Postgraduate Design Research Series: Leanne Millerby Corinne Smith on 17/09/2012
Welcome to a new Design Assembly series focusing on design research. Once a month we will talk to a postgraduate student, starting at postgraduate diploma level progressing through to PhD level. Each student will give us a brief overview of their research—how they ended up in that research area, what they are working on, what they have learnt, and if this has changed their design practice.
We start the series talking to Leanne Miller, Postgraduate Diploma in Art & Design student at AUT.
Tell us about your research project.
My research project explores the hidden dimension of the photographic moment, opening up new ways of perceiving space through instantaneous sequencing. I’m very interested in blurring the boundaries between still photography and the moving image, and exploring the potential of adding 3-dimensional depth to a 2-dimensional image.
How did you get into this research area?
Having worked as a commercial, fine art photographer and lecturer for the last 12 years, I really wanted to challenge how I thought about capturing the photographic moment. Photographs rarely give the sense of being in the moment and bringing the spectator into the space of the image. I wanted to discover new ways of bringing a photograph to life and achieve a deeper level of intimacy between the photograph and the viewer.
I began shooting a series of underwater still life images of flowers, which symbolize my experience of the 2010 – 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. The images contain a heightened sense of beauty and feeling of unease – a bit like having your feet firmly on the ground while everything shifts around you…causing you to rethink the way in which you perceive the world and what you are seeing.
Where are you at so far with your research?
I have been investigating the power and impact sequences of still images have over the singular photograph – adding time and animating the sequences together so that they loop and transverse back and forth in front of you…. generating still but moving photographs that contain an immersive cinematic experience without being a movie.
I’ve also been looking at how to comp these still frames together, so as to create 3-D space from 2-D photographs, so that the viewer can enter into the space of the photograph without having to wear 3-D glasses.
What do you believe your final submitted work will include?
My final work will primarily consist of photographic images which will either be exhibited as moving images, projected installations or as lenticular photographic prints.
What have you learned from this design research, and has it changed your practice?
My research practice has allowed me to question the future of the traditional photographic image, finding alternate image-making processes to present photographic images and how they are read or interpreted.
At present I am applying tools and techniques from moving image to create a new visual aesthetic. I’m hoping to encourage designers and photographers to rethink how photography is seen and to push the boundaries of the medium by crossing over into multimedia.