Summer Task Critical Reflection: A Day in the Life of a Student

One of the summer tasks we were set was:

“Record a visual diary. It should be as intimate and honest as you’re able to be. You should make images from the first time that you open your eyes, through to closing them to sleep”

The idea that came to me after reading this was to do a “Day in the Life” Series of images. An idea came to me after I woke up following a particularly long night out with my friends. I decided to do “A Day in the Life of a Student”. This idea then revolved around the theme of going out night after night, and having to deal with the following hangovers and other issues. To give me a place to start, I began listing the feelings and emotions that I usually feel after a long night out. There would be physical issues such as dizziness and headaches. There are then the mental issues such as confusion, being lethargic and the boredom of the day. I attempted to capture all of these using my images.

After brainstorming a few ideas, and with the task in my head I set about producing images that were both a literal reflection of how I would feel and the physical reaction to a night out, as well as subliminal mental issues such as alcoholism and recovery. This I could have done in a number of ways. The first few ideas were to represent these feelings in the editing process, by adding colour to the images that represented different emotions. But the idea I decided on was to use props and image composition as I thought this would be a clearer way of depicting the scene. One of the ways I did this was to have a bottle of rum reflected in the bathroom mirror, which could represent subconscious feelings. Also without using any other human subjects, I believe I captured the feeling of loneliness that someone might feel after coming home alone from a night out.

I created a series of triptych photographs, so that events and feelings could be linked together and would produce a narrative that ran throughout the series. This was particularly useful because I could use the three images together to create a feeling, rather than having to use a single image for each scene. I then put these in order, with the final image being the very first image that I used which then represents the cycle of going out night after night.

After creating this project, I came to the following conclusions:

  • I like how the images flow together.
  • I was pleased with some of the hidden messages in some of the images (For example, the bottle of rum in the bathroom mirror)
  • I liked how the images were informal and relaxed, which reflects the mood of the day.

I thought I could improve on:

  • The quality of the images and some could have been edited better
  • Could have more specific subjects rather than just windows and hallways etc.

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