‘Photography is Simple’
Although I am not going to necessarily talk about the quotation from Groskopf here, which is included in the course materials, I am more interested in his work and the effect it could have on my shoot and how it could inspire me. Looking at some of his imagery, especially from street photography, it really made me think about doing a shoot that looked gritty, very vibrant and showing similarities to this. If you look at his street photography, pictures such as the boy eating his Wendy’s shows the ‘typical youth’ cool rays and eating junk food, looking stylish, stereotypically. I think his images are captured in the moment, of not necessarily of important, attractive things, but the subtle everyday life moments, the lazy, chilled out ‘yeah whatever’ moments. The little things, that are not normally noted, or observed. I also noticed his portraits are not of attractive young models, or any of that jazz, but older people, very close up uneasy, and people off guard to the camera. Some of the framing including some head chop because of how close.
Kajioka’s work is very unique. It is rather hard to write about if I’m honest. It looks very old, and some images are very strange, hard to work out. It is not the type of imagery I am considering for my final shoot. But I can see why certain aspects would be very beneficial for style and the way the images are presented for someone looking to do that kind of work. Some of the work looks incorrectly exposed, and that also makes it hard to figure out what it is we are exactly looking at.
Although the artists above fall under ‘research’ in the assignment brief. I must say that they were both very interesting to look at. Michele’s work was rather relevant after all in terms of my vision for the shoot. Although I have not revealed my shoot plan, the way he captures his subject is definitely an aspect in the forefront of my mind. The other artist, was not relevant to my shoot but still good work in terms of photography.
Ane Hjort Guttu
When listening to the passage from Ane’s ‘studio visit’ at around 18 minutes, talking about the quotation which I found situated in the OCA EYV course materials. I found it to be a very relatable and soothing quote from her. I was thinking to myself ‘ yeah I get what she is saying’. Like most photographers, I think very similar to this. Everyday people who photograph, that are not ‘photographers’ but just use devises to ‘capture an attractive moment’ do not see photography in the same context as a legitimate photographer. For example, they take pictures of sunsets, beautiful views, friends, family, visually attractive and soothing subjects that make the person who captured them feel happy, and enjoyment which eventually will bring back memories of ‘old times’ when looking back at the images. On the other hand, photographers that capture, texture, emotions, links, shapes, viewpoint, etc. focus on these ideas, to push the boundaries of photography. Once you understand the quote and you learn photography and your photography brain is created, it is very easy to go out and see the world in a different perspective to the one you had before. You see an object, one that usually, you wouldn’t bat an eyelid at, but then after this transformation, you’re studying it, thinking ‘ that texture is insane, look at the colouring!’ and this becomes an everyday task. It changes you, like living everyday life ‘normally’ then having a life changing situation, then going around ‘humbled’. That’s just the way it goes.
Below you can read the quote, which I found within the course materials, there is also a link so that you can listen to the full podcast itself.
‘I was in this state where everything could be art, or not… as if I was inside a zone where all things could be the result of a higher formal awareness: the roads, the chewing gum on the sidewalk, the yellow light over the city on our way home from kindergarden. Or it could not be, it didn`t matter any more. Everything became art, and in that same moment nothing’.
(Ane Hjort Guttu, 2016, cited in Photography 1 Expressing your Vision 2018:112)
(Resonance FM, 2016)
Martin Parr, a photography favourite, for his typical British seaside imagery amongst other bodies of work, is an artist I have decided to use as part of my research for my final shoot. I feel he is a well accomplished photographer that shows the grittiness for my shoot in which I can sponge off slightly to role for my shoot. As you can see from the image below, by the framing, how he is focused on the food, the texture and how it has been eaten. The colours, very vibrant and the texture captured by the close up of the food in this instance. For me he is a unique photographer that clearly shows what he wants you the viewer to see. Throughout his images, his subjects and his framing are especially important because this is what makes him a really good candid photographer. Representing the life as it is and how people are when they are not set up for photographs but are just your typical everyday person doing themselves without them knowing that he is capturing them in such an unattractive way.
Fig.11. ‘Think of England’ (2000)
Martin Parr v2
After my feedback for the last assignment, my tutor recommended that I spend some time looking at Parr’s work again from a different perspective. Taking the image above, I will analyse this, this time, with a new way of thinking. This will be different from my initial response as I will be asking myself different questions in order to dig deeper in regards to his work and the meaning of his work and his way of working.
The deeper relation to this image is the meat, and how the meat is presented and how he as a subject is interacting with the meat and how he is pulling it apart with his teeth and being a predator eating his prey. Solley this image is about that connection, as the framing doesn’t want you to get to know him, and his other features, nor anything else in relation that is close within the frame. All we care about here is how he is pulling apart the meat with his teeth and how the texture of the meat is so greasy and unattractive.
The series of images from ‘Think of England’ are all very stereotypical in the sense that you associate the activities with English culture and how we live. When capturing them, Parr himself does not think about getting some fancy framing or the most gorgeous view, but rather, this body of work represents and tell us how, stereotypically, we see and perceive England and its typical culture. Typically based on certain characteristics that define you as English in what you do, and eating bacon baps is one of them, apparently. So, what makes them part of a series is the fact that they all have this in common, similar characteristics that tell us about the culture of the place we are from, England.
Having looked at Jeff Wall in an earlier project, I found him as one of the suggested readings in my feedback. When I went to look at his work again with my new strategy for analysing work, I was very surprised by my thoughts on his work and how I now saw his images. Before I was looking at the colours, the contents etc. but now I am looking for that deeper meaning, and when looking in particular the image in the link below, I had a lot to analyse.
Firstly, the location in which the image is set is surprising. When boxing, typically you would be in a gym or a ring. Here, the location is a very relaxed social area for chilling, typically, and they are doing a very violent sport, so it contrasts against the location. Also, when doing sports inside, a lot of people can relate to a family figure or someone telling you to ‘be careful’ ‘do not break anything’ and you could feel the same about this image, the setting is a well presented, nice space, which doesn’t look cheap and tacky. The image also makes me wonder who’s house it is as I doubt it would be theirs as they only look like kids and would not be able to afford that kind of property, more so it makes me think about why Jeff was there and why he decided to take this picture and his purpose for taking the image. For me, it feels like he is a spectator, like we are too, watching in on the sport and what they are doing. You could almost say it is like a decisive moment, but this might be staged or it could be something that he has taken without them noticing, again, there are many questions, I believe in this image that we can ask, like ‘Are they play fighting?’ and ‘Who are they?’ which makes his work mysterious. Finally, Is the photograph about friendship or rivalry?