as a ‘base’ and lighter variants above. Using photoshops blending modes I was able to set the lighter images to ‘lighten’ which makes only the light parts in the image, in this case the car light trails, show through and masks the dark parts out.

Here is the base layer and this is what I have achieved from doing this blending mode. A lot more light trails that wasn’t possible to capture in one exposure from my time outside. This isn’t the final picture and will need adjustments however it gives the desired amount of lighting I was after.

After doing this I looked into parts of the photo I was unhappy with such as a couple of road signs, what appears to be a white bucked abandoned in the middle grass patch which ruined the look. This is where photo manipulation comes into play. Using tools such as content aware and the patch tool to easily mask out these items and blend them seamlessly into their surroundings.


After I had finished editing inside photoshop I transferred the image into Lightroom. Lightroom is a really powerful image adjustment application.  Giving full adjustment of brightness, contrast, blacks whites and shadows, and even giving you control over individual colours hues, saturations and luminosity. I experimented with these creating a more vibrant red in the lights.  Because I always shoot in RAW format as discussed before this gives me a lot more freedom when making adjustments to exposure levels and colours.

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Audience Theory

Hypodermic Needle:

Mass media ‘injecting’ thoughts, values and beliefs into the audience, influencing them and changing their opinions into a passive audience. Studies from propaganda in the world wars. The idea that the mass media is very powerful and controlling.

Cultivation Theory:

How television influences people. Gradual long term, small effects unlike hypodermic needle which doesn’t have time scale. People that watch a lot of television are more likely to be influenced. More likely to reinforce opinions overtime then actually changing it (Gerber). Criticised for  being far too simplistic, passive audience, not taking consideration of age, gender and cultural background. People tend to stick with what they know and watch or read things which backs up their existing thoughts and opinions.

Two Step-flow:

The mass media is channelled through opinion leaders, communicating their understanding of the media to others. Lots of media available for the average person to decipher, they look for radio presenters etc for them ro decipher the information for them. Usually adding humour elements. MASS MEDIA > OPINION LEADERS > AUDIENCE – Semi passive, they are doing something but they are taking in what the opinion leaders are saying.

Reception Theory:

Active Audience: encoding – creators, decoding – audience.

Audience encode in three ways, dominant, negotiated, oppositional.

Mass media message > interpreted in different ways.



Oppositional – AGAINST MESSAGE

Way they act is influenced by their background.

Real example – marlborough man advert, visual elements (signifiers and connotations) the white had is encoding into the advert, chosen deliberately.

Uses and Gratifications:

Informed and educated: BBC news, documentaries (any mass media)

Entertainment: To laugh, think deeply, cry. Xfactor, talent shows etc.

Personal Identity: character traits you find similar or want to follow, reinforce personality traits. (concerns of fashion and body impacts in women, violence on tv)

Integration of Social Interaction: watch programmes and chat about them later, you feel like your watching something with lots of people when you are not.

Escapism: adventure films, computer games, escape life and be someone else for a while.


This is Not a…

In class lesson learning about ideology we watched a short video called ‘This is not a chair’. In the video it discussed what else a chair is, it is not only a chair it is also many other different things, such as a sculpture (art) and even medical history, a chair designed to relieve symptoms from arthritis.

This was an interesting video as it showed me how drastically people opinions and beliefs of things such as everyday objects, like the chair.


This is not a crucifix, this is a..

Hope, sacrifice, religion, jewellery, story, journey, conflict, death, deterrent, exorcism, blessing.

The thing that I felt has changed in me since this class is thinking of all the consequences objects have been through to get to their final stages, especially from the wood from the chair sourced by slaves etc, the journey it has being shipped and finally arriving to a workman. Everyday items have their own story and shouldn’t simply be taken at face value.

Light Trails Process

To try and capture my idea of photographing car light trails it was time for me to grab my camera and tripod and go out and experiment. Due to the time of year I left my house at 5’oclock on the way to Pembury bypass looking over the A21 carriageway. This was local to me and I knew there would be plenty of traffic flowing through for me to capture enough light.

I watched a couple of videos on Youtube to get some ideas of shutter speeds and apertures  settings however I found when I went out it was a lot of trial and error.

I tried a few different spots on the bypass, a couple looking straight over through the fencing and enough to the side looking through the forest and capturing the car light trails behind. I set my camera tripod up for my camera in a portrait orientation thinking of the subject I am shooting, the long length of motorway and also the orientation I will be designing my spread for which is heavily portrait based.


Here are some of the trial shots from my outing, As you can see I had a lot of unsuccessful photos taken during this process. However like with my light painting of my car I done previously which is a similar process, I took a lot of different photos from the exact same angle on the tripod so I could work on them inside photoshop. The two shots above side by side show the difference in shutter speed, the first being a 5 second shutter speed, the next a 15 second one. The amount of cars varied during each exposure however the longer the shutter speed = more light trails, however it also meant the overall image was also getting more exposure too, meaning a brighter image which I didn’t want.