Digital Composite – Week 08

Digital Composite – Week 08


After my disappointment with the outcome of the original shoot, I decided that rather than trying to save the images in post production, I would shoot once again. I’ve found that in the past, attempting to force poor material into something workable is far too time consuming, particularly at the business end of the semester. Although I had in my mind what I wanted from the shots, I was short on time and in retrospect, poorly prepared. Racing down to a location near a local railway yard, I dragged along a couple of mates to try and catch the last rays of the winter sun before they – and my last photo opportunity – disappeared entirely.

Once we arrived at the location, the sun was already disappearing behind the rooftops of the surrounding houses – something I should have taken into consideration in pre production. I only grabbed a couple of mediocre images, before the first location was unusable…

'Molziania Aardvark' photo shoot
'Molziania Aardvark' photo shoot

Scrambling around to find any place that still had a bit of light, I was fortunate enough to stumble across a bright orange shipping container. It was a little bit sketchy getting in there, but I think in the end it was a great find. The colours and composition were much stronger than my original ideas of a simple urban landscape…

'Molziania Aardvark' photo shoot
'Molziania Aardvark' photo shoot

Finally, I decided that a portrait framing would be more effective for this shot. It gave me an opportunity to shoot from below and give the subjects more of a heroic pose…

Pose 1
Pose 2

There wasn’t one singular shot that I liked entirely, so I decided to composite parts of my favorites. The final image ended up being combined from around six different shots and gave me a chance to spread the action around the frame a little bit more…

Final composite
'Molziania Aardvark' press release

The accompanying media release gives more of an explanation for the duo. My goal for this project was to bring people’s attention to the way they judge what they see through their own associations. Many people would see this image and assume they are graffiti artists, vandals, or even terrorists. I wanted to turn that back on itself by explaining that they were actually doctors, fighting a new disease that was afflicting large parts of the population: Consumerism.

The colours and structure of the frame came together quite well for me, and in the end, I was reasonably happy with the result, especially considering the problems I had during the shoot. However, maybe unsurprisingly, I then had printing issues to contend with.

Whether it’s fortunate I work in a shop that has a brand spanking new large format printer is open to interpretation. Whilst it’s a great printer, we have it set up to print on canvas, not any paper-like media. So for me, this was a crash course in how much colour profiles can change the output of a printer. Not only do the colours look different, but the everything down to the amount of ink that the printer puts onto the page changes. This had pretty dire results for my first print. It looked like something that came out of my home printer when the ink has all but completely run out.

Many, many tests later (not to mention trialing different printer drivers, colour profiles and paper types), I… gave up actually. There came a point that I had to let it go and just use the best print I had. Obviously, I would have liked to get as high a quality print as I could, but when using a printer that uses ten ink cartridges at around $120 or so each, there’s a limit to how much stuffing around I’m able to do.

For the final project, I plan to steer clear of the shop printer, although I will put in some extra time there at some point, getting to know the printer a little better. I think it’s already shown me that I can learn a lot from a better understanding of how the process works.

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