AI | Week 4: Playing Against the Camera | Surfaces and Strategies | Lesson/Research |

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What are the apparatus and programmes I am using and how am I outwitting them?

I shoot digital. I have only owned Nikon so far.

Nikon D40x.

Nikon D3100.

I also plan to purchase a drone camera and a 360 Degree camera.

The only ways I can think of Outwitting a camera is to physically alter it which is what I have talked about in my project proposal.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 17.47.46 copy.jpg

Altering my camera to infrared is something I will consider doing to my Nikon D40x if I can find the funds and the right person to do it. One could also say we are trying to outwit a camera when taking photos of reflections.

For editing, I have experimented with a number of different programmes including mixing desktop and mobile applications.

Photoshop and Lightroom are my current go to choice.

I wouldn’t use the term outwit but I do try to push the limits of what I can create by combining different programmes together for one edit. For the moment I am sticking to photoshop as I feel there are a lot of different outcomes that can be discovered through the combination of different edits.

My current negative practice has been a taster for my experimentation. I don’t mind if the photos are distorted, but only if it is done in a way that is interesting and fits. Viewing the work of Pekka Niittyvirta reminds us how distortion can be used…


This image of Pekka’s edit stood out to me as the way the corruption wraps around the subject intrigues me especially around the jaw area where just above the eye is poking through. A psychedelic, cyberpunk feel to it. In an interview with Pekka, it was talked about how the images were made and the intentions behind it…

“I think that it is important to shed first some light over the technique or method, which is used when creating these images. Images are modified by alteration of digital image file’s source code: inserting or removing data. For example Paris Hilton (Dog Chromosome X, Poodle) has dog’s genetic data and Broken Idyll (Bridge) has phrases from the Burmese propaganda newspaper New Light Of Myanmar inserted to the image file. Image is taken in the Burmese Himalayas. With the picture Removing White, I literally removed all parts of code re-presenting white. Image originally depicted a tank from the World War II.

In a way I destroy the image, but on the other hand, I attempt to create something aesthetically surprising and interesting.”

I have had similar experience one time in the past where a selection of photos I had corrupted. At the time I didn’t think much of it, other than frustration that my files had been essentially destroyed. But after looking at them for an extended period of time, I realised that they were are actually abstract and pretty in their own unique way, I did contemplate using them but I did not know where. I wish I could find them as this happened a while back, if I do I will post them here.

Perhaps there are other ways to purposely corrupt and image and make use of it in my project?

Here I found information that it can be done with a Hex editor or that there are now apps that are built to do it easily for the user – Link

It can also be done instantly at this website – Link

Here is one I made with a screen shot of the Robert Overwegs – Glitches.


I made it so it purposely covers the subjects eyes, I feel this adds mystery to the subject.

Do I privilege the lens, the digital sensor or the camera manufactures in anyway?

I had never really been one to care too much about the equipment aspect of photography, my old quote for my old website read “It’s not about what special type of camera you have rather its about just creating a great composed photo” – yes I could have worded that better but what I was trying to say is at the time I believed the skill of a photographer lays in the composition before anything and that I would argue photographers who claim to think everything in photography is about who has the best equipment seem to forget its not a competition and to me, it’s not skill if you are solely relying on their expensive camera to do all you ‘hard work’. Basically what I am trying to say is its how you use it.

However, after using two similar cameras with similar specs for over 5 years now, I can see where the limitations begin to show. I would very much like to try out new equipment to widen the spread of my creativity and produce a wider set of results.

If I prefer to keep my process ‘a black box’ what would be the context/motivations for doing so and are there responsibilities associated with that?

I do believe the skill of a photographer rests in his or hers intention along with what lays with in the photograph and its composition. With this, making note of the equipment used is important. You could have no knowledge of photography whatsoever but then pick up a £3000 camera and fire off a detailed shot. I think to truly stick to ‘a black box’ theme one has to go back to the mediums roots and use a analogue camera, I say this because with an analogue camera there is no heavy futuristic technology that has your back, you only have a couple shots to get it right and if you screw up, thats it.

A photographer I wanted to bring up is Erik Johansson.


“Erick Johansson is a photographer and Photoshop retoucher who works on a grand scale. Can you even imagine taking 20 to 30 photographs just to produce one shot? Or working with over a 100 Photoshop layers at a time? For Eric, that’s his routine. To him, the photographs he takes are only raw materials; nothing more than a small part of his grand designs. There is a feeling of “Largeness” in Erik’s work, and that may be, at least in part, contributed to his location. It’s wide and flat in his preferred shooting location in Sweden, which helps him achieve his tremendous “Wide Open” landscapes.

What I find most frustrating about Eric’s work is the fact that he doesn’t have any special, super-expensive equipment. Nor does he have years and years of professional Photoshop training. This man has no advantages over the rest of us, except for his skill, his imagination and his dedication.” – Source

I can imagine some people when viewing Eriks images may think its just a photoshop created image from other peoples images and therefor doesn’t really class as a photograph but more as digital art, but the fact that every part of the image you see were separate images all taken by Erik and put together, to me makes this a photograph/fancy collage. It’s also worth mentioning the writers similar views to mine here, “he doesn’t have any special, super-expensive equipment”. Good work.


In my chosen apparatus, can anything be said to be smuggled by me or by anyone else?

Pikka’s image above wasn’t taken by Pekka…

“I try to choose images which, after manipulation results particular connotation, political or otherwise. Whether I use a image from the web or choose to photograph it by my self, the aesthetics naturally affect also a lot during the process.” – Pikka

By nature, I have never been drawn towards wanting to edit someone else photograph. Not even for practice, although I think in some ways it would be healthy to practice as long as I never broadcast it as my own. I have done collaborations in the past where someone else has taken the photo and I would edit it.

To incorporate someone else photo into my image is also something I haven’t considered.  If someone where to use one of my photos without permission or even take photos similar to what I have done, e.g. with the same model, it would frustrate me.

Am I resisting something, if so, what is expected of me?

I am expected not to use other peoples images without permission.


Do I consider myself to be forcing the camera in anyway?

Not in anyway I can think of other that pushing the pixels to there limits when editing. I often like to over expose my personal images as I feel it provides a sense of positivity ad light to the subject.

Would I say I am free from my apparatus?

Yes as I have never solely relied on the power of my equipment, other than when it runs out of battery…

What are the consequences of my practice upon me, my peers and the history of the medium?

I don’t think my practice alone with have such a large effect, at the end of the day, I will stick to the rules when it comes to keeping the photograph a photograph.

Turn away

What possibilities could non-human approaches to image capture hold for me? Would I consider putting my camera down and looking elsewhere?

Whilst I plan to fly the drone myself manually, they have a number of auto features including follow mode. These features are marketed in the new release of the DJI Spark mini drone…

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The active track will follow you in a number of different motions such as circular panning, there is also an automatic shooting mode that can be triggered along with hand gestures to move and shoot.

All this leads to a non-human approach, The benefits are that it could capture things that hadn’t been seen by my own observations, or that myself could be included in the image. In this case the photographer would be owning the planning and initialisation of the idea. Although the results captured may run this risk of being called a fluke if the photographer is not the one to actually take the shot…

Playing against the camera

What am I striving for in my practice?

Not only is it to express personalities and the aesthetic beauty of people and landscapes but to see how I can use what I have learnt and am currently learning with new equipment and editing methods to provide outcomes with a unique impact that can bring the viewer visual pleasure.

Does my freedom come from a rejection of the apparatus or a willingness to look else where?

As displayed in this weeks presentation, like Robert Overweg and Thibault Brunet, I too had the idea of doing photography in a game. Such games like Grand Theft Auto 5 enable you to explore the vast 49 Square mile map with a built in mobile camera which your character hold, you can even edit the image with filters.

Grand Theft Auto V_20141206213332

(Taken from google)

The Forza series of games also have great built in cameras to take photos of your cars, the editing software in the game was so detailed, you could make your images look almost identical to real life. I used to do in game photography a lot as a hobby, but stopped as I thought no none would take any interest.


(Taken from google)))…{


I managed to find the time to watch through the webinar of week 4, I really enjoyed see my peers attempts of such a challenging task to shoot a selection of images without using their chosen apparatus. I thought it was creative how Mandisa utilised the materials she had by creating images by scanning them, and then to top it off, use a unique editing app which she said she was unfamiliar with. I honestly struggled to think of a way to take photos without using my digital sir or my mobile camera, but I have never attempted to scan objects other than paper so had I thought of it myself I would had proberly chose a similar route. Chris’s approach of covering the entire photo was interesting, mentioning that although what is in the image is now unseeable, it is still there and could be discovered if reverse edited.,////4%%^


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