Project 3 - Make a symbolic Self-Portrait.
Below is a simple mind map of my ideas.
To begin this project I decided to make some quick notes about my personality, character and aura. I also asked others how they perceive me just to gauge whether my opinions of myself would match theirs. Obviously the way I perceive myself is completely different to how my friends and colleagues perceive me. For me personally this is due to my insecurities which I keep hidden from others as best as possible.

Below is my symbolic Self-Portrait.
Here are my reasons for making this portrait:
The idea around this portrait is that I am a very independent person. I like my own space and time away from others to reflect and think. This photograph represents aspects of my life that I hide away from everyone else apart from myself and aspects of my life that I choose to show which is why I made no eye contact with the camera (viewer). It represents how only a small part of me is on show for people to see and that a lot of what I hide is hidden behind this 'mask' that I put on sometimes. The darkness and shadow appears to 'swarm' around me, which represents isolation and how I feel that in certain situations I isolate myself from people and groups. I took inspiration from Claude Cahun as I created a portrait that means something to me and is symbolic of how I see myself.

When I got this brief I had not idea what I was going to do for it as I hate being in photographs. However I decided to go against what I didn't like and ended up creating a photograph of myself anyway. I am very happy with how the final image turned out because I like the tonality, mood and lighting I used. I feel like I portrayed how I feel about myself as best as possible and created a meaningful image to me. I did learn how different light modifiers would affect the quality and characteristics of the light and therefore what it would look like on the subject. 
If I was to do this again, I would attempt to use pose better to signify other meanings to say something about me. I would also try and create one in colour as I feel that the black and white had a huge impact on the mood of the image. I would also like to create a symbolic self portrait of myself based on how other people see me and based on their opinion of me. I think this would be interesting to try out and see whether other people understand what the image would say about me.

Artist Research - Claude Cahun
Claude Cahun
She was born in France and is most well-known for her amazing and mysterious self-portraits. In her images she explores her gender-neutrality which can come across unsettling and relentless. The majority of her work was destroyed after her arrest and imprisonment for resistance against the Nazis. She says that she has all these questions but she doesn't have the answers to them so shows the rawness, torment and distress of not knowing them in her images.
Below are some examples of her Self-Portraits.
I find Claude Cahun's self portraits very interesting as she makes them to explore other aspects of life and her interest in gender-neutrality. Her work is about undermining gender roles and posing questions about identity. I like how her work had a deep meaning and significance to her which may be why others are so intrigued by her work.
Artist Research - Man Ray
Man Ray
He was born in Philadelphia in 1890. His work has ranged from different forms as he began with painting. His work spanned through sculpture, film and poetry. He was influenced by Surrealism, Cubism, Futurism and Dada. Ray also created commercial and fine art work, which eventually led him to become a fashion photographer. He is well-known for the creation of what he called 'Rayographs', where he made images without a camera by placing objects on light sensitive paper and exposing it to light. Man Ray has also created a series of self portraits which he published in a book, 'Self-Portrait'.

Below are some examples of his self-portraits.
I like Man Ray's self-portraits as they are very different to one another. He made these to illustrate his life story from childhood to painter, to photographer etc. I like how he has used his surroundings and props to give more information about each image and what he is trying to illustrate. I also like his use of lighting to highlight certain areas or cast harsh shadows. 
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