Tag Archives: photographer

Artist Research: Jana Romanova

I found Jana’s work whilst wondering around on http://www.boredpanda.com, the series of work that was being feature is called “Waiting”.

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The project consists of 40 images, which corresponds to the 40 weeks of pregnancy. “Waiting” revolves around the subject matters, the soon to be parents, whilst they are asleep. However they also reflect upon the young families living in big cites within modern Russia (Saint Petersburg, Moscow), and “showed their attitudes to each other and the life that is growing inside the family” said Jana.

The subject matter of the photographs are the couples/ families within the photographs, revealing private moments between the couples. Jana’s work has a natural, comforting and endearing feeling and quality to them, showing love and connection between the parents and their unborn children. She would wait till 5 or 6 in the morning to achieve the perfect shots, using natural lighting. The birds eye view down on the subject matter is a different approach and gives the photographs an intriguing vantage point, which was achieve by a ladder.

 

I find “Waiting” a beautiful photographic series that has taken the normal conventions of pregnancy photography down a different pathway. The reason I have chosen to research Jana’s work is due to the correlation between the subject matter and their beds (which is what I am basing my project around). Although the bed is not the main focal point, it the object that brings the couples together and revealing a representation of a bed in one form.

 

I have found Jana’s “Waiting” series inspirational for this project, it has opened my eyes up to other possibilities and that the bed does not have to be the main focal point, merely the glue that holds it together. One aspect that I find endearing and one of the most likeable qualities of them is the natural lighting. I would like to try this within my own work, to capture photographs as natural as possible.

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Artist Research: Tim Walker

I realised that I haven’t posted up any artist research bar 1, so I thought it was time to start fleshing out the research.

For nearly every single project I have done I have reflected upon Tim Walkers work. This is for a number of different reasons.

1. Tim Walker is one of my favourite photographers; I find his work so beautiful and inspirational.

2. I would love to create work like his (of course in my own style), in the sense of how elaborate and dream like they are. The elements of fantasy entice you in.

3. I couldn’t help looking at his work for the Narrative project, also helps that I looked at him for the Narrative essay.

Tim Walker – “Beetle Juice and Edward ScissorHand”

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One of my favourite photographs by Walker is “Beetle Juice and Edward Scissor Hands”. Tim Walker created elaborate displays of fantasy inspired by Tim Burton’s wacky creations, such as Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride and Abraham Lincoln: the Vampire Hunter. Within this photograph the models have been styled in the likenesses of Edward Scissorhands and Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice. Without previous knowledge of Burton’s work this image would appear to be a sumptuous gothic fantasy fashion shoot. However knowing about Burton’s work and Walkers interest in the world of fantasy the narrative pieces together “So I gather up the ingredients and mix them all together: photographs and illustrations, pictures from fairy tales and children’s books. Fairy tales are very sinister things. As life gets harder it is the adults that sugar-coat childhood” (Tim Walker, Storyteller: pg144).

Although the 2 characters are from separate movies, in their own way they show similarities. Both individuals have their macabre side, however this is mostly due to the characters physical design and unfortunate pasts rather than their personalities. This is mirrored within the photograph in which the models are dressed in a gothic style, much like the movies.

The ambient lighting contrasts with the dark characters, which create an odd sense of innocence that, the characters hold.  Walker was aiming to capture the essence of the subjects and their roles “Tim’s love of fashion is all about telling a story, so when he introduced the notion of fairy tales, I began to explore Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” she says. “Once I saw how the fanciful shapes created pace through the book, we were off.” (Interview by Penny Martin, Fashion. Telegraph). The narratives are the characters, Lydia and Edward.

Another feature that stands out within the frame is the roses, mainly focusing on the ones within the foreground. Red roses are symbols of love, beauty and courage. Each of the characters has a strange sense of beauty and strengths, however others often overlook these features. The scattered and broken roses represent this. Tim Walkers use of props and exaggerated designs give the photograph the information to portray the narrative. Within the subjects grasp they each hold objects that are symbolic towards them. Lydia was an avid film photographer and due to Edwards hands a collection of scissor hanging from the subject’s hand, Tim Walkers use of props brings forth the characters and adds another dimension to them.

Artist Research: Yaron Lapid

“The New Zero” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZITNGD4zVgg (link to video)

“The New Zero” is a 3-minute video that consists of found images. Images that Yaron found; back in 1999 where from when he snuck into a demolition sight. Whilst there he found an envelope that contained negatives and portrait photographs from a photographic studio.

The top section or more to the point, the subject’s eyes were cropped out. The cropped images give a sense of lose of identity, however detail is gained through the subjects body posture, remaining features and clothing. Within the photographs there is a correlation between absence and presence. Although we can see the subject, the cropping of a key human feature, which we as humans tend to use to connect with people, is missing. This creates the illusion of absence.

The use of cropping the subjects eyes creates a sense of distances and also destabilizes the easiest and most notable way for the viewers to relate and create a connection to the subject. It also creates a sense of un-ease and dehumanization. In the slideshow (see link above to view video on YouTube) the images pan from the subject’s chest up to their face, fading out to the next just before the crop. This adds to the sense of distance.

” The negative space of this broken eye contact throws a new set of referents into focus: mouth, clothes, posture and pose. But these are not the soft mouths of faces unused to public gazes: these are mouths that are sculpted into shape for the camera, posed in seriousness, seductiveness, charm, officialness. However, the compositional shift reveals another soft informality in the bodies of the subjects: in their slouches, in the small wrinkles in their clothes, and in the angles at which they awkwardly sit.” – Ayesha Hameed

There is a correlation between the concept that the subject’s identity has been lost due to the crop, but also that the photographs and negatives themselves were lost or left behind when Yaron found them. From my point of view that is the narrative within these photographs, lost images, losing key aspects of their identity. These aspects add to the sense of un-happiness within them.

Yaron’s work has made me consider what would happen to my own work if I were to remove sections from them. Would if give them a new dimension? Would it help with the narrative? Would it create a new Narrative in comparison to the original? I find the concept of taking the photographs and putting them into a slideshow interesting. Bring them together in that format and with the up pan and fading out personally gave the images more definition than the paper format.

His work makes me feel a little un-settled. Eyes are the windows to your soul, you can find a lot out about how someone is feeling, sometime they ever work as lie detectors. In this circumstance, the lack of the subjects eyes unsettles me because there is not that connection you would receive looking at a portrait (including the eyes) or face to face with a person.

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Guest Talker: Finn Taylor

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On Monday the 6th January we had a guest speaker come in called Finn Taylor. Some of you may have seen his work around before. Here is the link to his website : http://www.finntaylor.com. Finn is an amazing photographer and I was honoured to sit in his talk and listen to his advise and see his work. I found him very inspirational and felt as though he was actually talking to us and equals and as human beings.

Below are some of my notes from his talk: (This was a Professional Futures Talk, but I thought it would like in nicely to Narrative):

  • Try and push past the staged look
  • Having a story is important
  • Try and show something different, push past the boundaries of the norm
  • Practise everything that you do
  • Stick to your style or what you enjoy doing, learn and develop it
  • Don’t force people – get them comfortable – let them do their own thing (e.g put on some music and let them dance or sing)
  • Create environments for them
  • Always plan ahead with everything and create A, C, C of your plan
  • Prepare for everything e.g – camera breaks, have a back up – Spare batteries – Spare memory cards
  • Think of what will be more interesting with that person
  • Start getting in contact with Photographers that you like the work of and getting advice/ feed back on your work
  • Get advice, but also remember everyone has their own opinions and different advise. Pick and choose who you listen to
  • Be thick skinned

(Would just like to state that I do not own the Finn Taylor logo, I am using it as a design purpose for this blog post as a form of recognition to the photographer, as well as Finn Taylors Website link. )