Informing Contexts: Week 2. Independent Reflection W/C 02/02/2018

Did any ideas particularly interest you:

  • The close connection between photography and ‘physical reality’
  • How the photographer is part of the situation that they depict.
  • I think authenticity depends on why the photograph was taken – What was the intent of the photographer
  • I read about the Cottingley Fairy Hoax  of 1917 (https://qz.com/911990/the-cottingley-fairy-hoax-of-1917-is-a-case-study-in-how-smart-people-lose-control-of-the-truth/). This links to the intent – these photographs were produced to mislead no matter if you believe in Fairies or not!
  • I didn’t agree with the description that photography lacks expressive freedom – expressiveness is something that I aim to achieve with all of my images.

What Challenged you and have your ideas changed:

  • I think my main challenges this week was weighing up whether any photography can be trusted any more than any other type of image.
  • This process of evaluation has also changed the thoughts that I had at the start of the week. These days with the easily available digital editing platforms it is almost second nature to edit and make changes to any image. I used to think that photographs were the most truthful form of art, but now I am swayed to think otherwise.
  • As with painting it is down to the choices of the photographer as to how trustworthy a piece of work is and unless information is given out with each image we would never know what the choices made were.

How might your work be (or not be) considered as a peculiar practice:

  • I think my work would be seen as a peculiar practice by many! My project currently focuses on Macro photography – relying on abstraction using an iPhone. In many circles this method will not be understood along with the fact that I take images of the mundane/the everyday.

Think about how the context affects how people view your work:

  • Context plays a major role in how people view my work, without the context of challenging perceptions and advising people that I want to know what they can see, without them need to be correct my project would be a confusing concept for many.

Reflect on your practice in the context of other visual practices and theoretical points:

  • I think I can continue to research artists in genres such as abstract, expressionists, surrealists, modernists to give context to my work. Like Scruton said “the viewer often looks through the photograph to the object it depicts” this is what I personally want the viewer to do.
  • I was interested also in another section of Roger Scruton’s article Photography & Representation. “the medium of photography has lost all importance: it can present us with what we see, but cannot tell us how to see it” pg 590
  • This quote seems to encapsulate what I want to do with my project. Whilst I don’t agree that photography has lost its importance. I want to present an image and the viewer to tell me what they see – I don’t want them to be told how I want them to see or what society wants them to see. I want them to explore and express themselves.
  • I agree with Scruton that if I start telling people what I see in my images, I would then be required to describe the image and tell others what they should be seeing (pg 586) – this is not what I want to achieve with my project.

Research

This week I have also explored the work of John Humphrey. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

I chose to look at this work as he is a tutor on a course I have been taking to improve my skills and learn the technique of stacking.

His image Cactus 1 is the type of image I want to create – it made me wonder what it was as I couldn’t tell and it encouraged me to explore the frame. This is one of the things that motivates me with my project – encouraging the viewer to really look and spend time gazing and wondering.

Cactus 1 -John Humphrey 2017

At the same time I think Cactus 2 is a little too far into the abstraction for what I want to achieve and it makes me realise what a fine line it is to tread.

Cactus 2 – John Humphrey 2017

I really enjoyed paper curl. The aesthetics of the image I can relate to as it is an object similar to what I want to shoot for my project. I get great satisfaction from the way it makes you wonder where it goes as it disappears into nothing, as if it were melting into the background.

Paper Curl – John Humphrey 2017

With the image Torn Paper I can also apply elements to my project work. It is important that I learn these lessons on composition to enhance the work that I produce for my project.

Torn Paper – John Humphrey 2017

References:

 

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