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Street

Street photography displays manipulated scenes and moments on the street, mirroring the lives of the subjects that are unaware of their photography being taken.

Street photography typically is quite candid, if the photographer doesn’t make it obvious they are taking photographs, they have the ability to capture emotions and moments that are real, pure and true. We can become blind to what is going on in the world around us; whether it be comical, emotional or events. Photographers are also able to capture the comical moments happening in every day life, which others will miss as they are busy with their own day, this requires the photographer to be very patient to wait for the perfect photo opportunity; if the image is taken a moment too early or a moment too late it may lose the comical element.

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L O N D O N

When visiting London one of my main images with my images was to keep some consistency with what I was photographing. Before the trip, I decided I would make the people of London my main subject, focusing more on the people who live in/visit the town oppose to the town itself – as I believe it’s difference in lifestyles/cultures/backgrounds that pass through London daily makes up the city, every day will bring someone different, not the still buildings that everyone knows they’ll see when visiting.

In this photo series I have focused on the urban life in London. I spent a while stood in the same spot, an area in which I knew people of an urban/grunge fashion would be passing through. I looked out for subjects wearing unusual clothing brands or colours, I photographed these people from behind to ensure they were unaware of their photo being taken – I wanted them to be unaware as I did not want them to act in front of a camera. An element of mystery has been added by not photographing their faces, this initially hides their identity however you can begin to piece together the lifestyle they may live when looking at the background, clothing, hair and props (skateboards).

THE RADICAL EYE

MODERNIST PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE SIR ELTON JOHN COLLECTION

The Radical Eye exhibition is a collection of photographs in flamboyant picture frames. After spending a small while in a rehab center for addiction to alcohol in the 1980’s Sir Elton John began to collect photographs; these images vary from documentary, studio portraits, street photography, surrealism and still life. The images also vary in print size; starting as small as postage stamps with André Kertész 1917 Underwater Swimmer to large format print with glass beads stuck to the subject’s cheeks in Man Ray’s 1932 Glass Tears.

The quality of the images featured in this exhibition are incredible; after watching a short clip of John discussing his collection it seems he used to buy lower quality until he began building his collection; when photography became a passion, he set out to find the originals/higher quality prints of these images, with the price of the prints only being a small matter to him.

Seeing in Black and White

“The most colorful thing in the world is black and white, it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.” – Vikrmn, 10 Alone

When shooting images in black and white you are able to focus more on shapes and textures as the distraction of bright colours has been removed. It is very important for a photographer to have the ability to see in black and white so we are able to realise the complexity of the world with or without colour.

Seeing B&W

For my photo series, I focused mostly on textures that we see daily yet pay little attention to the detail of, due to seeing them every day. I aimed to include interesting shapes and leading lines to ensure my images were more interesting than simple textures. I firstly looked for textured backgrounds that were near items that could be placed in the corner of the image, such as windows, these were used as leading lines to guide the viewer through the empty space of the image to emphasis the detail of the textures in this space.

Feminism

model: rachel andrews

The debate on gender equality – concerning issues such as sexuality and the rape crisis due to the over-sexualisation of the female body – has been ongoing for years. Throughout the 1960’s rape culture was very real, women were trapped in violent marriages and unfair, poorly paid jobs. Second-wave feminism was a feminist activity which began in the 1960’s, mainly in the US, it had then spread around women internationally over the years and ended in the 1980’s. Throughout this time woman were fighting for further equality than had been gained throughout the first-wave; the main view of the women involved in the second-wave was that culture was sexist, still seeing women as the weaker gender whose body was seen as an object.

INSRIRATION

One of the most iconic feminist photographers throughout the 1970-1980’s was Cindy Sherman. Sherman created a series of images named, ‘Untitled Film Stills’, which included self-portraits showing young, beautiful women in stereotypical ways/roles.

Sherman is a photographer whose work, I believe, stands out the most to me throughout this era. Her black and white photography has made a great influence in my ideas on how I want to produce my final images. She has also used herself as her own model, which reflects that these opinions are that of her own as well as those of the women Sherman is playing the role of.

Studio Lighting

Studio photography is and always has been one of my favourite photography types, however setting up your own studio can be pretty expensive which is why I believe it’s important that you learn a range of lighting techniques which look challenging but can be created with the use of only one studio light.

Split Lighting

split-light

This lighting technique was created by placing one light at a 90 degree angle facing the subjects face, this causes only one side of the face to be illuminated and the other dark/shadowed as their is no light falling onto it.

Butterfly Lighting

butterfly-lighting

This technique is created by only one light placed directly in front of the subject; facing downwards which results in a butterfly shaped shadow underneath the subjects nose. This image hasn’t been incredibly successful as the shadowing under the nose isn’t very clear, however to next time ensure the shadow is clearer to see I believe the light would need to be angled higher than I had it and also may need the subject to be slightly closer to the light.

Rembrandt Lighting

rlighting

Rembrandt is a lighting technique that works better on some models than others, however it’s another technique that only requires one light. It can be done by placing the light at a 40 degree angle to the subject.

The Studium and The Punctum

guy-bourdin-the-estate

Guy Bourdin – The Estate, Autumn 1979

“Studium – the information which a photographer puts in to a photo to tell a story”

Although I believe Guy Bourdin’s fashion photography is not the most basic photography produced compared to other fashion photographers, I do believe his photos are quite to the point; he has been commissioned to advertise shoes which he has achieved by making them the main focal point. Bourdin uses bright, eye catching colours to grab the viewers’ attention; in relation to colour theory he uses the colours that contrast and sit together perfectly.

This image itself has a pretty simple message, that Charles Jourdan’s shoes are worn by models, however the aesthetic of this image makes it very likeable, his target audience is clearly women however the use of a female model being portrayed in a sexualised manor will also target males who will then in turn purchase the products advertised. Bourdin has chosen to use a ‘perfect’ model, along with the black clothing connoting a sexual message.

jessica-ledwich-monstrous-feminine

Jessica Ledwich – Monstrous Feminine

“Punctum – the information contained in a photo which provokes an intense personal and emotional response”

The series of images ‘Monstrous Feminine’ were taken by Jessica Ledwich to reflect and exaggerate the struggles women feel they need to put themselves through daily to be considered the perfect female. Inspired by Barbara Creed’s book ‘The Monstrous-Feminine’, Ledwich has explored the view on women from what society expects to see from a woman and from the process which a woman goes through to meet these standards; Ledwich helps to show that all women have flaws, contrary to what they let the public eye see.

The series, this photo especially, definitely triggered an emotional response within me as Ledwich really touches on the reality of the female body rather than over-sexualising or glamourizing it. There may also be an emotional link with husbands/boyfriends/fathers who may watch women go through these struggles. After viewing these images I felt a mixture of anger and upset, as I feel women should not have to feel this however I know exactly how it feels to be put under pressure to be perfect.

Bourdin, G. (2016) Guy Bourdin – Louise Alexander Gallery. Available at: https://www.louise-alexander.com/artist/guy-bourdin/ (Accessed: 3 October 2016).
Ledwich, J. (2016) Monstrous feminine. Available at: http://www.jessicaledwich.com/the-ferocious.html (Accessed: 3 October 2016).