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Monday, 30 September 2013

Assignment 3 Tutor Feedback

I was generally pleased with the comments received on this assignment. Overall the composition was well received with the exception of the childrens' library. I agree that this shot has too much 'table' in it and a better shot with the camera on the table showing a child-eye view would have been better.

The remaining comments were regarding processing of the images and the printing of these. I have to admit that I have yet to find a wining combination of printer, paper and ink as well as the settings whilst printing. Having bought a new printer ahead of this assignment and have only just started to experiment, I thought the images were of a good print quality but obviously can be improved.

A lot of comments concentrated on the following image with reference to only one other image, I found this a little disappointing. My two favourites were of the pub with no comments received.


This was a hard shot to take due to the lighting conditions, reference was given to noise which I can see at 100%, this must have been introduced in the HDR process, one I need to watch out for in the future. The feedback also suggested  that their was a colour cast around the windows, this confused me a little as I cannot see one, whereas the adjusted version below has a magenta cast. However the levels on this are much brighter giving a clearer image and I can now see where the electronic version fails. Again I am struggling with getting the correct print and paper as the printed version looks fine as was commented on in the feedback. One I will try harder on for the next assignment.


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Photography - A critical Introduction

I have just started to read Photography: A critical Introduction edited by Liz Wells. Unlike most books on photography initially this book did not have many example images and is quite hard going. Nonetheless it is full of interesting material which I will probably come back to.

Flicking through the pages of some of the images I was drawn  to Andres Serrano (b.1950), The Morgue (Fatal Meningitis ) 1992. From the title the viewer is immediately saddened to know that the image is that of a child that has died. Serrano visited many morgues and photographed a collection of people, some of whom had a violent death. This is akin to Victorian days where dead people were photographed as keep sakes, this was also very popular for children but soon died out by the turn of the 20th century.

Going back to this image though is, as the book describes,  'blurring the line between sleep and death'. The child looks asleep, at peace in an air of serenity, leaving the viewer with many mixed emotions. Yet the child leaves behind parents who will be distressed and this causes friction between the viewer and the photographer as someone who should perhaps not have taken this image and left the parents to grieve and the child to rest in peace.

I would hope that the parents gave their consent for this image to be taken and published. Perhaps to make others aware of the modern day plight of death in children through meningitis. Politically this image could be used by a Government or Health Organisation advertising awareness in the disease, trying to capture the imagination and feelings of parents, grandparents and careers. One would hope if it were then the death of this individual would have some meaning, something we all try to extract from life and death.

Serrano is an interesting artist, of mixed styles, some of them very controversial, a provocateur  perhaps! This is though a very beautiful image made from a tragic event.



ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-mortem_photography

Context & Narrative

Just finished reading 'Context & Narrative by Maria Short. I must say that after I read the first two chapters I was really taken with this book and found it a quick read. I t has also given me some ideas for the assignment by looking at the work of Jurgen Perthold who strapped cameras to a cat's collar taking pictures of where they went every second at a fixed exposure reveals some interesting spaces. I am looking at our own cat flap and what it must be like for our cats to come in everyday.

At the end of each section Short gives a case story explaining the chapter in terms of real project experience from professional photographers. This is invaluable material in seeing how the pros prepare and view an assignment. In the first Richard Rowland, a photographer working in a housing association, heard of plans to refurbish a building used by homeless men. He drew up plans to record the building with its occupants and all stages of the refurbishments. In his words this was by ' recording the historical and cultural aspects of the layers of the property that had been hidden for many decades. Layers that didn't simple expose the structural elements , but also revealed something about the social  history present - the lives gone before and the cultural references left as markers on the very fabric of the building.'

His images are very contrasting....he certainly captures the starkness of the building beforehand and the loneliness of its occupants, with 55 visits to the building I am surprised I cannot find more of his images on-line, a shame I would have liked to have seen some of the later ones.

The Regency Project - Richard Rowland

The second chapter revealed a very interesting project by Charley Murrell - Constructed Childhoods. In this project she explores how images that surround us in advertising, television and other media can form opinions in young teenagers. These images are then translated into how the teenagers perceives and project themselves in society perhaps even adhering to the status quo. The images also reveal a sadness in this suggesting that what the media moguls display is not necessarily the road to happiness for many as the reality of their lives does not live up to the dream causing a lack of self confidence.








Constructed Childhoods.


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Exercise: How space changes with light

This exercise explores how light can affect spaces in which we photograph. This could be how the shadow areas change, which may evening cause the photographer to change the viewpoint of the image. Or in bright light how high contrasting images give a much different feel to images created on an overcast day.

I chose to photograph my study at various times of the day and with various weather outside. Trying to vary the angle where appropriate.

The first image is taken on a bright sunny day with the light streaming through the windows using two angles, the second I think is a better image giving more feeling to space and light.



From the same angle and around the same time of day but taken on an overcast day.


This image is less warm and with the diffused light has less shadow areas and less contrast with the outside. This did not vary as much as I thought it would but is probably due to that fact that the room has a lot of light entering it all of the time.

The final image was taken at dusk with pretty much even light from inside and out leaving a flatter image with the outside exposed the same as the inside and the screens much more prominent as the main source of light.



Exercise: Exploring function

This exercise is about exploring space in the context of its function, that is what it is used for and evidence demonstrating use or activity.

For this exercise I went to the public section of local council offices. These are used by various parts of the community from exercise, entertainment, the library, and of course local information. I took several shots of this scene, trying to demonstrate the space, but then I considered that it is not necessarily the vastness of the space that is important as this has no bearing on its use.


The area in question is a public area for information outside of the office, obviously meant to answer the basic questions and amenities of the building and the surrounding town. To me the leaflets of information were key as were the chairs in which to sit to read the information, so I tried to capture all of this along with the high contrasting light that poured into this glass atrium.



This image works a lot better in the description of the area and focusses in on the information and furniture. Evidence of use is also left behind by a newspaper left on the tables. I am not sure if I have succeeded in this exercise or not perhaps if people were in it it may have a greater bearing.