Having a chance to share my work with the group and critically analyse my peers work, was very useful for me. This meant I was able to view my work in a way that I previously couldn’t adjust myself to doing. I am always very critical of my own work, however when other people were speaking to me about what I could improve and where to take my project, it means I am then able to progress my work, and have my imagery viewed in the way I would like. It was also good to see my photography hung up and on display, this was stage one of getting ready for a final exhibition. There were a few downsides to doing this as a single image show, as my project is a series of images set for editorial it means that the image alone does not make sense, therefore people don’t understand my ideas and thoughts to why I produced this. However the task of doing this meant I have adapted my abilities to give my peers feedback on what I thought of their work, and gave them advice of where they could also progress.
This gave me the opportunity to think about the paper I was to use and how this would be viewed by my audience. Despite this, I feel the paper I chose was wrong for this imagery, as I wanted it to be on semi-gloss, meaning the material of the paper would correspond with the image itself. Taking this on board, I would need to test out my print several times, in the future, before picking a finalised print.
Reflecting from my latest shoot in Thailand, I found my images slightly resembled the idea of film noir, despite me shooting in colour. This is represented where the light is captured softly on the floor of the imagery and there are no clear focuses on the people of the images. Some influences in this genre of film/photography
is ‘Raging Bull’ Martin Scorsese and also Fritz Lang’s work because of their lighting conditions used in the films. Raging Bull particularly due to the scene filmed with Robert De Niro in the cell, where the lighting in low, however only small amount of light has projected itself on to the actor. When taking a still from this film, it however differs largely to the work I have created, however the stylistic idea of the subjected light links to my first experimentation. Lang’s work relates a lot closer to the work I have recently created, as the stills I have chosen use the same concept of lighting and street photography style photographs. Film noir was originally coined by French film critics as they noticed that many American crime and detective films were dark, downbeat and black imagery throughout, representing the ‘chilly’ Cold War period.
When visiting the island of Phuket, Thailand, I found the atmosphere and culture a complete contrast to what we are used to in the UK, the nightlife in particular was an aspect that interested me, so then I was faced with the task of capturing this. The busy, narrow streets of Patong Beach were illuminated by small market shops and stalls sat by the side of the road, reminding me a lot of the winter season markets we have, however presented with the humid night heat and authentic cuisine.
Shooting in these conditions meant I had to change a lot when I photographed my environment, as it is tricky when you’re wanting to get the small details of the image, without having a noisy photograph. I feel like many of my images have captured the unique culture well, one of the reasons for this is because of the weather conditions I was faced with. Due to the fact it was monsoon season in Thailand the ground was wet, which almost worked as a reflector for me, therefore placing more light in to my images. One aspect of the environment I feel I have captured well is the vibrancy of the town we stayed in, using the neon lights which were above most shops, or restaurants, it complements the idea that this is a busy, and loud area.
I have focused on the people around me that have interesting character to them, and the stalls they have. It is an interesting concept that these are there day to day type jobs, and this is how these people make their money in comparison to the westernised culture. These people have placed themselves in the midst of the busy streets, which is what has attracted me to photograph these moments. I found the idea of photographing people when they are unaware and minding their own business is something which interests me a lot, as it shows the person raw and differently to when they are more aware. Despite the images I have taken being quick snapshots I still feel as though you only direct your eyes to one specific area of the photograph.
The start to this project could be subjected as film noir, due to the bright lights and dark contrasting elements (chiaroscuro), creating an interesting effect on the imagery I have taken.
When visiting the multicultural city of Los Angeles, USA, I felt it necessary to try to capture the scenery in film, to highlight the vibrant, saturated palette of Venice and Muscle Beach, two of the most popular beaches throughout America. The images are all double exposed to contrast with the multi-faceted culture within the city, which is highly expressed through the colour and contrasting elements of the imagery I have produced.
The imagery has been disrupted by two main factors, one of them being that the film placed in to the camera has become light leaked, meaning there is discolour within the imagery, which has caused the final development to the images to have large amount of bright and distracting colours. The other element is that the film has been double exposed in the reel, therefore some imagery has an overlay of shots in one. This has created interesting imagery, showing the ‘Hollywood’ culture. I experimented with this as I found that although a place might look a certain way you can view this with film in a different light representing several ways that this may be viewed.
This is the first time that I have chosen to experiment with film, and photographing my surroundings I am in, this has developed my knowledge and skill within film photography however, I feel I am stronger when shooting on digital. The imagery I have produced here are small experimentations which will develop my ideas throughout this project.
This month I visited the new, improved York Art Gallery and during this visit I gained a large amount of influence and ideas from the diverse range of artists that were showcased within the gallery. As a city, York has had a huge historical and cultural impact, this was envisioned throughout the work I witnessed.
Alinka Echeverria – Becoming South Sudan: Chapter One (2011)
Echeverria’s images of South Sudan were portrait images framed and hung on the wall of the exhibition. It was showcased in a three chapter series including photographs which were taken in the weeks preceding the independence of the country. When walking in to this specific room of the art gallery, this is the first piece that appealed to me due to the raw and striking compositions of the images. When reading that the publications were explorations of the societal movement for Africa’s nation, I found that the work
was extremely moving, evoking a feeling of innocence. It is mentioned that “Echeverria proactively countered the portrayal of a continent that historically has been depicted as a site of ‘otherness’.” This means that she consistently welcomes the viewer to see the characters behind the scene.
Julio Bittencourt – Plethora: Capsule Hotel (2016) & Tokyo Subway (2015)
Capsule Hotel and Tokyo Subway are both projects of Bittencourt’s which he has named Plethora as a whole series, both are similar to one another that have a distinctively original layout. The repetition of similar images placed alongside one another, gives the viewer opportunity to look closer in to the details of each image, however they are then made to almost compare each of the individual details and compositions. The project as a whole is based on overpopulation, which is why the images are so small and placed together, creating close correlation between the images and the subject of the photographs. Out of the two images, the set of photographs in the Tokyo Subway appeal to me, as this is a location which becomes highly overpopulated, therefore the close knit group of photographs represent the idea of claustrophobia and overcrowdedness which can be felt when on this type of public transport. Despite this, Bittencourt’s Capsule Hotel has an interesting composition, in the way it has been photographed through the window of a Hotel room. Each individual is viewed uncomfortable or cramped where they are placed in the image, and the contrasting elements of colour and framing give the imagery a unique view on the subject.