Eye Manipulation

I have started quite a self indulgent project in recent weeks. I am documenting my own health. As a starting point I have starting collecting- objects, photographs, videos and my thoughts through creative writing.

I think this new body of work is going to be quite a departure from my work in the past because I am focusing on myself, but strangely I don’t feel self conscious about it. I think it’s because I am experiencing alot of unusual things, quite different from the life I used to have before I started experiencing health issues. Therefore it feels important to be recording it, reacting to it and responding in a creative way.

At the time that the below photos were taken I was unable to see anything due to eye inflammation. I am quite impressed that I even managed to capture myself in the frame!

Dabbling on Photoshop

I still consider myself a novice in Photoshop techniques but I quite enjoy the process of digital photo manipulation so I have had a go to see what results I could achieve. My aim was to try and highlight the white eye drops against the the rest of the face by changing them to black and white and then inverting them to make it look like black dripping out of the eyes. It didn’t really work, the drops just ended up grey. However, I enjoyed the process and although I didn’t achieve what I wanted, some of the results are quite cool and detailed.

Physical Manipulation

I have printed the photos so that I can also physically manipulate them. I want to blur out the images and I am going to try several different processes to see what effects I can achieve. I want to create a blurry veil to mimic my blurred sight.

I’m quite disappointed with the minimal effects that my processing has had on the photos. I was expecting some much more dramatic results. I think it is because I ordered very high quality photo paper.

Boiled – didn’t really do anything other than break down the strength of the back of the paper

Harpic toilet cleaner – I like this effect. At first I wasn’t keen on the blue colour, but now I quite like it because it fits in with the medical theme.

Margarine – hasn’t changed the image at all

Oil and salt – I added the salt afterwards because the oil didn’t really do anything

Plaster- I like this outcome but need to somehow seal it on the photo so that it doesn’t break off of the surface

Hand soap – only a slight darkening to parts of the image

Vasaline – has done nothing to the surface of the image. I thought this method would be much more effective than it has been

Wax – tricky to pour it where I wanted it to go – perhaps dipping the photo into the wax might work better

Bleach – had to be bleached twice because the first bleaching didn’t really do anything at all. I quite like it now that it has been bleached twice


I put my manipulated images into my scanner and some strange things happened to some of them. They scanned in as normal and then when saving they went through an ‘enhancing’ process on the app and the colours washed out. Quite interesting… and I can only assume it is because the scanner uses light to capture the images.

When I couldn’t see I felt quite vulnerable and somewhat lonely. These were very new feelings for me to experience! I struggled alot with these emotions and it was the worst part of not being able to see. I am going to try and explore these emotions some more and try and get them to reflect in my work.