RPS 159 International Print Exhibition

I am a bit behind with posting about the exhibitions I have seen. Back in July, I had the pleasure to visit the Out of the Blue Drill Hall where the Royal Photographic Society was showing their 159th edition of the International Print Exhibition 2016/2017.

I did not only loved the images but also the way they were displayed and the inviting atmosphere of the place, which made me spend over an hour there.

 

The quality of the work exhibited was outstanding and I enjoyed every single image. However, there are some photographs that caught my attention more than others. As the more obvious, I would mention the image that won the Gold Award: a portrait of Alice, by Carolyn Mendelsohn.

Alice, by Carolyn Mendelsohn as part of the RPS International Print Exhibition 2106/2017.
Alice, by Carolyn Mendelsohn as part of the RPS International Print Exhibition 2106/2017.

I was impressed by the lighting and the expression of the girl, and the overall look reminded me of a classic painting but still showing a clear contemporary approach to portraiture.

Another image that I liked is part of the series The Big O, by Abbie Trayler-Smith. She is a portrait and documentary photographer based in Wales and I find her work in this project very appealing and in the line of the imagery I would like being able to produce one day. It is a very touching portrait of obesity, where she shows intimate moments and elements of overweight teens in a way that their beauty and courage shines through each image.

New Down by Abbie Trayler-Smith
New Down by Abbie Trayler-Smith

The image above shows the exhibited photograph at the RPS exhibition and all I can say is it is truly beautiful overall. I love the colour palette and the composition, which got me thinking for a while. I thought of how would I have framed the subject (showing the whole body, probably opening the shot till the whole coach would fit, looking for some sort of symmetry) and how I would have got it all wrong, and focused on what makes this image so successful composition wise. I like how it focuses on the sitter and shows only enough of the environment to put her in context but not too much. This is something I have observed in most portraits that I feel attracted to, so I think it is time I put it in practice.

Atypical Landscape by Tianxi Wang
Atypical Landscape by Tianxi Wang

 

The image above is quite different from the previous ones. It belongs to the series Atypical Landscape by Tianxi Wang and it is actually my favourite from his project.

I have the intention of working on the idea of disrupted landscape and I am currently researching and trying different options on how to achieve what I envision and this image is indeed very inspirational to me. I like the way the opening on the fence creates a frame, giving the impression of a portrait inside the landscape. I also find the colour palette very close to my late images and I makes me feel relaxed and at ease when looking at it.

Lastly, I would like to comment on the image below. It depicts a giant sculpture of a dead fly in the middle of the road, which is already very impressive but what I like from the photograph is the way it tricks the mind as, at a glance, it seems like a real fly shot on a miniature scene of a road.

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The process and the idea are brilliant. There is so much work put into these images. The name of the project is “As I grow, I lose” and the video of the making of is worth a view.

There where so many other images I loved from this exhibition I can´t wait to see next years. The overall quality of the work is excellent and very inspiring. Taking time in studying each of the images has helped me develop my photographic eye further, and provided me with a scope of ideas I would like to explore further for personal work.


Resources

Abbie Trayler-Smith. (2017). The Big O – Abbie Trayler-Smith. [online] Available at: http://www.abbietraylersmith.com/work/the-big-o/ [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

Carolynmendelsohnphoto.com. (2017). Carolyn Mendelsohn Bespoke Photography | Saltaire Leeds Bradford Yorkshire | Portrait Lifestyle Fashion Commercial. [online] Available at: http://www.carolynmendelsohnphoto.com [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

Michael John Hunter. (2017). Michael John Hunter – As i grow, as i lose.. [online] Available at: http://www.michaeljohnhunter.com/#1 [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

Tianxi Wang. (2017). Tianxi Wang – Dwelling On The North (On going). [online] Available at: http://www.timothywangart.com [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

 

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Stuart Low. Treescapes.

 

Stuart Low
Stuart Low´s Treescapes

Stuart Low is an experienced landscape photographer based in Fife (Scotland). I came across his work when visiting the Shutter Hub OPEN exhibition at Retina Scottish Photography Festival in the Ocean Terminal. It is only a small sample but it gives a good idea of his clean photographic style at the time that serves as a preview of his book “Treescapes: the Art of Photographing Trees”.

Being brought up in the Scottish countryside, he developed a preference for outdoors photography, specially trees. With a background in science, this self taught photographer applies his knowledge of both Photography and Physics to frame beautiful landscapes.

I particularly like his black and white film series of Treescapes, and the very minimal colour series of winter landscapes. There is something about his “tree portraits” that pictures nature as both delicate and magnificent at one time by the way he isolates these trees within the frame.

Stuart is also an experienced instructor and runs multiple workshops on Landscape Photography.

 

Resources:

Stuart Low website. http://www.stuartlowphotography.co.uk

On Landscape, 2016. https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2016/08/treescapes-stuart-low/

Retina Festival

As part of the Retina Scottish International Photography Festival there are several expositions and events across the city of Edinburgh at the moment. Today, I visited one of the four venues at The Dark Room in the Ocean Terminal.

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The exhibition shows a number of international artists with varied photography styles and although I have enjoyed all the work, there are a couple of photographs that caught my attention.

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Firstly, Silvia Maggi´s image from the series “The Day I Glimpsed Inside Your Soul” was my favourite on show. The image was taken at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, situated at North of Berlin. It is difficult for me to identify what made me feel attracted to this photograph, but the first thought that crossed my mind was “silence”: there is something really intimate about the open gate but it is almost an invitation to enter a place that feels unreal, unknown and secret.

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Silvia Maggi. The Day I Glimpsed Inside Your Soul.

Maggi is telling us the story of her husband´s grandfather who, unlike thousands of others, managed to scape from Sachsenhausen. I did not know by the title that this was a concentration camp until I did some research about the image and got a bit of a shock as I went on a trip with the school to Berlin when I was 14 years old (that is over 20 years ago!) and spent a whole day visiting this place. It is huge (I only managed to see a small area) and horrible. I could not recognize the gate as most of my memories from that place come from what I saw inside. I got very emotional reading about the story of the image and trying to imagine how Maggi´s husband felt when standing in front of the gate, looking through the eyes of his grandfather.

Another photographer I have enjoyed greatly in this exhibition and on her website is Margaret Mitchell and her series “In this place“, which had two images on display.  The project observes social inequality and life choices through the story of her extended family. I like not only the approach that Mitchell has to this matter but also the subject chosen as the project depicts the reality of many families in Scotland and rises concern about inequality and disadvantages, specially for younger generations.

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Steve. From the series “In This Place” by Margaret Mitchell.

I also love her general style between documentary and portraiture, specially her Portrait Series, so I will leave a link here for future reference and inspiration.

Overall the level of the exhibition is very good. I have visited another venue a week ago at the Summerhall but I did not think of taking pictures or documenting anything as I was not enrolled in EYV yet. I regretted now as the work presented was inspiring. There was also a solo exhibition of the Dutch photographer Hellen Van Meene with a good number of beautiful and painterly portraits I really loved watching. Unfortunately, it finished four days ago, but I noted this here to do some further research in the future.