Constructed Image Research Journal

It took a lot of experimenting and playing around in Photoshop to figure out what my theme was going to be. After toying with a few images I finally found something that worked and I was interested in.

The idea for my constructed image assignment is to combine portraiture and digital art with a psychedelic/club/drunk theme. I will be using images that I have taken during my time in uni, rather than taking new images, and using bright colours and dramatic effects to create the feeling of intoxication within the images.

To consider the audience, due to the nature of the theme this will likely appeal to young adults, the bright coloured quirkiness is young and modern. The images aim to be fun and exciting to look at, but also show negativity of being inebriated, the anxiety and drowsiness.

The idea of having the theme of drunkenness came when I saw the book ‘Cardiff after Dark’ by Maciej Dakowicz, a Polish photographer who captured the aftermaths of various Saturday night’s in Cardiff’s Queen Street. I adore this book and the images Dakowicz captured, its funny and scary at the same time.

I was influenced by this work and loosely based my work on this, taking inspiration but putting my own twist on it. It’s such an interesting topic, showing the dark side to such a common event but making it lighthearted at the same time.

To get inspiration for editing, I researched pop artists such as  Andy Warhol, whose work is bright and colourful, with sharp comic book style effects. Pop art is so modern and quirky, it’s something I find very beautiful to look at and is the type of work you’d see in clubs, which fits with my theme.

The vibrancy in the zebra is quite psychedelic, its such a striking way to edit and colour. I aim to edit my images with similar liveliness and take inspiration from this style of work.

Fine art photographers Alexander Khokhlov and Veronica Ershova created Pop Art portraits that are not dissimilar to Warhol’s work. It’s very intriguing and fun. The models have been painted to look like Pop Art pieces, you almost wouldn’t believe that they’re photographs and not paintings. This sort of illusion is something I have considered, though I would try to obtain this look through Photoshop rather than painting on someone.

Although the images haven’t been edited this way I aim to edit my images to get this sort of effect on the images. A painted, warped, blurred or comic effect may work well in creating a fantasy/psychedelic feel to my images.

The images need to be colourful and well lit to expose and saturate them as much as possible, as saturating them will create harsh and bright colours that can be manipulated. The images need to fit in the theme, so I will use images from things like parties and prom’s, that easily highlight that a person is drunk and having fun or experiencing after effects.

In terms of equipment I will simply need Photoshop and the images I intend to use. The images were taken on my Nikon D3300 camera, some images were taken using portable flash and others using natural lighting.

Post production is the key part of this project, as all images will be heavily manipulated. Using layering, adjusting of colours and lighting, blending and effects. There is a lot that can be done in Photoshop, I will experiment until I get the desired effect. I will merge images to make a new image, as well as blur and focus on certain aspects of the images. I intend to use neon signs and writing also, I have taken images of neon lights in bars and other places on my travels, however I may have to obtain a few images to incorporate from google.


I used images from parties, proms, and also a few fashion and performance pieces. The first image I edited was DSC_0782 ‘Margaritas’, I used an image of a man dancing at a party and layered over it with images of alcohol and a neon “margaritas” sign to create an abstract image with a theme of drunkenness. It was from this I decided to pursue this topic and create more images. After toying with layering and blending options, I turned to saturation to make the image more colourful. I continued to use this style of editing throughout. The next image I edited was ‘Nessedit’, the image was taken for a fashion piece but it looked grungy and moody, like she was almost drunk and stumbling at a club. It was here that I discovered the effects, and experimented with a few. I quite liked how some of these looked. I also looked at blurring, radial blur was a particular favourite, it created a psychedelic look to the images, like your head is spinning.

After editing _DSC0886 ‘Lights out’, I regretted adding the neon sign, I felt it took away from the image. I also found that this image did not quite fit with the theme upon consideration; it could be an interesting image on its own, just not for this particular project. As well as his I found that _DSC0684 ‘Cocktails’ did not work either, I tried to edit this to the usual standard but the image appeared too bland and was not an image that I was proud of.

To narrow it down to the final 10 images I asked friends via social media. I wanted them to choose their favourite images, the ones that best represented the drunk/psychedelic theme I envisioned. Though there were some images that I wanted to include immediately, such as ‘Hot Shot’ and ‘hopeless ness mess’. It was easier to choose this way, to get an outsiders point of view. Most of the people that chose were from the target audience group, which made it more effective.

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The images would be best displayed as large posters in nightclubs and bars because of theme. I cannot really envisage these images in a gallery, however in a exhibition for modern art they would not look out of place.

Constructed Image Research Journal

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