Resubmission of Assignment 1 (and reflection on tutor’s comments)

In this post I will reflect on some of my tutor’s comments in the report for As. 1 and I will also include the resubmission for the As. 1

In your evaluation you conclude that you want to improve the tone of your images and your skies, as they are not present – do have a good look at contemporary practitioners and their use of both. You may note intense colours and polarized (blue skies with white plump clouds) are the reserve of amateur photographers). Most often, engaged photographers go out on overcast days and use a de-saturated palate (see the Dussledorf school) why do you think this is?

I tried to check the Dussledorf School, I did not know anything about that. A google search lead me -to https://www.artsy.net/gene/dusseldorf-school-of-photography  (accessed on 7-7-2016)

Just yesterday I made an account in artsy so I can follows some of the artist there. I have already discussed some of these photographers.

In this school and related to what my tutor wanted to check is the work by https://www.artsy.net/artist/elger-esser (accessed on 7-7-2016) Elger Esser.

I think that the clouds in the sky and the colour tones affect more how we feel, and as we mentioned in the As. 1 the idea of sublime is related to how we feel, when look at a work of art. Also, the use of this type of film somehow “fills” the empty skies. What I mean, is if we shoot these skies technically “correctly” with a digital camera they might look really white and empty. Sometimes, just for images to be shared in instagram I like the similar effect of the instagram filters but I do not know if that was acceptable for my photography studies, unless there was a conceptual reason to do so.

Finally, it was clear for me how effective where the skies in the landscape in the resubmitted As. 1.

As. 6: Do have a look at the work of Jem Southam his work deals with change over a period of time.Again, layers of meaning are important here. What are you saying about this location? Do have a look at Kevin Newark’s work – he shot carrier bags in canals over a period of time (you may not realize that this is what you are looking at). From Newark’s Protoplasm series – do read about this in addition to looking at the work visually.Also Catherine Yass’s series Damage Canal (2005). Yass’s series is technically and conceptually interrelated. It is about photograph itself (indexicality – see Stephen Bull’s definition of this) and place.

I looked at most of the above and we have some discussions with email after my tutor sent their report. I change my directions and tried to add some layers of meaning and some story telling in the revisits of the location for As. 6. Also I think I took some risks in some of them. I am now waiting for the feedback of my tutor If I am going to the correct direction or I have to change.

You have undertaken some good initial research. Your research has led you to some interesting unanswered questions. I would like to recommend you further unpack the work of the photographers you have looked.

 

  • Is it important to Paul Graham’s concepts to be technically proficient?

I am not sure if it is important or not. Based on the previous courses at some points it was mentioned that we have be critical to other photographers work. That was a thought I have looking to his work. Maybe that is something personal.

 

  • Look at the approach of the photographers who were practice alongside him in the 1980’s are they technically proficient? (Paul Rees, Martin Parr, Anna Fox et al)

Martin Parr’s work maybe is not technically proficient. However, I really like his concepts and it is one of the photographers I follow. I like several of his projects including self portraits, portraits and images which describe the English reality during several periods.

 

  • Please research what was happening politically when he was practicing in the UK.

Some of his work was during the period when Prime Minister was Margaret Thatcher, a period with troubles, as some people loved her and some people hate her. Many restrictions have applied in that time. I remember in one of the places I lived in UK there was device on the wall you have to introduce a pound to have electricity and it is connected to the Thatcher’s time. So that makes possible explanation of his projects called “Troubled Land”. Also that was a period of recession in UK which explains the sadness in the people faces. I understand more his work now, and that is possible that the story is better than the quality of the images.

 

  • Please research his use of narrative in recent works and how he uses the book and exhibition format for publishing work

https://ww2.kqed.org/arts/2015/08/19/photographers-decade-of-travel-tells-stories-from-everyday-america/ (accessed on 7-7-2016)

There is article on his storytelling, but still his work does not look interesting to me.

 

  • Do you feel he has pushed at the boundaries of what photography is and can be? Is he doing things differently to others?

Maybe he did, but I do not find these boundaries interesting. There are many other photographers I appreciate and admire their more. I mentioned some of them in my notes. Maybe he is also doing something different but it does not appeal to me. Maybe it has to do with the fact I have no understanding or interest on what happen on the time he worked during the recession time in UK. I have an interest more in the contemporary photography or in the older history. I found more interesting the work of Martin Parr, Peter Dench and Tom Wood. But maybe that is also a matter of personal taste.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/mar/08/photographer-paul-graham-hasselblad-award (accessed on 7-7-2016)

And it is possible that I am wrong but I prefer to express how I feel or think.

  • Why has Richard Mosse used infrared film? Note that this is a considered and conceptual choice

I was trying to find why was that, why Mosse used infrared film. I found the following link, where it says

http://www.jackshainman.com/artists/richard-mosse/  (accessed on 7-7-2016)

“I wanted to export this technology to a harder situation, to up-end the generic conventions of calcified mass-media narratives and challenge the way we’re allowed to represent this forgotten conflict… I wanted to confront this military reconnaissance technology, to use it reflexively in order to question the ways in which war photography is constructed.” And also ‘The piece is an attempt, as Mosse explained on CNN.com, to bring “two counter-worlds into collision: art’s potential to represent narratives so painful that they exist beyond language, and photography’s capacity to document specific tragedies and communicate them to the world”

As opposed to my comments for Paul Graham, I think Richard Mosse did something different and pushed the limits of what photography is and can be. He did that in a field close to the photojournalism which has well determined limits and yet he achieved a really interesting result. Most photographer would use this type of film in photos similar to the initial photos of instagram or photos somebody will share in the Lomography community, more for fun, not to raise important issues.

Light, shape, form (the technical aspects of the medium) is only one half of what makes ‘good’ photography. Technique is a means to an end. Good technical command will help you communicate your ideas. It is essential- at degree level study – for you to make ‘thinking’ photography i.e. photographs that are conceptually engaging.

I think I tried to add some experimental elements and layers of meaning in my general work since I submitted As. 1. I hope that this is clear both in my discussion and photos. See more in the submission and comment of As. 2

You state that, through an internet search, you discovered that you should shoot using a wide angle lens and a tripod – do ensure you are looking at how engaged photographers are working. Interestingly, your three rejected images were made as a result of working with this approach. I think they are your strongest three images. And, you too, can see the merit in them – you say so in your evaluation. You state that this is due to their strong composition. I would like to encourage you to rework this assignment before assessment drawing upon the successes of these three images. I think the tonal ranges are good and hold together – they could be enhanced through a small amount of de-saturation (keep an eye on those greens).

What your project lacks is a conceptual hook. It needs some layers in addition to the notion of the sublime and beautiful. What could you say about the area that you are photographing? Can it relate to the current political climate? Lewis Baltz’s work may be most relevant here

 

I tried to rework based on these images. Shooting with a wide angle, no tripod though. I was feeling more free without tripod and I think this did not affect my images. I think my tutor was correct by saying that they are the strongest ones. I think they explore more the concepts of Beauty and Sublime. It is clear how more effective are the clouds in an overcast day.

I think what the photos can say for the area I am photographing is: in general not poor area, big buildings, parks and green area under development, safe areas that offer a good quality of life. Maybe it cannot be relates in the current political climate, but it is important to note that Pamplona and in general the Navarra area of Spain, is not among the areas that have been affected by the economical crisis that affect towns and cities in the South of Spain. In addition, I want to say that I do not have an interest in politics especially in the countries I am living abroad (UK in the past and Spain now). I have a small interest in politics for what is happening in my country (Greece). I tried not to relate my photos in general with politics unless it is a covering of a political event etc. I prefer more important issues (for me) like objects or people storytelling.

I took the photos for the submission in more than one sessions. The initial editing resulted to around 23 images which you can see in my personal blog at https://argyriosphotography.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/playing-with-clouds/

From these I finally choose the 12 which are the resubmission and I will consider them as the submission for As. 1 in the Assessment. I think the resubmission is much better than the initial submission, the images are stronger and explore better both the concepts of beauty and sublime.

 

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