Monday, 27 February 2012

Mark Power Exhibition.

On Thursday 23rd February, I went to see an exhibition at Impressions Gallery by Mark Power, called The Sound of Two Songs.  The project, started in 2004, was made in Poland over 5 years.  I thought that the project showed two sides to Poland.  There were photos of a country that is starting to develop and become more 'Western', and there were also photos of a country that seemed very under developed.  The photos definitely had a contrast between the west and the east.

I liked the layout of the work, each image was separated by enough white space to let you look at each image without being distracted.  Also, the prints were very large, with lots of detail, which meant you could really study the photographs.  Some photographs had quite bland colours, which gave a run down feel, but other images had very vivid colours, which helped give the impression that the country was developing, with more western influences.

I really liked this exhibition, and will continue to look at Mark Powers work.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


Going to Berlin was a great (and very cold!) experience!  I had an excellent time, it was a good opportunity to get to know everyone more, especially the tutors and the second years.  Berlin is a very inspirational city, filled with history and culture, and there are photo opportunities around every corner.

We visited loads of galleries, including C/O Berlin, the Buchmann Galerie, The Guggenheim, Gallery Taik, The Helmut Newton Foundation, and various other independent galleries.

Above are some photos of the exhibitions at C/O Berlin.  There were two photographers being exhibited at C/O Berlin.  Ron Galella (top two photos), and Gundula Schulze Eldowy (bottom Photo).  Galella's work was very interesting.  Galella was a paparazzi photographer, photographing all of the celebrities of the 60's, 70's and 80's.  The exhibition was well presented, with the photographs mounted in nice frames, and text that explained some of the images.  There was even a video explaining a law suit that was filled against Galella for 'Stalking' someone.
There were two parts to Eldowy's exhibition.  The first part was documenting the contrast of Berlin during and after the war.  It was interesting to see children playing in the rubble, and people going about their daily lives without any thought to the carnage around them.  The second part of the exhibition I wasn't keen on.  This part of the exhibition was on life, birth and death.  The photographer had been in a slaughter house, and taken photos of severed cows heads, pigs bodies etc.  He had also been to a hospital and photographed births that had gone wrong, which wasn't pleasant to look at.

The next gallery we visited was Gallery Taik.  This gallery had an exhibition of a student of the Helsinki School.  The artist was trying to communicate the idea that when a certain emotion is triggered/felt, you remember or associate it with a memory that links with that emotion.  I liked the way in which the works were shown.  The space itself was small, which meant that not many photographs could be hung on the wall, but i think that this worked quite well.  As you can see from the photos above, the photos were hung quite far away from each other.  This helps the viewer to look at each photograph individually, rather than getting distracted by the photo next to it. 

The next Gallery that we looked at was exhibiting the work of Adam Magyar - Underworld. Magyar had photographed subway systems and train carriages.  if you looked closely, you could see individual people.  It was interesting to see people lost in their own world, travelling on the subway.  The photographs showed little else apart from the train carriages, which helped you focus on the details of each carriage.

The next gallery that we visited was the Helmut Newton Foundation.  This was a fantastic gallery.  The exhibitions were housed in a very elaborate building, with a huge staircase, very high ceilings.  There was an exhibition of his personal items, clothes, cameras, posters, and even a set up of one of his rooms in his house.  Also, there were huge prints that must have been over 2 meters tall on the wall over the staircase.  The exhibition upstairs was based on his works on Polaroids.  The main prints were enlargements of the original Polaroids, and there were some of what looked like the original Polaroids in a glass cabinet.  It was amazing to think that these Polaroids were what actually came out of the camera, and that Newton would have actually held these Polaroids in his hands!  The work was nicely presented, with lots of space in-between each photograph, framed very well too.  Also, the gallery itself was clean and shiny, and spacious.

The last gallery that we went to was the Buchmann Galerie, which was exhibiting Joel Sternfeld's Campagna Romana.  These works were based on the juxtaposition of Roman ruins of a powerful civilisation of the past, and our modern day society.  The works were very well presented, with a nice white border around the edges that helped set the prints off from the frame.  Some of the works were set out as diptychs and triptychs. I thought that this worked really well, as you could look at the image as a whole, as well as each individual component.  

Adrian took us to an amazing book shop that was filled with big glossy books and magazines.  There were books from every photographer that I could think of, all of which I wanted to buy, but I had to restrict my self to the books in the sale unfortunately!  I still ended up buying three books though!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, it was such an amazing experience, And I would love to go back again, and see more of the city.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Sartorialist....

In my last PPP1 session we were told to look at a blog that we found/followed, and explain what we liked about it.  I looked at a blog called The Sartorialist.  The Sartorialist is a photography centred around fashion and street photography.  The author, Scott Schuman, walks the streets of NYC and other major cities looking for people that catch his eye.  The blog has a very simplistic design, which makes it easy to concentrate on the content of the blog.  At the side of the page, there are related posts, and the blogs archive of posts.  There are very little words in the posts, but I don't think this matters as the photos speak for themselves.

Overall, I like the simplicity of the blog, and the content.  The layout makes it very easy to navigate around.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

One Day Brief - Flash Fiction.

Today we were set a one day brief.  We picked at random a piece of flash fiction; a story with a specific word count.  We then had to create 5 images that would accompany and help illustrate the text.  This was then presented at the end of the day in a 6 slide powerpoint.  At first I was unsure about the brief, but as it progressed, I found myself enjoying it more and more.  Here are the images and the text:

Nathan was finally asleep after hours of restlessness.  Thoughts and dreams filled his head.  After only a few minutes his phone rang.  He jumped out his of skin.  Abusive language threatened him and frightened him.  He was all alone.  

Monday, 28 November 2011

Visiting Speaker - Caroline Molloy.

Today we had Caroline Molloy give a lecture about herself and her work.  Caroline works as a professional portrait photographer.  She has worked for Glamour magazine, Marie Clare, Good House Keeping, Prima, and many others.  Caroline didn't have enough time to go into more detail about her commercial work, which was a shame, as I would have liked to hear more about it.  Caroline has worked on a few personal projects, such as Age 20 Isreal 95, Troubled thoughts, and a project on identical twins, which I forget the name of.

Age 20 Isreal 95 was a project about the Isreali army.  The Isreali army conscripts both men and women, and Caroline chose to focus on the women in the army.  Caroline spoke of a feeling of 'family', and that the women feel that they have to serve for their family.

Troubled thoughts was a project on the troubles in Ireland.  Caroline is a Catholic, and although she wasn't affected directly by the troubles, she wanted to document how it affected others, and tell their stories.  Caroline used still images as well as moving images in her project, and used the transcript from the video as an art piece in its own right.

The identical twins project started as a result of Caroline starting to notice twins everywhere.  When she started photographing the twins, she didn't know what the project would become, and didn't know what direction she would take with it.  This project would eventually help to get commissions for commercial work.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Following my introduction to 5x4 cameras, I have swiftly come to the conclusion that it is imperative to my survival that I acquire one.  That is all.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

First Test Shoot....

Today I had my first test shoot.  After getting my times mixed up (again), I finally managed to rent two Flash Heads, stands, soft boxes and a Beauty dish.  I think the shoot went well, I have the image that I am going to use for the digital Visualisation for the interim crit.  I was clear on my idea; I wanted to use cross lighting, with one light, and a black background.  I also had a pretty good idea of how I wanted the subject to be.

First, I used a long rectangular soft box, positioned vertically, to the right of the subject.

This is the setup for the above photo.

It took a few tries to get the light in the right place to get a highlight in both eyes.  I like the shadows on the face, but wanted to try and lessen the shadow on the chin.

  Next I tried using a square soft box, to see what the difference would be.  Here is the result.  

This is the setup for the above photo.  

As you can see, there is less light spilling vertically from the soft box, which allowed me to concentrate the light more on the subjects face.  however, because the light is more concentrated, it gives harsher shadows on the fee, which I did not want.  

I finally settled on the beauty dish. 

This is the setup for the above photo.  

 The beauty dish gives a much wider spread of light, which gives softer shadows (By soft, I mean the transition of light to dark).  I still need to work on the composition and position of the light, as well as the amount of light from the flash.  

Overall, I think todays shoot was successful, I am now more clear on my idea, and how I should go about shooting it.