This series is one I created as part of my final major project for my Bachelors Degree, which I graduated from earlier this year. The imagery is a visual representation of the tragic Ophelia and depicts the story of her untimely death. Originally inspired by John Everett Millais’ iconic painting of Ophelia my research showed I was clearly not the only one inspired, as the internet was littered with beautiful women floating gracefully in milk baths! That being said I threw my own milk bath ideas out the window and decided to focus more on Ophelia’s journey rather than just the inspiration of the painting. The concept was three separate compositions with the idea that each one would carry a subtle narrative, allowing the viewer to interpret the image in their own way based on the prompt from the title of the collection. Trying to keep my work unique I focused on darker more poignant compositions that reflected my artistic style. Each composition was edited in Adobe Photoshop CC and the original photographs were taken using the Canon 5D MK iii. Immersion and Resurrection took around ten hours to complete in total whilst Preservation proved to be a challenge. Creating the composition for this particular image was probably one of the most complex edits I have ever attempted. The image alone was made up of a multitude of layers and took a couple of weeks to complete. This was mostly due to me displaying what I call imagery OCD! Looking back at my editing process my Ophelia folder currently has over sixty different edits with subtle tweaks that probably only I would notice- but I just wanted the underwater scene to fit as seamlessly as possible against the original photograph of ‘my Ophelia’. Once I stepped back and looked at the finished edit I could really envision Ophelia slowly sinking with an eerie grace whilst the water cleanses her troubled soul. I knew then I wanted to create a cinema-graph style visual that would give the image a subtle movement to carry the narrative that little bit further. Using Final Cut Pro X I took my layers from Photoshop and animated them to give the effect of an underwater current. I also added light for extra dimension as well as bubbles and a slight flow to Ophelia’s hair. To further add to the effect of motion, the plants on the water bed slowly sway with the current and algae floats towards Ophelia as she sinks down on her seaweed shaped throne. As a final touch I mixed an emotive sound track (FCPX) which I feel really brings Ophelia to life. (ironically) The final collection has a painterly touch that reflects my inspiration from Millais whilst the imagery definitely has a piece of me in it. I feel I met my objective of really capturing a different Ophelia rather than the traditional portrayal we often see of this tragic character.
More info: almatheartist.co.uk
Preservation Of Mind
Ophelia – Preservation Of Mind.
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