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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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].