The Photographers’ Gallery is dedicated to photography and has collection from the latest to historical artist.
We visited Roger Mayne’s exhibition that includes his work from the 1950s and 1960s. It involves communities from London and outside the capital. He manages to capture street life as well as range of dynamic angles and abstract forms of urban environments.
The visit to this gallery made me think more on the idea of why today’s society has an interest in old photos. I have seen many street photography that includes people but it does not give me that same feel as I do when look at vintage material. I believe everyone has a collection of old photographs that have a great meaning to them personally. There may be some that do not. However, in perhaps 50 years they will worth a lot.
This is why in the class of this workshop, we were taught not to think so much when we go out to shoot. Because no matter what you photograph is will hold some sort of memory that is different to something digitally produced. Film is personal because it is something that can be stored in a more physically way.
We also visited another exhibition by Diane Lixenberg. Her images were powerful because they were printed on a large scale and were all shot by film. It amazed me how possible it was to create sharp images in the dark room and not digitally.
Today I joined others in a 5 week workshop based on photography. Eddie Otchere, a well known British photographer will be running the course and teaching us the route of photography.
The first class was taken at Photofusion in Brixton which a photography resource centre. We were given a film camera each and told to shoot anything in Brixton. The idea was not to think to much of what you want to photograph, more on just getting out there and being open minded.
When we returned we had the opportunity to develop film. I haave only done this once before and it was great to have the chance to try it again. But then I remembred why I did not like doing the process. The idea is to develop the film in complete darkness, either in a changing bag or in a pitch bag room. The method is simple once you get the hang of it.
Once the film was developed we left them to dry and took a tour of the dark room. I am familiar with the equipment in this room and couldn’t wait to start and refresh my knowledge. We created contact sheets from our film. This is an important step to do, as you want to be able to see what photos are the best, just how you would do digitally.
It is fun being able to be more in control of how the image will appear. You do not feel restricted by technology.
During a winter holiday to Prague, I got to visit a gallery for contemporary art. I was very fascinated by the photographic work, not only because of the subject but the the amount and they way it was displayed.
Photographer Tomki Nemec is a leading Czech photographer and also a photographer to President Vaclav Havel during 1989 to 1992. His work is shot in black and white and displays the lives of the everyday life of people. The images are very strong and can speak for themselves. Many include historical and political moments.
I was overwhelmed in a positive way because there were hundreds of little photos. I real;y admire how it was displayed in the gallery space (above). It was like a massive contact sheet spread across the wall. The amount of delicacy was shown , as the images were pinned to wall one by one. I used the description of a contact sheet because of the way Nemec was written on to some of the photos. Sometime it was has a name/date.
The wooden stool gives the exhibition more character, as well as allowing the audience to interacted more with the work since there are so many to look at.
Although all images are different, some are taken in the same time but show different moments, again reminding me of a contact sheet. It inspires me more to show contact sheets that I will have for my Dead Media Archive project. They can be a work of art just on there own.
The digital age has lead us to rely more on technology that process memories. Although it has made it easier to do so, people may have become less in touch with recording their experiences. The dead media archive included things such as audio recorders, typewriters, photo negatives, cassettes etc. These objects would more likely to be viewed as vintage now a days.
Since I am interested in photography, I had the concept of how people photograph and how it has become so much easier for everybody, no matter their experience, to take pictures and not worry so much about getting the perfect photo. We can take photos and look back at them to see if there are any errors. However, using analogue cameras, we would have to take chances.
To challenge my photographic skills, I will be using only film to take photos. Often people would ask, why would you use an old camera when you can just edit it to make it look like it. You can still tell the difference, as the digitally edited on does not look vintage and is too clear.The main idea is to show the work behind the images.
Photograms are still photography just without the camera. I want explore different ways of capturing water. This artist mostly focuses on photograms and nature.
I am obsessed with his water ones that where incredibly exposed in moonlight. They resemble a galaxy and a sky full of stars.
What is really striking is the fact he could ‘photograph’ the movement of the water thats is exaggerated by the light and dark contrasted tones. They are very luminous. Marking and other tracings are left behind like a memory.
Roger Peet displays how white people see the world. The concept of his art, is to show what the western culture are forgetting when they decide to appropriate elements. Peet created ‘whiteness goggles’ for the audience to wear. Once put on, the painful image of what people of colour have suffered in the background fades away.