Collard, D. (n/a). Ages of us, Name: Donnie Kemp Age: Unknown.
Collard, D. (n/a). Ages Of Us, Name: Eddie , Age : Unknown
Collard, D. (n/a). Ages Of Us, Name: Dennis, Age : Unknown
The project I want to discuss by Dylan Collard is Ages of Us. This explores the process of ageing and how we change as we grow older, and how our aspirations change. The constant in the series is the bench you can see all the sitters on in the pictures above, but all in different locations and each on a different part of the bench. “The bench is the constant staying the same distance, angle and height to the camera at all times. In the left seat (to camera) I will sit persons 0 – 25 years, the middle seat 25 – 50 years and the right seat 50 + years.” – Dylan Collard. There isn’t just the picture however but questions as well, which really intrigued me as this is an aspect I have been thinking of adding to mine.
“Where possible and when willing, participants will be asked the following three questions about their Past, Present and Future.
PAST: When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? What was important to you when you were young?
PRESENT: What do you do now? What sort of things does your life involve now? What kind of work do you do, family, relationships? Whats important to you now?
FUTURE: What would you like to do in the future, whats left, what plans do you have for the future? ” – Dylan Collard.
Unlike any of the projects I’ve looked at so far, this is the first one which I’ve found has a website dedicated solely to it. This has the about page explaining the project, the locations with all the photographs, a film on the project, the exhibitions it has been in and sound bytes and transcripts. This makes the project really accessible for the audience to see and listen to peoples answers, it’s very personal and allows us to be apart of it. I think this is a very interesting idea and perhaps something to consider when producing my own as I’m planning on doing recordings of my conversations.
For the work review, I made a presentation showing the research and the photographs I have taken so far. It’s really helpful to do this as you end up spending so much time on it on your own that it becomes hard to step back and see if from someone else’s point of view. It also helped me decide which image to submit for the pilot project, and also gave me tips on how to improve and things to look out for such as making sure all my lines are straight as in one image there is a wonky one which will need to be fixed before I print for the pilot project. I’ve also decided that I will print one bigger than the other, which will help me decide how I want to present the final major project. I also need to start finding people to photograph and also to shoot the lanscapes on large format so I have a better idea how they will look, whether I use them or not, which I hope that I will. I will not need to do anything else other than the prints, the budget plan and my research report for the pilot project deadline as I have decided I’m not going to do a book as part of my final major project, but maybe something that I work on later for the project.
The project by Brianka Schumann in which I want to discuss is Arhai. This project is all about the transition from childhood to adulthood, and the fragility of it. We can never go back to the past and adolescence is the “no man’s land” never to be touched. She has chosen to explore this by photographing her younger brother and his best friend, all of the images show them out in nature, a small part of their secret lives, showing an extraordinary but ordinary part of it.
What I liked about this work was the composition of the images and the use of the surroundings they’re in which is very effective.
Michenaud, G. (n/a). A former Jewish cemetery discovered by farmers in the early 1990’s. This cemetery is located in the “recovered territories” (former German territories).
Michenaud, G. (n/a). Slovak minority in Poland.
Michenaud, G. (n/a). Archive from Jewish minority family.
Gregory Michenaud specialises in documentary and storytelling and is a member of the Association of Polish Art Photographers. The project I have looked at and of which is shown above is Minorities. “For all the years of politically forced amnesia, that have passed since the WWII atrocities gravely wounded the social body of Central Europe, the holders of the broken heritage of multicultural Poland were that mere one per cent of its citizens, who belong to thirteen different national and ethnic minorities. Just a shadow of what it used to be.” (Michenaud). Michenaud was looking into their lost past, which has partly been passed down through sons and daughters, learning about their cultures and identities in the process. As he began his search for images of people, he came across pictures of the past, which people he met showed him. He selected some of these photographs to show the different generations, confronting them with today’s environment. His aim is the show how strong but also fragile trans-generational communication shapes not only minorities in Poland but around the world too.
I thought his work was a great example of how different aspects of photography can come together with the create a story or tell about peoples pasts as well as their present. Above I picked three images I thought showed this, a landscape, a portrait and a photograph from the past.
Previously I spoke about wanting to do a book as part of my final major project, but now that I have started to think and plan how I’m actually going to do it I’ve decided that with the time we have I don’t think I will be able to collect enough photographs for a photo book. It could possibly be doable but I don’t want to have the pressure of taking 100 photos and more using large format over a few months. It’s become very important for me to really focus on the images because not only of how expensive large format is to produce but also because I want to be able to take my time with the images I do take, rather than just wanted quantity over quality. So for the pilot project, I have decided I am just going to subject prints, which I have started to decide what size I may want to print them.
After thinking about how I’m going to display them and also through doing the pilot project I have decided that the best way to begin my project would be to do the portraits first, as this will enable me to talk to the subjects and maybe couple their image with one of the area or place has been spoken about. This will give the project some coherence, but also if not a specific area it could also just be aesthetical. As I will have to do for the pilot project.
For the pilot project, I am trying to decide how I may want to display my images, and how I want to hand them in. I could either have the portrait larger than the landscapes or have them both the same size. Or even have the landscapes not half the size but even smaller and have more.
To begin, I decided to print a landscape and both of the large format portraits which I have taken so far to help me decide which of the portraits and which landscape I might want to submit. These shown are A4 and I only printed out one landscape as I thought it would go well with both pictures. I have now decided that this sort of image perhaps wouldn’t go aesthetically with them, and printed out more but smaller. I also don’t think I do want the landscapes the same size as the portraits.
The smaller images shown above were printed 5×7 so slightly smaller than A3, I think that the ratio isn’t quite right and the landscapes should be a little bigger, half the size of the portrait.
Here I have experimented with different layouts with the A3 size. I think I prefer this ratio to having the landscapes even smaller. I also like the first image in this section the most where the landscape is next to the portrait on its own. I did however also try having them less arranged and in a straight line.
This, however, I don’t like as much as the others, I think instinctively I want them to be in a straight line as this is how I tend to shoot, and is just how I like to look at the images. I may change my mind as it is quite an interesting way to view them, and also allows me to display more than one image with the portrait if they’re smaller without them taking away from the portrait.
Overall I think I am going to print the image of the woman with the flowers and a large format landscape photograph, as this I haven’t tried yet. The landscapes shown here were shot on a digital camera but I want to subject one shot on large format as this is how it will be for the final major project. For the landscape, I have an idea of the areas I’m going to shoot and will take inspiration from the what I have already shot to help me make my decision. I have four sheets of large format film left so I’m glad I already have ideas of where I want to take them so I can take my time.
Laura Pannack is a London based photographer who focuses on social documentary and portraiture and explores the relationship between subject and photographer. Her projects are led by research and are initiated by herself which explore her interests in psychology and photography combined together. One of the most important things to her and what she thinks she creates the best work is time, trust and understanding, which is why many of her projects are created over many years. To also aid this for her personal projects she uses film rather than digital to make it more organic.
The project which interested me the much and actually saw at the Saatchi gallery when some of the images were shown there is Digital Self Esteem. I thought the idea behind it was fascinating and focuses on, put simply on the trend of selfies and online popularity equalling self-worth. The average millennial is expected to take 25,700 selfies in their lifetime, which is insane. For the project, she used a two-way mirror and asked her subjects which ages ranged from 7 to 17 to really see themselves and focus on a certain part of their appearance. What you see in the image shown is someone looking at themselves and experiencing it without any technology present. They are left to confront and accept their appearance. As shown in the image above the setting for the portraits is the same in all. By taking them outside away from technology and into nature it allows them to see truly see what’s in front of them and also adds an aesthetic and coherence to the images.
I’ve found Pannack’s work really interesting, especially with the way she works, and has great advice on how to make portraiture truthful and creatively inspiring.
Another visit we were able to make as part of our Profession Futures module was to Webber Represents which is a creative agency. There we met Dominic Bell who told us about the people they represent and showed us books of their work as well as there portfolios. It was interesting to see their different portfolios and how they lay them out depending on what field they’re working in. I had never thought of working with an agency before so I was glad to be able to hear what they’re all about, specifically being able to hear it from someone who works there. I can definitely see the benefits of working for an agency when it comes to working in the creative industry to help find work which is appropriate to your skills. It’s a hard field to work in because of this it would be of great help to be apart of this.
They to do not only represent photographers though, they also have moving image, stylists, set designers, creative directors and casting directors so it’s also a great place to find people in other areas to collaborate with.
As part of our professional futures module, we visited the British Journal of Photography (BJP) at their offices. We were able to have a talk by Diane Smyth the digital editor as well as other people from different roles explaining to us what each of them does. It was very interesting to be able to talk to the people who work there as I have admired and enjoyed the magazine since coming to university. We got advice on how to present our work when sending it to them. Surprisingly a lot of photographers just send an Instagram account rather than a website, and they also do not mind that as long as they can find you and your work. This is one of the mistakes they said people make is that they do not have an online presence so they can’t find the people behind some of the work they have seen. Luckily I do actually have all of my socials up and running, an Instagram as well as a website. It’s important to make sure it looks professional and accessible.
As well as giving us advice on how to get featured we were also able to see old and new versions of the magazine, showing how far it has come from when it was first created. They have really developed in the kind of work they feature which I think is great, I didn’t realise the magazine had been running for so long so that was very interesting to be able to see them going from featuring the technical side of photography as well as weddings to contemporary photographers new and established.
Katya Rezvaya is a Russian photographer interested in social issues and phenomenon, and her projects usually focus on intimate stories of personalities, their identities and occupations. This is clear from the sort of work she has already done that can be found on her website, but this project Oh my Rabbits interested me the most.
The project is based on the American Rabbit Breeder Association (ARBA) which is a national club for domestic rabbit breeders and cavy breeders which have a history of 104 years. What started small has now got around 22,000 members worldwide. Each year they have an annual convention and show in a different US city. Rezvaya has taken portraits of the members with their rabbits using a dark grey/black backdrop and even soft lighting. All of the photographs from the series are composed in the same way which adds coherence to the project, but also just creates some great projects which focus on the owner and their rabbit. Even though the way they are taken in quite traditional it’s the subject which makes them so interesting.
I was also interested in the kind of information Rezvaya added to the portrait of each person. This consists of their name, age, where they are from, the bunnies name and age and lastly has also added how long they have been breeding for, and how many rabbits they have currently. I think this definitely adds a bit of individuality between each subject other than just what they look like on the outside. This gave me inspiration that as well as their name and age in my own project I could also put how long they’ve lived in Long Sutton for, to give the audience an extra glimpse into their life.