The problems and issues around this assignment, not forgetting other assignments at the same time, made Cut Up a challenging project. After the initial feedback from my idea I set about to photograph McDonalds and KFC restaurants in my area. The main issue for me which I’ll admit I got ‘hung up’ on was the perfect blue sky that dominated the days I went out to shoot. Once these images were turned black and white, a key element in the piece, the sky, would be featureless. As the building was being removed for the cut up element, early experiments with the KFC internet image (also a blue sky) showed that the final image suffered from this. The cut experiment with the black and white image of the church showed that a cloudy dark sky worked much better.
The dichotomy of the ‘evil’ fast food restaurant and its brooding / stormy skies added power to the monochrome element in direct contrast with the ‘good’ colourful woodland scene.
On reflection there were other methods I could have used to add in a stormy sky, such as cut and paste from another image or simply painting in the dark sky in Photo Shop. I tried dodging and burning the sky in my experiments with black and white printing but a featureless sky is just that – featureless. I hung onto the belief the weather would change whilst precious time ticked away. The shots I have used were taken at sunset the only time the clouds take on a different mood. This also brought problems as the front of the restaurants weren’t always facing the right way. The distance between the restaurants also meant I’d have one chance per day.
I did look at using internet images of the restaurants but these tended to be either advertising shots or low resolution badly taken images.
Another direction I could have taken would have been to make the image more art based in the use of paints, crayons etc, but my original aim was to make this a photographic project and sticking to this effectively narrowed my options.
The temptation was also to make it more montage, cut up lots of elements and add them in, but this would make the image more cluttered. I felt the images worked because of their simplicity.
The cut up series was completed with the screen print KFC with the photograph of caged chickens looking through. The image reflects the true nature of the industry of KFC as to feed the thousands of restaurants with meat, millions of birds are slaughtered every year.