The Art of Photography

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Implied Lines

We were given two images in our course notes to find the implied lines. The first a matador and bull. The cape of the matador and a line on the ground create an S shaped curved. The second image is of a farmer with two donkeys, threshing corn. There are implied diagonal lines in the eye line between the two donkeys, the farmer and the donkey closest to him. Also a further diagonal line of the donkeys hooves and the farmers feet.

Next we were required to find three images of our own and do the same thing. I eventually found the images below which I think show implied lines as required.
First the image of the Greek priests.I have drawn the implied lines created by eye contact.
The second image is also a line created by eye contact.  This time a single line.
The third image the implied line is a curve created by the mannequin and the woman next to her.
In each of the images the implied relationship strengthens the image.
The first image would not be the same if it was either the priest on his own on the left or alternatively the three priests on the right on their own.  It is the relationship between them that creates the image with something to say.
Again the second image of the two very different men with nothing in common but aware of one another that makes this image more than just a man in front of the beach.
The picture of the woman in the third image would not be so striking if she was not linked to the mannequin in the same profile.

Saturday, 26 February 2011


Curves.  The female form is what comes to mind instantly.  However I don't think that is what is required for this exercise. Following on from lines and diagonals, curves are easier to see.  Everything in nature is curved to a degree. Or so it seems.
The first image below has the lovely curve in the canal and the curve of the tree.
For the next image I looked specifically for curves that were man made. The building, the wheels of the bike. I found I could see curves everywhere.

A wet day not great for photos. Curves still on my mind. The curves of the railings on the bus and the S shaped curve that joins the people, following the line of the railing.

This image has the curves of the bollards leading from the man with the umbrella. The curve of the umbrella brings your eye up to the curve of the building leading out of the picture.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Exhibition - Hoppé Portraits

National Portrait Gallery  Hoppé Portraits: society, studio & street.

I really liked his street photopraphy. For me these stood out far more than his celebrity photos.  His celebrity photos were interesting more for who he had photographed rather than the photo itself.  Whereas his street photos were wonderful views of life.  I was intrigued as to how he managed to capture some of the close ups.  it turns out that he camouflaged a box brownie in a paper bag.

Despite celebrity culture being the fastest way for a photogrpaher to make money and become known, it is street photography that holds a greater appeal for me.  Real life and real people.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


For this exercise I have attempted to show diagonals in different ways as discussed in the course notes. The stairs, a true diagonal. The roof construction at Kings Cross station. This image also has the people exiting in a diagonal line.
The street view using perspective to create a diagonal.
Then the final image of the building I have tilted the camera to create the diagonal.  this image could equally have demonstrated diagonals by using perspective. However as already stated I was trying to show my understanding of diagonals by having something different in each image.

I have drawn lines to show the diagonals but they are difficult to see.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Exhibition - 3 exhibitions @ Kings Place

Photographs, charcoal and pastels, these three exhibitions have something in common.

Showing at Kings Place.
Ketih Pattison - No redemption:
 A powerful photograph essay of the miners strike.  The photographer spent a year living with the miners documenting the 51 weeks of the strike.
The black and white images are so incredibly powerful.  You can feel the anger, the frustrations, the bitterness, the unity, the sense of community.  The cracks appearing as time passes and life becomes more difficult.  Keith must have had total trust to be able to take theses kind of images.  On the street in people homes. By the time you get to week 51 you feel you have lived the previous 50 week with the families yourself.  The most powerful image for me is the one in week 51 of two union leaders with tears in their eyes as the miners vote to end the strike.
The images are raw emotion without being voyeuristic.  I love photography with the power of these photos.

Angela Hughes - Transitions
Charcoal of the old gas works.  The artist has obviously spent hours and hours in these old gas works. The way she has captured the light and the feeling of the building is stunning.

The narrow world of Norman Cornish
Pastel drawing of miners in a local pub. You feel transported back 50 years sitting in the local listening to these men chatting over a beer and smoking. (something they can't do in a pub now). Did he spend most days sketching the daily lives of these men?  It feels like it.

All three of these exhibitions capture the very essence of their subject.  This is not something that could be done by popping by for the afternoon. Or even a week for that matter.

I think this is what my tutor is trying to explain to me at present by getting me to try and focus on one subject for awhile.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Horizontal and Vertical Lines

Our brief, to produce 4 photos each of horizontal and vertical lines without repeating the way in which a line appears. For the horizontal I began with the obvious (a pedestrian crossing). Horizontal lines are probably the easiest as they are everywhere. I tried to find less obvious horizontal lines as in the radishes and the arm of the statue.

I found with vertical lines I needed to look harder.The cranes, the masts of the boats were perhaps obvious. The struts on the bridge with the statue figure a little less so.  I then tried to find something not so obvious.  The water over flowing from the lock meant I had to lay down on the ground to get the lines of the water. It is also the only image for vertical that is a horizontal picture.
After completing this exercise I see lines everywhere. Really looking forward to circles.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Exhibition - Let us Face the Future Art Britanic 1945 - 1968

Joan Miro Gallery Barcelona

Go to Spain and I look at British Art. C'est la vie.

The title of this exhibition is taken from the Labour Party manifesto just after the war.  An incredible collection of varied art during those 23 years.Sculpture of Henri Moore & Barbara Hepworth. Paintings of Francis Bacon and Ben Nicholson. pop art of the 60s.  Photographs by Roger Moore, Bill Brandt, Nigel Henderson & Tony Ray Jones. Just to name a few. As you can see a rather impressive collection of leading artists of the time and their influence continues strongly today.

Bacon always leaves me cold. I find his work an expression of nastiness and bitterness towards the world and those around him. I guess the work is powerful in that it makes me feel that way. However I wont grieve if I never see his work again.
On the other hand,  Eduardo Paolozzi is honoured in the Miro gallery and ironically his work is about to be destroyed in London's Totenham Court Rd tube station.
I loved Roger Moore's street photo's during the 50's.  His images give a real sense of being there, of a time truly past.  An example is a photo of two young girls doing handstands. Their feet resting against an iron fence, their skirts tumbling over their heads.  A totally unimaginable scene now. Girls of 10 or 11 are far more sexualised now. Naivety lost in 50years?
Tony Ray-Jones's image of the middle aged middle class couple picinicing in a field, just a wire fence seperating them from cows. An iconic British image. Did it ever really exisit? I don't know.  Does it exist now? I would guess not. I do love images like this that say so much about a culture so clearly and powerfully. Often pictures of the ordinary are more powerful than images of the unusual or bizzare.
The work of these two photographers has me thinking about the approach to the London Villages project that I have joined.  Ordinary but very 2011.  What does that mean. 
Mobile phones, Smoking on street corners, binge drinking, Internet cafes.  I think I need to have a separate page in my book for notes. (I need to work out how to put pages in this blog).

I spent some time studying David Hockney's version of the rake's progress.  I saw William Hogarth's in the Soane museum.  I liked Hockney's take.
The story is still so relevant.  Would make a great photo essay. Could I weave the story of the bankers into a 21st century rake?  An idea I will ponder on.

William Scott's work of large shapes and colours felt to me the work of someone who didn't see colour correctly. Is it true men and women see colour differently? I might have just skimmed by them had I not gone on to see the permanent collection.  Joan Miro's work.
Here is someone who really understands colour.  When comparing the use of colour of the two artists for me Scott missed the boat big time. He chose colours but the shades just didn't work.
Miro just breathes colour. Colour and shapes.  I saw the shapes differently this time as I am working on the shapes and design section of my course.
I particularly loved the period where Miro was influenced by Japanese art.  Kazumasa Katsuta has provided on long term loan a large number of Miro's work from his private collection. Interesting to see what the Japanese art collector liked and the work that Miro produced during his Japanese influenced period.  (less colour in the collector's pieces).
I loved the work that Miro did with paper using paints not designed for paper.  the two seemed to blend into one.  The colours were subtle yet so delicately beautiful.
Thinking about these pieces has me thinking about creating images on different paper in the dark room.  OK that's not new. However the image i see is of a bride on hand made paper that has rose petals embedded into it.  Will think about that one a bit more. Beautiful.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Multiple Points

I took dozens and dozens of pictures for this exercise. I'm still not happy with the final selection.  I think the problem was my subject matter.  I've spent enough time on it now and need to move on. I feel reasonably comfortable with understanding the principle here.  In the large picture on the bottom left hand corner I have marked the lines that relate the objects.  The small Easter eggs are visually more appealing when in a tossed casual arrangement as opposed to a straight line or piled up together. I also chose a fabric with gold patterns in to give more interest. (also to comply with the instructions in the exercise to use and unfussy but not plain background).

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Exhibition - Bran Symondson @ IG Gallery

Went to the opening of Bran Symondson's work The Best View of Heaven is from Hell at the IG Gallery.
Really superb work. Soldier come photographer he had access to men and situations that enabled him to take some incredible pictures. I loved the powerful yet intimate images. For me an image is really powerful when you feel close to the subject without feeling like a voyeur. Not easy to achieve. I did manage to ascertain he spent a year taking these pictures. It is a war zone yet these are not war pictures or observer pictures or street pictures. They really are very special. This I would like to do.Very inspirational. I hope he produces a book.