Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Favourite Photographers - Gillian Wearing

I was introduced to Gillian Wearing by a fellow photography student a few years back and her project Signs, in which she approached the general public and asked them to spontaneously write something down on a piece of paper. This was very interesting to look at as it showed what people thought, believed or wanted to say. It also showed that you cannot judge a book by its cover as when you see the image of a businessman you think he has a few pounds to spend probably with a lovely other half and a nice car and house or flat. He looks smart and happy with what he does from day to day but when asked to write someone onto a piece of paper he wrote very few words yet this makes you look at him very differently. The words were "I'm desperate" this suggests that yes he is a businessmen, smartly dressed and with a few bob to his name but he is not happy, he doesn't have someone to share his wealth with which makes you feel some remorse for him and shows that money doesn't buy you happiness.

I really like Gillian Wearing's work as it questions our views on how we judge people and that talking to them and getting to know them can truly show you who they are. This could be good or bad reasons but everyone is very different to how they look and how they feel.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Favourite Photographers - Douglas Abuelo

Where They Sleep is the name of Abuelos project a few years back. The project was to show the homeless and where they sleep, but instead of the standard photo of a homeless guy sitting on the streets he tried a different attempt that is hard hitting. Douglas Abuelo did the simple idea of merely taking a photograph of the where the homeless slept without showing the homeless themselves.

This is a great way of showing the horrific life of these poor souls without putting a face to them. It leaves the imagination open to try and picture who is sleeping in this squat. You want to go to the location and find out more. What the person looks like, what their story is and where they are hoping to go.

The images are dark and moody with not a lot to tell you about the person but images with handprints, blood and dirty corners in them paint you a terrible image of how these poor people live and the pain they must go through.

I sadly have not been to any of Douglas Abuelo's exhibitions nor have any of his books but I will definitely be getting hold of a book if he has published one.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Favourite Photographers - Alastair Thain

I saw Thain's work a few years back at an exhibition in London. His work was among many other great photographers hanging up on the gallery walls. The difference was that Alastair Thain's work stood out far more than the rest. Three extremely tall portraits of Marines after a basic training session against a black background. When looking at these soldiers you can see that they went through blood, sweat and tears to be where they are and thanks to Alastair's home made large format camera he has captured the detail of the sweat and pain of the Marines superbly.

His work is amazing and if you ever get chance to go and see his work in a gallery I suggest you do as they are jaw dropping.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New Photographers - Zoriah Miller

Zoriah Miller is a war photographer that has been to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. He has captured some of the most horrific scenes of combat, murder and death that show how dreadful war truly is. Due to this he has been banned from U.S bases and operations for a controversial set of photographs that he posted on his website. These photographs were of dead American marines or wounded soldiers. They were seen as bad publicity and due to this Miller will not be able to join U.S troops in combat. Now he is un embedded he has more freedom in what he takes, as it will not be filtered to the press, on the other hand he will not have the protection of trained troops. His work is very hard hitting, terrifying and gory but that is what war photography should be about and Miller shows this very well.