Saturday, 19 February 2011

Faking It

On the afternoon of Thursday 3rd of February we had a guest speaker to deliver a talk, Dean Loughran from the Bradford Media Museum, who is the Future Strategy Coordinator; this was an interesting talk and covered a few topics, which one part of it was on, what we think is only available to us now via digital technology, the faking of photographs; however this had been happening in the early years comparatively shortly after the birth of photography, for a more recent example were the 2 girls from Cottingley in Bradford who fooled a high percentage of the nation into thinking that there were fairies living at the bottom of their garden, taking in some high profile people, Arthur Conan Doyle for one, however we can see that this is some fairies cut out of a book and propped up, however I fell that it is easier to discredit this photograph now due to this activity happening so much more, that we disbelieve until proven otherwise. Another example is with Henry Peach Robinson in 1862, who created, though not maliciously, a fake photograph from 9 different glass plate negatives, however this was very carefully and cleverly constructed. This just goes to show that ‘faking it’ has been around longer than most would have believe. A more indepth peice on this photograph and Henry Peach Robinson work can be found on the National Media Museums website: Bringing Home The May - Henry Peach Robinson

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Making a photographic statement

On one of my other modules for this semester is a photographic project in 2 parts, the first being to photograph a certain area of Bradford, a page from the A to Z, a ‘journey of discovery’ and reflecting on ‘space and place’, though I am not entirely sure what I am supposed to discover, maybe the aim is to discover myself, though that sounds a little philosophic, a tad too whimsical for my tastes. On my first visit I was not really impressed with the images, still trying to find a handle on the assignment and also what I want to say, I feel the need to document and make a photographic statement as opposed to just fulfilling the brief and scraping through, trying too hard has been mentioned more than once. I will say that for students reading this, talk to your tutors and equally as important, talk to your class mates, sharing ideas has given me a small nudge in the right direction, broken windows, litter, old and new building standing next to each other, lack of use of public facilities such as playground and parks. However for part two, I do have a subject, that came to me relatively easier, after some searching and researching on the internet I am intending to photograph landscapes steeped in folklore and or ghost stories, attempting to show how dramatic gorges and naturally born almost symmetrical hills can create wonderful and sometimes spine chilling stories; my intended area is The Barden Triangle and very much looking forward to getting out there, maybe I’ll get a snap of the Barden Bargest.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Bill Owens

In my last blog I mentioned Bill Owens, one of his stand out projects was Suburbia, a collection of photographs taken in a cul-de-sac in the 1970’s California, these were just ordinary people, living good quality lives; he was able to gain their trust and show an insight and personal aspects of their home life. Last semester we, the photography students, had a couple of talks given by Donovan Wylie, the current fellow at the Bradford Media Museum, showing us environmental portrait photography, one picture of many he showed us was this one, which as he rightly said, not a square inch was wasted, if you were to see this as a snapshot in a family album, you would be really wowed. The use, whether intended or his preferred film, of black and white draws the viewer to look at the content and take in the textures which are incredibly rich, as opposed to being distracted by the colours. I think you’ll agree that this is quite an intimate picture, quite possibly barbequing for Bill as well. And as usual, though maybe a little sexist, the chap driving the BBQ, which to be fair, is a common occurrence when you next peek over you garden fence to see your neighbours having burnt offerings.