General Research/ Exercise 2.1 – Blow-Up Movie
After reading Exercise 2.1 Zoom, I thought I would dig a little deeper for my research on this exercise. I decided rather than research an artist, or look at photographs with grain in, I would watch the movie example given in the brief. So, with that, I brought Blow-Up. I watched the film, and while it was made a long time ago and films have come a long way since then, I did still think that the storyline was rushed and the film slightly random, as he seemed to be pacing around to various locations without much of a storyline. But in relation to the grain part of the film, it was very interesting what he discovered in his work and how by blowing the image up, even though it turned grainy, he discovered an aspect of the image he missed in the first viewing. For me, photographs capture that moment there and then, with every single detail captured in the image, whether recognised or intended or not. In that slight glimpse of time, that moment is captured forever. Photographs contain so much detail that is not always discovered. In the film if he didn’t search, he would never have found what he discovered (the man in the bush with the gun). There are most likely millions of photos out there containing something astonishing in them, without the owner even realising. But in the film, he finds it hard to solve what it is he has not yet found because of the grain of the image, which we have less problems with in the modern age as there are tools to correct, and technology has come so far. All in all, despite being a slightly odd film for me, the story line is intriguing and portrays an interesting insight into photographs and their potential to capture the slightest of detail, and can clearly see why the UCA have used it as an example within the exercise.
Blow-Up 1966 directed by Michelangelo Antonioni Vanessa Redgrave and David Hemmings
General Research/ Exercise 2.1 Zoom – Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer who was around between the 19th-20th Century. I am familiar with his work as I researched him at A Level. The reason I have researched him here though is because his work is fairly old and this means the quality of his images are not as strong as images are these days, meaning some are slightly grainy. I think that his photographs are very well composed and can give a real insight to what life was like back in the days, and how the cities looked. Although you can see the images clear enough, if you were to zoom in to look for detail, this would be impossible as it would be too grainy. This research isn’t to emulate as such, more to give examples of grain images and how important detail can be, and if only his images were more detailed and produced this day in age. His images give a sense of mystery of what could be there if there was more detail. I like how he takes them head on also, without any fancy angles. He is a well renowned photographer who will always have a place in photography’s history. You can check out my annotations of his work on `part 2, Project 1, where I talk about his images in more depth.
From My Window at the Shelton, West, 1931 (gelatin silver print)
Exercise 2.2 Viewpoint – Joel Meyerowitz
When talking about viewpoint, Joel Meyerowitz is your man. After reading the brief to the exercise, I thought ‘how on earth am I going to do research in order to do a shoot in relation to viewpoint’ but then I remembered about one of the legends, Joel Meyerowitz. Like most of my research, having known about his work previously, he was the ideal candidate to help with this exercise. Having researched him before I am highly familiar with the American’s skills. In a few of his photo shoots he takes advantage of viewpoint. He sets his sights on a particular point and photographs it from different angles. Usually a massive well-respected piece of architecture. For example, the Empire State building. As he takes shots from different angles, this gives us different views of the same building from different areas that surround it. I find this very interesting as the areas seem to vary most of the time in terms of wealth, and you can tell this visually. So, for my shoot, considering his work, I can remember that viewpoint, even a change in the slightest can influence the frame of an image. Please take time to read my work which annotates his images in depth so you can get some more understanding of the impact of viewpoint. Although, if you do not have time then underneath is a series from the Empire State, showing the views that surround the point.
©Joel Meyerowitz – Empire State
Exercise 2.3 Focus – Dorothea Lange
Dorothea Lange was an American photographer who did documentary photography in the Great Depression. I came across her work by chance when researching for a previous exercise, I noted down her name just in case I needed it for future reference. When I came across this exercise, I thought she would be the ideal artist to research. She offers photographs of people who are fairly close up, not much facial expression and really interactive in terms of meeting the eye. So, I thought, why not! Dorothea was a very well-known photographer back along and has published many images to do with the Great Depression. This suggests why the people she photographed had such bland facial expressions. Nevertheless, her photographs are intriguing and excellent. I feel her work would be a good idea to cover to help me in preparation for my shoot of focus.