Author Archives: Learning Log of Stephanie Webb

Feedback – Assignment 5

I was pleased with the feedback from my tutor for this assignment. He gave me some pointers for my future work which I will be taking on board:

  • Keep the technical quality consistent – use the right ISO for the weather conditions
  • Step back and show context. Sometimes cropping too closely can lose part of the story
  • Use a tripod and Dofmaster to get a better handle on depth of field
  • Reference appropriately in Harvard. I wold use the original Barrett journal article rather than an internet link.
  • Submit high res and contact prints with annotations separately to tutors as well as the blog.

My tutor’s full feedback can be read here: Stephanie Webb_PH4EYV-5

As most of the feedback had been positive, I chose not to do any re-work on this assignment before assessment.

 

Anna Delany

For Exercise 5.2, I needed to use an image by a famous photographer and take a photo in response to it. I was keen to use one of Anna Delany’s images for this as I admire her style and talent for capturing more than the obvious in her street photography. As well as using a variety of shooting positions, she puts across a sense of humour in the way she photographs signs that appear in the images. This is something I’d like to explore more in my photography moving forwards.

http://www.annadelany.com/places/ [Last Accessed: 30/09/2017]

 

David & I by Denis O’Regan – Nottingham 2017

This was a travelling exhibition of fine art photographic prints of David Bowie by Denis O’Regan (David’s photographer during the 70s and 80s).

There was a mix of live, posed and situational shots in both black and white and colour. O’Regan successfully caught the showman/energetic nature of performing Bowie, as well as more natural shots where Bowie is looking reflective and distant.

O’Regan’s work demonstrates the quality of shot of a huge star that can be obtained if you’re talented and lucky enough to gain the trust to acquire such a job.

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus was an American photographer noted for photographing marginalised people. She was initially a commercial photographer but quit that in 1956 and wandered New York City looking for people to photograph.

Her photographs of unusual people along with her photo of a boy with a grenade are iconic, if not shocking. In fact most of her work makes the viewer sit up and question what they’re seeing and wonder what the story is relating to the subject.

I will re-visit Arbus’ work at a later date.

https://www.artsy.net/artist/diane-arbus [Last accessed:30/09/2017]

 

Zoe Strauss

Zoe Strauss is a photographer based in Philadelphia. She has a down to Earth approach. She has documented many woman living with abusive partners

She exhibited her show ‘10 Years’ (photographs taken from 2001-2010) on pillars below Interstate 95. She sold photocopies of her photos for $5.

Her work is in colour and she vividly captures the seedier side of life in her photos. I admire how she gains the trust of her subjects in order to let her get close enough to them to photograph them naturally in their own environments.

https://www.icp.org/exhibitions/zoe-strauss-10-years

 

Ronya Galka

Another female street photographer I looked at was Ronya Galka. As well as street photography, she does urban photography and portraits.

Her street photography tends to be in black and white and she captures the essence of people about their busy lives in London. She shoots from different angles – eg above, and low, to get a different perspective/view of the people she shoots.

One of her studies is of people in the back of black London taxis. She captures their seemingly being bored and staring into space, or in deep thought as they undertake their journeys.

https://www.ronyagalka.com/ [Last accessed: 30/09/2017]

 

Vivian Maier

I decided it would be good to look at the work of some women street photographers. The first one I chose to look at was Vivian Maier.

Maier was a professional nanny from 1950s-1990s. She took over 100,000 photos worldwide but didn’t show them to anyone. After her death. Historian John Maloof bought a box of negatives and printed and published them.

Her work is mainly black and white and captures many of the aspects of city street life in Chicago and New York City in the second half of the 20th Century. She liked to take photos of street children playing and adults going about their daily lives. She had a knack of getting close to people, and her work often uses high contrast to accentuate the subject matter.

http://www.vivianmaier.com/ [Last accessed: 30/09/2017]

 

Magic Party Place by CJ Clarke – Derby, 2017

Magic Party Place by CJ Clarke is part of the Format Festival in Derby.

This exhibition was in two pieces: one was black and white images shown on old 70s’ style portable televisions showing black and white stills of the reality of a New Town Utopia, where the modern-day concrete reality is very different to how the new towns were marketed post-World War II.

The other part of the exhibition was a set of black and white photographs depicting the area “… it is middle England territory, a town dominated by skilled manual workers … whose values, habits and preferences are believed by both left and right to hold the key of electoral success.”

The pieces show the state of the country in a post-BREXIT vote England. The desolation in a once new town and how the people still have a small sense of community. Black and white always seems to be the choice when showing the depressed political state of the country!

 

Ahead Still Lies Our Future – Derby, 2017

Ahead Still Lies Our Future is part of the Format Festival in Derby in March 2017. The photographs in this exhibition are from a variety of photographers and each piece challenges the viewer to question what they’re really seeing regarding the depicted habitat.

Hannah Darabi’s Waiting Grounds features a town in Tehran under construction. The photos are intended to show “the state of waiting for a suspended future in a country where history has been rewritten over and over again, and where each revised history has its own glorious past, in turn becoming an example for a potential future.”

I didn’t enjoy this collection. I found it flat and lacking in interest.

Sadie Wechsler’s work was more interesting. Her use of superimposing images on other images led to a series of images that both confused and questioned the brain as to what was real and what was not. I’d like to investigate more of her work and the techniques used to build the final prints.

Ester Vonplon’s photographs of Swiss glaciers covered in sheets during the summer were fascinating. The dark blotches on the cloth are from glacier milk which then keeps direct radiation from the ice on sunny days. The photographs “reveal the use of the cloth as a desperate attempt to counteract the effects of climate change.”  The images also remind the viewer of shrouds protecting a human body – the loneliness and helplessness of a dead body.

 

 

http://www.formatfestival.com/events/ahead-still-lies-our-future [Last accessed: 30/09/2017]