Monday, 29 March 2010

Favourite Photographers - Alec Soth

This is a photograph from Alec Soth's series called Sleeping By The Mississippi. What I like about this series is that all the people he has photographed have probably never met each other yet they all have so much in common. They are part of a community that live, eat and sleep along this well known river. Everyone of them are in an environment that they find comfortable, safe and secure, yet they are isolated, alone and singled out. This gives the feeling of despair, desolation and sadness, due to the friendless feel that Soth has created. Having the subject in an environment that seems close to them, being their house or a place they go to relax, you get the feeling of salvation, optimism and slight cheerfulness in each of these individuals. Both these two very different feelings go well together to create a fantastic series of portraits into the life and minds of the residence that live along the Mississippi River.

Friday, 26 March 2010

New Photographers - Pieter Hugo

I found this amazing photographer while looking up a personal project, I am hoping to start next year. What I like about Hugo's series 'The Hyena and Other Men' is how he portraits these wild yet now "tamed" animals with their handlers in a surrounding that suits the situation very well. These are wild animals that have been captured from their home and are now being used like Pit-bulls in Western society by these gang members, who have been brought up in run down areas and shanty towns. He has made sure that the background shows this, with both human environment and the pets’ homeland both in the photograph. He shows either a building in the foreground then the wilderness in the background or in other photographs the open plains up front with man made structures in the background. This composition really helps show the audience both what the pet now lives in and where it once used too, along with being muzzled and chained up next to it owner, you get the sense that this is not just a pet, but the animal that can be used as a weapon as well.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

New Photographers - Levi Van Veluw

I was introduced to this photographer by a fellow photography student and I find his work fascinating. I really like the way he portraits himself in different ways, not like other photographers who take photos of them self in different outfits or doing other activities but as you can see he constructs a world on his face. This hides his identity slightly but what I truly find interesting is what he does. Making these scenes on his head is just stunning, there is so much detail in everything he does even down to the sheep. This is a great way to learn that as a photographer you don’t just have to take photographs, you can also collaborate with other techniques to create visually stunning photographs, this has given me some great inspiration and I am hoping to now try other mediums along with photography to create something new and unique for me, something I have not tried before.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Favourite Artist - Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali is one the true masters of surrealist art. His images are highly imaginative, striking and bizarre. They are composed perfectly with every item and subject working off of one and another to create a surreal and complex piece of art. His work takes the ordinary and throws it into chaos showing a dreamlike and unreal view of the world. Dali's 'The Persistence of Memory' is a prime example of this as it has been suggested that it could be based on Einstein’s theory that time is relative and not fixed, by taking this theory Dali has created one of the most recognisable surrealist art works to date.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Favourite Galleries - The Photographers' Gallery

When I was back living in London I used to visit this gallery every time there was a new exhibition, now that I am at the Arts University College at Bournemouth I have sadly not be able to get back and see as many new photographers and exhibitions as I would like. There has been some great exhibitions that have stood out over the past few years that I have really enjoyed and taken inspiration from, such as Taryn Simon’s; An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, The London Fire Brigade Archive, Found, Shared: The Magazine Photowork and many more. This is why The Photographers' Gallery is one of my favourite places for exhibitions and I look forward to the up and coming exhibitions at the gallery.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Favourite Photographers - Joachim Schmid

The series Photogenetic Drafts is one of my favourite series done by Schmid. This series has none of Joachim Schmids photography work itself but instead an unknown studio photographer. How this came about was that this mystery photographer left a bag of half cut negatives on the front door and Schmid then filtered through the many portraits of people of all ages and races and then added one to another to create a new portrait using two different people. The final images go perfectly together with everything in proportion and the hair, nose and mouths from one subject moulding and combining with the other nicely.

I had the chance to see this series along with a few of his other series which were also to do with either negatives, final prints or magazines that had been torn up for disposal at the Photographers Gallery a few years back.

Monday, 1 March 2010

New Photographers - Joni Sternbach

Joni Sternbach's is a photographer that does not use normal printing techniques such as colour negative or positive film, digital or Polaroid. Instead what his using is a very old technique called tintype wet-plate processing. This gives all his photographs a look that they have been around for years when in fact they have only been around for the past 10 or 15 years. Due to the fact that the process has to be done whilst at the scene all of Sternbach’s work is carefully composed, exposed and thought about and this is seen in all his work.

His series on the surfers is my favourite series he has done. All his work has water in the photograph somewhere, he does most of his photography work by the coast. With the surfer series, the collection of land, sea and air are nicely composed and with the surfer standing or sitting in the middle brings everything together nicely. The portraits themselves are very beautiful to look at as a series. You see when in as a series how many different people do surfing and how wide the age range is. Overall I just really like Sternbach’s work and think that the process he uses is something that helps with making the photographs so unique and different to what other people are doing.