The Barbican Centre and National Portrait Gallery

Today we went on a trip to the Barbican Centre and also the National Portrait Gallery where we went to see the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

At the Barbican Centre we were mainly focussing on composition and different ways it can be achieved such as framing, rule of thirds and line of sight. I had never been to the Barbican so it was interesting to explore the area, I do not think that the photographs I took or the location relates to either of my project ideas so I do not think that I will use it for my project, although I am glad to have experienced it as it may come in handy to know the area for future projects where it might be relevant.

Our visit to the National Portrait Gallery was also very intriguing, I have always had an interest in Portrait photography so the exhibition was very much something that I am interested in. All of the work included was fascinating in it’s own way, some of my favourite images were by photographers Pieter Hugo, Adrian Samson and Tom Oldman, their images were very detailed, I really like the use of coloured backgrounds in Adrian Samson’s work as he seemed to match the colour to the clothing or tone of the figure in the image perfectly making them vibrant but not ‘in your face’ vibrant, a subtle mixture of colours.
Tom Oldman’s photograph that was shown in the exhibition was of two men with there backs to the camera with a black backdrop making only them and their suit jackets visible, and the detail in the texture of the suit jackets was incredible, I felt as though I could touch the image and feel the fabric with my fingers.
Pieter Hugo’s work was printed much larger than the rest of the portraits shown in the exhibition, which showed the detail in them, the two images shown were from his current series 1994 where he photographed children born after 1994 in Rwanda and South Africa. The quality of the colour within the images was very good, they were very subtle and mixed well together, especially by photographing the children in front of greenery they stood out with complimenting props and clothing on them.

Overall the day was very interesting and I think that both activities will help me with future projects and also have given me inspiration of things that I can explore within my own work when dealing with colour.


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