Thursday, 2 June 2011

Landscape photography

I seem to be having difficulty uploading or embedding videos, so hopefully this link will point in the right direction. Should it not work then it is posted on my Flickr page (see left of page)
It's an interesting trailer to what I believe is a very useful DVD, at least from my point of view.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Friday, 1 April 2011

Catching up with Focus on Imaging

I'm way behind on the OCA blog, but here are a few thoughts I picked up on.

Interesting comments on the Focus on Imagining show...

"There is a distance and a coldness in the observation which I can’t get past; it speaks of the subjects as other, not fellow human beings who happen to be drunk, but drunks who might also be human". Gareth ...right here right now...first impressions

 "I’m not talking about his photographs of drunks, on which I totally agree with Gareth, I mean the other set of images shown on the slideshow, those tackling the topic of multiculturalism. I find them visually unsophisticated, and that’s precisely why I like them so much. Slanted, unbalanced and off-the-cuff compositions add a layer of instability to his work which perfectly matches the subject matter. I look at his photographs and I get a sense of a precariously unstable exercise in multiculturalism. I’m not making a judgement here; but that’s what I felt when looking at Denche’s images." Jose....right here right now…second thoughts

It's interesting that you both see the photographs of drunks as having a distance and coldness that you can't get past. I find it fits the subject perfectly. How many of us when we encounter drunks in day to day life look at them with compassion and warmth? I would suggest that the majority of people cross the road to avoid a drunk, or if in a social situation they observe from a safe distance, more often viewing with distaste or contempt or at best with humour than with the warmth and understanding of one human being to another. The sober public don't get involved but view from a distance and I believe that Peter Dench's photographs convey this reality very well.

At this point it's worth mentioning that I have lived and worked with people with alcohol problems so I am no doubt biased in my views, or perhaps just subjective?

Overall I like Peter Dench's work, and I agree with Jose's comments on 'ethnic UK'. Multiculturalism is very much an unstable and precarious exercise I think perhaps that while the photographs do convey this to a degree they also err toward the optimistic, I would have like to have seen  a few images which teetered more on the less 'palatable' side of multiculturalism.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

It's been a while

I've not been doing much blogging of late. Things have been rather hectic as I've now got a 16-30hr week job to content with as well as my numerous other commitments. I had hoped to have more time to put into my degree work and complete it within a year this seems unlikely now, still I may pick up a few things while I'm working. Before I began the course I had also signed up to climb mount Kenya in September, so some training will have to kick in soon, this actually helps my work as i tend to think more clearly when walking up hills than when sitting in front of the computer being bombarded with too much information. I can watch a program such as that on the work of James Ravilious (link below) and digest it and think about it as I walk, maybe I see similar scenes when I set out to walk along the valley and up to Great Gable. perhaps I see the opposite and consider what style would best convey the realities of modern life in the Lake District. Perhaps I simply clear my mind, empty ready for the thoughts to rush into when I return to my computer.

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Ravilious produces photography which are both painterly and social documentary. He captures the beauty of rural life without compromising too much of the reality. His style is perhaps a little on the romantic side and only documentary through chance not design. I believe he set out to capture and convey the beauty of rural living, deliberately leaving out the more ugly realities. Beauty of course is in the eye of the beholder, but Ravilious was brought up in an artistic household and himself originally trained in fine art, this painterly view has carried over into his work. I enjoy the way he conveys an intimate view of day to day routine, recording the passing life and preserving memories. He talked to his subjects and was genuinely interested in them and this easy relationship show in photos.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Disjointed Ideas

This is also on another page 'In the beginning: Assignment 1however, it seems to have become more a general rambling of rather disjointed ideas than a basis for an assignment...any thoughts on the subject are always welcome......... 

After a few false starts and discarded ideas I think I'm beginning to distill my thoughts into one direction. My initial theme was split into three aspects.
Rural Cumbria: merging of traditional ways of living with modern technology
Cumbria on Show: a collection of photographs capturing the feeling and character of Cumbria’s Agricultural Shows and Fairs
Aspects: Showing the diverse and sometimes contrasting aspects of the county, from Beatrix potter and Japanese tourists to Sellerfield nuclear plant

On reflection perhaps the above is too diverse, the merging of traditional and modern is a stand alone project for another day. Shows, Fairs, and the contrasts of the 'Lake District NP'. I am aiming for an end result that forms a portrait of Cumbria in a different light, more up close and personal.
Cumbria's agricultural shows and county fairs are a rich source of images of the rural community with a sprinkling of the urban and tourist visitor. The Lake District National Park can be anything from a wilderness to a theme park depending on the location and the influx of tourists. The revised Project becomes more focused both in style and content.

I would say my personal style is social documentary/street photography and has been influenced by my past studies of the work of Henri Cartier Bresson and my interest in other photographers such as Steve McCurry and Sebastiao Salgado.  Also, after completing my previous course with a portfolio titled 'Partial Images' I am developing a greater interest in the style of Martin Parr and Chris Steel-Perkins. However I also enjoy more traditional landscape photography and wonder if the two can merge successfully ? Perhaps they already do under the umbrella of Travel Photography? 

A few of my photographs as examples.

Wed Feb 16

I've been thinking about different options and what might be involved. The concept, the style, the research. My thoughts are running in many directions now, but still keep returning to similar themes.

Cumbria on Show: a collection of photographs capturing the feeling and character of Cumbria’s Agricultural Shows and Fairs

Style, along the lines of Martin Partin Parr though possibly without his intense color. A more subdued Martin Parr. This maybe a contradiction in terms, but would perhaps better convey the character of the shows?

Research would be looking at the work of Martin Parr, Chris Steele-Perkins and Frank Horvit. I am interested in the techniques used by Parr ie his liking for flash photography to boost the garish and ‘in your face’ type of image. I am particularly interested in Parrs use of what I term as ‘partial images’ as he uses only parts of bodies, objects and scenes and how this often portrays more than a whole. This is an area I have dabbled in, but would like to expand upon. Other celebrated photographers have also included this approach in their work and it would be interesting to investigate how similar ‘partial images’ when presented with different styles and techniques can produce a very different result.

Aspects: Showing the diverse and sometimes contrasting aspects of the county, from Beatrix potter and Japanese tourists to Sellerfield nuclear plant.

I would like to use a ‘street photography style’ to capture images of tourism in the Lake District, Rural Street Photography? Again Martin Parr is an influence but also Henri Cartier Bresso. I am also drawn to the documentary work of Frank Horvat, in particular, his photographic essay ‘a homage to Catalonia’. Stuart Franklin is also an influence in this area and once again Chris Steel-Perkins. 

Thursday 17th February 

Well maybe my ideas aren't as 'distilled' as I thought they were. The deeper I look into this project the more interesting possibilities spring to mind. Keeping focused on one theme and style is difficult. The broad subject stays the same....Cumbria. However the theme and style options are vast and varied.

In the Aspects photo essay perhaps there should also be an element of the darker side of Cumbria, beyond the beautiful and uplifting Lakes and Mountains, holidays and fairs to the subdued and sometimes ugly realities of factories, pollution, unemployment and rural poverty. Can this element be portrayed in the same style or would a contrasting style be more effective? The more I think about the project the more questions, options and ideas spring to mind.....

Friday, 11 February 2011

On the subject of photo manipulation

© Stepan Rudik

Zone Zero

Anyone who read the recent blog by Jose Naverro  photo manipulations may be interested in the above article from Zone Zero

‘It deepens like a coastal shelf…’

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Brilliant piece of work here. I definitely agree with the comment that it must have been a photographer that created the video. It is essentially a series of stills that would almost work without the voice over. It reminds me of the times I have sat on a bus or in a car and framed potential shots as they happened, being frustrated that I was trapped in a vehicle and not capturing the split second that I viewed from the window....if only
Bresson coined the phrase 'the decisive moment' It seems to me that this video is a series of 'decisive moments' 

I tried to embed the video itself into my blog, but couldn't find a way to do this, if anyone knows how it's done I'd be grateful to hear from them.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Photography & when to wear socks in bed

After receiving an email from my camera club informing me of a photo workshop run by 'photoactive' The article was interesting but did not leave a lasting impression, However the title stuck in my mind and my imagination took over like a game of word association.
Socks in bed - Cold -  Camping - Lake district - Tourists - Fellwalkers - Boots - Socks
I could see the picture in my mind. High on the fells beside a small tarn, the c The sun is low on the horizon lighting the tent but throwing the camper into shadow. The camper has set up his small tent and is heating soup over a small stove. The gas flame burns blue. Inside the tent his sleeping bag lies uncurled on a thin sleeping mat. The bag is dark blue. Lying on top of the bag are a pair of bright red thermal socks. There is a contrast here between the cold outside and light suggesting warmth inside. I would be unlikely to capture this image without setting it up. But perhaps simply thinking this will make me look for possibilities where I may not have looked previously. All this from a single sentence!  Of course, I could go down the route of pseudo reality but would I find that as satisfying? At lot of questions are raised at this point, am I trying to document, is this social documentary, what is documentary? What about ethics, do they come into this? Am I misleading the viewer?

Ten years ago I worked with battered women in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Not all of the women were Ethiopian nationals, some were expatriates. They did not want to be photographed and I was not there as a photographer. The following image was produced this year in England. The image of the woman does not document an incident a time or place in reality, however the battered woman in black represents a reality. The photograph is a self portrait taken after I acquired a black eye while working out at the gym. A long way from the subject it represents, does it work with story…..what do you think?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Welcome to my Blog

Anna Studholme

I haven't used blogging before but have decided to give it a try as I am just starting out on an Advanced Photography course and would like to use this blog as a Log book and way of linking into sites and images of interest and relaying my thoughts and perhaps most importantly receiving comments from other people. I don't mind criticism so fire away and be honest with what you think. I look forward to your feedback !