Monday, 19 May 2014

Thijs Wassink

The most recent guest lecture was from Thijs Wassink, who is half of the photographic due Wassink Lundgren.
Wassink came in to talk about the past and recent series that they have produced. One of the earliest body of work that they produced was call 'Empty Bottle'. The project came to be by pure coincidence. They were photographing a scene with a 5x4 camera, but the image the produced, they personally did not like, and felt that there needed to be something else within the photograph to make it. They went back to the same spot and photographed it again, but this time they placed an empty plastic bottle that one of the two had just finished with in the middle of the exposure. But instead of just getting the bottle in the picture, they also captured a person picking it up. The two photographs had made this happen, so they decided to try this technique again in a different place. The same happened again. They were creating reality. They were physically making the image. 

One series of theirs that I particularly like is the series 'Don't Smile Now, Save It For Later'. 
The photographs were simply taken using a photobooth that you would usually find in supermarkets and shopping districts. They then used a mirror to reflect what was outside the booth. So very simple, and yet the fascinating thing is that they were the first to do it. It makes you think about what other possibilities you could go down with photography that have never been tried before.

Another series that I liked, was purely for its tongue in cheek approach. Ruben Lundgren, the other half of the duo was the main focus of the series. Lundgren is quite a tall man, and where he travel (usually around the orient) the people are a bit smaller, so he is always picked up on his hight. People wanting photographs with him, as a kind of souvenir saying maybe 'I went to the city and saw a tall white man'. He got asked about his hight so much that they thought it would be a good idea to make a series about it. Documenting him, a tall man, in small (hight wise) countries. They even made him clothes were it says exactly how tall he is, so they don't have to ask. 200cm exactly, or 6ft 6 inches in the UK measuring system.  

Erik Kessel

This photographed has produced some stunning photobook. Kessel came out of his busy schedule to come and do a talk for us at the College of Art. 

He likes to have repetition within his work. The photobooks that he has produced, are photographs that he has found through means of friends, the internet and social media. The most famous books that he has produced would probably be 'In Almost Every Picture 11' and 'In Almost Every Picture 12'. 
'In Almost Every Picture 11' the images depict a woman in water. It just happened that her husband enjoyed taking photographs of her in the water, and the wife enjoyed being in the water. A win win situation. The images that he had found are unusual, and yet still very likeable. Because she is enjoying the water, you find it very hard not find the images fun and entertaining.

After the book was published, the idea of using water in photography was copied by a fashion photographer shooting for the clothes of Stella McCartney. Kessel told the husband about the copying, and thought she should immerse her whole body to get the real enjoyment out of the water. 

'In Almost Every Picture 12' is a similar series, but this time it is about a man and the love of his video recorder. 
You can tell he has a great deal of pride over this piece of equipment. The video recorder has become an obsession for the man. Everyone at one time or another obsesses about something, but this obsession has stayed with his, and has probably man him the man he is today. 

With producing these book Erik Kessel has questioned photography. For it to be your image do you have to had taken it? Or is about what you do with the images that counts? 

Rose Butler

The same month we had another guest lecturer, Rose Butler. 
Based in Sheffield Hallam University, her photo work is very different to the previous lecturer Mark Neville.

Butler works mainly with film and photo animation, creating sometimes unusual, and great pieces.
One of my favourite pieces of work is called BOX. The images were all photographed using a 1920's box camera. The photographs were then scanned into a computer and used to produce a short film which documented the journey from Sheffield to London and back again. Showing the imperfections in early photography, demonstrating how photography has progressed from its early stages.   

This is a still from the film. To see the full film, copy this link -

Another film that she has created that I really admire was called 'Platform'. The film is about the people that travel by train. It shows both calm, and anxious people going to board their train. 
The film shows three squares, and the video flows between these squares. The squares are there to represent the train, and the sounds that are playing in the background really make you believe it is indeed a moving vehicle.

To see the full video, copy this link -

Mark Neville

A couple of months ago we guest lecture from the documentary photographer Mark Neville.
He came in specifically to talk about one of his most famous series of work, entitled 'Port Glasgow'.
This series was based on the small town Port Glasgow in Scotland. Neville spent a long time there, getting to know his surroundings and some of the people who lived there. He documented his stay with photographs. Taking pictures of the different activities that were going on, its environment, and very intimate moment with the new people he had met on his stay. 
Photographing the highs and the lows of this community.

When photographing people, Neville used to rig up large flash lights, which would sometimes go off unsuspectingly. Therefore the poses of the people were more natural, and he was able capture images that wouldn't be possible if the people knew that they were being photographed at that exact time.  

After gathering all his images, Neville then went on to produce a photobook, but the book was only given to the residents of the town, and was not published commercially. He had a mixed reaction from the book. Some just simply threw it away, while others loved it, and believed it was great to have their town be centre of attention. The book grew in popularity, but Neville kept to his guns and didn't produce any more books. Because of this book were now being sold for hundreds, and even thousands of pounds.    

This image was an inspiration within my printed page module. I had chosen to base my book around the concept of fashion and why does it work in a certain way.
This image links to my module because the hats that the women are wearing, Neville made them wear them as a bit of fun. Thinking maybe someone looked at these images in the future and thought "what strange hats the people used to wear then". 
It questions what is right with fashion. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Easter Film

Over the year I had only been concentrating on producing photography for my modules, and have done none 'just because I could'. So I decided that over the three week period that we had off for Easter that I would used my Nikon FM 35mm film camera. 
The objective to take the camera with me each day, and hopefully be able to document my holiday. 
I stuck to my personal task and produced 36 photographs documenting everything from meet ups with friends, to interesting sights and even a friendly goat. 

Once I had finished the film I developed the film myself in uni. I then scanned in the negatives in the computer using one of the scanners in uni.

I am really happy with my exposures. I have really enjoyed this laid back task, and i have already started a new 36 exposure film. 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Hepworth Wakefield

Recently we visited the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. The gallery was hosting a large collection of works by the photographer Philip Lorca diCorsica 1975 - 2012. 

The main section of the Hepworth Gallery

As well as featuring a lot of his work, the exhibit also showed some of his bodies of work, including Streetwork, and A Storybook Life. 
The work was absolutely stunning. The amount of detail and emotion was immense. There was no piece  within the exhibition that I didn't think was up to standard. The photographs had such intensity, it was hard not to be drawn into it.   

This was my favourite piece within the exhibition. From a distance this photograph looks like a painting. But this isn't the main reason why I have favourited this piece of work. The reason is because of how busy the piece is. The different shapes and colours blending to become one. It is so interesting, and I find I can look at it for a long time. After a while it becomes a mystery of what the image is. Is it a tree any more?

Flash Fiction - One day Brief

On this one day brief I had to produce a series of 12 images, each symbolising an adjective that we were given at the beginning of the day. 

I decided to base my series of small images on a makeshift journey of a working class family. Travelling, and  documenting what they saw, did and ate. 
I tried to produce images in the first person view, to make the images look as if the family saw it this way.   

Looking down over a bridge that they are crossing on the way into town.

A parent has just been smoking, and has stubbed their cigarette out using the bin.

This is something that they saw as they travelled. 

Stopping at McDonald's for a bite to eat. 

Finishing their meal, trying to use all the ketchup they can on the last bite.

One member of the family takes some food with them, but discard it quickly as they are bored with its taste. 

The view of the family from the view point of a passer by.

Another view that they saw, this time making their way back home.

One of the children gets enticed by the bright colours on a toy machine, and bugs their parents into playing.  

A traffic light that comes into view as they are about to cross the road. 

They look up at their building before venturing inside. 

The children, and parents become tired.