project 3: Learning from other photographers

Project 3: Self evaluation

Research point and self evaluation

  • Areas that stand out for me in terms of further development are those related to the critical and conceptual clarification of the work before undertaking it. Clarifying the theme and then the execution of it, are two areas that need further development in my photography practice. Being selective about what is placed in the frame is a part of this process. Other areas that have needed work but have improved are those of critical analysis of images. I have been systematically working on image analysis for a number of weeks to improve this area.
  • From my second report from the tutor he highlighted that there was a need to review the lighting that was used in one or two of the frames that I took. Lighting is an area that obviously makes photography work. Whilst I am exploring this area a lot with the exercises, I need to put more time into developing a knowledge of the effects of light. The third area is that of ‘thinking it through’ more clearly before beginning to shoot the series or image. This is something that needs to be kept in mind during the actual process of shooting. Reflection around this area and more as to why something did not work could also be strengthened.• The sort of photos that I want to produce are those that have impact; emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and visually. They will be images that are broad ranging, dramatic and direct. I would like to develop the skills as a photographer to be able to visualise and execute striking images that make people think and reflect about the world that they live in and how they live. I see the world as in urgent need of change and in need of new values which need to be brought out more clearly in general society.

My vision for photography

• On the whole the type of photography I wish to produce will, I think, lean more towards the conceptual. Whilst I am interested in theory in all genres and types of photography and look to develop in my own practice a broad skills base, my interest lies primarily with the conceptual dimension in the sense of offering a challenge to the viewer or a way that he/she can re-view what is before them. In this sense I am quite an idealist. For me this is the value and import of photography. Taking elements from each of the above photographers would go some way to realising what it is I hope to do with my photography. Learning to let ideas flow a bit more freely could help that process to unfold.

• Key photographers:

James Natchwey, Barbara Kruger,Duane Michals, Paul strand, Philip Lorca di corcia.

Starting with Philip lorca di dicoricia. There are several elements to di corcia’s images that I appreciate. Firstly the way that he stages the image with light that accentuates the character often but not always within a crowd of people. His use of light is somewhat theatrical. Next, the figures are sometimes in gestures of contemplation. There is a happening or interaction between one or more people that place a tension in the scene.

James Natchwey is principally a war photographer or as he laterally renamed himself an ‘ANTIWAR PHOTOGRAPHER’. Whilst he deals with the scenes of suffering and war in a way that is strangely ascetically pleasing in a sense of drawing a balance between the figure and the surroundings,he is inspiring for his capacity to do this.

Paul strand appeals for his clean ascetic lines and the way that he portrays the ordinary in a very pleasing way. Shadows, gate posts and ordinary objects take on different meanings at the camera.

Barbara Kruger has the element of punch in her images that I refer to when I say that my primary interest in photography is the social domain and conceptual work. Whilst I do not always find the images themselves captivating, the use of slogans and writing in her work does encapsulate something intriguing and strong. I like the boldness with which she works. It forces the listener viewer to think and pay attention.

Duane Michals I hold as inspiration for the fact that the work is very much an inner journey. The way his sequences develop I find intriguing and enlivening. They make me see things in a new light and provoke thought, in much photography that I see.




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