Following the last chat with my tutor on Assignment 5, here is a link to the written feedback:
I am really satisfied with the results of this assignment and so am I with the feedback received. There is always room for improvement so I have taken my tutor’s advice and replaced IMG_0052 with IMG_0079, which is a more dynamic image. The last of the ten photographs from the series was a struggle from the beginning: I felt myself a little drained creatively and the pressure of getting a good result to end the series caught me somehow. I agree that the representation with the two glasses is confusing; the reference to the Twin Towers would have worked if there would be a connection between that event and my grandad’s death other than the date. As I have explained on the reworked assignment blog post, I have kept the symbolism of the glass of milk and created the “11” with a vase, so there is still a reference to the date he left. I have also tried to create a darker image that would integrate the previous shot (“Junto a la ventana”) a bit more in the series and also to accentuate the progression in brightness and meaning through the last four images, which are clearly more “moody”.
Following with the feedback, I have started to work on the presentation options for this series. I like the idea of creating a small hole in the middle of a black card and get the assessors to look through it to see the printed images. I have tested the effect on the screen with a couple of friends and it is interesting how the brain fills in the gaps to create a sharper image, but I also find the act of looking through the hole as if looking into someones intimate life. Since the images are about distant memories from childhood, it could add an element of play and discovery. My task now is to find the way to make a perfect hole and how to prompt the assessors to engage with the “game”. I have thought of a thin clamp box where the photographs could be kept standing while keeping the black card in front of them, but also thought of creating the whole on the actual box, so the container of the image could be used as the tool to can see them. This second option is the risky one, as I would have to be very precise in getting the hole right at (ideally) the first attempt.
I am not planning major changes on the learning log apart from the suggested by my tutor (changing the font size for the menu, which I have already done). What I have in mind is learning from the experience with this first module and be more organised and clear when creating the entries for future courses. I have found that creating the blog posts at the beginning of each part of the module and complete them as I go works better for me, since it gives me a better idea of the workload and also allows me to make the most from those small breaks I get sometimes and add some thoughts here and there. This method has a downside: the dates are not really accurate since a number of blogs are created on the same day but not completed until weeks later, but I do not mind (and hope the assessors won’t either). I am thinking of creating a new category next time that would only include sketches and scribbles, only to encourage myself to actually post that content that otherwise would stay in my notebooks and journals. It can also be very valuable to have all in one place, since I find myself gathering the information quite often and not being sometimes sure of where did I write it down.
Another addition to the learning log following the feedback has been a further research post on pinhole photography, that can be found here.
As usual, I got a good range of artists/work to research and reflect on. This time from quite different styles, which I like. These are:
–David Samuel Stern
His series on woven portraits are a delight to see. Stern cuts up two different portraits of the same person and weaves them together, creating a textured image that represents two views of the same subject at once.
I found it difficult to see the technique used until I read about it (I somehow thought the grid formed on the background of some images was an empty, transparent layer on Photoshop!!). The final result is engaging: the interest fluctuates between the composition created -the portrait- and the quality and texture of the photograph itself, as if there would be two separate dimensions in which the work could be admire.
I personally feel driven to his woven nudes, so beautiful.
His “combophotos” are so effective that regardless personal photographic preferences or interest, I don’t think anyone would not stop and enjoy his compositions. I do appreciate the fact that McMennamy is not cutting and pasting the elements from one picture onto another but making tow separate photographs work together. The way he has carefully chosen the background of each half of the images is so clever and it satisfying to see where each of those halves ends to five way to the second part. Not only the background but also the colour of each element represented has been taken into detailed consideration.
This surreal series are also very satisfying too the eye, not only because of the creative ideas but also the clean aesthetics of product photographic. I do find this kind of technically and visually perfect images a bit disturbing: that grade of perfection that involves such precise technical approach to the images take away most of the fun of actually making them (or thats my view on product photography). There is no “surprise” or happy coincidences here, and everything is precisely measured. The end result is so polished and perfect that seems odd. On the other hand, I do enjoy Henon’s fragrance images. The contrasted light and the aesthetics are exquisite, I really enjoy the work on his website.
Allchurch creates surreal scenes using composites of actual landscapes together with historic elements, paying homage to some well known artists and their oeuvre. Like this, London actual building industry and its impact on landscape is turned into a modern Tower of Babel, or images of ancient Roman sculptures and constructions get merged into the British capital iconic sites. The final result invites the viewer to have a good look at what is it that is represented. I could not resist but thinking of matte painting and HDR techniques when I first saw her gallery. It is not a kind of photographic work that I would feel attracted to but I appreciate the detail of including the signs and lettering (and rubbish!) on historical buildings, just as anyone would encounter on their own photographs after a touristic scape (and that can be also be very disturbing).
-Benjamin Henon. (n.d.). Benjamin Henon. [online] Available at: http://www.benjaminhenon.com/ [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].
-Colossal. (n.d.). New #ComboPhoto Mashups from Stephen McMennamy. [online] Available at: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/12/new-combophoto-mashups-from-stephen-mcmennamy/ [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].david samuel stern. (n.d.) [online] Available at: http://davidsamuelstern.com [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].
-Emilyallchurch.com. (n.d.). GALLERY – Emily Allchurch. [online] Available at: http://www.emilyallchurch.com/gallery/ [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].
-Nafziger, C. (n.d.). David Samuel Stern Physically Weaves Portraits Together, Showing Two Different Sides Of His Subjects. [online] Beautiful/Decay. Available at: http://www.beautifuldecay.com/2015/09/17/david-samuel-stern-physically-weaves-portraits-together-showing-two-different-sides-subjects/ [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].
-Photogrist Photography Magazine. (n.d.). Sarcastic and Surreal Still Life Photography by Benjamin Henon. [online] Available at: https://photogrist.com/sarcastic-still-life-benjamin-henon/ [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].