Thorns – Test Images

After being inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo, I experimented with the idea of blood and thorns. With the first image in the series I unintentionally formed a ‘cross’ shape when places the thorn which although subtle and maybe not noticeable to most people, links with the religious connotations that I spoke about in the previous post.

The second image provided a detail shot of the leaf and the blood drop at the end of the leaf draws the viewers attention into the image. To contrast with the crowded first image, the third photograph is much more simplistic. The feature of blood still remains yet differs from the green leaf in the second image.

In terms of pairing the series with a self portrait image, I want to reuse a concept for an image that I shot for the previous module in which I am scratching myself. However, I want to reshoot the image that the scratched are a lot more obvious, linking to the blood and thorns in the nature image.

Self Portrait Image

Frida Kahlo – Self Portrait (Research)

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird’.

After looking into the idea of experimenting with photographing roses and using self portraiture throughout my work, I looked into the work of Frida Kahlo.

One piece of work in particular stood out to me ‘Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird’. I was especially drawn to the thorn necklace which she wears around her neck and soon realised that the petals of the roses were not so much of an interest to me as the thorn below them.

When researching into the symbolism behind the thorn necklace which appears in the self portrait I found ‘The thorn necklace could allude to Christ’s crown of thorns, thus likening herself to a Christian martyr, and representing the pain and anguish she felt after her failed romantic relationships.’ (

Although not religious, I found the link to Christ interesting especially when relating it to pain. This is something that I want to incorporate into my own work.

Creating the book

Self Portrait

Above is photo sequencing for the next sections of photos within the book. The dandelion images were all shot this week, while the self-portraits were taken for the first hand in of this module. I wanted both the photos of the dandelion and the self portraits to show deterioration.

Although I am currently using the self portraits within the book, I am going to reshoot them at a later date as the colouring is slightly of them and I feel they can be improved. The mix of square images, as well as image covering two pages all work together to create an interesting dynamic. I will also experiment with pairing an image of the dandelion with a self portrait image to break up the sequence, although at the moment this works best for me.

Roses – Test Images

As a way to destroy them, I want to set fire to a rose for my next series of photographs. I took photos of the roses while they were still closed to see what colour I thought worked best against the background.

I felt that the yellow worked the worse, with the yellows petals and green of the stem and leaves clashing together. Although I think the orange and pink work just as well as each other, I am drawn to the pink. I feel that the orange flames may not stand out against the orange petals when I set fire to it. I also feel that the pink has more romantic connotations than the other colours, which is something that roses are traditionally associated with. I like the idea of destroying the idea of romance by setting the rose on fire and feel that this comparisons creates a strong contrast and story. I will however try both pink and orange as I feel that both could work well when set on fire.

Creating the book

I am hoping to print my book using Blurb, and having looked at the different sizing option they offer, have chosen to produce a large square book (30×30). I chose to produce a square book as I feel this best suits a photo book rather than your traditional reading book, especially with the type of content I want to place into it.

I am working with a graphic designer to help me design the book. Above is a mock up of how I want the front cover to look. I chose the image on the front as stereotypically flowers are seen as being appealing with positive connotations. The viewer may believe the book is linked to this positivity, however the title completely contrasts this. I want the viewer to be intrigued by the link between the title and image.

The word ‘destroyed’ is faded compared to the other words to quite literally represent the idea of being destroyed. I want this word to be a continuing theme throughout the book and will be used both in the title and quotes, as well as represented in the images.

The image above shows what will appear on the first page. I want the quote to stand alone with no other images and as soon as the viewer opens the book, be introduced to what they are about to see. The use of negative space around the quote is something that I once again want to be a recurring theme, with it appearing throughout my images.

Double page spread

I want to be creative with the way I lay my images out, instead of simply placing one image per page throughout the book. The image above shows one on my photographs spilling onto the previous page. I feel the inconsistency of the layout links well to the idea of mental health. I have left space to the left of the image to insert a quote, however at this time I am unsure of what this would be.

The idea is to section the book into four or five different parts. Each section will represent a different aspect of mental health. For example, the series of photos I have shown above will all belong within the same section. They are all from the series showing frozen flowers, as well as being paired with a self portrait of a similar theme.

I will title each section – for example, naming the series of images above ‘Trapped’. I will then move onto another series of images with a title and four to five images which make up that section. The idea of this is to have a number of ‘stories’ within the book which make up the bigger picture.

Dandelions – Final Selection

I decided to choose 3 images for my final selection of dandelion photographs.

I chose them because they tell the story of the plant loosing its seeds in three different ways. The photo series also links to title ‘I am destroyed’, with the loss of seeds making the plant appear weaker.

For the first image of the set I layered multiple photos together to represent the movement of the dandelion and how in nature the wind and movement are major factor in the plant loosing its seeds. I then wanted to focus on the detail of the seeds themselves, producing a detail shot of the falling seeds. Instead of photographing the plant at different stages of loosing its seeds, I wanted to use a detail shot to break up the repetitive composition. Finally I shot a simple ‘portrait’ of the plant without its seeds, surrounded by negative space which puts the plant in a venerable place.


The idea of photographing dandelions was to focus on a part of nature that is considered fragile. I shot them in a numbers of ways from detail shots which focused on the main part of the plant, to very simplistic ‘portrait style’ images where the plant is surrounded by negative space in order to make it stand out and appear alone.

The photographs above show a range of images from the photoshoot I produced.

Title Change

After choosing ‘We are Merely Here’ for a title, I came up with a quote which I feel sums the project up perfectly – ‘What if we destroy nature the way we destroy ourselves’. It ties together the human and nature link as well as exploring mental health.

When suffering with a mental illness we are often self destructive and I want to show this destruction through not only self portraits but also the destroying of nature. I want the viewer to question the statement – Humans are constantly destroying themselves, but would we destroy nature in the same way?

Because of wanting this quote to appear within the book, I have decided to change the title of the book as I feel it no longer represents what I am trying to say. I now want to call the book simply ‘I am destroyed.’ The title is obviously has a link to mental health and self destruction, yet when paired with nature images it makes the viewer question what the book is really about.

Time-Lapse – Second Attempt

The second attempt at a time lapse went more successfully.

I set up my camera so that it automatically took a photo every minute, and waited for the ice to melt which took a total of 10 hours. I then put together the 594 photos to create a time-lapse.

The transition throughout the video is a lot smoother than the first attempt because of the amount of photos I put together. I used studio lighting which meant that the lighting was constant throughout the video. Overall I am pleased with the result, and will use it as part of final video

Time-lapse – First Attempt

I created a time-lapse showing flowers frozen within ice and the effects of it melting. My first attempt at the time lapse failed for multiple reasons.

I took a photograph every 5 minuets until the ice had melted, however this was to much of a gap and the end result looks jumpy. I also shot the time-lapse right next to a window so the lighting changed throughout the video. However, the lighting wouldn’t have been an issue if the movement was more continuous, but once again because the spacing between each shot was to large, there was noticeable difference. Although not significant, I also wish the flowers were vertical rather than horizontal and I believe it would look more aesthetically pleasing.

I am going to attempt the time-lapse once again but shooting the intervals closer together and in a studio setting.

Create your website at
Get started