All posts by Argyrios Photography

Argyrios Georgiadis Photography Student at the Open College of the Arts http://argyriosphotography.daportfolio.com/

Assignment Six: Transitions

Introduction

For Assignment 6 we have to produce a series of images that respond to the idea of “transitions” within Landscape. We have to work for this assignment during the whole duration of the course. We should record the changes a part of a Landscape undergoes over an extended period of time. When completed the assignment should address the notion that a landscape is an evolving, dynamic system.

Reflective commentary on how the project developed

As described above I worked for the Transitions project for most of the part of the Landscape course. For this reason there might be discussions about other photographers etc which are also related to this project in posts that are connected with other projects, assignments etc.

You can see the progress of my work for Assignment 6 in my blog under the tag – Transitions

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/transitions/

As I was in Pamplona, Spain for the biggest part of the period I was actively working for the course, the area of my choice was a park in walking distance from my temporary home there.

During the first weeks of the course I was visiting the locations and I was simply trying to capture the effect of lighting and weather in a specific location (Ex. 1.5, Transitions-2, Transitions-3). However, my tutor suggested that layers of meaning are important and I think that what was missing in those photos (I was simply taking photos a security camera would have taken). Also, there was no personal voice etc.

As discussed in the blog (Exercise 2.2 and Transitions-4), after few e-mails with my tutor I decided to challenge what I consider as Landscape photography, add some layers of meaning and also experiment a little.

I tried to be a little more creative in Transitions- 4 by changing my point of view and closer to my personal voice.  I kept working on that in Transitions- 5, Transitions-11 and Transitions- 12 where the voice was start shaping. I was more experimental in Transitions- 6, Transitions- 7, Transitions- 8.  In the report for As.4 my tutor suggested to explore further the mirror concepts and I did so in Transitions-13. Although, I think it is an interesting project, it does not match with the other photos and that is the reason I did not include them in the submitted photos for As. 6 (different location, different “voice”).

In the report for As. 2 my tutor mentioned that “The successful images are the ones that feature discarded objects” and that is the reason, I tried to concentrate more on this direction.  Also in the report of As. 3 it is mentioned that “The rubbish is interesting”.

Working for As. 6 affected my ideas about Landscape. That was in agreement with how my ideas for landscape change in general while working for this course, an issue I will discuss more later in this report.

One final comment, I felt that my tutor’s comments and discussion where really helpful on the evolutions of the project (comments about layers of meaning, experiments, challenging what is landscape for me etc). I tried to follow most of my tutor’s suggestion and when I did not it was not because I ignored them, but simply because I could not put them in practise which is not always possible in a creative process.

Transitions in my project

In the previous post I discussed how the project evolved etc as suggested in the course notes. However, I need to write also few thoughts about my choice of photos and why I think they address the notion of Landscape as a dynamic and evolving system.

When I started working it was simply the changes of the weather and lighting (that is easy to understand). Then, I switch to the objects/ rubbish which are something temporary. They have been dropped behind of not responsible people (rubbish) or forgotten (objects). They will not be there after few hours/ days when the cleaner will remove/ collect them. They are part of the landscape at the moment the photos were taken, but they are not a permanent part of the landscape (like buildings, trees etc which are “more” permanent).

Research- Reflections

There are discussions about the transitions projects in many parts of my course, however few relevant are below (possibly I am missing few). Those are in addition to the posts tagged Transitions or Assignment 6 (See above), and include discussions about the work of other photographers.

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/looking-at-the-work-of-other-photographers-tutors-suggestions/

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/as-2-reflection-on-tutors-comments/

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/exercise-2-2-explore-a-road/

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/exercise-4-3-a-subjective-voice/

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/researching-for-as-5-looking-at-the-work-of-other-photographers/

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/resubmission-of-assignment-1-and-reflection-on-tutors-comments/

Photos

We can see the final choice of the photos below.

Course reflection and evaluation

In this part we have to write a short entry reflecting on what we have learned in this course, considering how our approach to the landscape has changed and how our knowledge has evolved. I think it worth looking to the following posts and reflecting on some thoughts from them etc.

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/exercise-1-1-preconceptions/

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/part-1-beauty-and-the-sublime/exercise-1-3/

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/part-3-landscape-as-political-text/exercise-3-1/

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/part-4-landscape-and-identities/exercise-4-3/

When I started the course I have in mind more traditional concepts of what is landscape photography. It was similar to what I learned from school or tv, books etc and it was similar to what we consider landscape paintings. It was limited to picturesque landscapes which show the beauty of a place. Also the point of view was the one a wide lens can give with everything well focused, a result similar to the “Landscape Mode” of a camera.

I learned through this course that contemporary landscape is not limited to that and does not only depict the beauty and the sublime. Landscape images can be used to inform about situations or pass messages (see the post about the visit to the Exhibition of Royal Geography Society when they want to raise awareness about the damage the humans have done to the planet). Also, I learned about the concepts of space and place which was interesting. In addition it was interesting to put in practise the use of text in photography. A concept I wanted to try in the past and I hope to try again in the future.

As my personal photographic practise was not related to what I was considering before the course as Landscape photography, I did not consider myself as Landscape Photographer. However, what I learned in the course is that even photos which can give a sense of space and do not follow the “rules” of Landscape Photography, even when depicting objects; they can be considered Landscape photographs. Also, although, I was not so successful in intervention with the landscape when I tried, I really appreciate looking at the work of photographers you have done that successfully.

I have to admit that in general the “Landscape journey” was much more interesting than I was thinking before joining the course. I am glad that I had the opportunity to do it, and I think it is better to have it as a part of a Photography degree. It had much more reading/ analysing of essays that somebody could expect for a photography course, but I also found that interesting.

Reviewing assignments

I tried to follow most of the tutor’s suggestions and I tried to reflect on their comments.

You can find each assignment (initial and resubmission in the links below)

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/assignment-1/

I believe that the images in resubmission are much stronger than the initial submission.

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/assignment-2/

I think that the rework in the text following the tutor suggestion is better. I hope that the selection of the photos in the resubmission is more successful.

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/assignment-3/

Following to my tutor suggesting I reshoot some photos in more cloudy sky. I think the images in the resubmission are stronger.

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/assignment-4/

I think the final version of essay is better than the initial one.

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/category/assignment-5/

I reworked the As. 5. I think that the resubmission is more interesting than the initial work.

As. 6 is submitted with this form

Tutorial

In this post I will discuss how I want to submit my work for assessment.

  • I will attach/ send a link to my blog which will be the main part of my submission.
  • I will put in the specific folder online with OCA: files of tutors reports, the assignment pdf files I sent to my tutor with every assignment, a pdf file with the links to the resubmissions of Assignments for the assessors to find them easier, Assignment 4 as pdf, initial and final photos of assignments
  • I will also email at the essay separately at the assessment team when the time comes for assessment

In assessment guidelines is mentioned that

“Prints of your revised ‘final’ submissions for assessment in response to tutor feedback

(submitted in hard copy)”

For this one I will select the following photos:

  • 1: photos in resubmission
  • 2: photos in resubmission
  • 3: photos in resubmission
  • 5: photos in resubmission (If my tutors agrees that they are stronger that the initial submission with the paintings)
  • 6: photos in initial submission (pending feedback from tutor)

My intention is to put them together in a photo book with each chapter for a different assignment. As I mentioned in the resubmission of As. 5, I just do not like the idea of loose prints (as I did in previous courses), and I hope that as a book it will be easier than loose prints and It will be easier and more joyful to look at them in the future.

In addition, in my physical submission, I plan to print a hard copy of the Essay and some guides for the assessor to where they can find everything in the online folders and in my blog.

Advertisements

RESUBMISSION OF ASSIGNMENT 5

Further to my tutor report I reworked for As. 5.

I attach below three paragraphs of the report, as my commentary will be based on them.

Your project would benefit from further development. Before moving forward please research Ruscha, then revisit your research material for this assignment particularly the photographers that I gave you in your last feedback. What is it that they do, that makes them interesting, and relevant to you? How are they challenging landscape practice? How can you align your project to theirs? I do not mean literally emulate, I mean what are they doing (they make artists intervention within the landscape) that your work is just falling short of? This analysis should be evidence on your blog. This will help you demonstrate post feedback context, reflective thinking, critical thinking and analysis.   Then you should do more shooting. This time do more than simply place a painting in front of your camera, in front of a scene. That is, intervene.  This way you will situate yourself within the context in which you are working; you will demonstrate an understanding of your research material. You will begin to challenge landscape practice. What will you do?

Theoretically, I would like to encourage you to play with the notion of the abstract. This will also help you develop your visuals (thus you will begin to engage in an interactive process of practice and theory). There are questions here about representation. Can photographs ever be abstract?

You site the Dear Photograph and photographers making similar work with old photographs on your blog, however you don’t make use of memory within your own work. Perhaps there is more work to here. I am not suggesting that you copy this approach – far from it – this is a well-trodden path. I simply mean there could be a possible way of thinking about memory here thus making sense of abstract painting, Barthes referent/unbilical cord and memory. Are the spaces in which you place your paintings of significance? Could they be? Perhaps spaces are associated with fuzzy (abstract memories)

I start looking again to the other photographers my tutor suggested. I tried to look at them and answer the questions. I was wondering what I can do to avoid again, just placing the paintings and photograph them. I initially decide to change the type of paintings and use again toilet paper rolls and paint them with acrylic paint as in the examples in Ex. 4.6 (I felt that the acrylic was more effective, with the additional texture). In addition, as I was back to the place where I spent most of the summers when I was child/ teenager; I decided to place the paintings in locations that were important or special in my child holidays. As a testing, I took the image below.

DSC_2817_onk

 

In this one the special location in the summer house of my family (exploring also memory as suggested by my tutor). I decided to use the bokeh effect to look at the memories. My tutor, asked if photographs can be abstract.

As mentioned in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_photography),  “Abstract photography, sometimes called non-objective, experimental, conceptual or concrete photography, is a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world and that has been created through the use of photographic equipment, processes or materials. An abstract photograph may isolate a fragment of a natural scene in order to remove its inherent context from the viewer, it may be purposely staged to create a seemingly unreal appearance from real objects, or it may involve the use of color, light, shadow, texture, shape and/or form to convey a feeling, sensation or impression. The image may be produced using traditional photographic equipment like a camera, darkroom or computer, or it may be created without using a camera by directly manipulating film, paper or other photographic media, including digital presentations.”

I think the bokeh can have elements of abstract.

Following to the initial photo, I start keeping notes of possible locations where I can place my painted toilet papers cardboards and also start painting the toilet rolls. As in this photo, I start planning to match part of the colour tones of the landscape/ locations with the colours of the paintings in the roles (again to avoid simple placement). While continue working, I was not that happy with the final images mainly with how the paintings look in the photos. In addition, I felt that these series of photos did not felt something natural to me. It was feeling more like try to create something that will fit the assignments/ assessment requirements and not as project I enjoyed. Looking to my initial submission, I knew that I enjoyed the creative progress, but I appreciated my tutor comments, it was feeling more like I place the painting in front of the camera, and not intervention. I understand that the rework has some intervention, but I did not feel any personal connection with the work.

When looking to my work I notice the following:

–  there were some interesting locations, which have some connection with my childhood

– I could use the bokeh to explore the memories

– the only thing did not perfectly fit was the paintings. I felt that the paintings were making the photos less interesting. For this reason, I decided to visit the locations without the paintings. I took the following photo.

b_DSC_2848

 

Looking to it, I noticed that If I make the photos black and white they will make the memory effect stronger. See below.

b_DSC_2848_bw

I thought again about previous projects (use of text). As the “memory” in each photo would not be clear given the bokeh effect, I thought to add also 1-2 words to “guide” the viewer.

Before, attaching the photos, I want to summarise some of the research I did about memory, photography, black and white photography etc between the tutor’s report and the final photo selection.

My tutor suggested reading Liz Wells’s book “Land Matters”, as this could help me to make more sense of the relationship between my paintings and the space in which they are positioned. I think the most relevant part of the book is the final chapter which has as title “Sense of Location: Topography, Journey, Memory”.

There are few interesting points in this chapter. I will quote

“Photographs are about memory- or perhaps about the absence of memory, providing pictures to fill voids, illustrating and sometimes falsifying our collective memory, Lippard” p. 261 kindle edition

“Indeed, photographs indicate how particular places or phenomena appeared at specific moments” p. 263- kindle edition

“He concludes that photographs reference to that which is no longer present thereby, paradoxically, emphasising the unreality of that which, through depiction, seems to be made present. Images operate through association to conjure up a broad spectrum of references and memories reaching beyond the moment or event pictured.

Images do not have memory! Memory is a human faculty…Photographs appear as images removed from the flow of time” p. 289- kindle edition

“They also act as aide- memoires: photographs remind us of moments, experiences or details that might otherwise fade” p. 290- kindle edition

The above points made me think more about the selection of the locations and the memories attached to them. A photograph can help us to remember a specific memory as discussed. While reading that I thought, What if there is no specific memory but similar memories over years? How can I depict that?

My answer of that is kind of opposite to the last quote. The memory itself will fade in the photo (being out of focus), the memory will not be clear, but the same time I will put a title/ text in the photo to guide the viewer to the memory. But, again it will be more a sense of a memory.

The tool for me to “fade” the memory is bokeh[1]. I used it in the previous projects in this and previous courses. However, in previous assignments/ projects the subject of the photo was focused and everything else was out of focus. In this, project, a not important element is in focus and the “memory” is out of focus. I use this technique as it was part of the “personal voice” I developed in this course and also for aesthetic reasons as I did not want to have the full image out of focus. I also have used this method to give a dreamy feeling in the photo, as the memories sometimes feel like an old dream.

In addition, I turned the photos to black and white as “Black and white photos are often associated with retro style. They remind of the old times when people used black-and-white film cameras” [2]. I wanted my photos to have the feeling of something old, as memories are old.

Also, “Removing the color makes it more difficult to put an exact date on a photo… Many fine art photographers prefer black and white images for their tendency to distance the subject matter from reality…Removing color from a picture helps the viewer to focus on a subject’s emotional state”[3]

I think all these thoughts are relevant to my work here. I do not want to put my memories in an exact date, as they are not from a specific day. I also want somehow my subject to be a little far from reality, as possibly our memories are. Finally, there are possibly some emotions hidden in the depicted subjects.

[1] http://users.rider.edu/~suler/photopsy/bokeh.htm

[2] http://blog.pho.to/the-power-of-black-and-white-photography/

[3] http://www.photographyvox.com/a/color-vs-black-and-white-photography/

 

While re-working, for As. 5, I understand that my final work is different from the initial proposal. I sent an email and inform about that my tutor between submission of As. 5 and As. 6. As this is the self directed project and it is required an artist statement, I also rewrite the Artist statement. Below are the new Artist Statement and the 8 new photos with text. I believe that resubmission is stronger than the initial submission and if my tutor agrees I will submit it for assessment.

Artist Statement

Over the past ten years, I was only returning to my parent’s summer house for very short summer breaks, as I was working and living abroad. However, this summer and due to unemployment I stayed for few months.

I spent most summers from childhood to university times, in that village. While walking in the village, memories from different places and time periods were coming to my mind. I felt the need to try to capture how I was feeling about these memories.

As the memories were from the past but not from a specific time, I converted the photos to black and white. In addition, as the memory was not clear, I choose the subject to be out-of-focus. However, I added the text below the image, to specify the place, which was not clear on the image. Sometimes, the memory did not have to do with the specific location, but about what the place represented. For example, the church is not connected with memories of the specific location, but how I was feeling and thinking about religion at the time. Finally, all these places or what they represent were of significant importance for me.  

Ed Rucsha

Finally, I looked at the work of Ed Rucsha, as suggested by my tutor to look mainly at his photo book design. They were all available as scans online. I liked more the subject of “Royal Road Test” and “Various small fires and milk”. I think indeed the design of “Every building on Sunset Strip” is interesting. One of the things I did not like, an in general I do not like in books/ magazines is when images are split between the two sides of the publication. An example is below

gasoline_16

I was wondering, If I am interested in a more playful approach in my photobook etc. First of all the addition of the text in the revised As. 5 will affect the design of the pages of the book. In addition, I was thinking that the purpose of the books of Ruscha was for book publication. I think that is different from my book. In previous assessment, when I print photos they just stayed in a folder and I never looked to them. In addition, I do not like that they were loose. I feel that if I will print in a book format the photos from different assignment, I will be happier looking at them in the future and that they will also look better in the assessment. They will not aim for a publication, but just as a reference. Moreover, I think I like in general sometimes things to be simple and that is the reason, I decided to keep my book format simple, and I did not use the blurb application to have control to achieve exactly what I have in mind. Of course, if I was aiming to create a book for publication, I would consider a different approach and even if possible ask for help from a book designer.

Resubmission of Assignment 4

Further to my tutor comments I made the following changes in my essay:

  • Change of title (as suggested by my tutor)
  • Expand discussion in introduction
  • Addition as reference [Sontag, S. (2003), Regarding the pain of others, Hamish Hamilton Ltd] as I felt that it was relevant in discussions in a couple of places

I also did the following two changes:

  • Addition of images of Manchester attach and London fire (these events happen between my initial submission and this one, simply as they were really socking events that I watched in the news, I thought that I should include them)
  • Captions in italics

These were not suggestions by my tutor; just felt I should do it.

Below you can see the initial submission

LatePhotographyAGeorgiadis_initial

And the final one after the above corrections

LatePhotographyAGeorgiadis_final

Reflecting on “Regarding the Pain of Others” by Susan Sontag

My tutor in report for As. 4 recommended to read Susan Sontag’s Book: Regarding the pain of others. She thought that it might be useful when unpacking ideas of shock and synthesizing a traditional “live action” approach with aftermath.

I found the book and below are my thoughts/ reflections. I have to admit that it was a really interesting but not so pleasant book.

Chapter 1

  • Men and women look differently at War. War is a man’s game. I think I agree with that. I believe that if there were more women as world leaders there would have been fewer wars. I do not know if it has to do with maternal instincts, that from their nature they do not want their children or other mother’s kids to die or it is simply that women seems to be more emotional than men. Of course that is not the rule etc…but it is an interesting point raised in the book.
  • “Not to be pained by these pictures, not to recoil from them, not to strive to abolish what causes this havoc, this carnage—these, for Woolf, would be the reactions of a moral monster. And, she is saying, we are not monsters, we members of the educated class. Our failure is one of imagination, of empathy: we have failed to hold this reality in mind”. I think we are indeed monsters. Even if I am not happy writing that. Personally, I cannot image intentionally harm somebody else. But this is not how an important portion of humans thing. If that was not the case we would have lived in a peaceful planet. And yes, that is the result in most of the cases of the educated class. Even in wars we can see that “simple” people from different countries manage to overcome their difficulties if they are forced to live together after a war. The problem is with those in power, with their decisions and with what comes because of them.
  • “For Woolf, as for many antiwar polemicists, war is generic, and the images she describes are of anonymous, generic victims… To those who are sure that right is on one side, oppression and injustice on the other, and that the fighting must go on, what matters is precisely who is killed and by whom… Alter the caption, and the children’s deaths could be used and reused” It is sad how a person with a character and ID etc become just a body when they die. We speak of number of dead bodies everyday in the news and if it far, it sound like we are speaking for broken toys. The closer it is to us, the sadder we feel. But we only remember if it is a friend or a relative. The altering of a caption to benefit one or the other side is totally unethical for me. It also does not show respect to those who died. If I remember correctly, in Ancient Greece they respect the dead bodies even from their opponents, thousands years later and instead of becoming better we become worst in this aspect.
  • “In fact, there are many uses of the innumerable opportunities a modern life supplies for regarding—at a distance, through the medium of photography—other people’s pain. Photographs of an atrocity may give rise to opposing responses. A call for peace. A cry for revenge. Or simply the bemused awareness, continually restocked by photographic information, that terrible things happen” The first part is relevant to my essay. Photos of horror events can lead to discussion for the effects of the war and hopefully lead to peace. However, as it is mentioned, the more images of horror we can see the more we get used to them and hence, we start just accepting them as something common.

Chapter 2

  • “Something becomes real—to those who are elsewhere, following it as “news”—by being photographed I was thinking something similar for a personal trip. Things did not work out the way I wanted and kind of felt that if I will not take photos of this trip it will feel like it never happened. However, it is not similar in wars etc. It is important to prevent them from happening, not from being photographed. It is the reality we have to change not the photos.
  • “Photography is the only major art in which professional training and years of experience do not confer an insuperable advantage over the untrained and inexperienced—this for many reasons, among them the large role that chance (or luck) plays in the taking of pictures, and the bias toward the spontaneous, the rough, the imperfect” Yes that is might be correct. You do not need the professional training to take good photos, as many great photographers are and were self educated. However, as a photography student, I think the photography education helps you to understand the photography as art and why people are taking photos. That maybe does not help you directly to improve your photography skills; it helps though to appreciate even more what you are doing.
  • “Normally, if there is any distance from the subject, what a photograph “says” can be read in several ways” I think there was more relevant discussion about that in one of the essays we had to analyse
  • “ The memory of war, however, like all memory, is mostly local.” I agree with that. The closer the war zone or the victims of an attack the more it touches us.

 

Chapter 3

  • A painting or drawing is judged a fake when it turns out not to be by the artist to whom it had been attributed. A photograph—or a filmed document available on television or the internet—is judged a fake when it turns out to be deceiving the viewer about the scene it purports to depict”. Again an interesting point here. I though this before but not as parallel thoughts. Painting, does not have to depict exactly reality, it is just telling a story. In Photography, especially in photojournalism an accurate depiction of what has happened is expected.

Chapter 4

  • “This, of course, is how war looks when it is seen from afar, as an image. Victims, grieving relatives, consumers of news all have their own nearness to or distance from war. The frankest representations of war and of disaster-injured bodies are of those who seem most foreign, therefore least likely to be known. With subjects closer to home, the photographer is expected to be more discreet”. Again similar to above, how we are related to the subject or the area of the disaster affect how we look at the photos and how we feel about them.
  • “During the Vietnam era, war photography became, normatively, a criticism of war. This was bound to have consequences: mainstream media are not in the business of making people feel queasy about the struggles for which they are being mobilized, much less of disseminating propaganda against waging war. Since then, censorship—the most extensive kind, self-censorship, as well as censorship imposed by the military— has found a large and influential number of apologists… There had not been such drastic restrictions on the reporting of a British military operation since the Crimean War.” Again some interesting facts about how Vietnam war was the last to be photographed with no restrictions (have discussed this issue in the past in during the landscape course)

 

Chapter 7

  • “Here is Baudelaire writing in his journal in the early 1860s:It is impossible to glance through any newspaper, no matter what the day, the month or the year, without finding on every line the most frightful traces of human perversity… Every newspaper, from the first line to the last, is nothing but a tissue of horrors. Wars, crimes, thefts, lecheries, tortures, the evil deeds of princes, of nations, of private individuals; an orgy of universal atrocity. And it is with this loathsome appetizer that civilized man daily washes down his morning repast./Newspapers did not yet carry photographs when Baudelaire wrote” I am really feeling the same when I am looking online or when I am looking in twitter. I also believe that we can be informed for much more horror events around the world today than in 1860 and also I believe that we have much more catastrophic weapons and more terror attacks, so I just wonder what Baudelaire would have felt if he had the change to “travel in the future”. Sad really sad…

 

Chapter 8

  • “Parked in front of the little screens—television, computer, palmtop—we can surf to images and brief reports of disasters throughout the world. It seems as if there is a greater quantity of such news than before. This is probably an illusion. It’s just that the spread of news is “everywhere.” Just mentioned that I feel that today are more crimes than many years ago. Also, considering that the book is written on 2003 I think that we have more terror attacks in 2017 than few years ago. It feels, for me, that we are in constant war with terrorism and the war zones can be anywhere and maybe that is harder for civilians.

Assignment Five: Self-directed project

Introduction

For this Assignment we have to produce a body of work that explores a particular place, type of space or theme relating to landscape practice. I have already discussed and agreed the self directed project with my tutor as described in the relevant post in my blog. You can find that at the following link

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/exercise-4-6-proposal-for-the-self-directed-project/

As it is mentioned there “The main idea is to create few small abstract paintings on different materials with oil pastel and/ or acrylics. Then photograph them outdoors, and try to create landscape photos in similar style of the photos created in previous assignments, with the personal voice that start evolving in the images of objects for As. 6”

The project proposal did not change since from the initial one.

I have also produced as required an artist statement for the submitted work, which you can find in the following link but I also attach it below (there is more discussion though for the artist statement in the relevant post in my blog)

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/exercise-5-7-prepare-your-artists-statement/

Artist Statement

In my previous personal projects, I was enjoying photographing rubbish and objects left behind by the users/ owner in places sometimes we did not expect them to be. In these cases, I had one rule for myself  “Do not touch or interfere with this object and just move myself and the camera around in order to capture the image in way that satisfies me”. This practise slowly helped me to develop a personal photographic voice.

Then at some point, I felt the need to use this photographic voice in exactly the opposite way, with interfering/ placing and touching some objects in locations of my choice. The second question though, is what objects should be placed/ used.

Moreover, there was a need to be creative, and to create. I am aware that I am not a good in painting, but I am also aware that I enjoy abstract paintings. I have not practised it a lot (mainly as part of a volunteering job in an art group) but I knew that it worth exploring it further. In addition, I was always remembering that when I was in school, I was really enjoying working with oil pastels.

In this project, I created some oil pastel abstract paintings in small white cardboard, then place them and photograph them outdoors. All the pieces of cardboard are not exactly the same size or perfectly rounded as I cut a larger piece of cardboard in smaller pieces.

Research

As a part of the Assignment is required to research relevant photographers etc. I have also researcher the artists my tutor suggested in the report for As. 4

In the first part I looked about abstract paintings and the use of oil pastels

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/researching-for-as-5-abstract-paintings-oil-pastel/

In the second part I looked at the work of other photographers/ artists (including my tutor’s suggestions)

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/researching-for-as-5-looking-at-the-work-of-other-photographers/

In addition, I visited again the most recent exhibition in the photography museum of my hometown

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/visit-to-thessaloniki-museum-of-photography-13-4-2017/

Photos

In a first step, I created the oil pastel paintings in small white cardboard pieces. Then I had to decide about the location. My very initial plan when I was writing the proposal was to take them in the seaside in a location similar to the one I took the photos with the mirrors. However, I was not in Chalkidiki at the time but in Thessaloniki, Greece.

I walked in areas close to my hometown and I noticed that an interesting area was just 5-10 minutes’ walk from my home. Of course I was aware of this location (the school I was going from 12-18 years was just opposite that), but when I tried to used it for some portraits in the past it was not as great as I was hopping. However, I thought that this was a nice location for the oil pastel paintings project. Also, it had some more variety compared to a seaside location and interesting landscape. This fact is important, as the course I am working at the moment is in Landscape.

The area is called Eptapyrgio Fortress; it includes some part of the old city walls and some buildings in middle which used to be prisons until 1989. To give you a feeling of the area I used the google maps. I attach a 3d map and I tried to include inside the circles the areas I took the photo. Also, I include some print screens from the area in google maps. One thing, I noticed is how the different points of view (mine and the most common/ tourist/ google maps) can give a different feeling of the area.

I produced 18 photos; I choose to submit for this assignment 12. You can see these below.

 

Also below are the 6 rejected ones. It is not that they were really bad. I just wanted to reduce them to 12. I will also try to put a sentence or two to explain why I reject them.

 

Reasons for rejection:

Rejected 1, Rejected 2, Rejected 4: No special reason, just found the selected one more interesting

Rejected 3: was not that happy with the composition. I just want also to say that for this one I really like the location, but it was hard to take a photo as the wind was keep dropping the painting. I tried really hard but it was possibly the only place I had such a big problem during the shooting day. This one was the best one I got in this place

Rejected 5: same location with selected 11 and I like the Photo 11 more.

Rejected 6: For some reason when I was looking to this photo I was not that happy with the composition

Submission Method

At this part of the course we explored different methods to submit our work (photobook, prints, slideshow etc). My favourite one is a photobook. I think I plan to submit my work for assessment as a photobook, which will have different chapters for different assignments (excluding the essay). I do not want to submit different photobooks for different assignments for two reasons. The first one is the cost. The second and most important is that each submission will have fewer pages than the minimum number of pages in Blurb and I do not really like this idea, as I have to add white pages to match the minimum number (see exercise 5.3). Also as in the previous assignments I am submitting my work online (it will cost more as I am not in UK and might take longer time to sent and return them, plus I do not know how my job hunting will go and hence where I will live).

Evaluation of my work

Strengths

I am really happy with the final images I produced for As. 5. I like that in some of the photos I used the elements of design (like lines etc), and I tried when and where possible to somehow connect the content of the painting with the landscape I placed them. I also liked that there are more elements of creativity and “actions” from my side as opposed to previous projects. What I mean with that is I paint the small paintings and I placed them in selected locations, whereas as described in the artist’s statement, I was just moving myself and trying not to touch my photographic object which was there before me and also there after I photographer it. In addition, I think that it is import that a concept I had in my mind for years materialised. Although, this is not a strength directly connected to this body of work, it is however important for the creative process as the try and error is the best approach to be creative (as opposed to have many ideas but never make any of them).

“Not- Strengths”

Consciously, I choose not to use the word weakness in this evaluation. I consider this project as a starting point for possible personal projects and a strong possibility for a starting point for my work for the next Level 3 courses (subjecting to discussions with my new tutors). In a creative process you know that you will improve in the next trial and you should improve (I do not know if “have to” is too strong in this case, as also ideally creative process should not include obligations). For this reason, I can write some thoughts/ suggestion which I can consider for the possible projects for the next course:

  • Use again acrylics paintings on parallel as they give some nice texture (you can see the old photos in the post in the project proposal, painted toilet paper cardboards)
  • Consider other locations. Seaside looked interesting, but sometime does not have the variety I found in my chosen location. I think the future projects depend on where life will take me. For example, many days and in many locations in UK, landscapes feel grey or colourless so adding a colour painting might stand out more than in Greece
  • Considering new ideas might be interesting to paint objects like bottles, food packaging or objects found on the road. Possibly, the last ones, collect them paint them and return to the place I found them.
  • Another possibility, is to find a location I like take a photo of it. Then return home and try to prepare an abstract painting reflection on this location.
  • Another one is try to be more conceptual, and try to reflect my emotions both in the paintings and/ or the locations.

 

 Reflection

At this point we have to reflect on how we are doing against the assessment criteria (I plan to submit my work for assessment)

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I think there is an improvement in my technical skills. Not so much photographically, but on using other tools like the mirrors and on using mixed media (painting and photography). Also, as mentioned above, I was possibly more aware of the elements of design in some of the photos when I was placing the paintings in the landscapes.

In addition, I think there is a difference on how we expect to look something in our mind and how it actually looks when photographed. So, I can say that there is a possible slightly improvement in my visual awareness and skills. This is due to the fact that I was having the painting in my hand before visit the location and hence I had some expectations, as opposed to finding a not expected object on the road etc.

Quality of outcome

I think I am improving on how I presenting my work in my blog thanks to my tutor’s comments. I also started including texts in quotations and photos from other sites, to reduce the need of the reader to keep moving between sites (I still try though to mention the source as a link in most of the cases). Also, try communicate my ideas in a not so confusing way (I hope !)

Demonstration of creativity

I think and hope that it is obvious that I improved on that (again mirrors, mixed media, etc).

Context

I did some more extended theoretical work for As. 4. I am trying to visit galleries and also look to the work of other photographers. I also think that I am better on these as opposed to previous courses which is important. In addition, I think I improved on that during the course, and that this course required a lot of essay analysis is possibly a good preparation for the final year courses.

Assignment 3

The second part for the reflection of tutor’s comments for As. 3, as described in previous submissions, and includes a discussion on photographic index is

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/resubmission-of-assignment-3-part-2-includes-a-discussion-on-photographic-index/

Assignment 4

I plan to re-submit with the tutor’s comments As. 4 (essay) the soonest possible and hopefully before submitting As. 6

Transitions- Assignment 6

Since my last Assignment I post two posts related to As. 6

In the first one, I explore and experiment more with the use of mirrors as suggested by my tutor. I am really happy with the final result. You can see the series of photos at

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/transitions-12-mirror-landscapes/

In a second post, I just reduced the photos I took for As. 6 to 40. These are in my opinion the best and also my favourite. If my tutor agrees, I plan to select 10-12 of these photos and submit them as a final selection for As. 6

https://argyriosphotography5.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/transitions-14/

Researching for As.5: Looking at the work of other photographers

Any reproduction of photos is purely for no profit and educational reasons

In this post again I will do some research for As. 5

I will explore some of the artists/ photographers suggested by my tutor and do some research for artists whose work is related to my submitted work as suggested in the coursework notes. My tutor’s suggestions include also some artists who used mirrors in their work to explore as part of my As.  6.

Specifically my tutor suggested exploring:

  • the Claude Glass (a device once used by landscape painters)
  • Karen Grainger
  • Georges Rousse
  • Neomie Goudal
  • Danny Treacy

There is an interesting article about Claude Glass at PetaPixel

https://petapixel.com/2012/04/29/claude-glass-the-18th-century-version-of-instagram/

According to them “this small, blackened pocket mirror reduced the tonal values of whatever landscapes you pointed it at, while its convex shape simultaneously brought more of the scene into a single focal point.”

Alex McKay and historian CS Matheson have created a claude mirror installation by placing a webcam opposite a 40-inch Claude mirror that is reflecting the Tintern Abbey.

See below, three examples

In her project “Mirror Landscapes” Karen Grainger places mirrors outdoors and photograph them. The link to her project is

http://karenkaren.com/portfolio/mirror-landscapes/

I really like how the mirror blends with the environment and I could not really tell if that is a mirror or I am seeing through a glass. You can see some examples below.

Another case where mirror are used (I have seen a photo of their work in instagram): Artist Kader Attia in their project “Holy Land” cut 45 mirrors in the shape of headstones and placed them along the dunes of the Canary Islands and along the pristine Tuscan countryside.

 

Looking to the work of Georges Rousse, it make me think that it is really interesting but I was wondering if that is something created digitally, or overlapping of some smaller painting etc. But actually as it is mentioned in the artist website they are art installations. More specifically, “Widely regarded as a pioneer in single-perspective art, Georges Rousse is known for working at the intersections of painting, architecture and photography, creating colorfully elaborate and ephemeral installations in abandoned or soon-to-be demolished buildings. From most vantage points, the installation looks fragmented and chaotic, but when photographed from a single perfect angle, perspective shifts and the full illusion of the unified work is revealed. This unique approach results in unforgettable exhibitions that compel viewers to reanalyze their own perceptions of space and reality.”

More specifically, we can see how different it looks from different perspectives in the following two photos

Also some other examples of his work I like

I think for the circular interruptions of Noémie Goudal my tutor refers at their series called “Southern Light Stations”. I think there is a similarity in the point of view between their work and my re-visit of the work with the mirrors.  Below three examples

http://noemiegoudal.com/cinquieme-corps/

 

I was aware of the work by Danny Treacy, but did not remember his “Grey Area” work. Actually, I did not notice that he painted these areas before photographic them. Without reading this I could think that they are images of similar tones and then digitally turned to black and white. Few examples below.

 

While searching for the above artists there were some really interesting and related images in the google image search.

The work my Felice Varini is really inspiring. Similar as a concept to the work by Georges Rousse (painting in buildings visually more accurately from a specific point of view)

James Turrell is is working with light and space. I found his work inspiring and kind of related to the previous post for abstract painting. However, in a different medium.

I really liked the work by Godon Matta Clark. He is famous for cutting and removing sections of buildings and then documented them. Although, there are not related directly to previous artists here, I think the patterns are interesting and inspiring.

Ben Hecht uses original paintings and then paints on the top of them.  BenHecht1

While searching this I found the work of Victoria Siemer, who digitally manipulates her landscapes and then flipping them in on themselves. I found her work interesting and inspiring again.

Carlos Barria took photos of the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Then returned after 10 years and took photos carrying the initial photos in the same locations.

Maksim Zavialov holds a photo taken with instant film and juxtaposed it on another photograph taken of the same location

In a different project, Eisen Bernardo placed and merging image covers in classical paintings

 

Another really interesting concept is the work by Fabian Schubert, who photographs painter Hank Schmidt in der Beek painting in nice locations the patterns of his T-shirts.

In the website http://dearphotograph.com

Users send photos, which are pictures of a picture from the past, taken in the present, and write a caption explaining the story.

 

Researching for As. 5: Abstract Paintings- Oil Pastel

 

Before start working for As. 5, I wanted to explore further the abstract paintings. I bought a couple of books but I found it more inspirational just to look at other abstract paintings.

I found a really good collection of art works in an application for android phones called Art-droid.

There you can look at artist by genre and hence I look at abstract artists. There are few hundreds and I tried to look at most of them. You can also save and create collections of your favourite paintings. I collected around 82 for reference. I will share and discuss few here (I try to choose some representatives of styles also).

Below are three paintings by Leon Berkowitz, what I really like on them is the smooth transitions between the colours and that is the reason these paintings are giving me a feeling of smoothness.

An opposite feeling bring the images by Huguette Arthur Bertrand. Instead of calmness those images give a feeling of panic or stress. The lines are not smooth but separate and kind of strong.

Luis Feito paintings below, although obviously abstract painting, they give me a feeling that something is happening, that there is an event happening in front of my eyes, but I cannot tell what is happening. It is like a boat in the middle of sea a very foggy and cloudy day or a fire with dense smoke.

Below are paintings by Johanness Itten, they have more geometrical elements than the previous ones and those elements in one of the paintings start shaping a figure.

More geometrical structures are in Piero Dorazio’s work.

The work of Alexander Liberman is also interesting. It has more simple elements thought.

In the work of Jock Macdonald, there are more clear objects/ elements in the paintings but they are mixed up in a random abstract structure. It is different than most of the previous paintings.

I like the simplicity and the texture of the work by Bram Bogart.

George Sary’s work seems that they follow a pattern as many of them are like a collection of stone shaped features.

Jean- Paul Riopelle’s work looks like they have too many things happening, also makes me wonder what was the state of mind of the painter when he was painting.

Joseph Marioni’s work due to their simplicity can raise discussions of the style “is this art?” but I think there is a difference between how creative is this process for the painter and what we see as viewers.

I also liked Mostafa Dashti’s work where again it feels like there is a hidden story telling.

Finally, again in the work of Josef Albers we can see some simple geometrical elements.

Furthermore, I explored few videos in youtube to learn or remind me how to use oil pastels.

I include a couple of them below