Uni London Visit

Monday 24th February 2014

A 9am meet at Farnham station on a sunny day wasn’t too bad after all, was looking forward to the day filled of exhibitions, talks and learning more within our Professional Futures unit.

First stop was Silverprint Photographic Supplies at Waterloo, the store was amazing it had anything and everything a photographer could want with regards to printing, storing and presenting work. They had loads of supplies, chemicals for the darkroom (oh how I wish I had my own dark room.. one day) plush portfolios, printing paper you name it. We had a talk from one of the people who worked there about the range of portfolios they have from boxes to leather bound portfolios, this was great to see how we should be presenting our work when putting a portfolio together. I opted for a small black box, compact, cute and personal to keep my prints in, I already have a leather bound one i’m going to use too. I’d definitely recommend giving this place a visit..

https://www.silverprint.co.uk/

Afterwards we went to the Tate Modern, was a bit of a shame we only had 40 minutes to look around before we went to Carnaby Street for our brief lunch but in that time I saw the works of Allan Sekula and Harry Callahan.

Allan Sekula ‘Waiting for Tear Gas 1999-2000’

His slideshow in a very very very dark room (I almost tripped over the seat) consists of 81 images from the protests against the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference which was held in Seattle and began on 30th November 1999. The slidshow highlights the protests and the atmosphere between the protesters and the police, there is a lot of waiting around involved for the protesters. I really enjoyed the images shown, for me they were very striking and I was drawn to keep watching for the next slide. Here’s some photos from the exhibition..

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Harry Callahan

His large display of work at the Tate consists of photos throughout his career, it includes black and white photos, colour dye transfers and very large prints. His work is very broad, I could see a vast variety within what was shown ranging from portraits, landscapes and even nature. He is very clever in the ways he presents his work and it is obvious you can see he thinks carefully about the execution of his work with regards to how big/small his prints are. I found his work very interesting to look at, especially his series which involved his wife Eleanor whom he met in 1933 and became his most photographed subject.

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We then headed to The Photographers Gallery near Oxford Street woooo this is what we’d all been looking for. We got to view the works of Andy Warhol, William S Burroughs and David Lynch.

Andy Warhol’s work was so different to anything i’d ever seen before, he used a 35mm black and white film camera which he carried with him most the time which he captured lots of things such as cityscapes, streets, people and even celebrity parties, all of which show great reflections on his indifference to hierarchy. The photos in this exhibition were all repeated stitched photographs, he created over 500 before his death in 1987, the photos are carefully arranged together and stitched with a sewing machine. His work was so clever, who would of thought sewing images almost like fabric would be such a great idea, when looking at the photos it was clear to see how Warhol had taken lots of time, accuracy and thought on how to execute the final images successfully.

David Lynch’s ‘The Factory Photographs’ feature black and white images of the interiors and exteriors of industrial structures, the images are all very dark and moody. The photos show how these industrial places were slowly being taken over by the growth of nature. I really liked the graininess and simplicity of some of his images, although i found many of them to look very repetitive it was interesting to see how Lynch had carefully crafted his thinking when taking the photos.

Following our visit at The Photographers Gallery, the lucky 15 of us got to go to a Talk with The Guardian/Observer picture editor Anthony Bell and Photography writer Sean O’Hagan at The Guardian HQ at Kings Cross. This was really exciting, going into such a large important building in London to hear the wisdom and advice from two very experienced people.

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Key Things from Anthony Bell’s talk:

– Selection system is now made easier for them, they view the photos as thumbnails now to make it easier to view hundreds of photos and select the right ones.

– Uses Indesign and InCopy

– 50% of newspaper work is comissioned

– The Observer have 8 Staff photographers whereas The Guardian has 3, they generally use freelancers

– To get the front cover there is a lot of changes that happen all throughout the day to get the right cover, nothing is ever set in stone from the start

– Advice: Get connected with newspaper writers to form your own paths and make links

– Multimedia side of newspaper is growing all the time, more work within those platforms generally

-They have set templates for the newspapers so they can decide what sits where best etc.

Key Things from Shaun O’Hagan’s Talk

– Started writing for NME first within the ‘hiphop’ side

– Started writing ‘seriously’ for The Observer 7 years ago

– Books are a great way to get work out into the world

– Publishing work online tends to be more open minded, more chance to get it out there

– Advice: Create yourself a blog, website, publish a book (even if its a small zine) to get your work across, but be careful when thinking about distribution and cost

– The best work is showing something completely different, something unique

I found both talks to be a really great insight to the competitive industry within photography, but they have really inspired me to try and take each opportunity as it comes. Its also got me really excited but nervous as hell about my work experience with The Times Newspaper on the 24th March!!!

Here’s a pretty photo of London (The Shard) to end on..Image

Thanks for reading,

L

x

Self Publishing Talk

Thursday 20th February 2014

We had an interesting lecture regarding ways to get your work shown to the big wide world – the key being self publishing.

The idea of making a book does seem very daunting but I’m also looking forward to being able to create an actual ‘object’ to show, in this talk we was shown the different ways of making a book and how you can get really creative with it. There were lots of different examples of books etc to look at..

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Ranging from carefully crafted spines, zine type books to tiny tiny books it was interesting to see how creative you can get when self publishing your work. We have a book binding workshop on the 28th February which will be great to finally see a way to make a book and hopefully learn lots of new skills.

 

Midwife Visit with Jo

Wednesday 5th February

I was lucky enough to accompany Jo to one of her visits to the midwife at her local doctor surgery which was really nice to see all the check ups and procedures that are taken (measuring the baby bump, listening to heartbeat, general checks). During the visit I just snapped away as the midwife was doing her checks etc, I wasn’t allowed to include the midwife’s face in the photo which actually worked out well because the visit and my project is all about Jo, so the photos are thoroughly focussed on her. I wanted to experiment with using different angles when taking the photos, predominantly focussing on Jo and her beautiful baby bump. I’m really chuffed that Jo allowed me to come with her, afterwards I felt like i’d been able to document something even more personal to her which is going to be great to include in my final piece.

Here’s a contact sheet of images from the day:

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Thursday 13th February – Narrative Review

Overall my review for my digital piece went well, we had to talk about our theme, stratagies we used, experimentation and presentation of the video.

With regards to improving my digital piece to make it even better the comments i got were as follows:

– sort out the sound to make sure it all matches, make it cleaner and flowing

– add more audio and photos to make it longer

– take out my voice from the piece completely, make it specifically about Jo

– double check the transitions to make sure they flow

 

Plan for the next few weeks.. 

– have a back up plan for narrative book piece as idea is not reliable

– keep shooting photos

– carry on research

– organise time effectively for deadline as I will miss out on a week due to work experience

– go to InDesign workshops to see how a book can be put together

– research book types to suit my theme

Narrative Review Thursday 13th February

So my final digital piece went really well, I collated images together with sound recordings (of things Jo had said about her pregnancy) to make a short documentary about what she had to say. I timed many of the images to make sense with what she was saying.

The feedback I received was very useful, I now know how to go about improving my digital piece to get it at its best for the hand in:

– take my voice out of the sound recording, can be a bit jarring for the viewers

– make slightly longer to engage the viewer more

– adjust sound to make the levels the same

– check the image transitions are consistant

The Photographers Gallery – Photography, Motherhood and Identity

Absolutely gutted that I didn’t get to see this exhibition at The Photographers Gallery, it had just finished as I started this project damn. Having read about it online it would’ve been so relevant and interesting for my project!

I had a bit of a read from the Photographers Gallery site about it and this is what it says:

“The Photographers’ Gallery presents Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and Identity, an exhibition exploring representations of motherhood through the works of eight contemporary artists.

The exhibition will aim to challenge long-held stereotypes and sentimental views of motherhood by addressing issues such as gender roles, domesticity, the body and the identity of individuals within the family unit. The work of the eight artists tends to be autobiographical in focus and sits within the documentary genre. Large in both scale and scope, many of the projects span over several years with some still ongoing. Home Truths is curated by Susan Bright.

The work of these two artists from eight stood out to me the most:

Elinor Carucci’s (b. 1971, Israel) series Mother (2004-2013) we see the artist, known for her intimate portraits of her family, extend her practice by working with her children. Through her photographs Carucci expresses her fears of motherhood – that it would result in the loss of her creativity and sense of identity. What she discovered however, were new layers of depth and intensity within herself and her work. Carucci confronts viewers with candid depictions of motherhood – from her changing body to moments of annoyance, frustration and exhaustion but also those of great joy and tenderness.

Fred Hüning’s (b. 1966 Germany) work is comprised of a diaristic trilogy of books, Einer (2010), Zwei (2011) and Drei (2011). Starting in 2005, the books document, in a non-linear way, Hüning and his wife’s journey of love and loss as reflected in everyday moments alongside extraordinary and tragic family events. Einer tells the story of the birth and death of their first child and the struggle which followed as they try and cope with their loss. Zwei shows the couple’s healing process as they attempt to rebuild their relationship and Hüning’s wife discovers she is pregnant again. Drei is a celebration of life and love as the family is made whole again by the arrival of their second son.

I also found these images really interesting because they show the affection and bond between the mother and her newborn..

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Photography By Fred Hüning

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Photography by Elinor Carucci

http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/photography-motherhood-and-identity

Lunch with Jo

Monday 27th January

So a day after my first meet with Jo at her baby shower we planned to meet for lunch to be able to properly talk about the project and to get to know one another. We met in a small cafe, it was a really nice atmosphere and the food was great! Jo was supposed to be working that day at her office, but her colleagues had the flu and warned her not to come in – so she was resorting to carry on her work from home after our meet up. What had already struck me about Jo is that she’s a determined woman and passionate about her career, despite being heavily pregnant she is still adamant to work up to her due date – I think this is brilliant that she still chooses to have her own independence. 

We chatted for over an hour to which we realised our parking was about to run out, so she then invited me back to her nan’s house where she would be working on her laptop which was just around the corner. This was a great chance for me to chat with a her nan and granddad who are very excited for the arrival of the newborn. I started to take photographs of Jo at the house, she was dressed in her clothes for work still and was working on her laptop for part of the time I was there which was a good chance for me to take photos of her in that atmosphere. 

One of the nicest things about this visit was when we was sat down having a cup of tea and some biscuits the baby started to kick, in which Jo immediately put her hand on her stomach to feel the baby as though to comfort her, I had captured this moment with my camera which was very beautiful to see.

Although the aim of my project is to document a pregnancy (having not known Jo beforehand), I feel that getting to know Jo, and documenting her personal experience is also allowing us to form a small friendship along the way.

Here’s a bit of the contact sheet of photogrpahs from the day;

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Jo’s House with Interview

Following the midwife visit with Jo I felt it would be a good opportunity to take photos of her in her own house and to hear a bit more about her own experience of pregnancy. I decided to record the questions that I asked her so that I could use the sound for my video.

Some of the questions were:

– What has been the most memorable thing about your pregnancy so far and why?

– Have you got any baby names ready?

– Is there anything you want your achieve when she is older?

– Is there anything you think is going to majorly change for you after the birth?

The photos I took of Jo in her house range from her showing me the baby’s room to reflecting on her self in the mirror.

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Visiting Nan = Cuppa Tea and Biscuits

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Aside to the narrative project which is frazzling my brain, I visited my nan today and it was so nice to see her, of course I had a good old cuppa tea and biscuit. I snapped a few photo’s of her on the sly, she was too busy talking bless her she didn’t even notice.

I rarely see my nan being that I’m at uni so whenever I visit her its a nice little catch up. Although she tends to tell me stories that she’s told me about 5 times before, its still really nice to hear her excitement in her voice when she tells me them.

I’d like to do a personal project about my nan in the future if I do get any spare time, I’d like to highlight how her life has dramatically changed over the last couple of years due to countless set backs and operations but she’s still a tough cookie.

Jo’s Baby Shower

Sunday 26th January 

I made my travels back to Orpington to meet Jo for the first time, having not met Jo before I was a bit scared she would change her mind and not want me at the baby shower, but she was in fact really inviting and keen on the idea. Arriving at Jo’s house after driving back from Farnham I was pretty shaky. How was I going to go about this? Was everyone going to think I was strange taking photos? Would anyone mind me being there? When I first walked in it was so overwhelming, a lady opened the door and greeted me with a big smile welcoming me in, lots and lots of women were in the sitting room chatting and laughing, then emerged Jo from a crowd of people greeting me with a hug and assured me to make myself at home.

Okay so there I was in this house.. full of women and children… not knowing anyone.. wow I had really thrown myself in the deep end. But I started to talk to people, lots of Jo’s family and friends were there and they were all very chatty and interested in my project, after a while it felt natural me being there taking photographs. It was also a really nice chance for me to start and get to know Jo as a person, I’m really looking forward to showing the progression of my project.

Here’s a section of my contact sheet of photos from the baby shower..

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