Research 2 – Lens work

Brief

Read around the photographers above and try to track down some of the quotations, either in the course reader (Liz Wells) or online. Write up your research in your learning log.

Now look back at your personal archive of photography and try to find a photograph to illustrate one of the aesthetic codes discussed in Project 2. Whether or not you had a similar idea when you took the photograph isn’t important; find a photo with a depth of field that ‘fits’ the code you’ve selected. Add a playful word or title that ‘anchors’ the new meaning.

The ability of photographs to adapt to a range of usages is something we’ll return to later in the course.

Response

I started by searching the internet for some of the quotes listed, The first I came across was Wim Wenders quote (1)“The most political decision you make is where you direct people’s eyes.”. The quote can be interpreted in quite a disturbing way as though we can shape peoples views of the world through the power of a photograph. Yet we do know from history that this is exactly how certain avenues of journalistic, political photography has been perceived. On the flip side photography has that power to deliver very powerful and evocative messages in reporting the world around us and directing our gaze towards the most extraordinary endeavours and horrors that exist in this world. In this instance the quote was used to illustrate this point in the article by Broomberg & Chanarin titled “Unconcerned but not indifferent”. (2) Wenders himself is a well respected film maker working in many roles in the world of cinema as well as a photographer and author. I understand that part of his quote really emphasises the importance of being able to tell a story visually, for example in cinema you can follow the action through dialogue, but there are also subtle cues that are often missed  first time around, that I tend find more appreciable on a second viewing.

In searching Andre Bazin, I found that through his short life he set the foundations for our modern day film critics, shown in enigmatic, appreciation of the developing art form and this quote was found in an online article discussing the merits of whether film makers deserve credit for the work they create. The citation (4) ‘Deep focus gives the eye autonomy to roam over the picture space so that the viewer is at least given the opportunity to edit the scene himself, to select the aspects of it to which he will attend’.‘ is an interesting one as it puts into context for me my ideas around landscape photography, which for me allow for further reflection in being able to pick out details I had not noticed before. it also harks back to my earlier comment on cinema and being able to also pick out details that went unnoticed originally.

When I take a photograph there are a number of decisions that are made, First what am I taking a photo of, landscapes I am choosing deep focus, I want to see the whole, background to foreground in all its glory. if I am trying to focus on a specific object, flower, person the background becomes secondary in which case a shallow depth of field is called for. So I am making a decision as to where I want the viewer to look. In addition there may be further edits in post production that require some cropping or other form of editing in order to get across the message I am trying to convey.

‘Deep focus gives the eye autonomy to roam over the picture space so that the viewer is at least given the opportunity to edit the scene himself, to select the aspects of it to which he will attend.‘

Haunting

I settled on this image in the end which was taken from my Flickr page, which was taken when we visited Gwrych (Abergele) Castle that overlooked our campsite where we were staying. When I took this photo I clearly remember saying to my friend how sad I was to see the castle in this state of ruin.

References

(1) Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin. Unconcerned but not indifferent. [online]. Available at: http://www.broombergchanarin.com/text-unconcerned-but-not-indifferent [Accessed 15 December 2019]

(2) Wim Wenders. Wim Wenders Biography. [online]. Available at:  https://www.wim-wenders.com/media/presskit.zip [Accessed 15 December 2019]

(3) Rebecca Seiferle. Group f/64 Movement Overview and Analysis. [online]. Available at: https://www.theartstory.org/movement/group-f64/history-and-concepts/ [Accessed 15 December 2019]

(4) Kristen Thompson & David Bordwell. Observations on film art. [online]. Available at: www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2007/10/10/do-filmmakers-deserve-the-last-word [Accessed 15 December 2019]

 

 

 

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