Working from Home
Before watching this video, please make sure your sound is turned up
On the 23rd March 2020, the United Kingdom was plunged into ‘Lockdown’ and I was instructed to work from home until further notice. Now in February 2021, 11 months later I’m still working at home! My daily commute takes mere seconds, all my meetings are virtual, my communications via email, and my reading is on a screen. We’re not allowed to leave home and no one’s allowed in. My colleagues and I exist in the cloud only from the waist up, ruled by our online diaries, filled with meeting after meeting, listening out for the series of pings and rings that notify us of incoming calls. The days are repetitive and surreal, yet we still work hard to be productive. The video is on a continuous loop to represent the repetitive nature of our existence.
This series of images is set very much in the present (February 2021). Mirroring both the reality and the mask we live and work behind during this time. Hirsch’s Postmemory theories say that those that come after us will ‘remember’ these times based on the images we take and stories we tell. As a time that will go down in our history as unprecedented, I’m sure our descendants will look back on this time. Will they see the reality of Lockdown and working from home, or will they see the bevy of ‘stock’ images depicting light airy rooms with smiling people drinking coffee and working on their laptops.
However, our reality is also fake! Working on our own in spare bedrooms, or at the kitchen table, we hide our surroundings by adding corporate backgrounds. We are only seen from the waist up and we can light the space and angle the cameras to give a flattering view.
This series is designed to look like a window into my world, but by the very fact that they are constructed, then they are in fact a mirror of my work and passions.
Inspired by the ‘AudioPhotograph’ work of Mario Cipriano where he has made 10 second recordings of the scene, taking the image after 5 seconds. The idea is to play 5 seconds of the sound before you see the image to see if you can predict what you will see. I wanted to include the sounds triggers that surround our working life so have created a duel media series, displaying the images as a video accompanied by a soundtrack depicting the sounds that fill my day.
Furthermore, Esther Teichmann‘s work envokes the challenge to extend photographs from mere reality into artistic creations and therefore, coupled with the addition of the soundtrack, I have incorporated the mythical cloud into all of the images. This is to enhance the surreal nature of working at home in a virtual cloud alongside all of my colleagues.
The images can be seen individually here
Permission has been sought from those individuals whose faces can be seen in the ‘Team Meeting’ image to use this as part of this assignment.
Technical Information and Reflection
Choose a community that you’re already a part of. It could be your child’s nursery or your regular gym class, but it should be something that takes up a substantial amount of your interest and time. Create a photographic response to how this group informs who you are as a person.
● What aspects of this group or community reflect on you?
● What do you share?
● How does it function as a mirror reflection of who you are?
Having decided on the Audiophotograph concept for this assignment, I firstly recorded a number of sounds which are part of my daily routine in working from home.
During my last conversation with my tutor he said that many photo series are taken over many months or years, so I decided to take the images over a period of time, at different times of day and whilst wearing different clothes. This was to engender the feeling of repetition and the perpetuation of time.
Most of the images were taken with a wide angle lens or a 24-70 mm lens on a tripod and a remote triggered by a phone app or using the timer. For a few of images I used an off camera flash to provide a bit of fill flash, as my rooms are quite dark.
From all of the images I took, I chose 11 images that I felt added something new to the story. I also decided not to show my face except within the confines of the screen.
see the contact sheets below:
All images were edited in LightRoom and PhotoShop.
The cloud effect was added in photoshop using a single image sources from google and a ‘cloud’ shaped brush.
The video was created using ProShow Gold and rendered to an mp4 file. The soundtrack was created by my son (Zack Slade-Reynolds) who is a sound and lighting engineer. I asked him to use the sounds I’d recorded coupled with some Royalty free music to enhance the feeling of working at home.
I really enjoyed pulling all the elements of this project together. Having a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve made it easier to work out what I needed to do to complete the series. And working with multiple media gave it an interesting twist.
I am very pleased with the results of this assignment so I will be interested to hear my tutors feedback.
This assignment has used some of the ideas discussed with Part 3 of the course, in that I have considered Hirsch’s Postmemory in creating a set of images that I would be happy for my family to ‘remember’ me by. It is a mirror of my life during the Pandemic Lockdown, which hopefully, will be remembered as a historic event to our descendants. For others it will be a window into the working from home phenomenon.
Demonstration of Creativity
In order create this set of images, I have employed multiple mediums to enhance the story telling of the series. Inspired by the work of Cipriano and Teichmann I have added sound and overlays to translate my ideas into the visual outcomes I had envisaged.
‘no legs allowed’ required a few steps to produce. take an image, edit it and add the no entry sign, then load on to three separate devices and take final image. Demonstrating, the planning and creativity required to make the final image.
Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills
In this assignment, I have demonstrated the technical use of my camera, using different lenses and off camera flash to capture the images within the space available.
I have also used a remote triggered by a phone app. These images were constructed for the story that I wanted to tell, which involved editing using Photoshop and LightRoom and demonstrating technical skills with digital manipulation and
Quality of Outcome
I am pleased that I have demonstrated a good quality of outcome by creating the work I had envisaged and which answers the brief of the assignment.
Aldred, John. “These ‘AudioPhotographs’ Combine a Sound Recorder with Film Photographs.” DIY Photography, 20 Dec. 2018, www.diyphotography.net/these-audiophotographs-combines-a-sound-recorder-with-film-photographs/. Accessed 18 Feb. 2021.
Cipriano, Mario. “Mario Cipriano.” Vimeo, vimeo.com/mmeerriioo. Accessed 18 Feb. 2021.
“Using an Hybrid Camera to Let Subjective & Objective Visions Coexist – by Mario Cipriano.” 35mmc, 24 Oct. 2020, www.35mmc.com/24/10/2020/using-an-hybrid-camera-to-let-subjective-objective-visions-coexist-by-mario-cipriano/. Accessed 18 Feb. 2021.
citiesandmemories. “Gratitude.” Audioboom, 9 May 2018, audioboom.com/posts/6848821-gratitude. Accessed 16 Feb. 2021.
CPDEMY. “How to Create a Police Line Text Effect in Photoshop.” YouTube, 15 Jan. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOmXlLd7Fio. Accessed 21 Feb. 2021.
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“Home – Barbara Kruger – Photograph Collage, Advertising, Slogans, Art.” Barbarakruger.com, 2019, www.barbarakruger.com/.
Estherteichmann.com, 2019, www.estherteichmann.com/work.