352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Photographic Research

 As discussed in my one-to-one session with Anthony (on 14th January 2015 and 11th February 2015), I will be splitting my research into five suggested research groups (and three groups I feel may be appropriate): Academic, Location, Photographic, Technical, Representation of the Land, Personal, Equipment and Editing Software, and Presentation Options. (Please note: some of the resources included within these research sections can link to more than one of the research categories stated above. In this case, I have simply included them in the research section that suits the aspect of the work that I am looking at for my FMP).

This blog post is therefore dedicated to the research that I have conducted that looks at photographers that have created similar pieces of work to what I want to create, in terms of the type of photography they shoot (e.g. landscapes) or the themes they look at within their projects. Within this research section you will find the name of the photographers and the projects that I have researched, examples of their work, a link to their website (if applicable), and brief reflections on their work followed by how I may use them as inspiration for my FMP.

 



 

Power Places” by Joseph Wilcox (suggested in the one-to-one tutorial with Matt Johnston on the 18th October 2014)

Power Places Flipthrough from Joseph Wilcox on Vimeo.

 

Please note, although this particular piece of work is displayed as a photobook, I have decided that for this section of my research, I will spend time focusing mainly on the photographs as a series rather than the layout of the publication. With this being said, I have included brief reflections on aspects included in the book that I feel may aid in the construction of my FMP, and, if I later decide to create a book for my FMP exhibition piece, I plan on revisiting my gained knowledge from this particular example by Joseph Wilcox

 

The Book:

  • This book is from a collection of 100 limited edition, hand-made books which, through it’s manufacturing and known uniqueness and specialty, not only heightens the permanence of the collection, but also enhances the personal importance of the collection and the artifact
  • Although mainly constructed by a number of different photographs (as photobooks usually are), on the first page of this book, the viewer sets their eyes upon a short, 10-line introduction that offers an explanation to the reason behind the creation of the project, contextualizing the photographs, and allowing the viewer to gain a greater understanding of the photographs included

 

The Photographs:

  • When looking through this particular collection, most of the images included are those of the vast landscape that Wilcox is exploring throughout his project
    • However, as the viewer continues through the reading of the book, they soon notice that Wilcox has also included images depicting more close up details of the landscapes (including piles of dirt, moss, etc.), as well as a portrait and a couple of still-life images
      • These particular varying images allow the viewer to experience a more immersive (and contextualized) project as, by affecting the flow of the collection through their differing subject, they create a more challenging reading for the viewers to undergo
      • This is because the viewers then spend time reflecting on the images and relating it back to the information provided at the beginning of the book which, once the connection is realized, allows the viewers to experience an enhanced understanding of the landscape and narrative captured throughout the collection
  •  However, focusing primarily on the landscape images included in this particular project (as I am using landscapes as my subject matter within my FMP), Wilcox uses a documentarian style of landscape photography – rather than the use of overly dramatized aesthetics of a stereotypical landscape photograph, which includes mystical conditions and exuberant colour palettes (as seen in the blog post 352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Locational Research”)
    • This can be seen through the “straight-on” composition of his images (differing away from the rule of thirds), the capturing of mundane and everyday natural conditions (including bland, grey and cloudy skies), as well as the natural colours of the landscape (which are created due to the conditions he photographed in)
    • All of these aesthetic characteristics that combine to create what we see as a mundane, documentarian (landscape) image therefore enhances the projects concept of documenting and exploring this particular land (which is suggested in the books introduction)
  • However, with this being said, in relation to the lighting, Wilcox manipulates the natural light provided by these everyday cloudy conditions in order to create images that are either lit with a dull or dramatic approach
    • As the viewer will see throughout the collection, the clouds either provide cover over some of the landscapes (diffusing the light and creating a duller, more mundane lighting affect), or they create dramatic spotlights of sun (due to the gaps in the clouds) that highlights the texture and dramatic atmosphere elicited by the landscape subject
    • Although these two lighting techniques are obviously very different, they have been chosen carefully by Wilcox as a way of representing the ideologies surrounding this particular land, which has been discussed within the introduction to the projects book
      • The Alagablettur of Iceland (the landscape) have been described as secretive, dark and powerful places, all of which can be symbolized either through the inclusion of cloudy/misty conditions and dull, diffused light (displaying a representation of the secretive), or dramatic spotlights (symbolizing the dark and powerful characteristic of the landscape)

 

FMP Inspiration

  • By looking at the work of Joseph Wilcox, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP in a number of different ways, including the use of accompanying text and landscape image aesthetics
  • By looking at Wilcox’s “Power Places” book, I have gained knowledge surrounding the importance of accompanying pieces of text in order to provide the viewer with a contextualized understanding of the project they are witnessing
    • Please note, I will be conducting more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post)
  • Also, as suggested above, Wilcox uses a documentary aesthetic when capturing his landscape photographs which has provided me with a visual example that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images because, as stated before, I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography) in order to reflect the personal aspect of the project: it is not a conventional project, but a personal one
  • Wilcox’s inclusion of varying photographic styles (including still-lives) to enhance the immersive and contextualized aspects of the project (and therefore the audiences understanding) has also provided me with another form of inspiration because, as suggested in each of my proposals (please see the blog posts “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Original Proposal”, “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Revised Proposal”, “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Second Revised Proposal”, and “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Final Proposal”), I am planning on collecting natural materials whilst conducting my FMP and could later experiment with the inclusion of these aspects (including in a still-life, photographic form) in order to see if they enhance the narrative of my project
  • Finally, as suggested above, Wilcox also used varying lighting techniques (still in a documentarian fashion) in order to represent the myths behind the landscapes he was photographing – I could therefore apply this particular technique to my FMP as I could consider the creation of slightly more dramatic or subtle (documentarian) landscape photographs (through the inclusion of varying lighting conditions) in order to represent the overall feel of the memory that I associate with the landscape

 


 

The Pond” by John Gossage – (suggested in the one-to-one tutorial with Matt Johnston on the 18th October 2014)

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Please note, similar to Joseph Wilcox’s “Power Places”, although this particular piece of work is displayed as a photobook (which I haven’t been able to get a hold of in video form, hence the inclusion of photographs instead), I have decided that for this section of my research, I will spend time focusing mainly on the photographs as a series rather than the layout of the publication. With this being said, I have included brief reflections on aspects included in the book that I feel may aid in the construction of my FMP, and, if I later decide to create a book for my FMP exhibition piece, I plan on revisiting my gained knowledge from this particular example by John Gossage

 

The Book:

  • Differing from the limited edition, hand-crafted “Power Places” book by Joseph Wilcox, “The Pond” by John Gossage is a book that has been publish and printed on a number of occasions in hard-back form, enhancing the academic feel associated with the collection
  • Following on from this idea, the book also includes both a foreword and an afterword that have been written by other professionals in the field which have been incorporated to enhance the importance of the collection and the academic standpoint that individuals feel should be anticipated in the viewing of this work
    • The foreword of this book (written by Tony Jurovics, Curator of Photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum) describes the collection and the book in terms of it’s history and preferred reading, which prepares the viewer for the collection that they are about to witness
    • Within this foreword are also references to similar pieces of photographic works which situates this project by John Gossage in academic context, acting as a way of enhancing the collections importance in the field of photography, providing an almost pressurized viewpoint on how the viewer should appreciate the piece of work
    • In relation to the afterword (written by Gerry Badger), differing from the academic foreword at the beginning of the book, this includes a personal reflection of “The Pond” collection which, once again, through the positive opinions discussed in this essay, almost acts like a pressurized viewpoint on how the viewer should appreciate this piece of work
    • (Having text at both the beginning and the end of the book can also be used to represent the finalized distinction of when the collection is complete – relating to the preferred reading discussed in the foreword)

 

The Photographs:

  • When looking through this particular collection by John Gossage, similar to Joseph Wilcox’s landscape images, I noticed that he tended to photograph his landscapes using a documentarian style of (landscape) photography
    • This can be seen through the “straight-forward” composition of the images where he appears to have documented exactly what he sees and encounters in front of him, without adjusting or adding creative perspectives and compositions to the subject (showing similar aesthetics to that of a snapshot image), whilst also photographing the landscape in mundane and everyday lighting and natural conditions (rather than more dramatic aesthetics experienced in stereotypical landscape images)
    • This documentary style of landscape photography is also enhanced through the black and white colouration of the images as there are no vibrant colours that offer an overwhelming (and emotional) distraction from the mundane landscape subject, whilst also referencing the aesthetics of geographical, documentary photographs that were used for scientific journals at the beginning of the photographic era
    • However, with this being said, similar to the work of Wilcox, some of Gossage’s landscape images vary in perspective (focusing on closer, more detailed aspects of the landscape by either looking down low at the ground or looking up at the sky), which break up the flow of the mundane landscape images within the collection, and are used to suggest breaks in the walk that the viewer has been taken on throughout Gossage’s project (as suggested in the foreword of the book)
  • Similar to the varying perspective within his landscape subjects, the composition of his wider landscape images and close-up, detailed photographs also differ from one another
    • Throughout his collection, his wider landscape images that depict the “straight-forward” path that he is walking down can be seen in a photograph with a landscape orientation, whereas the close-up more detailed aspects of the landscapes, that he noticed on his walks, are usually displayed using a portrait orientation
      • This change in orientation, allows the viewer to identify which of the photos constitute to the actual journey he experienced and the aspects that he noticed whilst on his journey
    • In relation to the landscape oriented path images, these subjects are often shown using a “middle-of-the-road” aesthetic, which can be used to symbolize this idea of travelling towards a specific destination through the use of the leading lines that this composition creates
      • In these landscape images, the horizontal composition also varies (showing more or less of the path ahead) which can be used by the viewer to suggest how much time there is between here and the next photographable destination (for example, the more ground portrayed in the photograph, the longer it will take for Gossage to arrive at the next destination), which enhances the collections sense of time
    • However, looking at the images with a portrait orientation, which contain the detailed landscape aspects that Gossage has noticed whilst on this journey, the composition varies through the inclusion of more creative techniques (such as the blurring of foreground aspects) which suggest the voyeuristic peering through the landscape subject, which has been used to symbolize this idea of something that he observed whilst on his journey

 

FMP Inspiration

  • Similar to the work of Joseph Wilcox, by looking John Gossage’s “The Pond”, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP in a number of different ways, including the use of accompanying text and landscape image aesthetics
  • By looking at Gossage’s “The Pond” book, although the pieces of writing included in this particular publication verge on the more acadaemic, it has still enhanced my knowledge surrounding the importance of accompanying pieces of text, which can be used to provide the viewer with a contextualized understanding of the project they are witnessing
    • Please note, I will be conducting more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post)
  • Also, similar to Wilcox’s work, as suggested above, Gossage uses a documentary aesthetic when capturing his landscape photographs which has provided me with a visual example that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images
    • Because, as stated before, I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography)
  • Another thing that I may consider experimenting with through the development of my FMP is the inclusion of photographs depicting more detailed aspects of the landscape that I am photographing in order to enhance the immersive and contextualized aspects of the project (and therefore the audiences understanding) (as suggested under the “FMP Inspiration” section for Wilcox’s work) – please also note, that this may also be done through the inclusion of the natural materials I am planning on collecting natural materials whilst conducting my FMP (as suggested above)
  • Finally, as suggested above, Gossage also used varying versions of the “middle-of-the-road” composition within his landscape path photographs, in order to suggest to the viewer that he was travelling towards a particular destination – I could therefore apply this particular compositional technique to my FMP as I could use it to symbolize this idea that, whilst visiting these different locations within the Lake District, they are triggering my psychological journey to the memories of my Grandpa

 


 

We Make the Path by Walking” by Paul Gaffney (suggested in the one-to-one tutorial with Matt Johnston on the 18th October 2014)

http://vimeo.com/90067321

Please note, similar to Joseph Wilcox’s “Power Places” and John Gossage’s “The Pond”, although this particular piece of work is displayed as a photobook, I have decided that for this section of my research, I will spend time focusing mainly on the photographs as a series rather than the layout of the publication. With this being said, I have included brief reflections on aspects included in the book that I feel may aid in the construction of my FMP, and, if I later decide to create a book for my FMP exhibition piece, I plan on revisiting my gained knowledge from this particular example by Paul Gaffney.

 

The Book:

  • Similar to that of Joseph Wilcox’s “Power Places”, this book is from a collection of 50 special edition, hand-crafted books (that comes in an engraved wooden box, with a signed limited edition print wrapped in delicate tissue paper, and in it’s own photographic sleeve) which, through it’s manufacturing and known uniqueness and specialty, not only heightens the permanence of the collection, but also enhances the personal importance of the collection and the artifact
  • However, differing slightly from the works of both Wilcox and Gossage, this book contains no text at the beginning apart from the title, as, due to its descriptive nature, this provides the viewers with enough detail to understand the overarching concept of the collection
    • With this being said, at the back of the book, Gaffney has included two small poems that relate to the act of walking and journeying on a path, which can be used by the viewer to alter their perceived understanding of the collection by providing the images that they have already witnessed with poetic context
    • After these two poems, is also a page dedicated to the more formal textual aspects (including acknowledgements and copyrighting) which has been provided at the end so that it does not distract the viewer attention away from the creativity of the collection

 

The Photographs:

  • Similar to both Wilcox and Gossage, Gaffney uses a documentarian style of landscape photography (rather than more dramatic aesthetics observed in stereotypical landscape images)
    • This can be seen through his “straight-forward” photographic documentation of the landscape he is encountering, as well as his choice to photograph mundane, everyday landscape subjects
    • However, differing from Gossage’s work, Gaffney creates colour landscape photographs, which (although it has been suggested that black and white images can reference photographs in scientific journals, enhancing its documentary aesthetics) can be used to enhance the mundane and the natural of the landscape he is photographing
  • Enhancing the similarity between his and Gossage’s work, Gaffney not only photographs the path he is travelling down, but he also photographs more detailed aspects of the landscape that he noticed whilst on his journey
    • These particular images (that include aspects such as piles of rocks, cobwebs and rubbish, etc.) can be identified through the slight change in composition and perspective that Gaffney used to document them (including his closer proximity to the subject matter and whether he is looking down or up at them) – which is also a similarity between his and Gossage’s work
    • Also, continuing on from the similarities associate with Gossage’s work, Gaffney also uses a “middle-of-the-road” compositional technique to create photographs of the path he is travelling down, whilst also varying the position of the horizon to symbolize how much of the journey (and the collection) is left to complete
  • As for the lighting used within all of his landscape images (creating a slight similarity between his and Wilcox’s work), Gaffney manipulates the natural light, not to create more dramatic images (like Wilcox), but to draw the viewers attention to particular details within the landscape whilst also enhancing the natural texture and beauty of the landscape photograph he has chosen to document
  • Finally, in relation to the natural conditions that Gaffney photographs, differing from the works of both Wilcox and Gossage, Gaffney captures some of his landscapes in very atmospheric, misty conditions
    • Now, although when viewed alone, images that incorporate this particular type of natural (but dramatic) condition are often associated with the symbolization of something mystical, as these particular images are included towards the end of Gaffney’s collection (allowing the viewer to gain an understanding of the concept surrounding the project – that Gaffney is taking them on a walk), they not only use this natural condition in a logical sense to suggest the time of day that the walk was taking place, but they can also use it to symbolize Gaffney’s frame of mind at this point in time (for example, he can appear lost in thought through the idea that individuals can get lost in the poor visibility created by the mist)

 

FMP Inspiration

  • As Paul Gaffney’s work offers many similarities between Wilcox’s and Gossage’s work, after looking at his book “We Make the Path by Walking”, I have obviously been able to gain similar inspiration for my FMP that I also gained from both Wilcox and Gossage (including the use of accompanying text and landscape image aesthetics)
  • By looking at Gaffney’s book, although his pieces of writing can be seen as slightly less affective than the pieces included in both Wilcox and Gossage’s work, it has, once again enhanced my knowledge surrounding the importance of accompanying pieces of text, which can be used to provide the viewer with a contextualized understanding of the project they are witnessing
    • Please note, I will be conducting more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post)
  • Also, similar to both Wilcox and Gossage, as suggested above, Gaffney uses a documentary aesthetic when capturing his landscape photographs which has provided me with a visual example that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images
    • Because, as stated before, I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography)
  • Again, similar to Gossage, another thing that I may consider experimenting with through the development of my FMP is the inclusion of photographs depicting more detailed aspects of the landscape that I am photographing, in order to enhance the immersive and contextualized aspects of the project (and therefore the audiences understanding)
    • Please also note, that this may also be done through the inclusion of the natural materials I am planning on collecting natural materials whilst conducting my FMP (as suggested above)
  • Finally, similar to Gossage, as suggested above, Gaffney also uses a varying version of the “middle-of-the-road” composition within his landscape path photographs, in order to suggest to the viewer that he was travelling towards a particular destination – I could therefore apply this particular compositional technique to my FMP as I could use it to symbolize this idea that, whilst visiting these different locations within the Lake District, they are triggering my psychological journey to the memories of my Grandpa

 


 

Oublier”, “The Missing” And “Sectarian Murder” by Paul Seawright (suggested in the one-to-one tutorial with David Moore on the 21st January 2015)

In a one-to-one tutorial that I had with David Moore (on the 21st January 2015), he suggested that I look into the work of Paul Seawright

  • After looking through Paul Seawright’s photographic collections, I though that “Oublier”, “The Missing” and “Sectarian Murder” where the most relevant projects that I should research for my FMP in terms of the themes explored and, in some cases, the photographic aesthetics used
  • Below you will therefore be able to find three section including reflections on these particular series (including theme and aesthetics), followed by the inspiration that I am planning on taking away for the development of my FMP

Oublier:

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  • The Themes
    • The themes studied within “Oublier” include places and their association with forgetting and remembering which includes “the border between public and private spaces, between past and present” – these themes clearly relate to my FMP, as I am looking into places (or landscapes) that trigger my process of remembrance, that allows me to recall memories of my deceased Grandpa
    • “Oublier” includes photographs that have been created to depict the attics of the cities public buildings in order to represent “the collective history of a city, what is remembered and what is forgotten from a countries conflicted history
    • It was therefore the themes explored within this particular project (including the idea of looking into places as triggers for remembrance) that provided the main reason as to why I thought this would be good collection to research for my FMP
  • The Photographs
    • In relation to the aesthetics of the photographs included in this particular project, as you can see from the images above, Seawright focused his attention on the interiors of particular spaces – which I am obviously not doing for my own FMP as I am focusing on the photographic documentation of wider landscapes
    • However, when looking over these images, I thought that it was interesting how Seawright manipulated the natural light within the location in order to create darker, more ominous spaces, which can not only be used to symbolize the idea that these places have been forgotten, but could also represent the corners or spaces in the city individual’s mind that holds the “forgotten” or faded memories of this particular place (relating to this idea of “the collective history of a city, what is remembered and what is forgotten from a countries conflicted history” discussed in the introduction to the project)

 

The Missing:

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  • The Themes
    • The themes explored within “The Missing” include places (and landscapes) and their association with loss and absence – these themes clearly relate to my FMP, as I am looking into places (or landscapes) that I associate with the memories of my now deceased and absent Grandpa
    • Seawright’s “The Missing” includes photographs of landscapes that are associated with “those who disappear from society, represented in visual fragments gathered from the street, homeless hostels and squats in Rotterdam
    • Similar to Seawright’s “Oublier”, it was therefore the themes explored within this particular project (including the idea of looking into places and their association with absence) that provided the main reason as to why I thought this would be good collection to research for my FMP
    • However, I also looked at this particular collection because, as you will be able to see from the photographs above, the first image in the series shows similar aesthetics to the landscape images that I want to create for my FMP – A documentarian style of landscape photography that simply depicts the mundane and everyday in terms of colour, lighting, and natural conditions
  • The Photographs
    • In relation to the aesthetics of the photographs included in this particular project, as you can see from the images above, the subjects of Seawright’s photographs vary (from landscapes and urbanscapes to portraits and still-lives), and the aesthetics of these images also differ (including the use of natural light and flash, staged and not staged images, closer and wider compositions, and ranging perspectives)
    • Now, although I am not looking at most of these types of photography and aesthetics for my FMP, I thought that it was interesting to witness how Seawright managed to incorporate these varied photographs to create one collection of images, and how these images were still able to create a narrative that was readable and understandable to the viewer

 

Sectarian Murder:

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  • The Themes
    • The themes investigated within “Sectarian Murder” include places (and landscapes) and their association with death   – which, similar to “The Missing” clearly relate to my FMP, as I am looking into places (or landscapes) that I associate with the memories of my now deceased Grandpa
    • “Sectarian Murder” includes photographs of different outdoor locations that were “the sites of Sectarian attacks during the 1970’s…” and include accompanying text from newspaper reports at the time which “document the murders of innocent civilians, [who were] killed for their perceived religion
    • Similar to Seawright’s “Oublier” and “The Missing”, it was therefore the themes explored within this particular project (including the idea of looking into places and their association with death) that provided the main reason as to why I thought this would be good collection to research for my FMP
    • However, similar to “The Missing”, I also looked at this particular collection because, they include accompanying text as a way of enhancing the contextualized understanding that the viewer gains from seeing the images – because, as you have already seen, I am contemplating the use of text within my FMP
  • The Photographs
    • In relation to the aesthetics of the photographs included in this particular project, Seawright obviously photographed the landscape associated with the particular Sectarian Murders that he wanted to document
    • Within this project, Seawright uses photographic techniques to devise a uniformed project through the use of a flashgun to create harshly lit locations, which is not only used to signify the specific position in which the body was found, but can also be used to represent the harsh (and sometimes torturous) act of the murder that he is documenting
    • With this being said, Seawright also changes the perspective and the composition of his images to best fit in with the description of the murder provided by the newspaper (whilst also offering a slight ironic atmosphere through the inclusion of more positive aspects such as flowers and playground equipment)

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • By looking at varying collections of work created by Paul Seawright, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP in a number of different ways
  • Oublier:
    • By researching into Seawright’s “Oublier”, as suggested above, Seawright used a particular darkened photographic aesthetic to represent the places of the forgotten – I therefore feel that I could possibly apply this particular concept (rather than the technique) to my FMP as I could consider the creation of slightly varied aesthetics within my landscape images in order to represent the overall feel of the memory that I associate with the landscape
  • The Missing:
    • By looking at “The Missing” project, I thought that it was very interesting to observe was how he tackled the representation of a similar themes to what I am looking at throughout my FMP (as discussed above)
    • In this particular project, as noted above, Seawright also used a documentary aesthetic when capturing on of his landscape photographs which has provided me with a visual example that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images
      • Because, as stated before, I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography)
    • Seawright’s inclusion of varying photographic styles and aesthetics to create a successful collected narrative has also provided me with another form of inspiration because, as suggested in each of my proposals (please see the blog posts “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Original Proposal”, “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Revised Proposal”, “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Second Revised Proposal”, and “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Final Proposal”), I am planning on collecting natural materials (and including textual aspects) whilst conducting my FMP and could later experiment with the inclusion of these aspects in order to see if they enhance the intensity of the contextualized, collected narrative of my project
  • Sectarian Murder
    • By looking at Seawright’s “Secterian Murder” project, I have obviously gained inspiration in conjunction to the idea of photographing places that are associated with death – which, in my case, as suggested above, relates to the creation of images that represent the memories I have of my now deceased Grandpa
    • However, the main piece of inspiration that I am planning on taking away from this particular project is the further enhanced knowledge that I have gained surrounding the importance of accompanying pieces of text in order to provide the viewer with a contextualized understanding of the project they are witnessing
      • Please note, I will be conducting more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post)

 


 

On This Site: Landscape in Memorium” by Joel Sternfeld (suggested in the one-to-one tutorial with David Moore on the 21st January 2015)

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Please note, similar to Joseph Wilcox’s “Power Places”, John Gossage’s “The Pond” and Paul Gaffney’s “We Make the Path by Walking”, although this particular piece of work is displayed as a photobook (which I haven’t been able to get a hold of in video form, hence the inclusion of photographs instead), I have decided that for this section of my research, I will spend time focusing mainly on the photographs as a series rather than the layout of the publication. With this being said, I have included brief reflections on aspects included in the book that I feel may aid in the construction of my FMP, and, if I later decide to create a book for my FMP exhibition piece, I plan on revisiting my gained knowledge from this particular example by Joel Sternfeld.

 

The Book:

  • Similar to John Gossage’s “The Pond”, “On This Site: Landscapes in Memorium” by Joel Sternfeld is a book that has been publish and printed on a number of occasions in hard-back form, as a way of enhancing the awareness of the violence explored within this particular photographic collection
  • Included at the beginning and end of the book on card flaps is a blurb (written by a professional individual in the field of photography), that provides the viewer with the context surrounding this particular project, if they decide to read it – however, as it is on flaps attached to the front and back pages of the book (rather than a page to itself), this allows the viewer to make the choice of whether they want to read the blurb before or after they have seen the collection
  • Before the viewer is introduced to the collection, however, there is also a small line presented on a page to itself that reads: “For those who will never forget”, which offers the viewer a clue as to what the book is about (if they have decided not to read the blurb until after viewing the collection), whilst also offering evidence that this particular project has been created from some of Sternfeld’s (and other individuals) personal experience
  • At the end of the collection, Sternfeld has also included a self-written afterword that enhances the personal association he has with the project through the style of reflective writing that he uses, and the explaination as to the creation behind this project – also, as this is given at the back of the book, similar to the work of Paul Gaffney, this also allows the viewers to alter their perceived understanding of the collection by providing the images that they have already witnessed with further, informed context
  • Within this particular book, each photograph has been displayed on the right-hand page alongside accompanying text (which can be found on the left-hand page) which provides information surrounding the location, date and description of the act of violence that occurred in this particular, documented place
    • This use of accompanying text (as with most other projects that incorporate accompanying text), provides the viewers with a contextualized understanding surrounding the photographic subject and the creation of the image, which allows them to grasp an understanding of what has taken place in this particular area

 

The Photographs:

  • In relation to the photographs themselves, this collection is comprised of many different styles of photography, which vary from wide landscapes, to more condensed urbanscapes, and close-ups of particular details either in an exterior or interior location – now, although these images do vary in style, this collection still feels uniformed and complete through the continuing layout of the accompanying text
  • Each of the photographs within this collection, although they differ in photographic type, have been carefully considered to represent and symbolize the act of violence that is associated with the particular documented place
    • This can be seen through the fact that Sternfeld has used a documentary style of photography as a way of enhancing the projects concept of revisiting places associated with previously documented violence’s – in relation to this, his type of documentarian “straight-forward” photography can also be used to reference CSI photography which adds to the concept of violence and documentation explored throughout the project
    • Each image also varies in perspective and composition as a way of creating images that visually describe and capture the landscape in the way that people think it would have been at the time of the past act of violence
    • Sternfeld also uses colour within his images to represent the natural sense of the location at the time of the violent event, whilst also symbolizing whether these events were more or less violent or personal through the colour theory that can be applied to the pallets used within the photographs (for example, deep red colouring suggests a more violent act due to it’s association with blood and horror)
    • Continuing on from this idea of wanting to document the places how they would have been witnessed at the time of the violent act, Sternfeld uses natural conditions (including lighting and weather conditions) to symbolize the time of day and the conditions that were documented at the time of the act of violence – which adds to the documentarian and CSI like ideology I have associated with the project
    • Finally, within each of his images, Sternfeld also photographs the landscape without human presence which creates an eerie atmosphere that symbolizes the main concept surrounding this project regarding the documentation of particular places that are associated with loss and absence through the affect that past, violent acts created

 

FMP Inspiration

  • After looking at Joel Sternfeld’s “On This Site: Landscape in Memorium”, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP through the analysis of his aesthetic styles and output considerations
  • As suggested above, the first thing that I thought was interesting to observe was how Sternfeld tackled the representation of a similar project concept to what I am looking at throughout my FMP (returning to a location to create a photographic documentation to represent what has already taken place) – so in my case, returning to a particular location to create conceptual documentations of the landscapes that I associate with the memories surrounding my Grandpa
  • Also, similar to Wilcox, Gossage, and Gaffney, as suggested above, Sternfeld uses a (slightly varied) documentary aesthetic (to the three examples looked at above) when capturing his landscape photographs which has provided me with another form of visual example that I can take into account in the creation of my landscape images – please note, Sternfeld documentary aesthetic varies slightly from the three examples previously looked at as he incorporates slightly more artistic aspects within his images (including brighter colours and more varying compositions), and I personally prefer the documentarian aesthetics used by the previous three examples
    • Because, as stated before, I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography)
  • Again, similar to Wilcox and Gossage, another thing that I may consider experimenting with through the development of my FMP is the inclusion of photographs and aspects that vary in aesthetics, in order to enhance the immersive and contextualized aspects of the project (and therefore the audiences understanding) – discussed in the “FMP Inspiration” section for Wilcox’s and Gossage’s work
    • Please also note, that this may also be done through the inclusion of the natural materials I am planning on collecting natural materials whilst conducting my FMP (as suggested above)
  • Finally, however, the main piece of inspiration that I am planning on taking away from this particular project is the further enhanced knowledge that I have gained surrounding the importance of accompanying pieces of text in order to provide the viewer with a contextualized understanding of the project they are witnessing
    • Please note, I will be conducting more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post)

 


 

“This Must Be The Place” by David Campany (suggested in the one-to-one tutorial with David Rule on the 11th February 2015)

In a one-to-one tutorial that I had with David Rule (on the 11th February 2015), he suggested that I look into the exhibition “This Must be The Place” which was curated by David Campany

  • After conducting some brief online research into the exhibition (as I was unable to attend it in person at the time I was given the research), I soon found the accompanying essay that was written by David Campany surrounding the themes and projects that were included in the exhibition (the link to this can be found below)
  • I therefore decided to use this particular resource, as well as photographs of the exhibition that I found online to reflect on the themes that were explored throughout the exhibition and the pieces of work that I thought would be relevant for my FMP (these can be found below followed by the inspiration it has given me for my FMP):

http://davidcampany.com/this-must-be-the-place/

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Main Themes Discussed:

  • After reading the accompanying essay to the “This Must Be The Place” exhibition by David Campany, I noticed that the exhibition was said to have explored ideas surrounding photography’s relationship to space, place, and time – all of which I am briefly looking at in my FMP as overarching themes (through the idea of returning to a particular space/place in order to reconnect to my past (associated with time) through the memories that it triggers into remembrance)
  • Campany also suggests that this particular exhibition combines a variety of contemporary, photographic projects that investigate both place and location whilst also offering a different presentation responses in relation to the photographic medium and location of the exhibition

 

The Pieces of Work:

  • Camille Fallet
    • Within the essay, Campany describes Fallet’s exhibition piece as a “photographic study of the character of London’s varied environments” and suggests that the project he has created is his response to the “post-war brutalist architecture and high street shoppers”
    • As you will see from the image that I have included above, this particular section of his instillation incorporates a large number of detailed images depicting the crumbled urbanscape he wished to explore
    • These detailed images have been captured by Fallet using a documentarian aesthetic which can be seen through the inclusion of simplistic and natural colours, composition, and perspective, and the capturing of the locations in a mundane and everyday weather condition
    • In relation to the installations presentation, Fallet has carefully considered all aspects of the piece in order to represent certain aspects associated with the concept of London that he has explored through the capturing and creation of this project
      • For example, the collage of images are randomly placed which can be used by the viewer to suggest the business associated with the city of London that Fallet experience on his first trip over from paris
      • Also, the portrait orientation of this particular installation can also be used by the viewer to symbolize the height of the buildings that are depicted in the photographs that Fallet has captured
      • Offering just a couple of examples of how the installation piece mimics the concepts explored within the project, the considered output aspects have allowed Fallet to create a more immersive piece by allowing the viewer to associate the project (and presentations) representation of the city to their own personal experiences – providing the project with the ability to vary in personal context depending on the viewer

David Campany - This Must Be The Place - Camille Fallet 'Estates'

 

  • Tereza Zelenkova
    • Within the essay, Campany describes Zelenkova’s exhibition piece as a “discontinuous panorama” that references concepts surrounding landscapes, cinematography (through it’s vast documentation of a particular location), and self-portraiture (through the inclusion of a single, small female figure)
    • As you will see from the image that I have included above, Zelenkova (similar to Fallet) also captures her landscape images using a documentary photographic style which can be evidenced in a number of different ways when looking at her photographs
      • For example, Zelenkova uses a basic, “straight-forward” composition by documenting exactly what she see’s in front of her, without experimenting with more “creative” compositions and perspectives
      • She also captures these particular landscapes in mundane conditions by choosing not to photograph them in dramatic lighting or unique weather
      • I also think that both of these techniques (the “straight-forward” composition and mundane conditions) have been chosen by Zelenkova because, as she was creating a panorama from her images, she didn’t want to capture dramatic individual landscape images as this could have been seen as a distraction from her completed panorama
      • Also, Zelenkova has included a couple of images in black and white which, as suggested previously, enhances the documentary aesthetic of the image by giving reference to images found in past geographical journals
    • Zelenkova, as you have probably seen, also includes both colour and black and white images which, as she chose to create a “discontinuous panorama” of a particular landscape, allows the viewer to differentiate and appreciate each individual photograph before experiencing the panoramic landscape as a whole
    • Also, as suggested by Campany, Zelenkova has included a self-portrait aspect within her images as a way of enhancing the personal aspect of the project but, as this is deliberately overshadowed by the vastness of the landscape, it doesn’t affect the ease of accessibility and understanding for the viewer
    • In relation to the installations presentation, Zelenkova has obviously chosen an appropriate display for her panoramic landscape images as she has shown them in a horizontal line in what appears to be a chronological order
      • This enhances the vastness of the landscape that she has captured within her images, whilst also allowing the viewer to experience the immersive characteristics that this vastness creates

David Campany - This Must Be The Place - Tereza Zelenkova

 

  • Xavier Ribas
    • Within the essay, Campany takes time to describe Ribas’ exhibition piece and provides the viewer with information surrounding the context of this particular piece – that it is a response to a particular site in Barcelona where around about 60 gypsy families where pushed out of an empty industrial spot through the arrival of destructive diggers
    • As you will see from the image that I have included above, Ribas, similar to Zelenkova and Fallet, has used documentary, urbanscape photography in order to represent the destruction that was caused on this particular site
      • This documentarian aesthetic can be evidenced through Ribas’ simplistic photographic technique that captures the devastation that he observes in a mundane, non-dramatic sense (through choosing not to include more “creative” compositions and perspectives and the use of everyday conditions)
      • This idea is also enhanced through the decision to shoot in black and white because, as suggested above, this gives reference to images found in past geographical journals
    • In relation to the installations presentation, Ribas has also taken time to carefully consider his output options to create an exhibition piece that best represents the destruction he has captured within his images
      • The decision that he made to create an almost panorama of his images (showing every inch of the destruction that he documented) creates and empowering installation that confronts the viewer and immerses them in the site depicted
      • The presentation that he chose, including the scale of the installation and the gaps left between the individual images, can also be seen to symbolize the scale of the man-made disaster as well as mirroring the cracks left behind from the destruction of the site
      • Finally, in regards to the negative space that has been included in some of the areas of the panorama, these could perhaps be used to suggest part of the gypsy individuals stories that Ribas was unable to investigate

David Campany - This Must Be The Place - Xavier Ribas

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • After researching and reflecting on the exhibition “This Must Be The Place” (curated by David Campany), although I was unable to reflect on it in full and merely included reflections on the themes and some of the installations, I still feel that it provided me with some generalized inspiration that I can apply to my FMP
  • With this being said, firstly, a more specific piece of inspiration that I can apply to my FMP is the use of the documentarian style of landscape/urbanscape photography that was employed by the three installations I reflected on – these examples have provided me with even more visual example (in relation to documentary landscape photography) that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images because, as stated before, I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography) in order to reflect the personal aspect of the project: it is not a conventional project, but a personal one
  • However, the exhibition in itself has also allowed me to gain inspiration in regards to offering me examples surrounding the large number of ways that individuals can present pieces of work relating to the same themes of space, place, and time (all of which, as stated above, I am briefly looking at in my FMP as overarching themes – through the idea of returning to a particular space/place in order to reconnect to my past through the memories that it triggers into remembrance), as well as ideas surrounding the creativity of installations that can be incorporated into a group exhibition without overshadowing other pieces of work (which will be useful to consider in regards to my outputs of my FMP, for the degree show at the end of the module)
  • Finally, though, the greatest inspiration I will be taking away from David Campany’s “This Must be the Place” exhibition and accompanying essay, is the way in which text has been used (in a separate publication) to provide the viewers with a greater contextual understanding and increased accessibility to his projects within the exhibition (please note, I will be conducting further, more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post)

 


 

Justin Partyka (suggested in one-to-one with Anthony Luvera on 11th March 2015)

In a one-to-one tutorial that I had with Anthony Luvera (on the 11th March 2015), he suggested that I look at the work of Justin Partyka

  • After researching into each of his projects, I soon realized that his project “Summer Days in Stour Valley” would provide me with more relevant research for my FMP due to the subject they depict and aesthetic qualities that they hold
  • With this being said however, similar to Bobby Mills, after researching into each of his projects, I soon realized that Partyka uses “The Art of Walking” (discussed in previous research above) as a way of creating his photographic projects
  • For my research I have therefore decided to take the time to reflect on the methodology of his projects, whilst also focusing on the analysis of the images included in “Summer Days in Stour Valley” (please note, the use of aesthetics in his landscape images are consistent throughout different collections, and I have simply decided to focus on this particular project as it offers me more examples to discuss) – these can be found bellow followed by the inspiration that I gained for my FMP):

http://www.justinpartyka.com

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The Methodology:

  • In relation to Partyka’s methodology throughout his numerous projects, I decided that I wanted to include some brief research into it as it greatly related to my own methodology that I am undertaking throughout my FMP
  • In each of Partyka’s projects, he starts off his series with a brief piece of text highlighting (in a rather poetic sense) his use of the “Art of Walking” throughout his methodology and suggests that (similar to Bobby Mills’ “The Road Not Taken”) this particular technique not only allows him to document the landscape he comes across, but also allows him to experience the landscape and immerse himself within it
  • This methodology can therefore relate to my FMP as I am also walking down different paths (within the Lake District) that allows me to experience the landscape (through the things that I encounter as well as the memories that it triggers), whilst also taking images for my FMP

 

The Photographs:

  • As briefly stated above, I decided to focus my research on Partyka’s “Summer Days in Stour Valley” project as I thought that the aesthetics of these images would provide me with greater inspiration for my FMP compared to some of his other collections
  • Throughout this particular collection, Partyka’s photographs (that are mainly landscapes with a couple of still-life images) hold a similar aesthetic to that of a snapshot image
    • Although Partyka’s photos still appear to have captured aesthetically pleasing points of interest within the landscape, this idea of the snapshot aesthetic can be seen through the varying composition and perspective of the photographs that suggest a quick photographic capturing of what the photographer has just observed
    • This concept of the snapshot is also further enhanced through the amateur-like documentation of different lighting “mistakes”, including the glaring beam of the sun and the incorporation of the photographers shadow in some of his photographs
    • Also, the vibrant, contrasting colours captured within these particular images can be used by the viewer to reference that of photographs created by a disposable camera, which, obviously, further enhances the ideology of the snapshot aesthetic
    • All of these aspects which create evidence pointing towards the concept of the snapshot also allows Partyka to create a photographic project that provides an alternative way of looking at the landscape (rather than the perfectly composed and carefully thought about, stereotypical landscape images), which, in turn, highlights the hidden scenes of the landscapes through the documentation of the “particular and the peculiar”
  • In relation to the mundane and everyday natural conditions that Partyka captures within his photographs (referencing both the lighting and the weather), although they differ slightly from photo to photo, they can be seen to represent the fact that he has taken these snapshot images over a period of a day (through the change in colour due to the lighting of an early morning or late evening sun, for example), which enhances the viewers understanding of the walking methodology that he uses throughout his projects, whilst also increasing the collections sense of time (and snapshot response)

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • By looking at the work of Justin Partyka, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP by gaining an understanding of the methodologies that he used throughout his projects (including practical and photographic)
  • In relation to the practical methodology, as suggested above, Partyka underwent a very similar strategy where he used the “Art of Walking” to immerse himself in the landscape whilst also producing a photographic project – this provides a clear similarity to the methodology behind my own FMP, as I am also walking down different paths (within the Lake District) that allows me to experience the landscape (through the things that I encounter as well as the memories that it triggers), whilst also taking images for my FMP
  • Also, in relation to the photographic methodology that Partyka used, although I am not planning on using a snapshot aesthetic within my FMP photographs, I feel like I have gained inspiration from the way in which he has used this technique to highlight the hidden scenes through the documentation of the particular and the peculiar – this can relate to my FMP as I am planning on using conceptual landscape photography to document the hidden “scenes” of my personal memories that are triggered by different landscape

 


 

Fay Godwin (suggested in one-to-one with Anthony Luvera on 11th March 2015)

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  • http://www.djclark.com/godwin/
  • After conducting research into Fay Godwin’s work, I soon realized that he was suggested for me to research due to the aesthetic quality that his landscape photographs possess
  • When looking through examples of his landscape photographs, the first thing that the viewer may notice is the fact that Godwin’s images are displayed in black and white
    • This particular photographic decision, when being used for landscape photography, not only removes any distracting colouration from the landscape, but it also enhances the landscapes texture (including the clouds in the sky), which often creates a more impressive and immersive image through the fact that it provides a more closely related textual reference to the landscape subject that has been photographed
  • Once the viewer notices this first, relatively obvious aspect of the image, they then go on to observe the subject included within Godwin’s (landscape) photographs which often include compositional aspects of the landscape that lead the viewers eye into the image (including features such as paths and divots in a field)
    • These compositional, landscape elements, can then be used by the viewer to symbolize the idea of travelling (towards a particular destination) that can be associated with the act of walking that is usually experienced in the subject matter depicted
  • In regards to the natural conditions that Godwin captures within his photographs (including weather and lighting), he tends to photograph mundane and everyday conditions that usually incorporate the depiction of cloudy skies
    • The inclusion of these mundane conditions add to the reality and pure representation of the landscape as it appears to have been captured in conditions that viewers would usually experience (and associate) in this particular type of landscape
    • However, with this being said, Godwin uses his photographic techniques to manipulate these mundane conditions and natural cloudy skies to capture dramatic lighting within his images, affecting the overall atmosphere emitted by the image – for example, using the clouds to capture a more diffused light that focuses on the contrast of the clouds can create more ominous landscape images, whereas the use of spotlighting (created by gaps in the clouds) to enhance the shadows and textures of the landscapes often create slightly more dramatic landscape photographs

 

FMP Inspiration

  • By looking at the work of Fay Godwin, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP by gaining an understanding of how to create aesthetically pleasing landscape images in terms of compositional and lighting techniques
  • The first piece of inspiration that I am planning on taking away from Godwin’s work is that, although I am not planning on using black and white images for my FMP (as I feel that colour images will be able to capture the reality of the landscape more so than black and white images), I may experiment with the use of a black and white colouration to see how it affects the atmosphere elicited from the particular landscapes
  • Also, as suggested above, Godwin captured compositional elements within his landscape images (including leading lines) that suggested to the viewer the concept of travelling towards a particular destination
    • I could therefore apply similar compositional techniques to my FMP as I could use it to symbolize this idea that, whilst visiting these different locations within the Lake District, they are triggering my psychological journey to the memories of my Grandpa
  •  Finally, as stated previously, although I am planning on experimenting with photographing the landscape in a more documentarian style (rather than the overly dramatic, stereotypical landscape images as I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscapeeither through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography), the work by Godwin has also provided me with inspiration and knowledge regarding how to manipulate natural conditions in order to create slightly more dramatic and aesthetically pleasing (documentary) landscape photographs

 


 

Stephen Vaughan (suggested in one-to-one with Anthony Luvera on 11th March 2015)

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  • http://www.stephenvaughan.co.uk/index.html
  • Similar to Fay Godwin, after conducting research into Stephen Vaughan’s work, I soon realized that he was suggested for me to research due to the aesthetic quality that his landscape photographs possess
  • After researching into each of his projects, I soon realized that his project “Ultima Thule” would provide me with more relevant research for my FMP due to the subject the images depict and aesthetic qualities that they hold
  • Vaughan’s project “Ultima Thule” focuses on the photographic documentation of vast, barren landscapes that appear outer-worldly in their scale and lack of human presence
    • Wanting to enhance the natural atmosphere associated with these landscapes, Vaughan carefully considers the technical and aesthetic aspects of the photographs he creates (including the composition, natural conditions, lighting and colour), in order to highlight the unnerving sense the viewers experiences due to the unfamiliarity of these particular landscapes
    • In relation to the composition of the images, Vaughan mainly photographs his landscapes so that the horizons are found in the dead centre of the image (enhancing the documentation of the vast of nothingness included in both the landscape and its accompanying sky), but he also experiments with compositions that focus solely on the landscapes (excluding much more of the sky) in order to create an image that allows the landscapes to appear overpowering
    • As for the natural conditions that Vaughan captures within these landscape photographs, he tends to include bright skies (either through sheets of white clouds or dazzling light blue skies) and areas of mist, which further highlights the vastness and outer-worldly feel of the landscapes through their diffused light and colour that these conditions create
  • Something else that I noticed whilst looking at Vaughan’s “Ultima Thule” project is that he has also decided to include some triptych’s of his photographs
    • These triptych’s seem to create a discontinuous panorama of the landscape which not only enhances the vastness of this particular location, but also creates an opportunity for the viewer to focus on more detailed aspects of the landscape which highlights it’s outer-worldliness through it’s distinct unfamiliarity
  • However, although I said that I was focusing primarily on Vaughan’s “Ultima Thule” series, when looking through his work, I also noticed that there was another project called “A Catfish Sleeps” which, even though the subject and aesthetics of the images vary greatly from those that I want to create for my FMP, I thought that the introductory text incorporated in this particular project could be useful to include within this research
    • This is because, when looking through this collection, I noticed that without the text the viewer would be unsure as to the concept explored within this photographic collection, meaning that the text has been used as a tool to provide the viewers with a contextualized understanding of the project

 

FMP Inspiration

  • Although when looking at Vaughan’s work I thought that it was an incredibly beautiful collection of images and projects, I personally feel that the aesthetics used within these specific collection (to capture these particular concepts of vastness) can’t really be applied to the images that I want to create within my FMP
    • However, with this being said, I am still able to take away pieces of inspiration for the future development of my FMP in regards to some of the presentation techniques that he has used
  • The first piece of inspiration that I am going to consider for my FMP is Vaughan’s us of a triptych as a way of enhancing the concept of his project whilst also focusing the viewers attention on more specific details within the landscape depicted
    • I could apply this idea to my FMP as the use of a triptych could allow me to include detailed aspects from the projects methodology or the landscape I photographed (such as collected materials or pieces of text surrounding the memory I recall), in order to enhance the viewers gained, contextual understanding (and therefore, accessibility) to my (personal) project
  •  Finally, after looking at Stephen Vaughan’s “A Catfish Sleeps”, I will also be taking away inspiration regarding the way in which text has been used to provide the viewers with a greater contextual understanding and increased accessibility to the collection
    • Please note, I will be conducting further, more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post

 


 

Edgar Martins (suggested in one-to-one with Anthony Luvera on 11th March 2015)

  • http://www.edgarmartins.com
  • After researching into each of his projects, I soon realized that his projects “Black Minutes of Memorial Snow” and “The Diminishing Present” would provide me with more relevant research for my FMP due to the subject they depict and aesthetic qualities that they hold (please note, similar to Justin Partyka, the use of aesthetics in his landscape images can be seen throughout other collections, but I have simply decided to focus on these particular project as it offers me more examples to discuss)

 

  • “Black Minutes of Memorial Snow “
    • Starting off with my analysis and reflection of Martins “Black Minutes of Memorial Snow”, at the beginning of the project there is an accompanying essay (written by Cyrus Sharad) that poetically describes his experience of returning to a place of his childhood, which offers the viewers a personal, contextualized understanding of the images that are to follow
    • In relation to the photographs included in this particular project (found below), Martins mainly focuses on the creation and capturing of landscape images that represent the location that has been revisited (due to it’s association with their childhood)
      • However, as the viewer continues through the reading of the project, they soon notice that Martins has also included images depicting more close up details of the landscapes (including branches of a tree), as well as faceless portraits of women turned away from the camera
      • As the landscapes can be seen as a generalized response to this particular land, the inclusion of these portraits enhances the personal concept behind the creation of the project – however, due to the fact that the individual’s faces cannot be seen and identified, this means that the personal aspect of the project is still accessible to the viewer, as they are able to transmit their own personal history onto the generalized landscape and portrait images
      • Also, the inclusion of these images (both the detailed close-ups of the landscapes and the portraits) can be used to symbolize the concept behind the project (returning to a place after a considerable absence), as they can represent the aspects and people of the place that the returner remembers/hadn’t changed since his previous trip – in relation to the portrait images, these theories can be symbolized through the idea that making the individual “faceless” could represent the fact that they didn’t remember the persons face or that the persons face had changed over time (but the hair remained the same), for example
    • However, focusing primarily on the vast landscape images that have been included in throughout this project, Martins has taken the time to consider both technical and creative aspects in order to enhance the personal concept behind the project (as stated previously, the idea of returning to a place after a considerable absence)
      • Looking at the composition and perspective of the landscape photographs, Martins (usually) captured the landscape from quite a distance, whilst also placing the horizon in the centre of the image – both of these aspects can be used to symbolize the act of observing the landscape (rather than immersing the self within it), which could later be used by the viewer to suggest a possible detachment from the land that could have been caused by the absence experienced by the individual
      • In relation to the mundane and everyday natural conditions that Martins has captured within his landscape images (including lighting and weather conditions that appear usual to this part of the world), these can be used by the viewer to suggest that, even after the absence experienced by the individual providing the visual narrative, the landscape appears the same as to what was experienced on his past trip and, instead of searching for dramatic aspects to photograph, the individual simple wanted to return to the place to witness whether anything within the landscape (and the people) had changed since his considerable absence

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  • “The Diminishing Present”
    • When looking through Martins work, as suggested above, I decided to analyze the particular projects that I thought would be relevant to include for my FMP
    • Similar to this previous project that I looked at called “Black Minutes of Memorial Snow”, “The Diminishing Present” includes an accompanying description at the beginning of the series (written by Martins himself) that simply describes the projects inspiration and reasons for creation, which offers the viewers a personal (and academic), contextualized understanding of the images that are to follow
    • Now, focusing on the images that Martins presents in this particular collection, although when looking through these photographs I initially thought that the aesthetics displayed did not provide a similarity to the ones that I wanted to create for my FMP, I soon found that I was more interested in Martins use of aesthetics to symbolize his projects concept
    • As you can see from the images (that have been included below), Martins captures a mixture of both “natural”, misty conditions and artificial, darkened spotlight effects – now, in conjunction with the concept of the project (the idea that an individuals “home” is forever changing), these techniques can be used by the viewer to represent the idea of recognition and change by suggesting that the home he once knew is now fading (the mist) or disappearing into darkness (the darkened spotlight effect)

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FMP Inspiration

  • By looking at the work of Edgar Martins, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP in a number of different ways
  • The first piece of inspiration that I am planning on taking away from Martins’ work is the way in which text has been used to provide the viewers with a greater contextual understanding and increased accessibility to the collection
    • Please note, I will be conducting further, more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post
  •  Also (similar to Gossage, Gaffney and Mills), another thing that I may consider experimenting with through the development of my FMP is the inclusion of photographs depicting more detailed aspects of the landscape that I am photographing (that I have noticed on my journey), in order to enhance the concept (and methodology) behind my project and therefore the audiences understanding (which, as suggested above, was practiced by Martins through his incorporation of detailed, close-ups of the landscapes as well as portraits)
    • Please also note, that this may also be done through the inclusion of the natural materials I am planning on collecting natural materials whilst conducting my FMP (as suggested above)
  •  Finally, in relation to Martins’ “The Diminishing Present” project, I am also planning on taking away inspiration regarding the idea of using photographic aesthetics to enhance the projects concept
    • This could relate to my FMP as I could experiment with the use of different aesthetics to try and create photographic pieces of work that carries the concept of the project as an individual piece (however, looking at “The Diminishing Present” project in particular, I specifically liked the use of misty conditions to represent the idea of fading, and I could therefore link this technique to my FMP (either through it’s incorporation within the photographs or as a misty affect in the text – as David Moore has previously suggested to avoid creative fading techniques in photographs to represent the past as you are technically photographing the present as a representation of the past), in order to symbolize my projects main concept of revisiting particular places (in the Lake District) in order to trigger the recollection of personal memories that have faded over time)

 


 

“Hypermetropia” By Paul Graham (suggested in the one-to-one tutorial with David Moore on the 18th March 2015)

In a one-to-one tutorial that I had with David Moore (on the 18th March 2015), he suggested that I look at the work of Paul Graham’s “Hypermetropia”

  • After the discussions that we had in this one-to-one session, I knew that David Moore mainly wanted me to look at this particular piece of work due to the methodology and technique Graham employs throughout this project
  • As you will see below, for my research I have therefore decided to take the time to reflect on the methodology that Graham used (that was described in an essay that I found about the exhibition, which was written by curator Sean Rainbird – please see link below), whilst also briefly reflecting on the aesthetics of this projects images (please note, this section of reflection is only brief as I was unable to find visual examples of the individual photographs and only came across photographs of the exhibition installation at the Tate Britain) – these can be found bellow followed by the inspiration that I gained for my FMP):

 

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/art-now-paul-graham-hypermetropia

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The Methodology:

  • In relation to the methodology that Graham used for his “Hypermetropia” project, after reading the essay by curator Sean Rainbird, I can begin to understand why David Moore suggested I look at this particular piece of photographic work
  • Graham’s methodology uses “The Art of Walking” (discussed numerous times in previous research) to document a westward progression through the dense city of Tokyo in a single day
  • Starting from the top of Graham’s apartment block, he begins by taking an image (facing west) that includes the destination he has dedicated to be the next photographic stopping point (which is usually the building that can be seen in the middle distance of the photograph)
  • Continuing on this methodology, Graham creates images that include the buildings for the next photographic position which provides the viewers with visual markers for the route in which Graham will continue to take
  • This methodology therefore relates to my FMP because, as I am using “The Art of Walking” to try and trigger the psychological pathway to the memories of my Grandpa, I could therefore use this concept of capturing a path (or “route”) to suggest and symbolize the pathway of remembrance that have undergone by returning to these particular locations in the Lake District

 

The Photographs:

  • In relation to the photographs included in Graham’s “Hypermetropia”, as stated above, I am only able to briefly analyze his work due to the fact that I was unable to acquire any individual images
  • However, from the installation images that I have gained (and the information that was provided in the essay written by Rainbird), as briefly discussed above, Graham has carefully considered the composition of his images, deciding on the horizontal centralization of the landscapes horizon
    • This allows him to provide a consistency within his photographs throughout the collection, whilst also allowing him to suggest his next photographic stoppage point, which symbolizes the photographers progression through the city (when the images are viewed as collection)
  • Looking at the perspective of Graham’s photographs, as he is taking the images from the rooftops of the buildings and has situated his camera so that the horizon is in the centre of the image (rather than looking down onto the city, creating a balance between the city and the sky), instead of suggesting an overpowering and dominant sense (that the perspective of looking down would usually elicit), Graham’s images present a dreamlike atmosphere (emitted through the association that skies have with dream worlds which is further enhanced through the soft, subtle tones captured along the skyline)
    • This dreamlike atmosphere then provides a loose reference point to mythical creatures, such as giants, which is actually further enhanced through the scale that the city has been displayed and the idea that Graham has taken “giant” steps, over the city, from the creation of one of his photographs to the next
  • In relation to the mundane and everyday natural conditions captured within Graham’s photographs (including the lighting and the weather), although these may vary slightly between images (through the movement and changing of light and clouds, for example), they have simply been documented due to the methodology practiced by Graham throughout his project (that these images have been taken over a period of a day), which further enhances the collections association and representation of time, increasing the viewers understanding behind the concept of the piece

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • Similar to Justin Partyka, by looking at the work of Paul Graham, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP by gaining an understanding of the methodologies that he used throughout his projects (including practical and photographic)
  • In relation to the practical methodology that Graham employed throughout this particular collection, the main piece of inspiration that I will be taking away from this piece of research is the idea of creating images that illustrate the “Art of Walking” used within the creation of the project, whilst also giving the viewer a sense of direction and point of destination within the images – as briefly stated before, this methodology therefore relates to my FMP because, as I am using “The Art of Walking” to try and trigger the psychological pathway to the memories of my Grandpa, I could therefore use this concept of capturing a path (or “route”) to suggest and symbolize the pathway of remembrance that have undergone by returning to these particular locations in the Lake District
  • Finally, in relation to the photographic methodology that Graham used within his “Hypermetropia” project, although I only mentioned this briefly, I really appreciated the fact that his use of perspective (which created a balance between the land and the sky) not only created a directional (and consistent) sense within the collection, but also elicited a dreamlike state through the skies association with dreams, the mythical, and the free – this could therefore possibly relate to my FMP as I could experiment with the use of this balanced perspective to not only highlight the landscape that I am travelling on, but to also symbolize the dreamlike and psychological state it creates within me by triggering the recollection of my personal past memories

 


 

“View Of Matlock Bath” by George Miles (suggested in the one-to-one tutorial with David Moore on the 18th March 2015)

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  • http://www.georgemiles.co.uk/georgemiles/George_Miles.html
  • Similar to Fay Godwin and Stephen Vaughan, after conducting research into George Miles’ “View of Matlock Bath” project, I soon realized that he was suggested for me to research due to the aesthetic quality that his photographs possess
  • As you will see from the photographs included above, most of the images included in Miles’ collection are landscape images, but as the viewer progresses through the series, they also observe a couple of still-lives
    • Differing from the stereotypical, vast landscape images that are usually seen within this category of photography, Miles’s photographs tend to depict slightly more condensed landscapes which include aspects that enhance the mundane and the everyday elicited by the particular location he is photographing (Matlock Bath)
      • Bearing this in mind, Miles has also chosen to photograph his landscapes using colour film which allows him to depict a more realistic and everyday representation of the land
    • The inclusion of varying still-life images, in conjunction with the landscape photographs that dominate the collection, can be used by the viewer to gain a conceptual understanding of the project through providing them with a visual clue to suggest that Miles was exploring the towns landscape and that he simply photographed aspects that he came across (which he either experienced, or was interested in) – for example, the still-life image of the café can be used to suggest that Miles experienced a break from his exploration of the town; the images document his process
  • This particular idea (of photographing things that he experienced or was interested in) is enhanced through the documentarian, simplistic and “straight-forward” capturing of these aspects within the landscape, which, as suggested above, can be used to enhance this ideology of exploration – this then relates back to the title of the work “View of Matlock Bath”, as it can be used to suggest that it is his personal viewer that has been depicted throughout the project, rather than a generalized view that the title may suggest
    • Although this idea offers a similarity to Justin Partyka’s work, Miles’ methodology differs slightly from Partyka’s as, instead of eliciting a snapshot aesthetic, his images seem slightly more considered and controlled in terms of composition (which is one of the aspects that helped in the identification of a documentary style of photography)
      • This can be seen through the idea that Miles has made conscious decisions through the positioning of the main aspects within the particular landscapes in order to focus the viewers attention on them
      • This idea of carefully considered documentation, in relation to the concept of exploration discussed above, can be used by the viewer to suggest that Miles has visited these particular locations on numerous occasions, and that he is possible even a native to the town – although he does use a generalized, documentary aesthetic, this, along with the subjects that he photographs (which he either experienced or was interested in, as suggested above) and the title of the collection, can be used to enhance the personal aspect of the project whilst still allowing it to remain accessible to the viewer
    • In relation to the natural conditions Miles has captured throughout his (landscape) images (including lighting and weather conditions), as you will see, they tend to mirror the subjects of his images through the fact that they appear to be mundane and everyday
      • However, as the viewer progresses through the collection, they begin to notice that the lighting and conditions captured within each of the photographs can be used to suggest different parts of the day (for example, including frost to suggest early morning and a lower sun to suggest the evening)
      • This aesthetic inclusion provides the project with a sense of time which not only enhances the concept of an explorative journey (as he may have want to explore the town and different moments in the day), but this, in turn, can be used as evidence that Miles is a returning native to the town (due to his confidence to revisit these particular “off-road” locations at different times in the day)

 

FMP Inspiration

  • By looking at George Miles’ “View of Matlock Bath” project, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP in terms of the practical and photographic aesthetics he employed throughout the creation of his collection
  • The main piece of inspiration that I will be taking away from Miles’ project is that, when observing his work, I though that these images were shot in a very similar style to what I want to try and create for my FMP because, as suggested above, (similar to Wilcox, Gossage, Gaffney and Mills) Miles uses a documentary aesthetic when capturing his landscape photographs
    • This has provided me with a visual example that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images (because, as stated before, I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography)
  •  Also, I’m planning on taking away inspiration from the fact that Miles carefully considered the composition and perspective of his images in order to provide the viewer with a visual clue to suggest the personal aspect of the project (revisiting these particular locations due to the fact that he was actually a native to this specific area), whilst also keeping the project accessible to the viewer through the generalized subject matter that his photographs depict
    • This can relate to my FMP (especially the feedback that I have received suggesting that my project is “too personal” and needs to be made “more accessible to the viewer” (suggested by both Matt Johnston and Anthony Luvera in numerous one-to-one and formative feedback session – please see in my “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Getting the “Go Ahead” (One-to-One Tutorial with Matt Johnston)”, “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Lecture 2 (One-to-One Tutorial with Anthony Luvera)” and “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Lecture 7 (Formative Feedback Review)” blog posts) because, in my FMP I could simply use carefully controlled depictions of the landscape (including the subject I photograph, compositions, and the images aesthetic qualities) to suggest the personal aspect of the project, whilst also keeping it accessible to the viewer through the landscapes generalized documentation
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