Archive for January, 2013

Camera-less Photography

Oxymoron – contradicts itself.


Types of Camera-less photography

Photograms – Placing objects of photosensitive paper

  • Man Ray – wanted them to named after him
  • Joy Gregory – ‘From the Language of Flowers’ – The language of flowers is a Victorian idea
  • Garry Fabian Miller – Don’t look like Photograms – colourful
  • Floris Neususs – Very Large Photograms using whole bodies on light sensitive paper 
  • Susan Derges – Video made to accompany her work – paper underwater.

Other type of Camera – less photography – using found images.

  • John Stezaker – Surrealism
  • Mishka Henner
  • Doug Rickard – Watch video, find it on moodle. 

Quick research task – Thomson Craighead


Task: do two of the following

  • Make an aesthetically pleasing photogram-sums up something about yourself
  • Make a collage about yourself using found imagery – which tells the audience about what you like to do in your spare time
  • Using your photoshop skills and google earth make a digital a4 poster which maps your journey from home to college and highlights 3 points of interest on route. 

‘Court – split in half, write a short sentence or two for why you believe the digital age is good for photography.’


The digital age is the next step in society. Information can be shared and stored easier than ever before. Photographs can now be shared on a massive scale, reaching a far wider audience and creating more opportunities for the photographer because they have a far greater chance of reaching there target audience and more of it in the process. The digital age is also developing with the online artist in mind, creating better ways to copyright and protect your property.


The opportunity for theft and plagiarism  is still incredibly high, and though you have a greater opportunity of reaching your target audience than if, say, you were only showing your work in one gallery, you are in a sea of other people using the same tools to try and do exactly the same as you. People can copy your work onto a blog with no inclination or way of tracing back to you. Your work cannot be safely stored in a box. The chances of people taking your photos and misusing them for there own agendas is higher than ever before.

The Water We Swim In – Digital Age


  • The Digital age – what we are in right now
  • Has come after the industrial age.
  • Instead of a piece of music being
  • Iphone is representation of the convergence of media – but we are the same in this course, the task of the photographer has changed. We are now linked with the media and the concept of shared information.
  • ‘The digital age is an age in which we can easily find, share and consume information via linked digital devices.’
  • However not always accurate information on the internet as there is just such a large quantity.

Who inhabits the digital age?

  • We all do whether we wish to or not.
  • ‘…born after 1980, when social digital technologies, such as usenet and bulletin board systems, came online. They all have access to networked digital technologies. And they all have the skills to use those technologies.’ – Just because you are born after 1980 you are not a digital native as you have to have access and the ability to use the technology.
  • About the connections of information not about the information existing.
  • ‘Keitai Girl No.3, 2004’ Noriko Yamaguchi – metaphor for digital native and digital age – the digital age is like a barrier between all of us, not connecting with you directly but with your chosen technology. We are constantly working through translators.
  • ‘Anna Malgrida’ – like chiaroscuro but with tv screens instead of candlelight
  • ‘Gabriella Herman’
  • Digital settlers – People born before 1980 but who have embraced the digital age and have chosen to live a digital life.
  • ‘Guthrie Lonergan’ – Myspace intro playlist
  • None of our information is private. Facebook is constantly reading and learning about us so can market adverts towards us.
  • Digital Immigrants – Born before the existence of digital, these people have adapted to some aspects of a digital life, either through choice of necessity.

Knowing this helps us know how we are going to market our work and who is going to see our work. It has an affect on our work everyday without us realising.

‘To fully understand Shakespeare we need understand the times he lived in’ – same with us.

We need to understand what is outside of the water (the digital age) so that we can understand being in the water better.
In knowing what we do not live in we understand what we live in. In working with underprivileged we understand the privilege.

Problems with living in the Digital Age

  • Copyright
  • Masses of Information
  • Audience
  • Work/ Jobs
  • Peoples digital and real life blurring – online and offline – the lines blur, are they the same lives or are the separate? Is Facebook a digital representation of our real life or is it our real life?

‘Popular internet designs of the moment – not the internet as a whole – tend to pull us into life patterns that gradually degrade the ways in which each of us live as individuals.’

Digital issues – Privacy and Publicity

  • Is it a numbers game? (having so many watchers and followers and likes and views.)
  • Privacy and publicity SHOULD NOT come at the expense of one another.
  • ‘Bill Sullivan’
  • In the Gregorian age if you changed how you looked the past you would only exist in memory.
  • In the industrial age you could keep that memory in a photo
  • In the digital age once something is online it is online forever – everybody can see what you looked like before, and before that, and before that – constant trace.
  • Larson & Shindelman, from the series ‘Geolocation’ 2011

Digital Issues – The Other 5 Billion

  • Places for the older generation are not making money so closing – so increasingly these older people have to learn how to use the digital tools.
  • ‘We shaped our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.’ – Marshall McLuhan ‘Understanding Media’, 1964
  • GENERATIVE – Important word
  • Generative experience – going to see the band live
  • Digital Natives – Enamoured with the paperback or the print
  • Richard Nicholson
  • Andreas Muelerpohle  – created the binary code of the first image ever made.
  • Nicephore Niepce – first image ever made

Court – split in half, write a short sentence or two for why you believe the digital age is good for photography.

Post it on my blog.

Paradigm Shift

  • Revolutionary shift
  • Digital Age second Paradigm Shift in photography
  • First – photography moving on from painting – photography originally considered cousin of painting for a long time before it was considered its own art form.
  • We are producing information in a digital age revolving around our fantastic ability to share information at such a large uncontrollable rate.
  • We now have a massively larger number of images in the world but considerably less analog photos.


  • The hyper-generative
  • We should not ignore the real object.
  • Polaroid is now fashionable again despite being atrocious in every way compared to digital – same with the paperback book
  • Not about being better or worse.

We were asked to take photographs that we thought showed a narrative and then swap them with someone else’s photographs and see if we could create the narrative they had in their mind with their photos. I was editing Kats and though there was a clear narrative I struggled with editing some of them as varying lighting broke the pattern at times.











Susan Sontag – On Photography

Roland Barthes – Camera Lucida


Book – The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Writer – Walter Benjamin

Published – 2008

Edition – 4th

Copyright – J.A. Underwood 2008

Publisher – Penguin Books

Location – London

.Works of Art have always been reproducible

.Technological Reproduction of the work of art is something else

.Casting and Embossing was used by the Greeks to technologically reproduce work on a large scale.

.Wood Graving made graphic art reproducible for the first time (before printing did for the written word)

.Copperplate Engraving and Etching was used in the Middle Ages.

.In the early nineteenth century we got Lithography

.Photography completely outstripped photography

.With photography the hand did not have principal artistic responsibility, it was the eye.

.Eyes perceive faster than the hand can draw so the reproduction of pictures became so fast that it could keep up with speech. This meant film operators could capture images as rapidly as the actor speaks and the technological reproduction of sound was tackled in the late nineteenth century.

.No matter how perfect a reproduction is the one thing that stands out is the ‘here and now of the work of art – its unique existence in the place where it is at this moment.’

. With reproductions the original subject keeps full authority when it comes to manual reproduction (manual reproductions usual accused of being forgerys of the original. 

.With Technological reproduction it is not the case. it is considered more ‘autonomous, relative to the original than one made by hand.’

.Photography can bring out aspects of a subject that the human eye could not (adjustable and selecting its viewpoint) or employ techniques to capture images beyond natural optics.

.Technological reproduction can place the orignal in situations beyond the reach of the orignal self.

.It makes it possible for the orignal to come closer to the person taking it in, either through a photograph or even through a gramophone recording. 

. Technological reproduction causes a liquidation of the value of tradition in the cultural heritage.

.’Getting closer to to things in both spatial and human terms is every bit as passionate a concern of todays masses as their tendency to surmount the uniqueness of each circumstances by seeing it in reproduction

.there is no mistaking the difference between the reproduction (such as illustrated papers and weekly news round – ups in readiness) and the picture. Uniqueness and duration as tightly intertwined in the latter as transience and reiterability in the former. Stripping the object of its sheath, shattering the aura, bear witness to the kind of perception where ‘a sense of similarity in the world’ is so highly developed that, through reproduction, it even mines similarity from what only happens once. 

.Uniqueness of a work of art is identical with its embeddedness in the context of tradition.

.The ‘one-of-a-kind’ value of the genuine work of art has its underpinnings in the ritual in which it had it’s original, initial utility value.’

. The reproduced work of art is to an ever-increasing extent the reproduction of a work of art designed for reproducibility. From a photographic plate many prints can be made; the question of the genuine print has no meaning 

Benjamin seemed to be looking at how being able to reproduce work was actually dulling our senses to what we were seeing, ‘finding similarity in something that only happens once’. And how the introduction of photography caused such a massive upheaval which then led to film and the then sound film. All of these inventions altered our opinons of the world. 

.’the more the social significance of an art diminishes, the greater the extent to which the the critical and pleasure seeking stances of the public diverge.

.The conventional is enjoyed without criticism, the truly new is criticized with aversion. 

.In the cinema, the critical and pleasure – seeking stances of the audience coincide. what makes this happen in nowhere more than in cinema do the individual reactions that together make up the mass reaction of the audience prove from the outset to be caused by their immediately imminent massing.

.in the absence of any traditional, ritualistic value, art in the age of mechanical reproduction would inherently be based on the practice of politics.

“sphere of authenticity is outside the technical” so that the original artwork is independent of the copy, yet through the act of reproduction something is taken from the original by changing its context. He also introduces the idea of the “aura” of a work and its absence in a reproduction.

.’Painting is not able to form the object of simultaneous reception by large numbers of people, as architecture has always been, as the epic once was, and as film is today.’

.’In the hands of Dadaists the work of art, from being a sight that seduced the eye or a sound that persuaded the ear, became a bullet.

.The canvas invites the viewer to contemplate; he is able, in front of it, to give himself up to his chain of associations. Watching a film, he cannot do this. Scarcely has he set his eyes on it before it changes. The chain of associations

Despite the effect of a reproduction on the original, Benjamin writes “The uniqueness of a work of art is inseparable from its being imbedded in the fabric of tradition,” which speaks to the separation of the original from the reproduction. He also discusses the ritualisation of reproduction and the emancipation of “the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual.”

The changing values of exhibition are analysed, from historic works which were for private viewing and religious works which were for limited viewing contrasting this with the publicity of modern art which has an emphasis on mass exhibition, coupled with the means to show it to much larger audiences than previously possible.

We have been looking at different video styles, considering lighting, sound, placement and what they used to film <- Research for our group

Investing is hope ruslis story

One in 8 million

How China’s love affair with pork is creating a pollution problem

Ethical Shellfish Fishing

Between Birds (English Subtitles)

Young Souls excerpt by Dean Chalkley

Shelter In Place – Trailer (2.5 mins)

Motion | Photography

Food Busking

DSLR Shooting

We have been asked in our groups to look through the videos on and pick one that we feel represents the style and feel of the website, to be played back to the whole class.

I personally really liked the narrative, layers, colours and angles of ‘Zen and the Art of Sandcastles’

However, we decided as a group to show ‘Innocence’. It’s a film made up of still images, looking at the photographers time in Shri Lanka photographing child soldiers and the emotion he feels based on what he saw and what other people see, or in this case what they don’t see. It uses music, pictures and words to create a narrative that, though it is looking at his emotions and experiences, it is clear that he feels that the story of these young children in Shri Lanka are more important.

We were asked to take photographs of the 27th of December. We had to show our day in ten photographs, as a way of showing our documentation style and skill.

I decided to photograph throughout the day, not worrying about numbers and then pick ten out of the group, instead of striving to only photograph ten images. This meant I could look at my photos and decide which appealed to me most as a proper representation on my day.

I am worried that some of my photos may not be considered very documentary styled, that they don’t show my day very well, but I was more looking at it from my personal opinion of what I noticed throughout that day.

I always have a tendency to wander off in my head wherever I am and in a way I wanted that to be portrayed through my photos as that is more of an accurate representation to me than purposefully focusing on things that I think other people will see as being documentary of a day by there standards.