First set of images towards my Work In progress portfolio, from the first Somerset Carnival that I have visited, looking at community and social capital. I have annotated the contact sheets and the Images can be viewed full size by clicking on the thumbnail and selecting ‘View Full size‘ in the gallery view.
Week 2 Forum: ‘Other than Photography’
Find a piece of work that has some kind of link to your own practice or research interests (you may already have something in mind or you may need to give this some thought). This could be anything you like – a film, a painting, a piece of text; but not a photograph.
Living wines app.†
I was shown this app last Christmas and could see right away the application and potential in presenting an enhanced, and extended experiential photography. Augmented reality, which the app is based, is already being used in a variety of commercial settings. For example, I have seen it used to augment traditional books and make the characters sit up off the page and talk and interact with you.‡ This has the potential to become cliche, or distracting of the central themes. However, in terms of including the subject that you are photographing, the technology, if used collaboratively and compassionately, could lead to interesting new ways to present photography.
Linking to this week’s reading and the studium and punctum,§ it could be used to add additional elements to the subjects story, such as audio narration of the background and context of the image to create that ‘puntum’ moment of resonance in the image.
I have been considering and exploring for a while, the fundamental impact that ‘gaming’ technology is going to have on all of the creative industries. Related to Marshal McLuhans discussions around ‘The Medium is the Message.’¶ the mediums and platforms that are associated with this technology. For example, Photo-realistic rendering and powerful software such as Unreal Engine are being used in creative ways outside of their intended use, such on screen graphics for the Weather Channel.# Real-time photorealistic rendering is starting to be used in film,** and companies such as ‘The Mill’ are developing innovative motion capture solutions for automotive applications.††
- *Shahen, M. (2019). 19 Crimes Wine. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://youtu.be/9pjrl3ORqXM?t=11 [Accessed 29 Sep. 2019].
- †Livingwinelabels.com. (2019). Augmented Reality Living Wine Labels App – Living Wine Labels. [online] Available at: https://www.livingwinelabels.com/en-gb [Accessed 29 Sep. 2019].
- ‡YouTube. (2019). Popar Augmented Reality Children’s Books. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/hIqQ7igjjek?t=26 [Accessed 29 Sep. 2019].
- §Barthes, R. (1993). Camera Lucida. London: Vintage.
- ¶McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q. and Agel, J. (2008). The medium is the massage. London: Penguin.
- #Blondin, A. (2019). Floods and Fires: How The Weather Channel Uses Unreal Engine to Keep You Safe. [online] Unreal Engine. Available at: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/spotlights/floods-and-fires-how-the-weather-channel-uses-unreal-engine-to-keep-you-safe [Accessed 29 Sep. 2019].
- **Alexander, J. (2019). Star Wars: Rogue One’s best character was rendered in real time, a cinema first. [online] Polygon. Available at: https://www.polygon.com/2017/3/1/14777806/gdc-epic-rogue-one-star-wars-k2so [Accessed 29 Sep. 2019].
- ††Vimeo. (2019). The Mill BLACKBIRD. [online] Available at: https://vimeo.com/171939943 [Accessed 29 Sep. 2019].
Global Photography: Key Concepts*
Patrick Waterhouse reflects on the use of Anthropological photography in his series ‘Restricted Images’† where he considers how the subject of the image can be represented and participate in the creation of the image.‡ This is also something I have been getting very interested in after reading ‘Decolonizing the Camera: Photography in Racial Times’ and after the formal apology made by ‘National Geographic’§ and how this relates to my own previous practice as a Travel Photographer and how it was essentially my job to present the ‘exotic’ back to primarily a western audience and show images of the world that would have inevitably been seen before:
Very much linked to my answer to the question ‘Do you see parallels between the historic spread of photography and the transmission of digital imagery today?’ from the second presentation. There are parallels seen on Instagram that have been observed through accounts, such as: @Insta_Repeat# that is showing how social media platforms are converging into showing a generic unchallenging, albeit aesthetically pleasing image.
Again linking to the point about social media and how the rough edges begin to get ‘sanded’ down and companies such as Google ‘filter’ and edit content to suit a locality**
- *Bate, D. (2016). Global Photography in Photography: The key concepts. 2nd ed. London: Bloomsbury
- †Waterhouse, P. (2018). Restricted images. 1st ed. London: Self Publish, Be Happy, SPBH Editions.
- ‡Seymour, T. (2019). Restricted Images by Patrick Waterhouse and the Warlpiri. [online] British Journal of Photography. Available at: https://www.bjp-online.com/2019/03/restricted-images-by-patrick-waterhouse-and-the-warlpiri/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].
- §Goldberg, S. (2019). For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It. [online] National Geographic. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/04/from-the-editor-race-racism-history/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].
- ¶Waterhouse, P. (2018). Restricted images. 1st ed. London: Self Publish, Be Happy, SPBH Editions.
- #Instagram.com. (2019). Insta Repeat (@insta_repeat) • Instagram photos and videos. [online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/insta_repeat/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].
- **Hern, A. (2019). Google ‘working on censored search engine’ for China. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/02/google-working-on-censored-search-engine-for-china [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].
Presentation 1: The Global Image – A Worldwide Medium
Do you see parallels between the historic spread of photography and the transmission of digital imagery today?
Yes, generational shifts in technology also serve to perpetuate this. For example, the introduction of the iPhone has had a fundamental impact on the transmission of imagery.† After reading ‘Photography Changes Everything’ this week, Heiferman writes ‘We need, use, and respond to photographs in their myriad forms for all sorts of reasons’.‡ The transmission of digital imagery today could be considered part of our throwaway, scrolling culture, that has developed through the proliferation of the internet, whereas at the beginning of photography, it was considered and used as a literal record of reality, used as record.§ It feels that today, the currency of the internet is in imagery, distributed with a disregard to any real impact that the image might have to the point that the images start to cut away any of the controversial and niche elements that may have and be funnelled into a more generic image, which we are starting to see on sites such as instagram.¶ The same arguments, it seems, were being directed at ‘The Family of Man’ exhibition (Fig.1), where the resulting images did not necessarily challenge, and when they were, a concession was made.# In a sense the spread of photography could be viewed as cyclical.
Are there problems associated with the speed at which the photography moves?
Now we have reached a point where the photographic image is so ubiquitous that it discarded almost as soon as it is created, through the medium of Snapchat and Instagram Story features. Photographs start to lose their value.
Presentation 2: The Global Image – Windows On The World
What do you make of the mirror and window analogy? As a practitioner do you identify more closely with one or the other?
“in metaphorical terms the photograph is seen as either
a mirror, a romantic expression of the photographer’s sensibility as it projects itself onto the things and sights of this world, or as a window through which the exterior world is explored in all its presence and reality”**
Something that I have never really considered as a photographer, however for ‘The View Through your Window’ task, it was the ‘Mirror’ that I naturally gravitated to. That said, I have always been interested in how the viewfinder crops and as a photographer you make conscious, sometimes unconscious choices on what to omit from the final image. Editing out the less than aesthetic elements of a scene.
Presentation 3: The Global Image – Unity and Change
Do you think the power and influence of the photograph is overstated? If so, does this devalue the true extent of the role of the photography in bringing about change or is the power of photography as advocacy in fact understated?
The photograph may very well be supplemented by other media, such as video. However, I think that, in the examples given during this presentation, it is the image that remains ingrained on our collective psyche, and it is the still image that forms the reference point for the discussion.
What photographs or bodies of work come to mind when you think of those that have inspired unity and change?
Alice Seeley Harris’s‡‡ images of the congo are widely regarded as one of the first Humanitarian photography projects and contributed to the end of Slavery in the Belgian Congo. However, a Critique of this work in ‘Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time’§§ notes that the images were presented, in part, as an ideological choice between Belgian Catholicism, and British Imperialism, with a white European gaze.
Don McCullin’s vast work as a conflict photographer includes many images that have become iconic of the genre. His recent retrospective exhibition## at Tate Britain was critically reviewed by Lewis bush who noted his re-positioning as an ‘Artist’ and that his work had begun to move away from the original intention, meaning and context in which much of it was produced.***
- *The Family of Man (1955) [Exhibition]. MOMA, New York. January 24–May 8 1955.
- †Malik, O., (2019). With the iPhone 7, Apple Changed the Camera Industry Forever. [online] The New Yorker. Available at: https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/with-the-iphone-7-apple-changed-the-camera-industry-forever [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].
- ‡Heiferman, M. (2012). Photography changes everything. 1st ed. New York: Aperture, p.Introduction.
- §Tagg, J. (1993). The burden of representation. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press.
- ¶Bored Panda. (2019). Somebody Is Showing How Instagram Photos Are All Starting To Look The Same And It’s Pretty Freaky. [online] Available at: https://www.boredpanda.com/social-media-instagram-identical-photos/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].
- #Bate, D. (2016). Photography. 2nd ed. London: Bloomsbury, p.14.
- **Mirrors and Windows, American Photography since 1960 (1978) [Exhibition]. Museum of Modern Art, New York. 28 July 1978 – 2 October 1978.
- ††Liverpoolmuseums.org.uk. (2019). Alice Seeley Harris – International Slavery Museum, Liverpool museums. [online] Available at: https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ism/exhibitions/brutal-exposure/alice-seeley-harris.aspx [Acce
- ‡‡Liverpoolmuseums.org.uk. (2019). Alice Seeley Harris – International Slavery Museum, Liverpool museums. [online] Available at: https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ism/exhibitions/brutal-exposure/alice-seeley-harris.aspx [Accessed 26 Sep. 2019].
- §§Sealy, M. (n.d.). Decolonising the camera. 1st ed. London: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd.
- ¶¶McCullin, D. (2019). The Bogside Londonderry Northern Ireland 1971. [image] Available at: https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/arts/don-mccullin-tate-britain-exhibition-photography-a4060401.html [Accessed 26 Sep. 2019].
- ##Tate Britain presents a comprehensive retrospective of the legendary British photographer Don McCullin (2019) [Exhibition]. Tate Britain, London. 5 February 2019-6 May 2019.
- ***Bush, L. (2019). Nihilistic Photojournalism? Don McCullin at Tate Britain. [online] Disphotic. Available at: http://www.disphotic.com/nihilistic-photojournalism-don-mccullin-at-tate/ [Accessed 26 Sep. 2019].
This is the view from my bedroom window at home. I lead a busy life, balancing my career, and the wonderful demands of my 2 year old daughter. The overgrown spider plant, an unmade bed, and a dirty window of the rented house, that I live in with my wife and daughter are reflective of this!
25/09/19 – Reflecting after considering the presentations and reading
The image I chose to present was taken far back in the room to put more emphasis on the interior, or ‘this side’ of the window. An important omission as I felt that I wanted to show how busy my life is in a simplistic way and also provide some kind of background to me. It was also an opportunity to show others my hectic world, as we are all about to start the process of the MA. Deliberate too, was the fact that I did not really feature the view out through the window, or the ‘other side’ of the window as it is a view I am not particularly fond of: a busy through road, in the town where I live in a rented home, that is also a little rundown. The image could be considered as a mirror* in that sense; my decision to step back into the room says more, actually, about me and my situation than making a comment on the outside world – what I hoped to convey about myself.
- *Alexander, J. (2019). Week 1 Presentation 2: The Global Image – Windows On The World.