Archive for October, 2013

  • Research skills
  • Learn to be critical about labeling, how the work is contextualized
  • Question how things are presented
  • Going to choose two objects in the Herbert and write 500 words reviews of them in the blog.
  • Take notes and reflect on how much we learn about the object
  • Is it represented successful?
  • Does the text and labeling help us understand it’s significance?
  • How is the object lit?
  • What surrounds the object?
  • What gallery is it in?
  • Exhibition critique

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Only reference material that has helped
  • Only things that have influenced your thinking
  • Authenticates what you are thinking

Referencing Style

  • Strict Criteria
  • More than one style
  • University or publisher will dictate what style needed

Specific software’s which can keep your references

  • CU support Reference works – ig you would like to know more about this speak to your subject librarian
  • Zotero: Free web based software
  • Alternative (paid) supported by other universities in Endnote

What you need for referencing

  • Authors full name
  • Title of the book or book chapter in the book
  • The date of publication
  • The publisher and location
  • The page number of any quotes
  • Need to reformat them inline with the preferred style guide.

Coventry University Referencing

If you have to have a chapter, put it BEFORE the book title (the book title will be in italics)

Causey, F. (2009) Education and Individuality: Teaching and learning in the contemporary Climate. Manchester. Manchester university press

Causey, F. (2009) Chapter goes here before title, Education and Individuality: Teaching and learning in the contemporary Climate. Manchester. Manchester university press

Discussing Text:

What’s the text about?

Exploring the different concepts of the gaze.

Discusses how Non westerners and Westerners perceive things differently

How Male and Female gazes are different: men are more dominant


How do you understand the gaze?

Different perceptions


How many gazes are they discussing?

Seven kinds of Gaze.

How many authors in that article are talking about the gaze?

Don Mcullin Video

What drives him?

  • ‘War is partly madness, mostly insanity, and the rest is schizophrenia’
  • Try and justify your presence, what point is of it when these people have already been killed
  • Try not to indulge in picture taking
  • Something I was meant to do, but how far was I allowed to take it
  • Didn’t think it was right to be there
  • People doing these terrible things, perhaps thought I was ok-ing it.
  • Saw an execution 1965
  • Looking back, do I have the right to take pictures of that mans murder?
  • Public executions are just another form of murder
  • Took a set of pictures of the boys I grew up – involved in the killing of a policeman
  • Came from a violent background
  • Having the door open to escape from his background was a fantastic opportunity. He got out of the violent, bigoted place.
  • Took photos of cold war, where Berlin wall was being put up
  • After that, won award for the photographs and got contract with the observer.
  • War in Cyprus
  • Helped save an old woman, made him feel like someone actually helping that just a voyeur
  • Of course he would help people, sometimes just to clear his own conscience
  • When people are in deep grief or emotion, they look up, almost like they can see God offering them some help.
  • Neither an artist nor a poet, I’m a photographer.
  • Much better to be on the side of humanity
  • Crisis in Congo
  • McCullin arrived amongst panic for German magazine ‘Quick’
  • Moral sense of purpose and duty
  • Want to take photos but want to stop it
  • ‘Even My Darkroom Is a Haunted Place’
  • ‘I don’t just take photographs, I think’
  • Got shot once

This video is heart wrenching, especially about the Congo. He saw people, young boys, murdered, skinned alive and brutalized. Hearing him describe it and talk about the horror of wanting to take the photos, but wanting to stop it and not being able to, sheds light on a difficult perspective of how much ability the photographer has to interfere, and the moral issues that come along with it.


  • Ethics of the photographer.
  • Compare Don McCullin to Cartier-Bresson
  • Both capture the decisive moment
  • Goya Artist – mentions him in video around Cyprus time
  • Wanted reach the people reading the newspaper – wanted to really shock them

Stuff of interest

Bill Viola

Steve Edwards: photography a very short introduction – book

Photography and Evidence

Conflicting Perspectives

  • What’s my perspective?
  • What do I see it as?
  • Where is my perspective?
  • Do I have the whole picture?
  • What am I bringing to the table?


Cartier Bresson

  • Believes you shouldn’t edit photographs
  • ‘what you see is what you get’


Don McCullin

  • Biafra 1971
  • Biafra no longer exists, it lost the war and got absorbed
  • Don McCullin proved that things were as bad as people in the country were saying


Kevin Carter

  • Pulitzer Prize winning image 1994
  • Killed himself afterwards
  • Carter believed it was not his place to intervene, but to observe


W Eugene Smith

  • Believes that it doesn’t matter if you get slightly involved.
  • Set certain scenes up to an extent
  • thruthful, but he believes the essence of the photograph
  • Tomoko in the bath 1971: banned
  • Horrors of fetal mercury poisoning
  • Became a symbol rather than a reality
  • Family asked for image not to be used because audience forgot that they were real people in the image


Photography as a Witness

  • If it illustrates a point, does it actually miss the point
  • Compassion fatigue: we see so much horror that we don’t react to it


Paul Hanson

  • World press photo award winner 2013
  • Emotionally evocative
  • Despite it winning an award people questioned authenticity because it looked to professional
  • Argument was that, he laid different images over each other to get everything right
  • People argued that because of the editing it was no longer a truth


What then is truth?


Russian History of Rewriting History/ evidence


You can edit


If we won’t trust images if they look to good, what can we trust?



Iraq War: Prisoners of War being tortured by American Soldiers

  • May 2004
  • Our biggest threat, as image-makers are amateur photographers – Ritchin
  • People trust an amateur photograph more than a professional photograph


If you are watching something intently, do you really see the big picture?


Photography and Death

How do you show death in photography


Indiana USA, 1930

  • Two black men being hung
  • People come out to see it
  • It got distributed as a postcard


Photography and Death

  • Photographing death was the last taboo
  • Everything is photographed now
  • We actually had a better relationship with death in Victorian Times than now.
  • Not uncommon back then for there to be dead loved ones in your photo albums


Briony Campbell

  • ‘The dad project’ 2009
  • Dad died of cancer, wanted a way to make that experience real of that happening real.
  • ‘Attempt to say goodbye to my dad’
  • How do you memorialize and make sense of death today
  • Attempt to make sense of death


Andres Serrano

  • Mortuary photographs
  • Looking at uncomfortable subjects and beautiful images
  • Named the photographs by how the people died.


Doesn’t matter what you are photographing, matters how you deal with it. Be respectful.


In Your Research Groups


Each of you take a subject


Add to your shared resource (google doc) by adding a paragraph on the following photographic movements


  •  Mass observation photography
  • New Topographics
  • Farm Security Administration Photography
  • Objective Style Photography from the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie


References and Further Reading


  • Barthes R 1980 Authentication (85-89) in Camera Lucida Vintage classics
  • Linkman A 2011 Photography and Death Exposures
  • Olin m 2013 five stories OF 9/11 IN touching photographs Chicago Press
  • Ritchen F 2013 Bending the frame aperture
  • Sontag S 2003 Regarding the pain of others, Penguin Books


Masters of Lighting


  • Deconstruct light
  • Easiest way to understand light is in a studio
  • Lighting diagrams: so we can remember how we have constructed our lighting
  • Pull down an image and recreate it in the studio

Lighting Workshop Evaluation

During the day we rotated between the different roles. We also decided to try both outdoor and indoor photographs to practice lighting and photographs in different environments. We felt this helped us to experiment and gave us the opportunity to problem solve and learn from it.

We did five photographs all together, based on four different images. We had to recreate the images lighting as accurately as possible. This was a challenging task, but enjoyable. The most difficult image to recreate was the Rob Brydon magazine photograph. The background lighting was difficult to recreate, and the eventual solution we found involved part of the lighting equipment being in the background, which we had to edit out in photoshop. The fix for this would be to have a light that was on a stand, not hanging from the ceiling, but I believe that working with what we had, we created a successful picture.


Shutter Speed = 1/100 Aperture = 5.6

Shutter Speed = 1/125 Aperture = 22


Shutter Speed = 1/125 Aperture = 22


Shutter Speed = 1/100 Aperture = 16


Shutter speed = 1/ 100 Aperture = 22

  • Tips and Suggestions to support your writing
  • Today we will look at the theory


Turnitin – stops plagiarism


Writing skills are essential today in this media saturated society we live in.


  • When you start essay, include introduction, explains what you will be discussing
  • Write down in your own words what you think the essay title/ assignment is asking you to do
  • What do you already know about the subject
  • What do you know and where does that information come from?
  • What do you need to know in order to complete the assignment


Sources of Information


  • Plenty of places
  • Not one is considered better or worse
  • Just have to make sure you cite where everything comes from


Essay structure

  • Begginning: should lay out a summary of what you are going to discuss in your essay and evidence you should represent 200-300 words
  • The middle: should be where you layout your argument and expand on the discuss the evidence that supports your theory 1400-1600 words
  • Your conclusion: wrap everything up, summerise how the above points have helped support your argument 200-300 words


Support your reading, having identified what you need to know, now think about your reading.

  • Don’t put something in just because it’s interesting but not relevant
  • Underline things
  • Reread
  • Photocopy


When to quote

  • Quote the artist
  • Place the quote into your sentence
  • Do not take the persons ideas and not quote the author
  • You can either quote or paraphrase, it’s up to you
  • Make sure quotes are not just filling space or time

Essay Structure

  • Rewrite the question in your own words
  • Decide how you are going to approach the question
  • Run idea by tutor or peers
  • Write a short paragraph on how you are going to respond to it
  • This should be a starting point to your introduction


Essay Plan

  • It is all about planning
  • What main point are you going to make?
  • Make a spider diagram
  • Make less points but be more thorough, avoid essay being to general


Good connecting words

  • Therefore
  • Clearly
  • However
  • Similarly


Shift your perspective from the personal to the academic

  • Comments, accounts evaluates
  • Subject specific vocab
  • Information
  • Not personal opinion but concrete evidence


Points to consider

  • Don’t need to know everything, just enough to support argument
  • Essay should not just be descriptive
  • Don’t make same point with different examples
  • Don’t make it up!
  • Don’t generalize
  • Not all ideas will get into your essay, which ones will help you make your point?
  • You can go 10% over or under the 2000 word limit
  • Caroline may know more, that doesn’t matter, it’s how you tell it that does
  • Get out your ideas quickly then go back to articulate it
  • Clarity in writing is better than complicated sentence structure
  • Don’t use vocabulary you don’t understand
  • Don’t use words ending in ly (lovely, really – non academic)
  • Proof read each others
  • Print it out and make notes
  • Check your grammar sentence structure
  • Check your references are correct


  • Why do we need to look on somewhere other than Google?
  • There are certain books that you can only get in special collections
  • How can we find information that will help us understand a location better?
  • Look at the Birmingham Library
  • Coventry local history archive, Herbert Gallery: Images and Text for you to use, may have to book appointment
  • Looking at physical material is far more interesting and adds a more diverse level of research
  • Google Scholar: finds you more academic information


Being given general guide to using the library

Will help us use the Library to the fullest potential

  • How you can find information on the Birmingham library using our university library
  • Help you find newspaper articles local and national on a specific topic
  • Lots of photography journals in the library
  • Source magazine
  • When looking at books or journals keep in mind that there are research journals that are written by professionals and reviewed by academics
  • Make use of a bibliography to find something extra that is helpful/ interesting
  • The Library of Birmingham Research
  • New build, so not many books on it
  • Books on the old Birmingham Library


  • Through locate you can look at videos as well
  • Subject databases
  • Artful text – best database – use it!
  • ProQuest database: press preview of your search to view the abstract of the text
  • Lexis Library: more local information – newspaper articles
  • Website: A British Library
  • Coventry Local History Library
  • Art Full Text
  • Arts & Humanities Full Text
  • Academic Search Complete
  • Artists Books: Collection, photo-books


Small Group Task

Answer two questions

  1. Why was the Birmingham Library built in the first place?
  2. What was the local inhabitants feedback
  • Find local newspapers for this

This small task was incredibly useful, as it helped me to understand how to use the databases to hand to gather information I couldn’t usually find by trawling through Google.

On Site Artists 

Joel Seinfeld

  • On The Site
  • Book by Joel Seinfeld
  • Sites across America where violence has happened
  • Long after the fact so free of sensationalism
  • Makes you look twice at areas you wouldn’t look at normally


Terry Kurgan

  • Joubert Park
  • How commercial photographers use the park
  • Takes photos of the photographers


Donovan Wyle

  • Maze 2009
  • Photographs of prison
  • Troubles in Northern Ireland
  • Shows you different layers of the ‘maze’
  • Felt he didn’t create anything decent in 2 years
  • Have to take times to figure things out


Peter Fraser

  • City In the Mind
  • Inspired by book ‘Invisible Minds’ By Italo Calvino
  • Wanted to make a piece of work about his experiences through London
  • Not analytical, emotionally responding
  • Sees the photographs as a portal into another world


Sunky Best

  • The Return of the Native
  • Only existed because it was done in Battersea park
  • Reintroduced native animals that are gone digitally into her images


Maciej Dakowicz

  • Cardiff after Dark
  • Shot digitally with available light
  • More like an intense documentary
  • Shows drinking culture n it’s truest form
  • Not at its best


Patrick Shanahan

  • Esperantis
  • Uncanny
  • Not everyday but you can’t put your finger on it: kind of Freudian idea
  • Post Topographics: got PHD creating new way of looking at photographs
  • Use of lights makes real look surreal
  • Inspired by Lynch


Melanie Manchot

  • Illegal to take photos in public places in Russia?
  • Performative portraiture
  • Interacting with the place and people


Corrine Silva

  • Imported Landscape
  • Interested in relationship between North Africa and Spain
  • Phtogoraphed new sites in North Africa and put them on billboards in Spain
  • Not told people why she has done it but asks people what they think


Susan Hiller

  • From the Freud Musuem 1991-6
  • Anthology of 50 objects
  • Belief objects
  • Mixed them up with other objects and reindexed them
  • Makes you consider why things are familiar
  • Think differently about the space you have entered or the people who created it


Tristan Hutchinson

  • It took strength to tackle those hills
  • Shows the declines of the towns
  • The recession
  • Damp and dark, bland


Jeanette Lowe

  • The Flats Memories and Perceptions of Reality
  • Photographed inhabitants of flat and exhibited them in the same site


Susanne Bosch

  • Ourselves Alone


Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

  • Railway Stations: the feel, atmosphere, the place
  • Site Specific Walks – video walks
  • Janet makes these things a lot, knows her site like the back of her hand
  • Will add a touch of fantasy to make you really look and think (footsteps behind you when nobody is there)
  • Fascinating look at the space today





  • Looks at relationship between art, artist, viewer and the space it is shown/ viewed


Sophie Calle

  • Paris work
  • Made voyeuristic piece of work
  • After long time away from Paris: seven years
  • Part of bigger documentary about lots of different artists and there art
  • Went out into the street, followed strangers by chance
  • Stalked one person all the way to Venice!
  • Photographed mutual journey between her and stranger
  • What’s interesting is how one moment the people mean nothing to her, but the more she follows them the more attached she becomes
  • Becomes obsessed with the persons rituals


Taryn Simon

  • An American Index of Hidden and Unfamiliar
  • Discusses thirty secret sites in the USA
  • Most popular magazines and books in the mind get recreated in braille books for the blind
  • Most popular book is Playboy
  • Common everyday things
  • ‘Photography threatens fantasy’
  • Multiple truths attach every image
  • Confront the boundaries of citizens, both real and self imposed
  • ‘There are no all knowing absolute insiders’
  • Every image is accompanied by very detail factual text
  • Text funtions as cruel anchor that keeps the photographs anchored to reality, otherwise they could float away and become abstract and fantastical.

Double Module

50% an 50% theory (essay)


The lectures/ workshops/ skills refreshers have been put in place to support you learning and understanding of photography in context.


Photography in practice brief:


Consider yourself as a professional and this module as an opportunity to experiment with putting in your own boundaries and experimenting with where you would like to see your photography.


  • You need to have a varied skills set
  • Writing, video, photography: you need to be able to do all of this to make yourself a better employee




  • Essay via turnitin November 4th @ midnight (you will have no staff support after 4pm)


  • Core assignment brief an research group work @ the eet office 4pm November 25th (NB you will need to present your work, failure to do so will effect your mark)


  • 10% of your mark will be group work




  • The class will be split to ensure there is an equal share of staff and resources.
  • Stick to allocated groups. Listed on the Moodle homepage.
  • If you want




  • Eloise Parkinson, Molly Pinner, Emma Shea, Aaron Sehmar
  • Group D
  • Self evaluation of groups
  • What did you like about working in groups?
  • What did you learn during the group work?
  • Has it changed how you practice your subject area?
  • What was your contribution to the group?




Research Groups 1st Task


  • Give Chantel your Gmail accounts se we can set up collaborative documents for you research
  • Research Pin Interest as to how you can use it as a learning tool



201MC Professional Practice


Jacqui Bleetman is the module leader


Have to go to classes (mandatory)




Term 1 finishes Decmeber 13th

Term 2 is Jan 6th – March 14th

Term 3 is March 17th – June 6th (the Easter break is two weeks into this term)