Posts

Yao Lu...

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An interesting photographer I have come across is Yao Lu. His work caught my attention due to its contemporary way of showing an environmetal concern. His work is instantly recognisable as something familiar and this is because he use characteristics associated with traditional Chinese painting.


The examples above show a photographer that really understands the way people think. His images don't often follow a western rectangular framing and instead he opts for the shapes of traditional Chinese paint surfaces such as plates or fans. This influence from an ancient art form then continues into the composition of the image itself with what seems like the subjects painted about in times long gone recreated. On closer inspection of the image the viewer is presented with a contemporary take on a growing global concern. Beautiful Chinese landscapes that are actually filled with rubbish and a thick haze in the air. Birds we recognise from Chinese fans are not actually set in a mountainou…

Exhibitions...

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A review of the Jonathan Beer exhibition in the campus gallery.

As part of the Photography degree industry day we were given a talk from Jonathan Beer, he also set up an exhibit in the gallery.
A local photographer, Jonathan specialises in commercial photography and has keen eye for detail and sharp images which allows him to print at large sizes without a loss in quality.

After talking with Jonathan I was surprised that he uses very little Photoshop and chooses to take great care in camera to ensure each element of the image is right. This shows in the exhibition he has produced.

In the gallery all of the walls are painted white which helps focus the attention of the viewer to each intricate detail on display. Even the way the photos are hung (with small black clips) leave the viewer with nothing to distract from the awe that his work commands.

The high quality of the work combined with the presentation and layout of gallery leaves viewers amazed by the work. His quality shines through wh…

Contemporary photographer - Alyn Wallace

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In this report I am going to talk about the work of contemporary photographer Alyn Wallace. I have chosen him specifically because I feel that he has taken a less conventional path to a successful and rewarding career.
I personally, came on to this degree as a semi-professional freelance photographer. Because of this I have been drawn towards researching photographers that are not only cutting edge in their style of photography but also cutting edge with how they operate with the professional industry.

Alyn is an award-winning Landscape and Astro photographer from South Wales. His images are not only thought provoking and inspirational but have also gained him recognition all around the world including 3 consecutive years of being shortlisted for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the year award.
From a theoretical stand point his work is focussed on the sublime, something that has been associated with landscape photography since day one of the genre. He captures awe-inspiring beauty …

Reading an iconic image: Oxford tire pile #1 by Edward Burtynsky

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Above is an example of the work of Edward Burtynsky, his work demands attention due to the sheer scale of the the scenes he photographs. As opposed to other environmental photographers such as Chris Packham, Burtynsky's image does not scream conservation in a commercial way. The image does not point blame at the viewer nor does it try to chastise us. Instead you could say it follows a formula that has been mimicked by car advertisements over the last couple of decades.

In modern society, being as blatant as to say to the viewer "this is bad and it's your fault" will simply make the viewer turn away in anger so Ed Burtynsky has found a way to make things appear beautiful. Ed's images play on the beauty of the image firstly, which draw the viewer in and allow us to make judgements of our own accord.

This beauty within the image draws a parallel with what is traditionally known as the sublime within the subject of landscape photography. Burtynsky's images are o…

Moving image

As part of contemporary studies we have looked at moving image and how it is now used by many photographers to show that they are a dynamic force within the industry. We were shown an example of a photographer who captured the portraits of young destruction derby racers and then accompanied it with a short documentary on them. Some of the introductions to the drivers were filmed in the same style that a photographer would shoot them for an editorial piece. This show that there can be parallels between photography and moving image. In this instance it is mainly due to the fact the film was created by a photographer.

Alyn Wallace is a photographer that I have admired for sometime now. He has also influenced my current project concerning light pollution and astrophotography. Alyn is another example of how photographers are using more than one medium to display their creativity and make themselves a cut above the rest in their field. Not only does Alyn create time-lapse videos such as the…

Responding to 'the Americans' by Robert Frank

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Robert Frank's seminal work 'The Americans' shows a bleak view of the supposed American dream.
The idea that American's at the time were living in some kind of utopia is something that he managed to squash with great aplomb. His grainy black & white photographs tell the story of day to day life in America, they were ground breaking at the time still hold up to this day.

'America was in the midst of a dramatic change under President Eisenhower. While some photographers were attempting to show American as one people, Frank and his friends saw something different. Their vision of America through art and poetry reflected “alienation, loneliness and spiritual desolation”, writes photography historian Robert Hirsch.'


'Trolley' (above) shows segregation among the races. Many of these races fought side by side in the war, yet they are still divided in almost every form of life 10 years later.

'Idianapolis' (below) shows a black couple riding a Harley Da…

Perhaps we read too much

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Starting this course and reading the book 'the photograph' has really helped my understanding of photography and its language. It has taught me the importance of being able to translate my images into words when it is required.
That being said, there also a cynical side to me which thinks that perhaps we read too much into images and there supposed meaning. I am going to use this blog post to explain along with an example image.

In the book this image is read as though it were a fantastic and deliberately well crafted photograph:

             "Emptiness overwhelms the eye - the sky (which occupies a third of the photographic space) is devoid of any significant presence. It has been emptied of effect"

Perhaps the author of the book is reading too much into the composition of the image. Its not that I am trying to argue that it is not a well composed and balanced image, more that the emptying of the sky was down to the limitations of the camera equipment at the time an…