Project 2 – Lens Work
Kim Kirkpatrick – Reseach
In Part 2 – Lens Work, I have read through and it mentions various artists and their work, and a lot to do with depth of field. My favourite artist from the selection mentioned was Fay Godwin, who I talk about over in my research section as I felt her work is so impressive it deserves a mention. Further on it says to look over a body of work called ‘Early Work’ by Kim Kirkpatrick. When I tried to access this work, it seems that the domain has expired and someone else has taken it. So, the website therefore no longer exists. I contacted the OCA and they have taken it into consideration and have given me another students work that shows Kim’s early work thankfully. So I have selected three images from Kirkpatricks work to discuss more in depth, especially how he manages the fine balance between blur and focus within his images. Please see below for my annotations.
In this first image, Kirkpartrick manages to use shallow depth of field to produce this wonderful piece of work which shows what looks like some sort of plant in focus with the rest of the background blurred out to focus on this small object in the foreground. The background is so blurred out that you cannot make out what it is at all. It is quite impressive how this has been captured with today’s technology. He has managed to make it really crisp and in focus compared with his surroundings. The colour makes it slightly hard to see as it blends with the background, but when it is against the black background, it really stands out.
In this second Image by Kirkpartrick, the same idea has been used with the shallow depth of field. Again, using a small object in the foreground he has managed to keep it crisp and in focus with the background blurred. Every time you look away from the main subject to venture in the background, your eye is lead straight back to the main focus because the eye cannot concentrate on the background as it isn’t in focus. Making it unconfutable to look at. The subject, including the line stands out firmly from the blur. What he wants to keep in focus, he can, the whole subject, it’s not like part of it is blurred and a tiny part in focus. Usually, with most photographers, the yellow part at the bottom would be in focus, and the line (that looks like string) and the background would be blurred out. But he has managed to keep the line in focus also which looks really sharp and has a cool effect on the image.
Like the other two, this image has the subject in the foreground in focus and the background blurred. The subject looks sharp including the outline of the subject. You can clearly tell where the subject begins and where the background begins, because of the blur and the focus. You can clearly see the difference and it doesn’t blend with each other. This is helped massively though, by the colouring of the subject and the background as they are so drastically different in those terms. The difference the blurred background brings to the subject also is the texture in this image, how the subjects looks hard, strong and sustainably firm, whereas the background looks soft.
Overall, Kirkpatrick early work is impressive, you can clearly identify the subject in each of his images and how he manages a fine balance between areas of focus and blur. He doesn’t over blur an image and messes up the subject, he knows what he wants blurred, and what he wants in focus, and he knows what he wants you to focus on, clearly.
Research Point – Project 2 – Lens Work
Read around the photographers above and try to track down some of the quotations, either in the course reader (Liz Wells) or online. Write up your research in your learning log.
Now look back at your personal archive of photography and try to find a photograph to illustrate one of the aesthetic codes discussed in Project 2. Whether or not you had a similar idea when you took the photograph isn’t important; find a photo with a depth of field that ‘fits’ the code you’ve selected. Add a playful word or title that ‘anchors’ the new meaning.
The ability of photographs to adapt to a range of usages is something we’ll return to later in the course.
Below, I have decided to research three of the artists mentioned throughout Project 2. The artists I am focusing on are Ansel Adams, Gianluca Cosci and Fay Godwin. I have pinched a quote from each of the photographers, as the brief asks you to and I have given my short analysis on each one below the quote.
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
This quote from Ansel Adams is very short, and not very technical, but it makes you think. We genuinely feel like we take a photograph. In everyday life, and terms, people say ‘ did you take the photograph’ and various other similar terms. It doesn’t feel like something you make, but rather take. Here, he has reversed the typical term used and has made you think, you make it, not take it.
For me, I have always ‘taken’ photographs, now I feel more towards this quote, I make them. I decide the location, the time, the equipment used, and the subject, along with many other ingredients that makes up a photograph. I choose how to do it and to create it. You never simply just take a photograph, you make it. Like a sculpture, or illustrations, drawings, you create that, you make it, so why should a photograph be any different.
Although not many people see it this way, who don’t do photography, and just snap a few images on their phones, they just see it as taking a photograph, but ultimately you are the creator of the photograph, it is yours and if you didn’t do it, it would never exist, therefore ,I can see why Ansel has said this, and why it has much more depth to it, and even photography itself.
It is like football. People who do not have an interest in the sport, say ‘well you have 11 players on each team and the objective of the game is to score in the oppositions goal’ but football, for the fans is much more in depth. You have central defensive midfielders, wingers, full backs, and whether they overlap and formations and marking etc. So like photography, people without a deeper understanding will use the universal term of ‘take’ but in fact you ‘make’ the photograph, and so Ansel being one of the best if not the best, ever has a point when he quoted this.
“I am interested in the point of view of the excluded, the marginalised. Often one is forced to have only restricted views, in awkward positions, difficult to maintain. Nevertheless we could take advantage of this apparent fault to observe and understand things in a different, unexpected way.”
This quote took me some time to think about. Whilst looking at Cosci’s portfolio of work, I can clearly see why he is interested in taking images of the excluded and the marginalised. Instead of just doing the ‘norm’ and taking the picture, stood up, angle head on, he is experimenting with unique angles with unique subjects and making it slightly awkward. Majority of photographers want to photograph the beauty, the wow and the positives. Whereas Cosci’s body of work is very interesting as he gets to the nitty gritty and pushes the boundaries of photography. Cosci makes it obvious that his images are not about normality, and in fact represent the ‘apparent fault’ and showcase angles and sights that one does not particularly see when looking at a subject.
I think this quote gives an insight into a different approach to photography and the limits you can push to, to create unique and images that represent various subjects in ways not really taken into consideration.
This quote makes you look at subjects within his work differently and really showcases work of a different nature to what is seen in most photographer’s portfolio.
“I like photographs which leave something to the imagination.”
Again, like the first quote, this quote, is short and to the point. Godwin is proposing she likes photographs which leave mystery and let your imagination do the thinking, to come to the conclusion about a certain aspect of the image.
With so many images being taken every single day of every single thing possible, some images fall into this category when we cannot come to a firm conclusion of the purpose of the image. By leaving it to the imagination of the viewer, this gives them the opportunity to have their own view on the image. For example, an image of someone looking inside of a box, the viewer can only imagine what it is the person in the image is looking at inside, as the viewer cannot see for themselves. Or someone who has a surprised facial expression, looking beyond the camera. Because they are looking beyond, you cannot see what it is they are surprised about, therefore you have to use your imagination to conclude what it might be they are being surprised about. Majority of the time, there is no firm conclusion, just your imagination to determine what it could be, but there is always that mystery.
In photographs, there may be many leading questions, unanswered ones, that will never have an answer, and it is up to us as the viewer to come to an outcome for our self of what the photograph means to us. Which in its own sense makes the imagination take charge of an image and gives various meanings to it, through a single shot. Therefore, I agree with this quotation, I also appreciate photographs that leave it ultimately to the mind to make the decision of the meaning of an image.
The quotes above were hard to come across from a legitimate source because two of the artists are no longer with us. With having researched a lot online, I have stumbled across a few websites that I felt were a good source of information to show the quote from. The quotes used are plastered everywhere across the internet. I have therefore come to the conclusion that these quotes are legitimate and have used them for my work in relation to the brief. Please use the Bibliography posted below to view the source in which has been used for the quotations.
Aesthetic Code Photograph
Here is an image I took back for my GCSE’s. It is of my dad’s car. What I like about this image is that it is like Cosci’s work, with the blurred surroundings, and an image that is not what many people would look to take. I like the texture and the angle. This is a very unique and strange photograph, but I feel it concludes Project 2 well.