Category: 150


After I had problems with Assignment 1, I spoke to my tutor Jonathan who gave me a mini project to do, using my digital camera, to show I can use the light meter and can control the camera.

I actually kind of enjoyed this. I decided to take photos of my route home from the society I attend back to my house. I took photos of things I notice every-time I am walking home.

Because I usually walk home at night from the social I thought this was a great opportunity to show that I can control the camera and properly light a photo using the light meter to tell me aperture and shutter speed. I was proud of the results, especially the longer exposures of the cars driving past. It has always been a form of photography that has fascinated me and I really enjoyed  playing with different angles.

I think my photos show a varying range of different types of nighttime photography, which I believe shows my ability to experiment out of my comfort zone, which night-time photography really is.

The beginning

Out into the cold

Small box of light

Harsh Alleyway

Beautiful Lampost

Shadows

Horror Movie Style/ Where my life revolves

Natural and Unnatural textures

Framed

Waiting

Stunning Moon

Shooting

City Stars

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This project has had a lot of ups and downs for me.

When I thought of encountering cultures and the question ‘Are you in harmony or in conflict with the social structure that you are a part of”, I immediately thought of stereotypes and people who are judged by those considered ‘normal’ for just being a bit different, when in fact they are still normal, happy, functioning human beings.

 

For this project I researched Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin and Nicholas Nixon. The first two because of how they are considered to photograph people ‘on the edge’ of society, and Nixon because his style was something I really wanted to consider for my project.

I also did a large amount of research into how my chosen subjects were portrayed on the internet. This included regular stereotypes that were thrown around, what information you could find and how accurate or inaccurate it all seemed.

 

I decided to focus of three main ideas for my project. The first two are very similar, two hobbies I love and am a part of and that have their own social structures within the hobby , the Anime Society and the hobby L.A.R.P (Live Action Role Playing). The second idea was something I am also familiar with, invisible illness. This could either refer to mental or physical problems that are simply not visible to the human eye and the stereotypes and assumptions that surround these people.

 

I first photographed the Anime society with a 35mm Pentax Manual Film Camera. I simply photographed them socialising in an attempt to show that just because they have a hobby they love and enjoy does not make them ‘wierdos’.

Though the photos came out successful I thought they were too bland. Also the idea had dulled slightly in my head, I had at this point become far more interested in my other two concepts.

 

My next set of photos were from a L.A.R.P event I have been attending for over 8 years now. I used a Mamiya RB 67 Medium Format Camera with Ilford 120mm 125 ISO film. I took standing photos in landscape of people one at a time in their costumes. I collected information from each person about what they do and think and documented their name, their characters name and their real life job.

My intention for the L.A.R.P photos was to show that even though these people have a hobby that could be considered very nerdy and strange, they are actually normal people who just happen to have a hobby they love. I wanted to dispel the stereotypes I had researched that labelled all geeks as male, lifeless, friendless, jobless losers with no purpose in life who are just obsessed with fantasies.

I was very proud of this set of photos and planned to take more around the same time I photographed my Invisible Illness photos.

 

This is where everything went a little wrong.

 

I took 5 roles of film and the Mamiya RB 67 camera with me back down to the South East of England to collect more L.A.R.P photos and  complete my invisible illness idea.

For my Invisible Illness concept I got in contact with multiple people who had illnesses that feel into this criteria and met up with each of them. I took around three photos per person that ranged from simple portraits to them doing poses that to them represented how there illness made them feel. I then questioned them on their life and asked them to give me a a quote of what they wish they could tell people who make assumptions about them just because their illness is invisible.

 

Sadly, none of the photos came out. For both my second batch of L.A.R.P photos and all my invisible illness photographs, they were all underexposed.

This was quite a crippling blow for me. I had worked very hard and felt like I had nothing to show for it.

Luckily, after speaking with my lecturers, I decided to continue my project with the nine photographs I had taken from the first L.A.R.P event as they were all successful. I also went ahead and trouble-shooted what went wrong with the camera and have documented everything that happened and how I dealt with the situation.

I have done a second mini project to make up for the missing photograph in this project (we are meant to have 10 and I have 9) called ‘from here to home’ which was set for my by my lecturer.

 

Overall, in spite of everything, I am actually incredibly proud of the outcome of this project, and how I dealt with issues that arose.

I have overcome problems and have a good set of work to show at the end despite them.

I think my ideas are fluid and my research and planning has been in depth and thorough.

If I was to change anything if would be that I took so many photos without having the opportunity to develop any of them which meant I didn’t realise there was a problem until I had taken all of my photographs and that meant instead of losing some I lost them all.

However, because I had looked into so many different ideas and had taken so many photos at varying intervals, I had options to fall back to which stopped me from having to completely change my ideas last minute just so that I could complete the project and take photos.

 

 

 

 

 

We were all given a word to do a presentation on, and photographers to research for it. My six artists were Diane Arbus, Elinor Carucci, Nicholas Nixon, Larry Clark, Nan Goldin and Sally Mann. My word was Intimacy. I tried my best to link them all together, and I found it easier to work on this by using a book to place my research and ideas into.

I have photographed my book work so that I can document my presentation on here as well.

Hinkley Trip and Mark Power Talk

We visited Hinkley college and were asked to take photos of Hinkley based on photos they showed us of Mark Power’s, ‘Black Country’, project. I enjoyed getting to wander around and trying to look at landscapes from different perspectives. Some of my photos are very reminiscent of Power’s work. Others I have chosen to put here because, though they do not necessarily fit with Mark Power’s style, I used them as practice for photoshop and I liked the composition of the image to much to leave it out!

1)2)

3)4)5)

6)7)

8)9)

10)11)

12)13)

14)15)

 

I believe 1, 3, 5 and 14 are the most reminiscent of Mark Power’s work. 5 is by far my favourite image. The mist coupled with the dark colours and old fashioned lamp post create a sort of fantasy-esque theme

Mark Power Talk 

Mark Power – Photographer – Talk at 2

.Black Country Project

http://www.multistory.org.uk/projects/black-country-stories/mark-power/summary/

  • .Buildings
  • Run Down
  • Simple
  • Isolated
  • Only few people in photos – don’t know they are being photographed
  • Close ups – feet
  • Chairs on there own in studio – from a factory

From Leicester – lives in Brighton (‘Black Country’)

Mark Power – Presentation – Talking about his career

Grew up in Leicester

First photo – 10 years old

Studied painting at college

Left college in 81 – then went travelling and got into photography

Photos about Brightons situation

 

1989 – close to being bankrupt – quit being photographer

Decided to be carpenter

Friend gave him money (200 pounds) to do photography

Took photos in Berlin – saved his career – Berlin wall falling down

.Nikon 35mm

.Manual film camera

Got work from British magazine afterward

Photographed Nudist Discos – photos got abused by designers

Got offered teaching post at university of Brighton – still teaching there one day a week

Mark Power – super structure – the dome

2000 – Treasury Building Restoration

A-380

Airbus – European

Sound of two songs – 2004 – 2009

We were taught how to use the Nikon Scanners that allow you to scan in negatives onto the computer.

I really enjoyed learning this, as I have always preferred the ability to be able to edit images on photoshop. I still need to practice with them but hopefully soon I will be fluent and able to scan in all my negatives to be edited on photoshop.

One of my photo negatives for ‘Homage to a Precious Object’
I practiced some of my newly learnt photoshop skills!

I have always considered myself pretty much self taught when it comes to photoshop, so it was an interesting experience to have someone teach me techniques I was unaware of, such as ways to use layers I had no idea were possible!

We were also told the importance of using raw files, something I haven’t done before and now sorely regret. The fact that raw files don’t lose as much detail when you render them in photoshop is something I really wish I had known beforehand. I have changed the settings on my camera and intend to use raw files from now on.

Lecture Write-Up: What Is Fine Art?

What Is Fine Art?

‘The use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments or experiences that can be shared with others.’

  • Aboriginal Art
  • Jimmy Pike – Famous contemporary aboriginal artist
  • Chris Ofili – Traditional Artist, uses paint and canvas, but also adds in elephant dung. Controversy over Virgin Mary Painting. The controversy made him famous.
  • Controversy regularly used in fine art
  • Yinka Shonibare – looks at power relationships in paintings: looked at renaissance paintings
  • John Everett Millais – <3: founding members of pre-Raphaelites – all about costumes, imagery, ideas, exploring ideas that interested them through there art – change from people merely commissioning paintings of themselves: kings used to be the only people who could afford painting.
  • Tom Hunter – recreate paintings: Toms different, titled his work: looked through local paper, find interesting story, recreate the story with hints to old paintings but would title the image based on the contemporary images. New narrative.
  • George Shaw – Nominated last year for the Turner Prize. Took photos around Coventry. Takes photos and then paints it. About lighting, framing, depth of field: Tackles paintings in a photographic way.
  • Eadweard Muybridge – changed how people painted horses. ‘Motion in study’
  • Marcel Duchamp – photo by Alfred Stiegltz – Duchamp was trying to push boundaries and cause controversy on purpose.
  • Tracey Emin – needs help
  • Damien Hirst
  • Gilbert + George – Bend It

We were asked to do a little 5 minute task were we took a photo of ourselves our Macs ‘Photobooth’ function and then wrote over the top what we believed fine art to be. The photos are not meant to be great, I believe it was more of a way of just putting a face to our thoughts instead of always staying anonymous.

I was really quite ill but had crawled in regardless, so was not to thrilled about the idea of having to take a photo of myself … so I resorted to pulling a funny face.

‘Fine Art is both terrifying and inspiring. It is simultaneously infuriating and beautiful. I love it but I wish it would stop giving me a headache’

My thoughts behind this? When I say terrifying I am referring to the hidden intentions that can seem to be behind some artists work: For instance, I genuinely worry that the Chapman Brothers are merely expressing there peadophilic desires through there ‘work’.

Inspiring refers to so many artists that I cannot even begin to list them. Infuriating is either through simply there artwork portraying something that stirs an emotion in me or I cannot get it out of my head (this can be good artwork). This can also simply be when I look at some modern ‘art’ and wonder how in gods name it could be considered as such.

Sometimes it gives me a headache, it is so vast and I love it so much. But it is very much a love hate relationship. I love having fine art in my life, but with all the awe inspiring goodness, you have to put up with bad.

What Is a Portrait?

What do you think a portrait is?

–        Image that depicts a person

–        Representation of a person

–        It doesn’t have to be a person

–        Could be an animal etc.

–        Essence of a person (essence, who a person is)

–        A picture with something that identifies that identifies the person

Where are they found?

–        Books

–        Passports

–        Family Albums

–        Publications

–        Galleries

–        Anywhere

Who commissions them?

–        Books

–        Family

–        Model

–        Brands

–        Companies

–        Bands

–        Newspapers

–        The photographer

–        Anybody

Purpose of the picture changes use. Who’s deciding to commission a photograph? Will decide on how that picture is used and how useful it is.

What should a portrait include/ exclude?

Include:

–        Subject

–        Identity

Exclude:

–        Person doesn’t have to be in portrait

–        Depends on what it is being used for

–        Exclude nothing

–        Depends on purpose

A portrait is?

A representation of a person or animal, esp. of face, person, animal

History

Historically photos were commissioned for two reasons:

. As Forms of identity/ surveillance

. As a remembrance/ generally commissioned to flatter

Photos were sometimes used to ‘collect’ ‘unusual’ people – very much a Victorian thing

-> Lavatr – believed you could tell a criminal type by facial characteristics

-> Irving Penn – worked 1919-late 90’s:

  • Social thing to take portraits
  • Took photos of friends/ family – many were famous

-> August Sander

  • German
  • Documented german ‘race’ by type
  • Nazi’s didn’t like his photography – not Arian enough – did not fit in with the elitist ideals
  • Took photos of people of the edge of society

-> Diane Arbus

  • Photographed people on the edge of society
  • People considered abnormal
  • Hard lighting
  • Not flattering
  • Style considered quite isolating
  • Had the ability to make normal people look abnormal

-> Richard Avedon

  • Would put adverts in papers for the ‘right’ kind of people
  • Isolate somebody from background
  • Only looking at them

-> Mary Ellen Mark

  • 20 Years later than Arbus
  • Makes Abnormal people look normal

-> Nicholas Nixon

  • Took pictures of the brown sisters each year for 25 years

-> Steve Pike

  • Philosophers – Project
  • Strong, distinctive style

-> Nick Wapplington

  • You don’t have to be formal for portraiture

-> Thomas Struth

  • Only uses daylight
  • Large format cameras
  • Known as a great portrait photographer for his day and age

-> Tina Barnley

  • Europeans
  • Upper Middle Class

-> Dayanita Singh

vimeo.com/33021351

This project was given to us with a much shorter time than usual to complete it. Never the less, I feel I have completed it with some very promising photographs.

The concept was quite simple: A homage to a precious object. This could be anything, and for a while I was stuck on what to pick. I decided on taking photos that was a gift from someone important to me, and my mind immediately went to a metal flower I own. It was made for me by somebody very important and because it is completely one of a kind and very important to me, it seemed the obvious choice.

We were told by our tutor that he would look at the photographs without reading any text about them, as he wanted to merely infer what the photograph told him. This leads on from our recent lecture on what a photograph is, as he explained that the way you manipulate a photograph can change the relationship between the three people involved in a photo: the subject, the photographer and the viewer.

With this in mind I tried to look at my object in a different angle. Instead of just the details, what about the shape? If I have a blurred photo does that better show the shape of the object without the viewer being distracted by technicalities? If I crop the image in different ways, how does that make the image feel? What does the viewer infer from my photographs about the subject?

This is something I have tried to consider in my images, and will continue to do.

For this I used my digital camera and a light meter, I then edited the photos slightly in photoshop.

I liked the idea of having a blurred image, with the intention of removing details from the equation and merely giving the viewer a concept of the shape of the subject.

A continuation, of sorts, of the first image. This photograph was even more blurred, so I removed colour from the photo to obscure it even further. I really like this photo, its abstract feel and minimalistic style make it, to me, feel quite old fashioned and beautiful.

I wanted to try and get as many different angles of the object as possible, to really give the viewer a good perspective of the image and properly translate how precious it is to me.

Very similar to the above image but I manipulated the levels a bit more. I can’t decide what photo I prefer.

I cropped this image to mimic how the ‘flower’ is more closed off in this photo. I think doing so creates a more intimate photograph that better translates the feeling I have for the object. If something is precious you keep it close, look after it, I wanted to try and show that here. I am not completely happy with this image. The thought behind it makes sense to me, but the details and colours did not turn out as successful as I would of hoped.

This photo reminded me of the photographs you see of real flowers. I like the idea of the a fake flower being photographed in the same manner, like a juxta pose. To try and differentiate it from these sort of photographs I put it in black and white, as though it is in a way a ‘flower’ it is but a cold representation of the real thing, that will never die.

The colours in this photograph came out nicely. I like how the petals are not in perfect position, something I feel is mirrored by it being slightly off centre. It is not perfect, but it is still precious to me.

I am not completely sure about this photograph. I felt the background was’t right so I posterized the photo and really liked the effect it had. The details are separated and the different colours and tones, though in black and white, can still in a way be distinguished. I am just worried it is over edited and therefore childish looking.

My Favourite is number 6 out of my eight images. I think it is shows all of the scuffs and scrapes that hint to the history of the object, adding to the suggestion of intimacy and love of a precious object that has been owned for many years.

My least favourite is probably number 5. I just don’t like the end result. However, if I had to look at which images least represent and/ or respond to the brief, it would have to be the first two. Though I love how they turned out, they are vague and don’t really represent my object as something precious to me in a way that is readable by the audience/ viewer.

Overall, I am really proud with how this turned out. I think the photos fit in well with the brief and that my manipulations with the light meter and photoshop were successful. If I could change anything, I would probably try and reduce the amount of photos I use, not just in this project but in all of them. I have a tendency to have a lot of photos to show one thing. Maybe try only having a maximum of three.