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.
Dead Media Archive was about making something new out of something old. I found the difficult parts were correcting the negatives digitally and also going an extra step to showing the new.
Using personal material gave me the opportunity to put my feelings into the work. For me, showing old photos can make me uncomfortable because I am a personal person, as in I do not share a lot about myself unless asked.
I have distorted sections to hide information in the photo. This can be faces, full figures or objects.
The atmosphere is quite scary and you can also see the awkwardness of revealing information.