Beach Bleached Bone

“You have 24 hours to produce a mini-series of five images relating to your research project without using apparatus that is familiar to you.”
Once I had decided to use a camerphone for the tool it was a logical step to think about dissemination in the form of social media platforms like Flikr, Snapchat or Facebook.
I have been wanting to subvert Instagram for a long time now (there is another small project I had done along these lines last year #beachtowelchronicles) so I began to think about how to sneak my subject matter past Instagram’s strict censorship rules.
Due to the nature of my project (ie photographing the naked male) this would automatically get me banned from Instagram. So was thinking of a creative way to stay true to my personal practice yet still enable me to bypass censorship. I decided if I were to over-expose the subject to the point where nothing incriminating was visible I could then use a photo filter app to create something intriguing yet completely ambiguous. Obviously the data is still there within the image should anyone take the time to unpick it, but to the naked eye there is little to be seen. I did, however, leave tiny spots of shadow to further add to the confusion. The titles of the images are the tone name & frame name from Pixlr-O-Matic which gives a pseudonym so the model retains their anonymity; therefore my choice of aesthetic creates their pseudonym.
With these completely innocuous images I can now post them to Instagram without fear of reprisal and only myself and the model know the true image behind the frame.
A by-product of this short mini-project was that it enabled me to explore the way the camera legitimises; with the promise of capturing a person’s representation you can be quite bold and approach complete strangers with the most bizarre of requests. A nice way to get over your shyness when ordinarily you would not have the nerve to speak to a person in some social situations.
While this may have started out as an exercise in how we cope when asked to get by without our workhorse, I am going to continue the series until I have a reasonable selection which I will probably lay-out in a grid to print…possibly for inclusion in the Exhibition. I have begun to drip-feed them onto Instagram and have decided to change the name of the project to #bleachwood as this enables me to source subjects from other areas rather than limiting myself to sunny days at the beach.

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