Sunday, April 15, 2012
Huntsville, Alabama - I love the pose of the gentleman, casually stroking the bright orange plane. I wonder if he piloted one when he was younger, was he part of the US Air Force or does he just have an appreciation of planes? It's composed with lost of empty space to his left maybe to emphasise his long past as he is now past his youth. It has a sense of nostalgia.
Memphis - A real Memphis belle. Going back to earlier modules this picture is full of shapes (Eggleston did study Cartier-Bresson I believe). There are lines, diagonals, curves and brian;es plenty. Your eye is drawn also to the contrast between the yellow of the wall and her hair with the dark blue of her dress.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Porte d'Aubervilliers (1932) - The young boy looks straight out of Oliver Twist despite being in Paris. Another of his shots that is full of shapes. Lines on the sheds, diagonals of the roof, triangle of his arms and feet as well as the pavement. The light picks up the top of his hat nicely.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Another of my favourite shots taken of a Guard of Honour at a ceremony commemorating Leningrad's liberation in the USSR. The line of the guards and in particular their feet really stands out and I love the shapes. Your eye is really quickly drawn to the young girl in the bottom left, peeking out and holding flowers. The flowers are dropping and form a curve against the straight line of the guards giving the picture a sadness.
Possibly my favourite of all in the collection is Aquila, The Abruzzi taken in Italy again. The mixture of curves and lines is really striking here both between the man made stairs and fences and the women and children. There is also a line of men in the background parallel to the far metal fence. This really does capture a moment for me when everything seems to come together all at once. His patience must have been astounding!
Highly recommended to anyone interested in either photography (particularly street photography) or design. I have printed out some of my favourites which I have put in my notebook to use as inspiration both now and in the future. Interestingly when I was in Italy last October in Bologna, I stumbled across an exhibition of his which I spent a few hours looking around. I didn't know who he was at the time and hadn't started formally studying photography yet, but I did recognise some of the pictures from the book from the exhibition. Funny how life is symmetrical at times.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 247
Series : Oxford History of Art
Format : Non Fiction, Photography
Reason for Reading : Course Reading Material
This is my first text book since starting my photography course with the OCA. I know it seems daft, but I haven't really paid much attention to the discipline of photography besides actually taking pictures. This seems such a massive oversight on my part and I am doing my best to start making up for lost time. In this regard this is an excellent place to start. There are over 120 photos by a wide variety of photographers with many more referenced. Lots of further reading is needed and inspired.
It covers all the bases with chapters on how photography got started, landscape, the city, portraits, the body, documentary and fine art photography. There is also a chapter on how to read a photograph which I found incredibly useful and it's something I am working on and trying to start putting in to cohesive words why I do or do not like a particular photograph.
The one section that was really difficult was the section on documentary photography. I need to think about my personal ethics here. I am not sure I could distance myself to whatever was going on around me to take photos and not want to get involved and help out. In particular photos like "People to be Shot" by Robert Haeberle where he asked the firing squad to pause so he could photograph four adults (three women) and two children before they were killed in Vietnam. Everyone has their own levels of what they can accept and these pictures are very powerful, I'm just not sure I could be the one taking them. It is important to challenge peoples ideals though and the pictures in this section have stayed with me the longest after finishing reading the book.
This is definitely a book I will come back to and refer to as my learning and studies continue. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to make a serious start in photography.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Friday, January 06, 2012
Morning blogging world. I thought I would share a personal note with you all today. After a lot of deliberation I signed up for a distance learning degree course and my course materials all arrived today. I'm really excited and keen to get stuck in. It will mean less reading as it will take up 8-10 hours each week for the foreseeable future, but I aim to still complete the challenges I am signed up for. You may notice a change in the type of books I read and review outside of challenges but I hope that's ok.