Exercises

(Page 33)

60 images: 30 in colour, 30 in black and white. All are shot in a street-photography style.

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Street photography began in black and white, within an age when colour deemed unrealistic and carried connotations of advertising.

Colour began to be accepted as an art form in the late 20th century.

(Page 37)

Sarah Pickering – Public Order

I found Sarah Pickering’s images quite confusing and didn’t quite understand them. Some came across almost frightening or intimidating, take ‘Off Vickers, Eastcourt Street, 2004’ as an example :

However the lack of information does make the mind wonder perhaps purposely, leading the viewer to research more into the content of the photographs. My first opinion was that Pickering’s photographs come across misleading. This could potentially leave the viewer struggling to find the narrative which runs the risk of her images losing interest altogether.

(Page 43)

Composite Image

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How does Briony Campbell’s The Dad Project compare with Country Doctor? (Page 51)

In comparison Campbell’s project was much more personal and an emotional roller coaster in nature than W. Eugene Smith’s photo essay which focused around the life of a general practitioner : Dr Ernest Guy Ceriani. Campbell faced many challenges such as worrying about the understanding and acceptance of other family members such as her mother. The project provided a way for physical and emotional feelings to be shared between her and her terminally ill father.

While both projects are very intimate, Campbell tells her own story using the power of honesty and raw emotion within her photos. She used photography as a distraction from her grief and as a way to reflect.

What do you think she means by ‘an ending without an ending’?

Within the photo essay she states that “In realizing The Dad Project I made a lot of tough decisions. Without my dad, but very much with him”, I think what she meant was that in a way her dad will always live on in within her pictures. What is also  amazing is that her dad’s profession was family counseling, where of course he guided and supported individuals and family units. The project does this also. Daughter and father created the project together not only helping themselves but also helping and still doing so for others today. Therefore the story will never have an end as it will  hopefully go on inspiring and aiding others forevermore.

The visual details and memories of producing the project and learning more about one another will also always be stored within Campbell’s mind.
  • Offered comfort to many viewers
  • the process itself had a positive impact on Campbell’s relationship with her father (co-author)
(Page 55)
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(Page 60)

Poem by Heidi Campbell – http://www.creative-poems.com/poem.php?id=122570

I did produce some sound recordings to go with these images, however struggled to find a way of placing the media types together.

Follow link for the recordings : https://soundcloud.com/grace-howells-24898472/sets/natures-way-recordings

(Page 68)

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How do you feel about the loss of authorial control that comes when the viewer projects their own experiences onto the images you’ve created?

I believe if someone can relate personally with your pictures then that is a great thing and all photographers should aim for that. Everyone is different in the way they see, think and respond to things especially due to their life experiences. It’s a good way to learn about yourself, the world and the others that share it. Photographs share experience and perspectives. One will never be able to guarantee what another may see in your pictures. You can only give a sense/ set a mood of something.

(Page 78)

Research – Photographers -self

How do these images make you feel?

The self-portrait images I viewed intrigued me and I wanted to find out more about the individuals in the frames. Their creative ideas are very inspiring. I like how Ansel Adams and Greta Tu used two exposures. Greta Tu herself was the frame, then her passion of landscapes within it. (see document above to view the image)

Define narcissism: excessive interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance (vanity)

Self portraiture is a good way to explore oneself plus what it feels like to be in front on the lens, the subject/focus of a photograph. As a photographer it is important to understand how it feels to be on the other side of the camera.

What’s the significance of Brotherus’s nackedness? Can the images ‘work’ for an outsider without accompanying text?

Brotherus’ nakedness suggests honesty and vulnerability. Her body language doesn’t communicate egotism it leans towards shame, as if she feels inadequate.Without the text explaining the reasons behind the image I think as a viewer you can still read into her images, however maybe not come to the conclusion it is about her failed IVF treatment.

Do you think any of these artists are also addressing wider issues beyond the purely personal?

Gillian Wearing challenges the scope of self-portraiture and photography as a form of documentation by disguising herself with the use of masks. She posed as her family members questioning the reliability of the photograph as a record.

(Page 80)

Is there any sense in which Lee’s work could be considered voyeuristic or even exploitative? Is she commenting on her own identity, the group identity of the people she photographs, or both?

Nikki S Lee’s work seems to comment on her own identity as well as those she is posing as. She highlights features to identify certain characters for example she had a professional make-up artist to make her skin look wrinkled so she could appear as elderly in the shot called ‘The Seniors Project’. She also work dark, studded leather clothing for the punk project.  Her work seems to be a way for her to view and analyze herself but whilst in other people’s shoes.

Would you agree to Morrissey’s request if you were enjoying a day on the beach with your family? If not, why not?

I would agree with Morrissey’s request as it would be very interesting to see how she would act. It would be something to perhaps learn and take inspiration form.

Morrissey uses self-portraiture in more of her work, namely Seven and The Failed Realist. Look at these projects online and make some notes in your learning log.

Seven Years (2001-2004)

The title refers to the age gap between Morrissey and her elder sister. Both act in this project by mimicking family photography, in tightly controlled shots with fictional mise en scene based on the conventions of the family snapshot. Their body language and family relations are all thought of.

The project is set in the 1970’s and 80’s and achieved with the use of period clothing and props.

The shots are very realistic and you can identify the relation between the two subjects. In a couple of the shots I even began to question whether Trish Morrissey was in face acting as both characters.

There are snapshot characteristics which make it more authentic for example fingers over the lens, imperfect compositions and eyes being shut due to exposures whilst blinking.

July-14th-1974

The photograph above is from the series and is a good example of how un-posed the shots appear. This one looks as if it has been picked out as random from pictures taken one day out at the beach. The character on the right is looking away from the lens so you cannot see her face, as if she is distracted by the children in the background. Perhaps these are her children and her maternal instincts are taken over. Her arms are also hiding her stomach communicating perhaps portraying her self-consciousness.

The Failed Realist (2011)

Until reading the statement about this series I really didn’t understand the project and therefore didn’t like it. However after reading the narrative my opinion changed and I found it very interesting. The project is based on a psychologist Georges-Henri Luguet’s (1927-2001) theory about children and their ability to draw without influence from representational conventions.

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child” Pablo Picasso

(Page 82)

Mind map of ideas:

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printscreen seahorse
Print screen of colour cast tie-dye effect

The childhood memory I chose to portray was from when I was very little visiting my Nana and Grandad in Plymouth. They took me on a trip to the National Marine Aquarium which at the time held the country’s biggest collection of sea horses. This was my very first encounter of these mystic creatures which makes the memory even more special.

I wanted to suggest the vivid recollection with the use of a colour cast over the image. My aim was for it to come across as imaginary; how I picture it in my head. The picture I took was a very literal way to represent what I witnessed however without accompanying text the story behind the image would be lost. I’ve decided to title the image to give it some narrative and give the viewer a hint of information.

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The Aquarium with Nana & Grandad

The outcome of the exercise I am pleased about as the photograph is very similar to what I visualize when I remember the occasion.

(Page 87)

Questions about Nigel Safran‘s series titled Washing-Up.

Did it surprise you that this was taken by a man?

The series does show an environment influenced with an feminine touch, for example the candles, bouque and plants, suggestive of a female presence within the household. However it did not surprise me that ‘Washing-up’ was produced by a man. Perhaps if I had been shown this work without any background information then due to gender roles within society and women traditionally being the home-maker of a household I might of guessed the photographer was female.

In your opinion does gender contribute to the creation of an image?

I do believe men and women think in other ways and that our brains work very differently, therefore gender does contribute to the way an image is shot and seen.

What does this series achieve by not including people?

It almost makes a detective out of the viewer. Although the individuals creating/living in the scene are not within the shots, you can depict certain qualities about them. Shafran has thought of a very simplistic yet clever way to speak about someone without literally showing them. You can analyse the domestic environments and make judgements about the family.

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For instance the empty clean jars, bottles and cans suggest that they are environmentally aware and recycle.

Do you regard them as interesting ‘still life’ compositions?

Yes they are to an extent. They are not something which you would hang on your wall however they do make you think and open your mind to the possibilities of representing people with the use of symbolism.

(Page 101)

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This is a commercial photograph made in order to advertise the vehicle. To promote the product the photograph makes the pick-up appear desirable. This is emphasized by the repetition of the word ‘best’ shown within the text upon the image: “Best in class”,  “…it’s the best pick-up on the market” and “Test the best”. Mitsubishi are attempting to assure viewers that they should buy this vehicle and that their vehicles have no competition due to their great quality. The vehicle’s stature and the text “showing the world how it’s done” seems to challenge it’s competitors to contend.

(Page 109)

After watching the long-take scene from the Godfellas (1990) which was directed by Martin Scorsese see link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJEEVtqXdK8 I found some points relating to the main character.

What does this scene tell you about the main character:

  • The gentleman is wealthy
  • He cares about his appearance/reputation
  • He has high social status and seems well known by other characters at the location – he has connections
  • The character is mysterious
  • The main character is trying to seduce the lady that is accompanying him  (she is very attractive)
  • He seems a happy chappy and excited about the evening his is attending

How does it do this? List the ‘clues’:

  • The first shot of him is a close-up of him handing cash over to another gentleman tending to his car. He is dressed smartly in a suit with well kept and styled hair. He owns his own vehicle. He continues to tip/bribe many individuals within the scene, such as the doorman/bouncer and the gentleman who sorts him out a table
  • He is able to skip through the line of people queuing up to get in & knows a quicker way of entering the building. A table is setup for him right at the front so he is given the best view of the entertainment.
  • When asked about what he does for a living he seems to falsely ‘mishear’ when asked what he does for a living so he has time to think of an answer. The women accompanying him seems to know very little about him.
  • The song used in the background and it’s lyrical content. Then He Kissed Me by The Crystals:

“Well he walked up to me
And he asked me if I wanted to dance
He looked kinda nice
And so I said I might take a chance
When he danced he held me tight
And when he walked me home that night
All the stars were shining bright
And then he kissed me

Each time I saw him
I couldn’t wait to see him again
I wanted to let him know
That he was more than a friend
I didn’t know just what to do
So I whispered I love you
And he said that he loved me too
And then he kissed me

He kissed me in a way
That I’ve never been kissed before
He kissed me in a way
That I wanna be kissed forever more

I knew that he was mine
So I gave him all the love that I had
And one day he took me home
To meet his mom and his dad
Then he asked me to be his bride
And always be right by his side
I felt so happy I almost cried
And then he kissed me

[Instrumental Interlude]

Then he asked me to be his bride
And always be right by his side
I felt so happy I almost cried
And then he kissed me
And then he kissed me
And then he kissed me”

 

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