To extend my research into Homonymous Hemianopsia, I created a short film comprised of clips that are a ‘half image’ of the original (representing the effect the deficiency has on seeing the complete image). By selecting a material that was translucent to ‘split’ my lens, I could allow light (from the sun) to filter through at a variety of densities**. I chose to link the shots to my earlier colour work and filmed short macro clips of flowers along the walk that I chose for the Strabismus video.

It was when I started to create the film that I established an association between the shape of the material covering the lens and the shape of the sun or moon. As my exam images and films are predominantly based around sight, I chose to focus on the movement of the sun because it does only holds links with the science of photosynthesis and therefore the subject of the video (flowers) but light is essential for everyday sight and without the sun our sight would be severely reduced.

I began to adapt the video to not only represent the sight deficiency, but also the transition of the the sun from sunrise to sunset through a short film of only 45 seconds. I based the colour tones of the material creating the ‘split’ (the Homonymous Hemianopsia) on the diagram of the sun’s movement below, adapting the brightness intensity and colour tones to illustrate the sun moving in motion through the day and then included text (inspired by Duane Michals) to denoting the time of day, using the same size font at the start and end of day positioned where the sun would be in the sky (sunrise and sunset) and larger font in the centre to represent midday (when the sun is at it’s fullest).

**The translucent quality of the material I used to ‘split’ the lens of my camera also allowed me to regulate the light filtering through into the shot, which worked well in conjunction with the idea of the movement of the sun, as not only was the light filtering through created by the sun itself, but I could add another dimension to the video by selecting clips with an intense light for time during the middle of the day and clips with a less intense and darker light filter for periods of sunrise and sunset.

I chose to incorporate a soundtrack from the artist that is recurring throughout my work (Colleen) called ‘Golden Morning Breaks’ and coordinated transitions to instigate the sun rising and setting (fading from white in ‘sunrise’ and to black (with a vignette) to represent the oncoming darkness at sunset – night ) as in the diagram below.

Interestingly, I came across a prayer diagram that worked in conjunction with the sun’s movement in the sky which had links to my previous colour works based on the Gods.

After exploring the ‘split’ through images when researching the Strabismus sight defect, I came across Homonymous Hemianopsia – a similar condition to Strabismus that is categorised when the brain loses the hemianopic visual field in one or both eyes. This produces ‘half an image’ or a ‘split image’. Hemianopias occur because the right half of the brain has visual pathways for the left hemifield of both eyes, and the left half of the brain has visual pathways for the right hemifield of both eyes. I explored the representation of this deficiency by replacing the eye with a round macro lens, taken out of focus (to represent the loss of sight) and splitting the images in half to represent the visual pathway.

I felt the least strong of the set is the final image on the right hand side (image 6) as the subject is clearly recognisable and therefore it does not have any messages of interest or alternative reading, whereas the more out of focus and abstract shots can inspire a deeper emotion in the viewer, especially image 3 (second on the left hand side) as the colour tones are aesthetically pleasing yet distort the subject of the image, which was naturally beautiful and I feel this comes across in the shot.

The last two images are work that I thought linked to mine by David Armstrong, an American landscape photographer that studied alongside Nan Goldin from the age of 14. It was originally the out of focus take on landscape imaging that attracted me to his work, but exploring it further, the layers of rich colour that build up the setting of the photograph creates an almost 3D effect, as though the viewer is climbing through the images as it reaches into the sky.

As a continuation of my Strabismus work, I filmed a double series of 10 second shots (the extended duration of time that our eyes remain open before blinking) of an everyday walk as Cath. An. does in her work. I positioned the first shot straight ahead as my eyes saw the image, then the next slightly out of alignment in the second image t to represent the ‘split’ Strabismus can cause. Most shots use the strong line as a focal point, and I chose to explore filming in black and white to detract from the ‘normality’ of the location. I also continued to experiment with the film effect as it again adds another layer of interest and creates a continuation between my images and film.

I feel this is my strongest work so far, not only does it represent the deficiency but also has an abstract interest and creates an emotion that intensifies the effect of the deficiency. It almost reminds me of an old horror film due to the grainy quality and intense black and white contrast.

After viewing Jem Southam’s ‘Landscape Stories’ I chose my favourite images that represent a Landscape Story personal to me, as well as visually representing the sight deficiency Strabismus.

I found that the most effect Strabismus images were the ones with a strong, defining line through the image the allowed the viewer to clearly establish the partition through the image (i.e. the misalignment of the eyes when processing the images in the brain). I thought the subject of the photographs worked particularly well as even though they may not be intently interesting, the viewer can find interest in the split and in the ‘unseen’ where the split divides the image. I thought the neutral colours worked well within these images, but would like to explore using black and white as it detracts further from the ‘normality’ of the photograph and instead focuses the viewer onto the split.

I would also like to experiment with using film (inspired by Cath.An.) and this image below by
Jason Fulford. (See comment)

I was attracted to Jem Southam’s ‘Landscape Stories’ and saw a reflection in the quality and colour tone of his landscape shots and my own Strabismus landscape images. Jem began shooting landscapes with a MPP 5″x4″ Field camera, but wasn’t pleased with the results, due to a high saturation in the colour. About 5 years later he worked with colour again and found materials that allowed him to produce the colour that he wanted within his images and ‘has not taken a black and white picture since’. In a similar motive to mine, Jem chose to shoot English landscapes because ‘it is what I know and where I live’. This is especially important continuing my work with ‘sight’ as I wanted the focus of my images to remain the landscapes I see during my everyday life.

‘The English landscape is an astonishingly complex place with an epic story to be told’ – Jem Southam

Jem described his artistic intentions as to explore how ‘our histories, memories and systems of knowledge combine to influence the places we visit, create and dream of.’ This again has links with my own work as our sight and sense are a great influence on our memories and the knowledge we possess.

This gallery contains 21 photos.

Amblyopia (a disorder of the visual system that is characterized by a vision deficiency in an eye that is otherwise physically normal, or out of proportion to associated structural abnormalities of the eye) is often linked to Strabismus – a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other. I wanted to explore the representation of this through images, so experimented using landscape …

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Although the images I chose for the ‘visual aid’ whilst studying the Amblyopia sight deficiency are aesthetically pleasing, I didn’t feel the idea was a strong representation of the alliance of the eyes and the brain as the deficiency itself is not represented. I also felt that although the use of a ‘scientific’ visual aid was a creative adaptation of visual aids aimed to help children’s learning, I didn’t feel the text and image worked in cohesion unlike the Duane Michals images. This could be because the genre of the image is entirely different to that of Michals – his images look as though they could be a diary entry and are acutely personal (especially the handwritten accompanying text), whereas the subject of my images is more of a focus upon a scientific genre.

For these reasons I feel my work would be stronger if I focused upon the inability to read text clearly when suffering the deficiency, based upon the image below which I sourced on a website dedicated to those suffering with sight deficiencies such as Amblyopia. (http://www.clarkeyecare.com/)

I feel this image is far more visually interesting, as well as a stronger link to Amblyopia and has given me some ideas as to how to visually represent the alliance of the eyes and the brain through photography and film. This image was most likely created by manually moving the lens in and out of focus on a long shutter speed.

As the image is an accurate representation, I would like to explore representing Amblyopia using more abstract techniques, especially through film, as through some research I found that suffers of Amblyopia often find that the text ‘moves’ on the page whilst they are trying to read, often completely out of focus and causing a strain. Based on this research, I plan to create a video comprised of short clips of text that we encounter in everyday life, lasting approximately 7 seconds (the general duration of sight before a blink) and broken up by transitions of  about 0.5 seconds to represent the blinking of the eye. I hope that this will create not only  an accurate representation of the sight that Amblyopia suffers may experience (which in itself could be of interest to those viewers who do not have the deficiency (or maybe even that the text may be clear to those who do have it – adding another dimension to the video)) but will also be visually stimulating in a photographic sense.