Importance of pre-visualisation

Previsualisation important to creating an image – ability to anticipate and image prior to taking the image. To anticipate the use of light, scenery, props and other elements that come together to create the final image.

A few examples of practitioners who pre-visualise their work

Jeff Wall – Wall is a Canadian artist born in Vancouver. He has experimented with conceptional photography and A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) 1993 is a great example of the use of pre-visualisation.

A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) 1993 Jeff Wall

A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) 1993 Jeff Wall

This piece is made up of 50 images, reconstructed using digital manipulation to create the final image. Wall is very precise in what he imagines an image to be. Based on Katsushila Hokusais print Ejiri in suruga province.

Wall’s image took months to shoot, photographing the individual models over  5 month period, to ensure that he could capture the correct weather conditions for the image. In a letter to the Tate curator wall states

“for working out aspects of the composition. It was done by photocopying black and white scan outputs, enlarging them, and patching them together. The main purpose was to plot out the position and sizes of the papers blowing in the air. I took individual pieces from the various original scans, copied them, and stuck them on the paper, changing them around to make the composition of the sky. This took quite a while, and the small pieces were moved around repeatedly. Each has a code number, so I could trace them back to a sheet of film. So the collage was really a working element in making the picture.” (Faxed letter to Tate curator, February 1997.)

The image above illustrates the almost mathmatical approach that Jeff Wall took when creating the photograph.

This short You Tube clip shows Jeff Wall talking about the approach he takes when creating images showing that the use of pre-visualisation is integral to the work he produces.

” I begin by not photographing” Jeff Wall – 2010  -You tube video

Tattoos and shadows - Jeff Wall - 2000

Tattoos and shadows – Jeff Wall – 2000

Inspired by moments that he sees on the streets and environment. He then reconstructs the image that he saw in his own way.  Such as Tattoos and Shadows 2000 which he talks about in the video clip.

Gregory Crewdson

Ben Shapiros documentary beginnings ( Beginnings –
Shoots scenes on an almost movie like set. Sells images for $60000 and has people lined up to purchase them prior to the shot.

In this short documentary Crewdson talks about the immense work that goes into creating his images and the importance of pre-visualisation in create his final outcomes.


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