Robert Adams, controlling empty space…

The work of Roberts Adams is iconic in visual or written text. I’m not trying to push my work in the direction of New-typography. The power Adams commands with capturing of large space is very important. It is critical to the way you approach you work. In time I have come to understand this. For example the two churches I was recently on reviewing the situation after. I didn’t attempt to take a picture in the second empty church. Although it been an empty space and the stronger of the two buildings it felt cluttered. Adams use of space was bold covering what some may see a mundane.

Robert Adams
“East from Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder County, Colorado
1975
Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches

The image of the house with all its procession is beautiful in its perfect composition. A plain picture to most we are given various things to read.We have a House, Garden, door, sky, window, shadows, roof, path and grass.The viewer is almost pulled into to tell the story of what is depicted. Your eyes lead up the path to the door into the lady in the living room. However its not a lady it’s a vase perfectly positioned. The viewer is not clear if any human is present inside the house. The reason I picked the image is that the human form gives it a totally different feel. Your focal point is totally different. There is always a clean crisp feel to Adams work. The dark light, which dominates the image gives it a negative feel overall. The viewer dose not feel invited into the house as well as having little knowledge of what is going on inside the house. Is it empty, is it occupied?

This image by Robert Adams offers a lot less in the way of information but what it does offer is critical. In the image, we have the black building, window, lights, paintings, tops of hedges, blurred trees and the roof. The blurred tree tells us the image is taken in low light with a longer exposure. The bright light peering out of the darkness gives the feel of a family environment. Again Adams places the light and pictures perfect on the divides between the windows. Your eyes are pulled into the shot from left to right to the warm glow of the window.

Concluding on the two images that I have looked at shows the relevant signs that life have on an image. It tot tally changes the viewers opinion of the image. The light been on in the house creates a visual syntax of safety in the darkness. The closed door on the house creates a vision of un-welcomness.

Two points… Photography by Alan Whitfield

I keep my eye wide open all the time because your mine I walk the line as Johnny Cash once sang. From the start of my photography I have always liked my eyes to be pulled into a picture. The visual split second Journey. Where will it take you?

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Will it Change your View

Adding Photography to music is something that really interests me. I was approached by Joel Cockrill to work on a project with my images to his music. I think the music changes the feel of work. What do you think? The work is from three bodies of work. The now demolished car park from Get Carter in Gateshead called Trinity Square. It was designed by Owen Lunder. One of the top designers in the Brutalist movement. My Surrealist Seamless links work and the more recent ‘your last breath’

Using John Szarkowski Photographers Eye Theory



I recently read John Szarokowski’s 1964 book The Photographers Eye. This was produced to cover M.O.M.A first critically acclaimed photography exhibition, in the book he cover the topics which he sees are the 5 basic principles of a photograph. They are

THE THING ITSELF

This is my Cat Millie she runs the house. The look on her face makes me think of Robert De Niro In Taxi Driver http://www.filmsite.org/wavfiles/taxidriver2.wav

THE DETAIL

As you can see from the information the image gives you . She is a cute cat with fine gray fur and eyes that could melt ice burghs. She is always alert never switching off. She can be very placid when she can be bothered with human interaction. The closeness of the image gives the scale human qualities as often used by the likes of William Eggleston

THE FRAME

The framing of the image shows that she is in a house lording it up on a chair. The slightly off centre subject in the image gives you a feel of warmth and content maybe sat in front room

TIME

I had to be quick and get the cat looking straight into the lens of the camera, had she have been looking away it would have lost some power and honesty it was taken at 1/8 f8 iso 100 flash +2 zoom 50mm

VANTAGE POINT

The subject is the key to the image . We are not interested in anything else the image has to offer other than maybe its indoors. Taken from higher vantage point i.e standing; the cat would have looked different. A shot from the side would be distracted by a clock case or the T.v. So on my knees close in at the cats view of things makes us engage with the subject.

These are simple thing you can do every time you take a photo. a simple image can when broken down tell so much. What do you think?

 

Some John Bulmer influence crept into my Hereford Trip

Had a great day in Hereford at the Photography festival . I saw loads of great work in some interesting spaces. Some in an office stair well, a market, a swimming pool and the Cathedral.

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Where is Hereford, got to see John Bulmer…

On Wednesday I go via my favorite form of public Transport (the Train) to Hereford. Now other than cows and a late goal by Ronnie Radford in the 1972 FA Cup at Home to Newcastle. I know little of the place. I have missed The Hereford Photographic exhibition over the past few years as I have been at Paris Photo. On seeing that John Bulmer was one of the attractions this year I decided to drag my grumpy soul to see his work in the flesh. I have looked at his body of work in Manchester.

Robert Adams writes in Why people Photograph ” At our best and most Fortunate we make pictures because of what stands in front of the Camera, to honor what is more greater or interesting than we are. We never accomplish this perfectly though in return we are given something perfect- a sense of inclusion. Our subject thus redefines us and is part of the biography by which we want to be known”.

John Bulmer he was around the same time as Don McCullin. He was famed for his colour slide work a pioneer of that time for using the medium of colour. If the newspapers need something document they would either get Bulmer or McCullin. John Bulmer really catches the change in Brittain with many areas still pulling them self from the legacy of the second world war.

Despite the bleakness of this image I still feel it has a positive direction to it. The man in the image we do not where he is going or has been. The mist that shrouds the image. The large empty space the gentleman walks through could be the same route he has taken to a family’s house or work for years. Refusing to use the modern modes of transport. However it touches on a post apocalyptic feel

Changing the image to black and white alters the feel and the impact the photo posses. It seem to flatten the picture with less impact

This maybe the other direction on the same street as the previous image. We feel the pub is the only business that can survive in the area. the Broadway sign on the pub makes draws on the importance of the name of the theatre area in New York. This the Northern Broadway where the pub is the pivot point of society. The Cobbled streets show use detail of the age of the area and a possible clue as to why the homes have been removed due to the old age. The street with the two young boys in leads you in to the mist and the unknown of the what lies ahead. With prospects not being clear for the future of the area.

So much information in this picture. I see it first as being a metaphor of empty space. The old man is detached from the area he is on he is no longer connected to any of the signs in the image. At one time he may have been a jeweller. The number makes you think of age and at 21 the old man may have been involved with sport. The way his foot is raised it make me think that he could have been a footballer. Maybe the football image comes from the fact we only its location on hand as Manchester to deal with.  The way the foot point at the entrance makes you intrigued at to what is going on outside of the composition on the image. the old man being dressed in gray sat on the bin is a negative slant of the image. Although the sign age dated with modern-day standards this was probably a well to do area. although we do depict it as being on the edge of city industrial area.

This image again I see as depicting an empty space that all the young people have to live off and express themselves with in the area is given before us in the image. The blue and white image makes you think you are in area close to the Manchester city ground. The images take on the modern feel of lowery’s work

The similarities of the picture are uncanny.  The people have almost the same stance

John Bulmer use of space to capture economic isolation in his series of images in Manchester is a powerful Body of work. I have found them really empowering to look. It makes me feel that what I’m doing is right. As I commented his use of colour slide film adds a real grit to the work. Almost like these are the real colours off life and it was that grim. Excellent document of a forgotten less complicated period in time.

The Robert Adams quote shows that Bulmer without displaying his local Knowledge has a connection to the area. Maybe as a child the matched identical street where faceless to him. Now he sees it being of interest to the masses

I look forward to seeing his work

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Tube, Lines and Tranquility

http://www.londonphotonow.com/

Photography by Mark Paulda

Tubea hollow, usually cylindrical body of metal, glass, rubber, or other material, used especially for conveying

 or contains liquid or gases.

The 1863 the first tube opened in London, the District and circle line. Now it runs like an artery through length and breadth of London. The above Dictionary description describes it well ‘conveying or containing liquids or Gases‘ A smell and special dirt all of it own and a heating system all of it own. Artists have often taken influence in the underground Photographer George Rodger to the Sculpture work of Henry Moore with his cramped twisted torso of blitz sheltering families. I stumbled upon Mark Paulda’s work on Twitter. The collection of his work in London is totally breathtaking. Mark captures the grit and inner beauty of the growl of London. His underground work however for me stands on the merits of it own two feet. You can almost hear The Jam’s Down in a tube station at midnight playing in these images ” the dissident echos of far away voice boarding far away trains”.

The image I have picked to look before you check out his site was a difficult choice. However the relevance of the image was all the square tiles on the wall for me. They made me think about all the information that passes through and around us a we move. Card Transactions emails phone calls… The use of infinity in the images shows the endless struggle of life on the commute. A sense of isolation and tranquility are also captured in the image. It also captures the distortion that can find while sat on the train and thinking ‘oh i can change at this stop’ and 10 mins later you are still walking in the control of the underground…

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The first step to making a picture that last’s forever on 11/11/11

Many questions are asked in the search for why we photograph, Steven Shore ,Robert Adams, Diane Arbus to name a few. I want to look at Roland Barthes thought process in Camera Lucida “A specific Photograph, in effect, is never distinguished from its referent (from what it represents)”  The use of the prop (the clock) changes the  feel of the image and how we engage it. Barthes also talks about it being a mathematical impossibility to recreate an image twice.

Following on from yesterdays comments about the truth in an image. I was asked to photograph myself at the 11.11.11@11:11:11 as part of a project. In this image my clock is the cattle skull (please see http://wp.me/pNIdU-jY). This images gives us many answers to the why. All be it not the best image taken we see it was taken for the Binary date. So bar name (me) and location (Mochdre) we has a lot a justification for the capture of this image: date, time, moon cycle & weather A time capsule for that second never to be captured again

 

Chewing gum, Pigeons, cigarette butt…

Your Last Breath #5

Chewing gum, Pigeons, cigarette butt

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Grid iron

Having spent many year looking up in built up areas. I’ve now decided to look down. Welcome to Grid iron… I’m trying to capture the craftsmanship in the metal vents and grills on builds

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Reclaimed land

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Reclaimed Land

The pinnacle…

follow the lights and you will find the gold.

A Severn wind rattles the soul,

rain like pins my face a cushion.

Edifice a vision, wooden windows a fact,

a collection of faces glued in community,

Now divided again by scheme funded foolery.

To escape is to renounce

only with strength from intrinsicality.

As thrust upon pages turn,

A dyeing side street lives

on the ensign of principality

 

Directed

DIRECTED

Press print and ink

 make our minds sync

 On the outside the eyes, gaze

 just an other face

 bars hold us apart

 do we know,

 marginalized cut out

 distance equal, freedom unsubstantial

 framed