Category Archives: Coursework

Reflecting on Part five – Viewpoint and Assignment five…

As with my previous posts, this post summarises what I have learnt from part five of the course and Assignment five, with the aims: 1) to embed the learning for future courses and projects and 2) to act as a review and reflection tool which gives ease of reference to the learning points.

So to summarise the feedback received:

  • experiment with different approaches to see what works best for the idea/brief,
  • qualify the rationale for any decision-making so there is a clear understanding of the approach taken,
  • be consistent with the look and feel of the series so it hangs together,
  • include more critical analysis including opposing views, and
  • ensure focus is 100%.

Following tutor feedback I have included within this post a re-shoot of images 2, 7 and 10.  In addition, my tutor has suggested I provide a response to Annie Leibovitz’s ‘warts and all’ Las Vegas Showgirl and Spencer Tunick’s Capital of Culture 2017.  This will be covered under a separate blog post which you can access here.

Note: With the re-shot images I kept the ISO the same so the images would be consistent with the original series.  I did consider re-shooting the whole series again but decided against this because, a) I would have probably gone insane as it was difficult enough to do the first time round and 2) I was happy with the majority of the images so it seemed a waste of resources at this point to go back to square one. And so here are my re-shots:

Image 2 : Hands
Original Vs digital re-worked image (image re-shot) 

5 Assignment five Photography is Simple-b

revised hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found the original image hard to re-create from a composition perspective, however, I did re-shoot this image but still felt the original image was much stronger so I decided to keep the original in the final series.  The reason I felt the original image was stronger was that; a) the lighting was more consistent with the rest of the series, b) the aesthetics of the grain was more consistent with the rest of the series, c) there was more detail apparent and I prefer that visually, and d) it has a better composition.

Image 7 : Torso Front
Original Vs digital re-worked image (image re-shot) 

5 Assignment five Photography is Simple-g

revised Torso Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not as obvious with the digital image but the re-shot image is much clearer and in focus compared to the original.  The lighting is consistent with the original series and so the re-shot image makes it into the revised final series (see below).  [Note to self: more exercise required as I seem to have put on some weight.]

Image 10 : Hair
Original Vs digital re-worked image (image re-shot) 

5 Assignment five Photography is Simple-j

revused

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This image aptly named hair (and there is more of it this time round) was re-shot mainly due to unwanted shadows.  There were no such shadows apparent in the other shots in the series so this one stood out from that perspective.  To reduce the cast shadows I simply; a) moved further away from the background and b) introduced a bit of light in at the front to reduce the shadows on my legs cast by my hair.  As a result the shadows have been eliminated in the re-shot image and this is the image that makes it into the final series.  I also prefer the composition of form in the re-shot image.

Contact sheets for the re-shot images above:

Before I go on to the full series comparison I need to make a comment about why colour was not considered for this Assignment.  I think by looking at the two sets of contact sheets black and white provides a more consistent look to the skin.  With colour you are distracted by the nuances in skin tones and blemishes and to me this exercise was about form and black and white allow the eye to focus on this aspect more.

And now to the original versus the revised final series:

Original series:

Final revised series:

Post re-work/re-shooting I am now much happier with my final series and I feel that as a set they represent me and what I was trying to achieve with this assignment well.

A side note about key lines:  
A key line is a line which goes around the edge your image so there is a clear break between the printed area and the border (in my case, white). I have been experimenting with these both on assignment prints and on my competition entry prints with mixed results.

I have concluded to date that where the print edge is the same or similar colour to the border there is some merit in using a black or grey key line to provide a frame which keeps the eye contained within the image.

This now completes my work, re-work and reflection of part five/Assignment five.

 

Further Research following Tutor Feedback to Assignment four…

Following my Tutor’s feedback and my reflection post, here is my further research on relevant photographers for part four and Assignment four of the course.  The basis of the research is around story telling visually, using both photography and narrative (visual or oral):

Graham Rawle (born 1955):

A UK writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation.

I’d like to thank my tutor for sending me the link to Graham Rawle’s Wizard of Oz book project (2008).  This was recommended as it tells a story with inanimate objects.  On watching the trailer for the book I found it touched me a number of different ways:

Firstly it amused me, the characters I think show the photographer’s age (I could be wrong) but I can’t imagine many children of today having those kinds of dolls with their brittle plastic bodies, some of which clearly have been broken in places, and fluttering eyes. In particular the dolls remind me of the ones you used to get abroad wearing the national dress costume, which were bought as a collector’s item and/or something to remind you of the holiday.  How do I know?  I still have some myself but not for playing with (of course).

Secondly, I found it all a little disturbing.  It’s certainly not your usual child friendly looking fair tale story book.  The items in the created ‘sets’ throw together a lot of different unrelated elements which jars a bit but works.  Characters created out of bits of other things, all adds to the non-conformist aesthetic of beauty which is applied today.  Also the use of real people’s heads on the bodies of dolls.

Thirdly, it made me feel nostalgic about time gone by when children’s toys were more primitive (a knitted lion) and certainly wouldn’t have conformed to today’s health and safety regulations.  I like the compositing of different characters/animals to make up the baddies.

A truly creative project by Graham Rawle bringing together quirky still life photography with artistic backgrounds/scenes to tell a well-loved story which has stood the test of time (much like some of the characters used – just!)

Andersen M Studio:

“Andersen M is a creative studio. A partnership between siblings Martin Andersen (MA, RCA) and Line Andersen (MA, CSM).

We work in the areas of art direction, graphic design, photography, animation and film.”  www.andersenm.com

My tutor recommended the Going West animation by Anderson M Studio because of its creative use of stop motion photography and an engaging voice over narrative to create an exciting 2 minute 26 second animated advert for the book Going West by Maurice Gee.

The short was commissioned by the New Zealand Book Council to promote books with the campaign strap line of Where Books Come to Life and in this animation the book certainly does that.

The animation is set within the pages of the book itself and starts very casually with a calm voice over reading whilst the book’s pages are flicked through.  Then the pages stop flicking and settle on a single page and it is then that the extraordinary begins…

Out of the page is crafted raised sections which slowly build up to a 3D picture of a train track, which fits in with the story’s narrative, and it is from there that your journey starts.  You are on a papery train journey through the pages of the book. All the time the reader / narrator conveys the atmospheric nuances of the story line by adjusting the pitch, rhythm and level of his voice which really adds extra dimension.

It must have taken a very long time to produce this animation let alone the story-boarding of it.  The artist/s meticulously cut/s into the pages of the book to create intricate papery landscapes as the story takes you through the countryside with trees, bushes and grass all cut from the pages of the book.  The planning of from which direction each page should be viewed and lit would have had to be very careful through for every shot taken.

You then go into a tunnel and it is from there that the lighting comes into its own and produces an incredible atmosphere which, together with the narration, takes the reader on an exciting trip literally into the story.  At one point a ghostly shaped cut-out appears in the tunnel and is set alight to at the point where the narrator says “and the smell of sulphur”, which I thought was a clever idea.  It was the something unexpected / surprising which links back to the Martin Parr video my tutor also provided in my Assignment four feedback.

The next moment you are in a train station with lots of tall cut-out paper structures and the narrator’s voice echos to suggest a large open space surrounded by construction.

I really enjoyed the creative journey but felt overwhelmed thinking about how much time and probably production cost it took to create the 2 minutes 26 second animation.

Kafka’s The Metamorphosis:

The link provided by my tutor was for a review in the Guardian:

“Kafka’s tale of a man who wakes to find he has changed into a giant insect still has the power to shock and delight a century after it was first published. Many regard it as the greatest short story in all literary fiction”  The Guardian

“…first published in 1915. It has been called one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities across the Western world.”  Wikipedia

My tutor also suggested in my feedback that I should draw on other artistic/creative genres for inspiration and ideas.  This suggestion is a literary source, which I have not yet read but appears to be something worth putting on my reading list.

Described as a horror with a comedic element this is a story of a man who wakes up to find he is no-longer a human but a huge insect like creature, and it the story of how he adapts to the new life.  It sounds like there could be some parallels to someone who finds themselves in some way incapacitated and the mixture of responses produced by the person and those around them who try to accommodate the new circumstances they find themselves in.

I have seen parts of the film The Fly which seems like a similar premise, man becomes insect, but I cannot analyse any similarities or differences until I have experienced them both fully.

References:

Graham Rawle, Available at: http://www.grahamrawle.com/index.html (Accessed: May 2017).

Wikipedia (13 March 2017) Graham Rawle, Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Rawle (Accessed: May 2017).

Andersen M Studio, Available at: http://www.andersenm.com/about (Accessed: May 2017).

(2009) Andersen M Studio – Going West, Available at: http://www.andersenm.com/animations/going-west (Accessed: May 2017).

The Guardian (18 July 2015) Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/18/franz-kafka-metamorphosis-100-thoughts-100-years (Accessed: May 2017).

Wikipedia (25 May 2017) The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Metamorphosis (Accessed: May 2017).

Reflecting on Part three – Traces of time and Assignment three…

As with my previous posts, this post summarises what I have learnt from part three and Assignment three of the course, with the aims: 1) to embed the learning for future courses and projects and 2) to act as a review and reflection tool which gives ease of reference to the learning points.

So to summarise the feedback received:

  • Experiment more using the exercises to inform assignments,
  • avoid repetitive subjects and compositions (as appropriate),
  • check the frame and internals for unwanted items,
  • ensure the images are on sharp where they should be,
  • give both sides of an argument before stating yours, and
  • take care with which practitioners are referenced; they should be published in either national or international magazines or who have won competition awards.

Following tutor feedback I have included within this post my re-work of image 6 – The Jump, an experimentation with overlaid images and my response to the work of Tobin Yelland and Giovanni Reda.

Image 6 – The Jump

I have adjusted this image by re-cropping to exclude the concrete ramp and to lift the shadows so there is more detail in the trousers.  I have posted below the original image together with the re-worked image to show the difference the re-work has made.

image 6 _MG_5029

web_MG_5029

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By re-cropping the image it adds a sense of space below the skateboarder and gives the impression that the jump is higher than it appears in the original image.  By lifting the shadows it gives a more informed image as you can now see the detail in the black areas.

Tobin Yelland (born: 1970):

A commercial/fine arts photographer from America, whose childhood interest in skateboarding led him from his hobby in photography, capturing fellow skaters and the sub-culture surrounding the skating scene mostly for skateboard magasines, to a full time professional portrait/lifestyle/skateboarding photographer of some 20 years.

Notably he has worked with some large brands synonymous with skateboarding and others which are alternative lifestyle/culture focused.

Tobin uses a fish-eye or straight lens and his website showcases a lot of black & white images.  Most of the subjects in the online images have been photographed mid trick, which makes for a more impressive capture.

In an interview with Huck Magasine, Tobin says:

“I think finding the perfect moment to take a photograph is all about knowing that person really well,”

I can relate to this, as when I have worked with a model for the first time there is always a honeymoon period where you are both getting used to working with each other.  It takes some time to build a good rapport and on a first shoot you might get a handful of natural relaxed shots, however, come the 3rd or 4th time working with the same model it’s so much easier to get a lot of really good natural shots.

Also I think with action photography you really need to be au fait with the activity so you can anticipate the moves, tricks, positioning of the subject/s that you are photographing.

Giovanni Reda (born 1974):

A photographer and filmmaker from Brooklyn, NYC who has been photographing skateboarding and portraits and people for over 20 years.

Curiously his main website does not have any write up about the artist only photographs from his different projects but I found an interview with him on the ilovecreatives website which contained far more information on Giovanni the person rather than showcasing his work.

You can see from his colourful images online that he also sometimes uses a fish-eye lens which is quite popular in this genre of photography.  He also an external flash to either accent a particular subject, give a bit more light to enable a higher shutter speed to stop motion or to create some interesting shadows.

The interview reinforces the notion that to improve your skills you have to be persistent and practice, Giovanni says:

“I keep my camera with me and I shoot a portrait every day.  I need to keep myself busy and my creativity flowing.”

This raises an interesting point about keeping yourself creatively challenged as a photographer.  Whilst being on the course, a couple of times I have noticed online posts from other students who have sought advice because they have lost interest in taking photographs.  It’s a weird feeling not wanting to do something that you love to do but I have to say I have been there too.  This, of course, can happen with any pursuit e.g. you hear about writers block all the time.  It must be part of the human condition, however, I am in agreement with Giovanni, the key is to keep going and take a photograph everyday if you can and that will keep you continually in the creative mindset.

For the purposes of my Assessment submission I have provided an A4 print of the re-shot image 6.   This now completes my work, re-work and reflection of part three/Assignment three.

Reflecting on Part two – Imaginative Spaces and Assignment two…

As with my previous post “Reflecting on Part one…”, this post summarises what I have learnt from part two and Assignment two of the course, with the aims: 1) to embed the learning for future courses and projects and 2) to act as a review and reflection tool which gives ease of reference to the learning points.

So to summarise the feedback received:

  • check images by laying them out upside down; this will highlight any light spots,
  • focus on the eyes in a portrait and ensure the focus is pin sharp,
  • take care with the details and consider what to clone out,
  • experiment with different printing papers,
  • use the course exercises and research to inform the final work,
  • include information on key influencers: photographers, artists etc, and
  • explain the context and theoretical meaning behind the work more.

Looking back at this part of the course, I can see in particular my Assignment Two – Collecting was hampered by focusing and ‘possible’ attention to detail (depending on the intention and interpretation) issues.  With the aim of improving technique I have been carrying out studio portrait sessions and some of the images from these sessions I have entered into the 2017 LensCulture portrait competition.  I posted a blog on my entry and subsequent feedback received which can be found here.

With regards to research on “Selfies” and smiling for the camera, I attended an exhibition as part of an OCA Study Visit called Performing for the Camera which had a lot of interesting commentaries on this subject in particular about the online selfie generation (being Insta-famous i.e. famous on Instagram).  I also watched a documentary on the history of photography which covered Kodak’s advertising campaign in the early 1900s.  Kodak were trying to get their Brownie camera’s, which aimed at bringing the snapshot to the masses, in to the homes of families to record their ‘special’ moments and smiling for the camera was born.  Amazing that such a campaign still influences us today 100+ years on.

On the subject of selfies and instantly sharing yourself online with the world, I decided to open an Instagram account in October last year (2016) as this seems to be the new forum for sharing visual updates of one’s life and loves, and for a photographer the visual medium is key.  That said, I am using the site primarily to document my life as opposed to my photography.  I always worry with any online sharing platform about the rights to images once they have been posted online and whether I am inadvertently signing the rights to my work away when posting.

I had a situation a while back where one of my images was changed and re-posted online by a friend of a friend (quite innocently) without any comment on the source.  Since then I have been a bit wary about sharing my work online.  I don’t mind if my images are used and credited but most people outside of visual media do not think twice about sharing images that they find online.  It doesn’t occur to them that there may be subject to copyright or that the images are owned by someone.   This then leads you as a photographer to consider whether you watermark everything that goes on the internet to ensure the images are credited if shared, although this doesn’t stop them from being altered in Photoshop or with Instagram filters of course.

So images online are free? There are always debates on forums and in the photography community about whether photographers should provide their work for ‘free’ (or for mates rates), watermarked or not, at reduced quality to prevent the selling of prints etc.  I am in two minds about this whole subject and it probably needs another blog post to properly discuss and debate these aspects of the sharing of this creative medium I now find myself part of.

Also as part of my tutor feedback I was provided with a link to the Inside Out project set up by the photographer JR:

On March 2, 2011, JR won the TED prize at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and called for the creation of a global participatory art project with the potential to change the world. This project is called INSIDE OUT.

Put simply:

It is a global platform for people to share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.

The project encourages the submission of images which reflect personal identity and/or a cause for Group Action.  These images are printed on a very large-scale and then distributed and displayed to raise awareness.

I guess my question to this is, can a large-scale global art project really result in change?

JR is a fan of large-scale imagery and has had a number of projects where large scale images have been used to cover buildings and rooftops, which in some cases can only be seen by an aerial view.

I particularly like his Wrinkles of the City project which in 2011 he brought to Los Angeles.  In South Californian beauty is now part of its cultural identity and where plastic surgery is now a lifestyle, rather than a luxury, and socially accepted.  This is a juxtaposition to the older generations whose wrinkles of old age represent their life / their life story, a bit like the rings of a tree. The visible marks and wrinkles on their skin act as a record of their good times and their bad times etc., with both internal and external influences affecting their outward appearance.

There was one particular quote which resonated with me:

“We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.”

The Wrinkles of the City/Los Angeles/2011 video – time 4m:50s

As photographers we capture an image of a subject but how we portray that subject is impacted greatly by who we are inside; our influences, our experiences, our values etc.

An interesting project for me as when I take portrait photos my aim is to bring out a person’s beauty.  Sometimes that is not ‘beauty’ in the most common interpretation. It’s to capture the true essence of that person, their true nature from within, the inside projected externally.

This now completes my work, re-work and reflection of part two/Assignment two.

Reflecting on Part one – From that moment onwards and Assignment one…

On coming to the end of the course and now reaching the pre-assessment period I thought it would be a good idea to summarise what I had learnt from each part of the course Assignments, 1) to embed the learning for future courses and projects and 2) to use as a review and reflection tool which gives ease of reference to the learning points.

So to summarise the feedback received:

  • being closer to a subject is not necessarily a weaker position,
  • consider a variety of viewpoints,
  • consider what you want the viewer to focus on and depth of field,
  • take care with the placing of white objects especially near the frame,
  • textures are interesting detail so their inclusion should be considered,
  • look for strong patterns when creating images,
  • don’t be afraid to experiment with ISO,
  • take care with positioning and check for unwanted items near key subjects, and
  • use the exercises to inform assignments.

Image 6 – “Hello Tree” was recommended a re-shoot to capture the textures on the tree, this is below for your reference:

Re-shoot IMG_9427

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/125 sec. f/4.0 17mm

I decided to take a slightly different viewpoint of this tree for a number of reasons;

  • there were (and are increasing) so many cars parked down this road I didn’t want to include the number plates of the cars behind the tree, which a wider angle would have resulted in,
  • there was a huge white van directly to my right which restricted the positioning of the camera and if included would have become the main focal point and draw to the eye being white if I had included it, and
  • by being closer to the tree it meant I could get more detail out of the trunk.  I used a slightly higher f-stop than previously which meant I have included most of the tree in the depth of field used.  Previously I had focused more on the ground in front of the tree so this I feel is an improvement.

The leading lines are primarly on the path side of the tree this time, which I think works better as part of a ‘journey’ compostionally.  Also the light quality is different to the original due to the different time of day/year the images were taken.  This reinforces the fact that to try to recreate an image exactly, where the environment is not controlled, is impossible.  The re-shot image was taken on a rainy day as was the original but even the puddles were not the same….

To enable a comparison to be made of the images I have added them both below side by side for your ease of reference (both were taken at 17mm with ISO 100:

For the purposes of my Assessment submission I have provided an A4 print of the re-shot image 6.   This now completes my work, re-work and reflection of part one/Assignment one.

Part five – Project 2 – Exercise 5.3

Exercise 5.3

Brief:
Look again at Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photograph Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare in Part Three. (If you can get to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London you can see an original print on permanent display in the Photography Gallery.) Is there a single element in the image that you could say is the pivotal ‘point’ to which the eye returns again and again? What information does this ‘point’ contain?

Include a short response to Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare in your learning log. You can be as imaginative as you like. In order to contextualise your discussion you might want to include one or two of your own shots, and you may wish to refer to Rinko Kawauchi’s photograph mentioned above or the Theatres series by Hiroshi Sugimoto discussed in Part Three. Write about 150–300 words.

The single element that stands out for me the most is the area of the image where the man is leaping and his reflection.  I think this is because there is a very dark element in the man and a very light area between the two sets of legs; the leaping man and his reflection, i.e. the ’empty’ space captured between those confines.

The light area looks like a star shape. It is definitely the light section which draws my eye back to it all the time.

This attraction to the light/highlighted area within the image has the same effect in the two other referenced photographers work: Rinko Kawauchi’s cover of her book Illuminance and Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Theatres series.

This makes me think that a bright area which is in strong contrast with the areas around it will bring the eye back to it.

I have entered a fair number of competitions at my photography club and the judges always point out the light spots (blown out highlights) which are distracting to the eye especially on the frame. So I think what this exercise is trying to prove is that not only can light areas be a distraction but they can also work as a focal point and used to the photographers advantage especially when you want the viewer to be drawn to a particular part of the image.

I guess my question that would follow on from this is why does this happen….

Word count: 244

References:

Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare by Henri Cartier-Bresson;
http://100photos.time.com/photos/henri-cartier-bresson-behind-gare-saint-lazare
(Accessed: 1 March 2017)

Illuminace Book Cover Photo by Rinko Kawauchi; http://aperture.org/shop/illuminance-rinko-kawauchi (Accessed: 1 March 2017)

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Theatres series; http://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/theater.html (Accessed: 1 March 2017)

Part five – Project 1 – Exercise 5.2

Exercise 5.2

Brief:
Select an image by any photographer of your choice and take a photograph in response to it. You can respond in any way you like to the whole image or to just a part of it, but you must make explicit in your notes what it is that you’re responding to. Is it a stylistic device such as John Davies’ high viewpoint, or Chris Steele Perkins’ juxtapositions? Is it the location, or the subject? Is it an idea, such as the decisive moment?

Add the original photograph together with your response to your learning log. Which of the three types of information discussed by Barrett provides the context in this case? Take your time over writing your response because you’ll submit the relevant part of your learning log as part of Assignment Five.”

Practical:

The image I used for this exercise is a photograph I recently saw as part of The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection at the Tate Modern , Man Ray’s photograph of Max Ernst taken in 1938.

(Note: You can find my review of The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection exhibition under the Exhibitions section of this blog or by following this LINK)

It is a straight forward portrait which looks as though it has been in a glass picture frame and subsequently smashed to pieces; the shards of glass represented by pieces of the photograph which look shattered and separated.  The photograph is almost reconstructed but not fully, however, your brain reconstructs it for you so that in your mind’s eye you can see what the original image looked like.  

This image was included in the exhibition section covering Experiments and it is this element of the photo that I am responding to.

After writing my interpretation above I found out that the original Man Ray glass-plate negative was intentionally broken by Max Ernst, who then stuck together the glass splinters with tape.

Early photography had been used mainly to record and document, however, artists and photographers in the early twentieth century started to experiment with abstract intervention to distort visual perceptions and create new realities in their images. Photo-montage was a large part of this experimentation as well as tinting and transfer.

I do not have access to a glass-plate negative so I used what I thought was the next best option for distortion, a digital manipulation tool.  

So my initial response to this exercise, using Man Ray’s image of Max Ernst as my influence, was to use Photoshop to deconstruct a portrait image.  I selected slices/pieces/segments of the image, from the middle out, using the marquee selection tool and then pulled the pieces apart to get a more abstract look to the image but not pulled apart enough that the mind’s eye couldn’t reconstruct the image, see figure 1.  

alice-by-elisabeth-smith-3-distortion-first-try-5

Figure 1

On carrying out a comparison of the original image and my image, my image seemed too clinical/clean and I didn’t like the way the face had disjointed and made the subject look unreal.  I then realised the reason for this was that I hadn’t kept the integrity of the frame.
So I had another go…

alice-by-elisabeth-smith-3-distortion-second-try-1

Figure 2

This time, again in Photoshop, I used the free-form pen tool to draw the separation lines by hand which gave less of a clean bit more of a haphazard ‘by chance’ look and feel to the pieces separated, see figure 2.

I could have stopped there but then I thought, the original photograph was a photograph of the post image distortion so I decided to print a photograph use a blade to cut the original and then make an image of that, see figure 3.

fullsizerender

Figure 3

This third attempt actually looks and feels more honest.  You can see the white edges of the photo paper which gives more authenticity to the image as a physically altered image.  So it is this the third and final photograph that is my final response to the brief.

The second part of the brief asks what information in Terry Barrett’s essay titled ‘Photographs and Context’ provides context to this exercise.

On reading the excerpt of Terry Barrett’s essay titled ‘Photographs and Context’ (linked to as part of the course reading material) he talks about ‘how an image is interpreted’ and that this is dependent upon; 1) what is within the image – the ‘internal context’; 2) where the image is being viewed – the ‘external context’ and 3) what the photographer had originally envisaged the image’s use to be – the ‘original context’.  

So to analyse these 3 contexts above in relation to the original and indeed my response image, I believe:

1) the internal context is the image of a portrait of a man (woman) which has been deconstructed and then reconstructed.

2) the external context is the image was part of a collection being exhibited.  Hundreds maybe thousands of people will see it and by being in an exhibition suggests it is of value. (my image is displayed on the internet as part of my degree coursework and will be seen by my tutor and maybe a hand full of other people than happen to read my blog).

3) the original context is that Max Ernst intentionally broke the Man Ray glass-plate for the purpose of presenting it as a reconstruction (my image was produced solely in response to Max Ernst’s reconstruction).

To take this experimentation one step further:

“In a further act of appropriation, Ernst wrote on the tape with India ink and exposed the plate so that the light-colored tape came out black and the writing white. The new plate, now a self-portrait photomontage of sorts, was used by Max Ernst as the invitation to his 1935 Paris exhibition, Exposition Max Ernst, dernières oeuvres.”

but the response to this is for another day…..

(Note: you can see the original images that I took of Alice on my other blog HERE).

References:

Collectif,, Mavlin Shoair (2016) Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collec, : Tate Publishing, Limited.