Initial Project Proposal

The theme for my project is ‘Representation’ and within this theme I want to capture character portraits using in-camera, multiple exposures.

A person is a part or product of their environment and surroundings; environments say a lot about the person’s character and their world. I want to use multiple exposure photography as a way to contextualize them – their hobbies, pastimes, the tools of their trade, their homes and workplace as these can reveal their character. I am fascinated by multiple exposure photography as it gives us a glimpse into two completely separate but intertwined worlds. However, in using multiple exposure I will have to be careful to ensure that the different layers within the image don’t compete with each other (i.e. the images become ‘too busy’) which could put the portrayal of the subject’s true character in jeopardy and thus losing the genuine representation of the person.

I will initially experiment with a variety of backgrounds, exposures and depth of field settings as well as different locations and environments to get an understanding of how to achieve the correct exposures with sufficient attributes in the various layers. I will use only available lighting while on shoots, like windows, doorways, and skylights or shoot entirely outside during daylight hours. I do not want to use a studio setting with all that it entails (huge studio lights, umbrellas, soft boxes and snoots). Beside the inconvenience it may cause my subjects travelling to the studio at a particular time, a studio location can also be unsettling for many people and thus the subject’s true character may not be truly captured.

My project’s outcome is to capture colour imagery using 120 medium format colour negative film, processed in the darkroom to produce professional prints that demonstrate character portraits using in-camera multiple exposures.

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