Assignment 4 Research


‘The Languages of Light’


As I have already done research for the exercise, I didn’t feel It was necessary to do loads of research because I already have some. But I felt that because I was developing my ideas, trying new approaches and trying to make my photography more successful, I decided to do three artists, which I feel will help benefit my work going forward. This is development research.

Anna Atkins


Lastrea dilatato, British, 1853

Although this is very old, it clearly shows form, it may not be helped by lighting as such, but it definitely shows form. The form of a plant, which is the subject I am looking to do for the coming shoot. With the plain background it stands out very well against it and you can see in fairly good detail. Because it is a very old image, you cannot really tell aspects such as texture or talk about foreground or background as such as there is not much to comment on. Same with the colour. The only real aspect of the image which can be discussed is the form of the plant and the symmetry and the pattern of the plant. As you can see the plant is very symmetrical and has a lot of pattern in the leaves themselves. That is really the main focus of the image.


Edit – I did not realise at the time, foolishly, that in fact this wasn’t an image. It is actually a cyanotype. Therefore, I cannot comment about it being a photograph. Although, I can still talk about its form and it can still be important even though it is not a photograph. This cyanotype can still contribute towards my photography and how I approach the shoot.


Emma Davies

If you click on the link above it will take you to an image which I think is a really appealing image, yet very spiny with the colours and the overlap of the leaves. The texture is very soft as all the leaves look like they are just bellowing out. The background works well being white as this brings out the colour of the flowers. I don’t feel if the colour of the background was black it would seem so calming, but more striking. And that is how the background can influence the image so much. The colour of the flower varies and goes from very strong in the centre to pale on the outside. This makes the image very appealing because I like how it changes in tones throughout instead of consistently being one colour. The angle, which is what I went for when I was shooting is from above, this helps because you can see a lot of the flower, although not the stem, but the main parts, which from the side, you would not get. I think shooting flowers, have to be from above because of the way they are presented by their form. You tend to look at a flower from its top, not side on. The flower, like most flowers, is very symmetrical, and looks really beautiful as a whole image.

Paul Mitchell



This image is very close in, and shows water droplets on a leaf. The form of the water droplets is what really caught my eye as they are formed from the rain, which is natural, and something I considered doing for my shoot. I think the droplets look incredible and really strange.  They come in all shapes and sizes. The texture of the leaf looks rough, it looks hard and the droplets look slimy and I think would have a very strange alien like feel to them. The colour of the water droplets is intriguing as they are see-through, they look a shiny green, but then at the same time look silver (some of them) which really spices up the image. This is mostly likely produced by the lighting of the image. This angle has been taken from above, which is pretty standard for a shot like this. I feel like all the droplets are surrounding the stem of the flower like they’re an army. Also, the droplets remind me of jewellery as they seem transparent and expensive because of their shine. Overall, this image is very satisfying and shows the form of the droplets, using the leaf as a background and the form of the leaf.

Robert Mapplethorpe

Orchid 1987 by Robert Mapplethorpe 1946-1989

Orchid, 1987

After receiving my feedback for assignment 4, this artist was in one of the suggested readings. I had a look at his work and can see why his work is mentioned. I instantly see a shade on the flower where the light source has been projected. This helps the image and how it is viewed because of the shading. If the whole of the image was dark or light it wouldn’t look the same, and there wouldn’t be many tones if any. With it dark at the front left, this brings some dark shade into it making it seem 3D. In all, the form of the flower stands out amongst the background and is very sharp, uses a variety of tones which makes visually attractive and interesting to look at instead of all being bland. Because of the tones, the plant seems dry, and because of the shape and the fact there are no vibrant colours, which makes a sad feel to the image.

Michiko Kon


Zebra and Japanese Socks, 2010. Silver Print 81,3 by 101,6 cm (32 by 40 inches) Edition 3 of 15

This image is also from an artist, which was in the suggested reading, and I had a look. I thought in terms of form, and texture, the body of work is very appealing. The images are strange, but at the same time weirdly satisfying. The one above is kind of creepy, but the texture of the horse’s body, seems rough but with a hard but slick feel to it. The form of the object is unique and entails a variety of objects to make one. To make an image, it is like the artist has just gathered some objects and suited them together to create a unique object. Because it is black and white, the colour cannot take away the fact that this has many different tones throughout, all in which mix in the image making it stand out in certain areas dependant on the tone because of the object within.  The different variety of objects also offer multiple textures, which change throughout.


© Lewis.Gibson.Photography.2019

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