JOURNEY London Road South

28th May 2020

My idea for an ongoing series called JOURNEY is inspired by Boris Mikhailov’s series, ‘Structures of madness,’ which I have written about in the blog post Boris Mikhailov. This series is one of Mikhailov’s artist books where he has photographs and drawings presented loosely together.

My concept is to record a journey in photographs and line drawings of interesting streets. It can be a series that can be completed when ever and where ever, it can also be ongoing.

This first JOURNEY shows photographs of the high street in London Road South, Lowestoft. The photographs depict shops, roofs, notices, items for sale and interesting parts of architecture as well as things in the street such as bikes leaning up walls and lamp posts. It is along the theme of street photography but will also look at things in the shops as well but not the people and not whole image shots but close ups.

I decided to use the single line technique in drawing which is one of my favourite methods. With this technique I look at the objects, portraits or landscapes that I want to draw and not the paper or canvas. The line must also be continuous, with no breaks in it, one line from beginning to end which is constructed as I look over the outlines of that which is in front of me. I call these artworks journey drawings because it is about the hand and eye connection and the journey of the pen.

I have only completed a hand full of drawings as this exercise was to produce one image. However because I wanted to present an artist book I feel more had to be shown to get the feeling of how the work could look as a whole.

The photographs that I took can be seen on my contact sheet page, here. I tried to take about 100 photographs although I wanted to take more. Due to the fact this was a trial for an exercise I concentrated on one small section of one side of the road. There were many more interesting shops that I could have included but I thought I had more than enough for what I wanted to create.

I had adjusted the photographs which included both colour and black and white images. I included some colour as I wanted there to be a middle section in my artist books that contains colour to break the theme up a little so that it didn’t become a question of just presenting black and white photographs and line drawings.

Extending the project

How could I add to this series and extend the project outcome?

As already mentioned this can be an ongoing project taking in many street in many different places. I would probably keep to a seaside theme and record streets in well known and lesser known tourist areas.

The artist book would also include a map at the front of the book showing the situation of the street with an introduction about the street and the area that it can be found.

However, I have just shown a selection of photographs and line drawings in this blog post. I would position the photograph on the left hand side of the book in full with no borders and the line drawing which would appear on the right of the book, would be blue tacked to the place where the image was taken and then I would take a second photograph to show the drawing in situation. This would mean that there could be a textured background around the drawing and I would also keep it’s perforated torn edges to add more texture and interest.

At the end of the book I would have another map with a diagram showing where the photographs were taken.

NOTE: If I was studying on the degree, I would have constructed the artist book for this exercise. Also because it is an introductory course and I am four weeks behind due to my mothers death, the funeral and knock on effects to my mental health, I decided also to skip presenting this exercise as an artists book.

Technical problems

As always I had some technical problems. This time however it was connected with photographing the line drawings. I had used a yellowing cartridge paper for the work which when photographed proved to be quite tricky for me. I couldn’t get a flat colour as no matter where I took the photographs I had a slight gradient of light from one side where the light source, which was the window, made. Then I tried to photograph the work at night with an overhead daylight bulb light but again I just could not get a flat surface.

Then there was the different colouring of the end images. Although I used a tripod and the same settings and simply replaced one drawing with another. The end results do show a slight change of overall tone when you compare the images with one another. It probably would have been better if I had used white paper to draw on, but I am not sure how this would really help?

I am getting a little annoyed with my lack of technical ability, yes I am learning and that is the overall reason I started this course to learn some technical photography but I just seem to hit obstacles each time. Even my photographic shots are still showing slight problems with exposure. It would be so nice to complete one exercise without the groan at the end when I realise I have yet again not performed at a much better standard.

It makes me wonder if I actually should attempt the degree course or not.

Just remembered I didn’t change the WB which has not helped the photographing of the paper.

I bought this book in response to a post I have written about Nan Goldin and her work ‘The Ballad of Sexual dependency.’ While researching I found that Goldin’s biggest influence was the work ‘Tulsa’ by Larry clark, she stated in an interview, “Larry Clark’s book that was published in the 70’s called ‘Tulsa’ and, that had a huge influence on me because he was shooting and publishing work from his own life, And there weren’t people doing that at that time.”

Below book blurb taken from Amazon’s introduction to the book:

When it first appeared in 1971, Larry Clark’s groundbreaking book Tulsa sparked immediate controversy across the nation. Its graphic depictions of sex, violence, and drug abuse in the youth culture of Oklahoma were acclaimed by critics for stripping bare the myth that Middle America had been immune to the social convulsions that rocked America in the 1960s. The raw, haunting images taken in 1963, 1968, and 1971 document a youth culture progressively overwhelmed by self-destruction — and are as moving and disturbing today as when they first appeared. Originally published in a limited paperback version and republished in 1983 as a limited hardcover edition commissioned by the author, rare-book dealers sell copies of this book for more than a thousand dollars. Now in both hardcover and paperback editions from Grove Press, this seminal work of photographic art and social history is once again available to the general public.

‘Tulsa,’ Clark’s photography book, was published in 1971. Between 1963 to 1971, Clark photographed his own and his friends drug use creating harsh documentary images that showed their activities such as domestic violence, drug misuse, holding guns and even death of a baby.

These images were so controversial that Tulsa, where the images were taken, refused to hold an exhibition of them because they didn’t want to be associated with such negativity and drug use.

The book itself is intriguing and graphic, should I like these photographs? Should they make me go “Wow!” Does that mean there is something psychologically wrong with me if I think these high contrast, film like images are actually artworks created with true feeling and meaning?

The harsh darkness of the images have a film like quality, in fact on opening up the fist couple of pages I was reminded of James Dean, those iconic photographs of him and the amazing film, ‘Rebel Without A Cause.’

The Book – Tulsa

The cover was printed on some very soft black smooth like paper however this became easily marked with finger prints and scuffs. After bending back the spine a couple of times a page fell out, spine quite cheaply put together unlike some previous editions which were sewn together.

It has 64 pages in total with around 56 images depending how you would classify some of the pages with sequences.

Unfortunately there is a very strict copyright for this book so I cannot post images but I have found a YouTube video that shows the pages within the book which can be found below:

Tulsa by Larry Clark, uploaded by CAMERA

I have taken a few notes from the above video and added views and information of my own from reading about Larry Clark’s Tulsa and viewing my own copy of the book. My notes can be read below:

I would recommend this book the images as portraiture, as narrative, as sequences are an excellent source to learn from and they are just beautifully shot, the contrast and the grain is amazing.

The above YouTube video was inspirational because it shows you how, on the 40th anniversary of the book ‘Tulsa’ a group of artist showed the work in an abandoned ballroom in Tulsa. Tulsa would not hold an exhibition of the work because they felt the negativity would be bad for them, drugs and guns isn’t a good image for a town to have.

Those that put the exhibition on, blew the images to poster size and pasted them to the dilapidated walls. The outcome is truly amazing and suits the images well, you can see from the stills from the YouTube video below the expressive outcome.

I would love to have my street art exhibited this way in the town/ place the images were taken – brilliant concept!

The completed set up for the exhibition

I have found this book has moved me quite a lot. It is truth, life, living, death and victims of drugs. The images haunt you, entice you to want to know more and give a story of lost hope. As the youngsters life story unfolds, the images go from happy go lucky, strong friendship groups with love and laughter to a desolate, argument, drug filled isolation. The impact on the group and individuals is shocking to see especially with the death of one couples baby.

But it shocks me in another way. It shocks me because the images are beautifully shot. They are reminiscent of old black and white teen films with handsome men and beautiful women. The contrast in the shots add to the feeling of Hollywood film stills helped along by the grain present in some of the shots.

It is an honest life story not a coffee table chat book but a life lesson, raw, beautiful and moving.

My hand written nots above contain more information.

31st January 2020

Research the sequences of Duane Michals online.

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg122

I have written about Michals for my blog on the 21st November 2019 and you will find the research under the heading, Research point – Sequence: Muybridge, Michals, Arnatt, Hilliard and Ruscha, here.

I have just researched the above website address given to us by the Course Folder and I am now researching photography as a storytelling tool.

DC MOORE GALLERY below are some of Michals series taken from this website.

Death comes to the old lady, 1969

The above works all tell a story and this is enhanced by the works titles which lead us on a specific journey with the visual information. I actually really like how the composition of the images are laid out in the top section ‘Death Comes to the old lady, 1969’ because it reminds me looking on a filmstrip and deciphering the images in a sequence.

01st February 2020

Because I have already looked into sequencing by Duane Michals, I am going to research the art of photography and storytelling a little further.

Giving your photo a title or description is often a chance to give the viewer context. You can guide them towards the interpretation or meaning of the photo. You can also just flat out tell them what the photo is about, leaving little to the imagination. But how can you do this within the photo itself? Is there an advantage to one method or the other? That’s what we’re discussing today. Examples Shown in This Episode Dominykas Jasinauskas: Immediate Family by Sally Mann:… Here for the Ride by Andre Wagner: Family by Chris Verene:…

Matt Day

Below: Zines = see notes, these images correspond with page 2 of the notes and are stills taken from the above YouTube video.

Below: Immediate Family, Sally Mann = see notes pgs 4-5, stills are taken from above youTube video.

Google search for Immediate Family, Sally Mann

The reason, I suppose, that this book is controversial is that it shows Mann’s three children, Emmett, Jessie and Virginia. The only thing I can see that would label these images as controversial is that she is opening up their lives for all to see, a bit like pimping them out to society. Shouldn’t your children’s lives be private?

First published in 1992, Immediate Family has been lauded by critics as one of the great photography books of our time, and among the most influential. Taken against the Arcadian backdrop of her woodland summer home in Virginia, Sally Mann’s extraordinary, intimate photographs of her children reveal truths that embody the individuality of her own family yet ultimately take on a universal quality. With sublime dignity, acute wit, and feral grace, Mann’s pictures explore the eternal struggle between the child’s simultaneous dependence and quest for autonomy—the holding on and the breaking away. This is the stuff of which Greek dramas are made: impatience, terror, self-discovery, self-doubt, pain, vulnerability, role-playing, and a sense of immortality, all of which converge in these astonishing photographs. This reissue of Immediate Family is printed using new scans and separations from Mann’s original prints, which were taken with an 8-by-10-inch view camera, rendering them with a freshness and sumptuousness true to the original edition.

Image taken from Aperture website

The images are very detailed showing the children’s special and not so special times, very romantically portrayed in parts of the book and creative within the other. The images do not really touch me, I just see well composed children’s photographs, although I am finding it interesting to be nosey looking at what is happening in each image. Therefore perhaps Mann has drawn me in because although the subject of children bores me the narratives within the work have caught my eye.

Below: Here For The Ride, Andre Wagner = see notes pgs 5-7, stills are taken from above youTube video.

I love this book, shame there is not a way of buying a copy, so Google searched will just have to do. Apparently it is reminiscent of ‘Subway’ by Bruce Davidson.

There is some context at the front of the book and an index at the back telling the viewer information on the photographs and which page they can be found on. The actual pages with the photographs have no text on them so it is up to the viewer to build their own narrative. For me, I suppose the images appear my type of exotic, how America subways are portrayed in TV series and film. This means that some of the narrative I have gained is because of my preconceptions from fictional images and stories from the TV.

Looking at the images more closely, which includes in this work, the foreground, mid ground and background proves very interesting because of the wealth of information on the page. We have body language, facial expressions of people, the setting and the lighting all pointing the viewer into a narrative story.

Therefore the narrative really can be hidden in the details which give a far more complexed story than that which is gained at first glance.

Below: Family by Chris Verene = see notes pgs 7-9, stills are taken from above youTube video.

The set of images (above) that I have named ‘from wedding day to new boyfriend,’ begins with a wedding – loosing their jobs – day of the divorce – new house for the ex husband – new boyfriend for the ex wife. I have placed the series in the order they appear in the book and you can see how the images are sequenced and alternated on each subsequent page helping the viewer to see how the family life and circumastances have changed over time.

This book gives a lot of context to the viewer, each image has captions on top and below the image in a handwriting type which tell the viewers snippets of the events that are happening. At the back of the book is also information on the photography project, Verene states that he “… makes pictures of stories that anyone can understand these are natural images, not posed by the photograph but sometimes those in the photographs pose themselves emphasising what they are… I am present in the photos and my handwriting on them this is how I make my documentative photography.”

I believe that as a story teller we need to define how we are wanting the viewers to get the narrative from the images. The first way would be to carefully pre-plan the content and set a scene within the images. For this the image content would give clues to the viewers, content such as time of day, props, subject matter, and facial and body language. The second way to give a narrative would be to include text about the images somewhere which would feed the information directly to the viewer which leaves little imagination and working out of story lines.

I actually like the use of text. I also like how, when it is completed well, text adds an extra dimension to the overall visual aesthetic of the work.

21st December 2019

Make a sequence of photographs that shows the same subject, but in different states i.e. changing. You can choose any subject you like, but clearly identify it and note down the conditions of change you want to show.

Produce at least three images in the sequence – that shows the different states of the subject and communicates the change you’ve identified.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg104

I have already began to note down some ideas that show change but I want to think outside the box a little more, rather than showing a natural state of changing like the weather, the sun, tides and cooking food etc… The reason for this is solely because I come from a fine art background and these are shot all the time. The rotting flesh of an animal or piece of food, especially fruit and the changing landscape are the most popular images in documenting change that appear in peoples portfolios of work, within books and on the internet.

With the Christmas Day swim in Lowestoft coming up I wanted to try to document that and produce a narrative that has changes within it, yet it still has only one common aspect which ties the images together. I came up with the idea of shooting from one spot only and documenting the change of that one small environment which would be in front of me.

26th December 2019

The Christmas Day swim, Lowestoft

I have never been to the Christmas swim before so I did not know what to expect. I thought it was a few groups of like minded people who gather on the shoreline and take a dip with a small audience of friends and family etc… WOW, how I was wrong!

I didn’t realise it was a full blown organised event that raised money for charity. If I had I would have probably prepared more as I found I had chosen the wrong lens for this type of large event.

The lens I had taken with me was the Lumix 45-200mm which is equivalent to a 90-400mm 35mm camera lens. The reason I had taken one of my telephoto lenses is because I thought I would take shots from afar of the whole event as people would be flocking around the main swim and I could therefore document the increase of people viewing the event and the swim itself. However because of how it was organised I had to change direction and wish I had a smaller lens with me.

I therefore had to quickly revaluate how I was going to shoot my series and from where.

It actually wasn’t that hard to decide, with a telephoto lens I knew I would need to be on the far end of the beach to get in as much detail as possible for the end shots.

I had decided to shoot the beach filling up from a near empty crowd to a full crowd, then a few runners to a full image of runners and then to end it with one shot of some participants walking back along the same stretch of beach.

The concept is to show this specific area of beach changing within the Christmas Day swim event. My final documentation of change is below and is titled: ‘In one Position, In One Hour.’

The Shoot

The photographs for the work, ‘In One Position, In One Hour,’ document in a specific way so that they had firm links. They are all taken from the same standing position and aimed up the beach towards where the runners enter. The first two images show the change in people waiting, the numbers increase, and in the third image we have the full crowd waiting on that side. The third image however not only links with the first two shots but the following images because it has the first people in the run within it at the top right corner. This image then links the following three images because they show participants running towards the sea in their costumes and within each of these images the participants increase in size until shot 6 has a full frame of runners within it.

I had shot over 311 images and down sizing them to seven was difficult (contact sheets can be found here). How would I end the documented change? I could have shown what was happening behind me but the dynamics of the photographs and the concept would change. I therefore decided to abruptly end the sequence by showing the backs of people running up the beach from where they had come from. This means that the concept of the same piece of beach had been kept running throughout the shoot. I could have continued the theme by showing a full shot of backs and then a few and even show the huge amount of people that entered the space in the end to crowd around, but I thought against this and went with a dynamic and abrupt ending.

Once the images were selected I was not sure how to present them. I prefer the above layout because the abrupt image that ends the series is large and having three images side by side you can see the build up in changes as well.

I also put the sequence in a column which can be seen below. This is how it has been produced in many peoples blogs and within the OCA course folder. Although this shows the changes well and we view one specific image at the time which means we can take in more of the details, it is harder to compare the changes from photograph to photograph.

The completed work is OK, apart from some blown out white windows in the buildings in the background, but I really wished I had researched what would happen on the day rather than rely on my imagination. When you close yourself away from the world you are so far from the reality of things. By being in touch with reality and researching I would have been better prepared for the shoot.

However, at least I was able to get through the front door and attend this time, little steps.

11th December 2019

Decide on a specific subject… and work on making a series of photographs… but you must be clear at the outset what your subject is.

When you’ve made the final selection of photographs, print them and place them in a grid or linear series. Invite people you know to comment on them and note down their responses.


When Words Create Mess

I wanted to complete another text series but did not know what direction I could go in. Then I thought about my surroundings and my chaotic study and working tables – books, note pads, scribbled on pieces of papers and odd objects just put down after use and left until that time that even I have had enough of the disorganised tops and tidy it all away.

I therefore began to use the Lumix 30mm macro lens to take photographs of my surroundings, hunting out text and the handwritten word. The reason I am using this lens is because I wanted to get some close-up detailed shots of text. I have never used a macro lens before as this is the preferred lens of my daughter which is the opposite of my street photography lenses.

Having read up on the macro lens I found out that it can also be used as a general purpose prime lens which would enable me to shoot a variety of different images, some with out of focus text present within the same shot as crisp clear text.

The first contact sheet showing the complete shoot is shown below.

Once the contact sheet was made I went through the work adjusting those images that I thought may be used for this exercise. The reduced amount of images is shown below.

My dilemma now is how to make the series relate to text and the images to each other. I am having an idea in the back of my head which keeps over playing the standard grid shot. So I will firstly present a standard grid and then work on my idea which is multiple grids presented within one grid, but it will need some working out first.

My next step is to put specific photographs in a contact sheet together for analysis. This will be specifics, for example, shape and colour.

While I was unpacking my images and resizing them, I had placed them around the background. The image below shows the process and I thought how interesting it looked, not presented as a grid but over lapping the images so that the text, lines, shapes and colour merge.

This fired my imagination and I remembered some of the graphic design grids that I work in which are irregular in shape. This meant that my images would be presented not just with whole images but close ups and would also consist of many different sized pictures.

However, although I wanted to present them in an irregular grid as well, I am learning not to go off target within this course as I seem to be doing quite a lot and therefore the time scales are extending each time I the extra research and work and although I am learning more, it seems college time scales are quite strict.

I completed the exercise, constructing three different linear series which can be seen below and then extended this by looking at my chosen images and composition to see if I could produce one linear series that was stronger.

Three individual linear presentations presented in grid format.

From the three linear presentations above, I had chosen the bottom one to be the strongest. I chose this one because within the other two series there are a few images that just do not sit right presented with the others due to their exposure or angle of shot. However, there are some that I do like so I chose these shots and added them to the final selection and took one out that was weaker. Once I had completed this task I then rearranged my final selection to construct the final linear series below.

When Words Create Mess

I have put this series for feedback on Facebook and the comments are below:

  • Selene: Too black and white for me.
  • Stuart: Interesting. How do you think a title should inform a piece of work?
  • Kinsey: It’s hard to see on the phone but my initial impression of the thumbnails were that it’s a good variety of angles and lines
  • Clare: Weirdly this reminds me of myself. Surrounded by books, words, studying…very student inspired.
  • Christine: This reminds me of my home, I always have a paper, magazine or letters laying around, that a word pops out at me. Also reminds me I should really tidy up
  • Paul C: Love the angles you’ve got on the letters.

This conversation is an interesting one about the title of the work. The discussion began with Stuart’s question and developed from there. Because of this discussion I am going to think about a new title for this work instead of ‘Wherever I find text,’ which was influenced by Paul Young’s ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat,’ – ‘That’s my home.’ The concept was, wherever I lay my books there is text and that is my home, covered in writings and books.

The discussion is here:

  • Stuart: Interesting. How do you think a title should inform a piece of work?
  • Dawn: Don’t get me started on titles – I went for interview at Goldsmiths college for their fine art degree – I got a lecture on my work and lack of titles – apparently according to their head of degree (when I went he was) – my work is like having a French book with a French Title, still do not understand this reply, it must be a put down of some kind but I never fathomed it out.
  • Stuart: I don’t get the comment about t he French book with a French title either!
  • Dawn: It has baffled me all this time and I often try to work out its meaning?
  • Terry: Basically he is saying that you are stating the obvious, as in you would expect to see a French Book with a French Title!
  • Dawn: That makes sense in this instance but when I went for interview they didn’t have titles as I believed back then that the viewer needs to interpret them freely without titles giving clues and directions… ? Does that still fit in?
  • Terry: Yes, kind of. I think he was trying to say that your work was too obvious/understated, I don’t know what your work was like then, because now your work is creative and thoughtful.
  • Terry: I would also say that the current title for this piece of work is lacking something as it seems a bit obvious if I may say so.
  • Dawn: it was even more abstract? I had things like abstract ink work with sewing around certain parts to document the growth of society and its spreading out into boroughs… and I suppose lots of portraits which were obvious. So yes I suppose I took things that showed skill mostly in the portraits.
  • Dawn: Will have to find another one then – it was based on Paul Youngs title – ‘Wherever I lay my hat.’

Text Within the Mess – Text Within the Chaos – In the Club Words – Text-in the Mess – Words Amongst the Mess – When Words Create Mess –

I put this on Facebook once I had decided on my new title asking for any comments:

I have renamed this series:

‘When Words Create Mess’ 

Yes or No? What are your opinions?

Concept: Words can create a mess of things when read, written or spoken and are interpreted wrong. In this case the words have made a mess because I have left them laying around my desk in hard format e.g. written word on a notebook or the printed word on books etc…

Me on FB

Kinsey replied: How about a shorter description ie “a wordy mess”?

16th December 2019

Make a sequence of photographs.

Experiment by placing images together either in Photoshop or as prints. Notice how one image resonates with another image and how the two combine to produce a new meaning.

If your sequence would work better as a slideshow, use PowerPoint or download Open Office to create one.

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg103

For this second sequence I thought about the gigs that I go to. For gigs I use a Panasonic Lumix compact camera. They are not very good in this type of situation with my mobile phone camera probably out performing it. I find that it lags so that the time I press the shutter and the time it actually takes a shot there is a second delay which more often than not causes blur and distortion. I would love to be able to take my professional camera in so that the shots are worth taking. However, I still like taking shots at gigs and hope that I can save up for a quality compact camera that really does allow manual settings throughout the menu and not just in a few aspects such as ISO.

This sequence is based on a recent gig where I saw The Darkness at The Nick Ryans Centre UEA.

The contact sheets are below and I have noticed that yet again I have forgotten to name them and they have been automatically labelled with my previous exercise name.

Once I had created the contact sheets, I looked at them to begin to form an idea of a sequence within my mind.

Sequence one is the beginning, middle and ending linear sequence called – ‘Time At A Gig.’ The beginning shot shows feet – we are waiting for the start of the gig, the second shot is from the middle of the show and is the singer, Justin Hawkins, and the third and final shot is the crowd listening to the end song.

I think the trouble with this linear sequence is that unless you have knowledge of the first and third image, you probably wouldn’t know that it was a time based sequence because these images could have been taken at any point during the show. In fact would these, as they are presented now, fall under the category of a series rather than a sequence? Perhaps the third image could have shown the stage being packed up or people leaving the UEA, or maybe more images in this instance were needed to show the passage of time?

I think I will have one more go at the sequence, ‘Time At A Gig’ and see if I can show the movement of time from travelling to the gig, waiting, the gig, and ending. Perhaps the sequence could benefit from more than one shot per time aspect, I shall experiment further with my composition.

I have used some of the photographs from ‘Exercise 3.1 Searching’ for this exercise. The chosen images I thought would be better viewed again as a slide show, this allows people to see only one image at a time that sets a specific time block and therefore one thought.

The above slideshow, ‘Time At A Gig,’ shows a sequence from The Wonderstuff gig as follows.

  • Waiting and set up
  • Band
  • Break
  • Band
  • Leaving

I found it particularly difficult to find the correct ration of images to use per section and I am thinking that perhaps the band sections should have had more images as the time they were on – two and half albums worth of music – compared to the relatively smaller waiting times should have been felt in the amount of images shown.

However, I do think having this sequence in a slideshow works well and the larger amount of images gives the viewer a sense of time scale and different activities that go on within the gig.

11th December 2019

Make a sequence of photographs.

Experiment by placing images together either in Photoshop or as prints. Notice how one image resonates with another image and how the two combine to produce a new meaning.

If your sequence would work better as a slideshow, use PowerPoint or download Open Office to create one.

OCA Foundations in Photography course folder pg103

For this exercise I am continuing to work from films and TV. I am looking to show a time based sequence of events within a short period of a film.

The first sequence that I have created is called ‘… but I ain’t no fucking clown.’ This is the introduction scene quote from the killer in the film ‘31,’ (2016) Produced by Rob Zombie, Production companies –

  • Bow + Arrow Entertainment
  • Spookshow International Films
  • Protagonist Pictures [2]
  • Windy Hill Pictures
  • PalmStar Entertainment
  • Spectacle Entertainment Group

I began to watch the film with camera in hand and was waiting for a scene to appear that caught my eye. I was very lucky that the opening scene to this slasher horror is very dark, harsh and dramatic. It oozed atmosphere, suspense and got me wondering what was going on straight away. I took some shots within the first five minutes and then I created my first contact sheet which can be seen below (left) it contains all of the shots that I had taken. The second contact sheet (right) is the adjusted images which have been cropped and their tone altered.

Just by looking at the contact sheets you can see a time based sequence that shows a figure walking towards the viewer. My next decisions were how many images I wanted to use and how I wanted the sequence to begin and end.

Before I began to work out my sequence I went through the images and took out those that I thought were not dynamic enough and/or did not fit in well with the sequence. The first reduction of images can be seen in the contact sheet on the left and then after further reduction the final contact sheet can be seen on the right, below.

While I was working through the images I decided to create a sequence that had a decisive ending. I had to figure out what this ending would be. Within the shots taken there was one of a victim covered in blood which had just been hacked by an axe. However, this didn’t relate to the walking figure enough to set a narrative – walk, walk, walk, walk, victim. The question would have been was the victim the walking man? Was the walking man finding the victim? Was the walking man the murderer?

I therefore had a re-think and thought I could complete the sequence with the walking man’s face as it is quite disturbed, black and white and covered in blood. This would be a straight forward sequence – walk, walk, walk, walk, face close-up.

Yes, it did have a good feel to it but I wanted just that little more. Having pondered over the images even more and asking how I could engage the viewers to question more, I came up with the following idea.

We have a figure of a silhouetted man walking towards us, his frame getting larger as the sequence progresses. The questions the viewers can ask so far are (1) Who is this man? (2) Where is this man? (3) What is he holding in his hand? As the figure gets closer you can make out the rough shape of the axe. (1) Where is he going with this axe? (2) What will this axe be used for? Due to the fact that the setting of the scene is dark, harsh, foreboding and we cannot make out any details, the viewers are led to the conclusion that nothing is good about this sequence.

I then thought, How could I keep them guessing a little longer as to who this man is? I came to the conclusion that I could put in an out of focused portrait of the man so yet again although we know it is his face we are still not presented with any details. This worked well, so I followed it with a full, detailed portrait of the killer. This means the sequences progresses like this: walk, walk, walk, walk, undecipherable portrait, detailed portrait.

Because the sequence had been arranged from images taken from a film I decided to present them as moving images. They work very well together but on reflection, now that I have completed this sequence, it is obvious that they would work together as they are all part of the same five minute opening of the film.

The final slideshow of the sequence can be viewed below.

but I aint no fucking clown!

Creating the slideshow was easy in the end as I used the creator that WordPress has. HOWEVER, I was not to chuffed because within the OCA folder it said to create the sequence within PowerPoint which I did. Then the problems began. Once created I couldn’t upload them without paying £240 for a Business upgrade so that I could install the appropriate plug in that would embed the slideshow.

I tried other ways by watching Youtube videos and following peoples instructions but due to WordPress changes since the instructions had been published and also software updates, I couldn’t embed the slideshow that I had created. I even to try to make one in Photoshop and then Lightroom but they didn’t go well either.

I even managed to get locked out of my WordPress blog by WordPress because I paid a sum of money thinking it was the Business upgrade but found out it wasn’t and that they had taken me to another upgrade page instead. I therefore blocked the Paypal payment and in return had to pay a WordPress fine to unlock my blog. I was not impressed as I phoned up college in a panic, phoned up Paypal to reverse the blocked payment and eventually I had my blog given back to me, a little poorer though. I am not a happy bunny!

Very stressed I found by pure chance the slideshow creator in WordPress although I had searched for one and nothing had previously come up.

Now that I have completed this one and it fits into the ‘5 mins in’ concept I am going to produce a second sequence that is not connected with the film and TV concept.

27th November 2019

Youtube: The Art of Photography

For the exercise 3.3 Sequence, I have researched further and found this YouTube video which has some good basic information in it. The host also covers Duane Michals in depth, so I have taken detailed notes from the video which can be read below, some extracts I have added to.


Photo sequence – a group of photographs that work together – they end up equalling a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Concept, illustration or a picture that doesn’t exist, it is suggesting that.

Eadward Muybridge in the 1870’s predates motion picture. He used complex systems of multiple cameras which would be tripped in sequence and he would end up with motion studies. People were not use to seeing photographs lined up like this and hadn’t experienced motion interpreted in this way.

Photography’s Eccentric Genius: Eadweard Muybridge. Photo: Courtesy Eadweard Muybridge via Sotheby’s Online. The link takes you to a very good article on Muybridge.

In the 1960’s a new conceptual phase began and Duane Michals is one of the photographers within this specific phase. He has thinking and concept behind the images.

Techniques he uses: Double exposure, slow shutter speeds allowing certain things to abstract in the image. He often incorporates his own handwriting into things.

Themes: Mortality, spirits, after-life, psychological undertones.

He is well known for image sequences that are more like story boarding – they tell a story. They are a sequence of images that unfold an event which usually is very simple.

Heisenberg’s Magic Mirror of Uncertainty

In the following text Duane Michals talks about the above photographic sequence, ‘Heisenberg’s Magic Mirror of Uncertainty.’

Duane Michals’ best photograph: French Vogue does quantum physics

‘I bought the mirror in Bath. It was the perfect way to illustrate Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle’

One day in 1999, French Vogue called me up to see if I could illustrate a feature on quantum physics for a special science issue of the magazine. I’ve always been interested in physics and I like trying to photograph things that seem un-photographable – rather than looking at reality, I aim to get deep inside it and explore. So I said yes.

When I was at school in Pennsylvania in the 1940s, our science teacher Mr Dunlap taught us that atoms had electrons, neutrons and protons, and that was pretty much it. But after the second world war, with the development of accelerators, much smaller particles were discovered: muons, quarks, gluons, bosons and others.

Then Werner Heisenberg, a quantum pioneer, said you cannot predict with any certainty the position or velocity of a particle – they interact in total chaos. That was revolutionary and it prompted Einstein to say he could not believe God would play dice with the universe. The notion that the fundamental expression of energy is something chaotic pulled the carpet from under a lot of thinking. How could anyone not be curious about that?

I bought the convex mirror in an antique store in Bath, on a visit to the Royal Photographic Society. I was so excited by its distortions, I brought it back to America. People on the flight must have thought I was the vainest person in the world – carrying a big mirror with me in the cabin.

I thought I could illustrate Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principlewith the mirror, which transforms everything in front of it. When my model moved it even slightly, her image changed completely. It was strange, liquid-like and very exciting. It seemed as if I was looking at her energy evolving and vibrating right in front of my eyes. Of course, we can’t see energy changing state at this level, but to see her distort into all these faces was still marvellous.

I made a series of shots and called them Dr Heisenberg’s Magic Mirror of Uncertainty. In the pictures, the models lips get bigger, her eye stretches and – in the last image, when I made her look at the camera – her cheek appeared in the mirror and there was no face at all. It was just a blank slate. That seemed the perfect way to end it – like pure white energy. Interview by Karin Andreasson 2015

It is a series of images that show a women looking into a mirror – realism – duality – psychological undertone. It is not a time based study so it could be presented out of order.

Within this series, Duane is seen sitting on the right of the images.

Self-portrait, having tea with a friend. The story progresses from laughing to boredom to his friend falling asleep and finally in the last image they have left the picture frame, it is empty but their ‘set,’ cups etc…. It is a simple concept that has a beginning, middle and end. It is time based therefore the images have to be shown in order.

Chance Meeting, Duane Michals. Image from

Very simple, read from left to right, top to bottom row. You see how two gentlemen walk down the alley and there is a point in the middle where they are both together and one looks at the other, in recognition? and in the last frame the other gentleman looks back as though he has just remembered the other fellow? So you get a circle of the encounter.

What is being communicated in this set of images – What was the point of this encounter? So again it has a psychological undertone but it is up to the viewer to decide.

In this sequence time exists in a storyboard type format.

Image from Stony Brook University website

In the above sequence, ‘Things are Queer,’ you have to find your own relationship within the images because it is not a time based sequence but surrealistic.

Top left image: a bathroom scene with a picture above the sink that you cannot make out the content of.

Second image: we realise there are legs that are out of scale, out of proportion with its surroundings.

In the third image: we get to see the man in the bathroom.

Middle row left: we realise it is a picture in a book.

Fifth image: we see somebody is reading the book.

In the sixth image: The gentleman is moving down the hall.

In the bottom left image: There is a picture on the wall which we can see the details of which we find is actually image number six of the gentleman walking down the hall.

Eighth image: We get a reminder that it is the picture above the sink in the first image.

Ninth image: Finally we get the scene again from image 1.

This sequence does not suggest time, there is no traditional beginning, middle, end but we are seeing the surrealistic interpretation of what is the scene which is all inside of itself.

It is a complexed image sequence which is not time based but it is scene based.

In the time based sequences you get to see the set (constant background environment) it does not change. The sequence deals with how the actors within that set move within the scene and that is how we get the perception of time.

In the last example the set changes so it is two sets that live inside one another which creates the surrealistic quality and the loop.

If you are going to create a storyboard sequence there are two things to consider:

(A) The relationships of the images to one another eg do they have to be in a particular order, can they be taken out of order?

Another example would be Duane’s portrait of Andy Warhol which is four images of different parts of Warhols head, seen below.

Andy Warhol. Screen shot from Youtube, The Art of Photography (above)

This sequence works because (1) FAMILIARITY with the subject – most of us know who Andy Warhol is and (2) we are seeing the parts which equal greater than the sum, they give you an image of Warhol. If these images were isolated you will not know what the whole image is. It relies on the relationship of the images to one another.

(B) You have to consider time within sequence work, it either exists or it doesn’t exist, they are treated very differently.

In sequence work it is usually between four and nine images that work together. They work better generally this way because the layout works with non-prime numbers 4, 6, 8, 9 etc…

Assemble as a set.

This link will take you to another post that discusses sequencing and with it Muybridge, Michals, Arnatt, Hilliard and Ruscha.

21st November 2019

Images in sequence

What defines a sequence, as opposed to a series, is the connectivity of the images in time or concept…

… Can you identify how each of these artists is using sequence differently? look for inspiration.

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg 102

I am looking forward to researching this exercise and looking at different ways that various photographers have used sequence within their images.

I have found that people often interchange the terms sequence and series photography. However these are two distinct types of photography. Sequence photography captures a subject while it is moving in such a way that to the viewer it conveys motion in a fixed image. Series photography however is a set of images on the same theme which are also edited in the same style.

Below in the grid is an example of each of the photographers that I am researching for this exercise. Top left: Eadweard Muybridge, Top right: John Hilliard and Ed Rushca, Bottom left: Keith Arnett, Bottom right: Duane Michals.

Eadweard Muybridge

Father of Motion Pictures


Photograph bottom left, Eadward Muybridge’s Camera Shed “(Original Caption) 5/20/1929- Stanford Muybridge Memorial Exhibit- Photo shows long shed which contained 24 cameras taking first motion picture by Eadward J. Muybridge in 1878 of trotting horse and sulky.” Getty Images

Photograph bottom right, “Muybridge customised electro-shutters, c1880. UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 02: The front of the electro-shutters used by Muybridge in his experiments. Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was the first photographer to carry out the analysis of movement by sequence photography, an important stage in the invention of cinematography. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

Bottom Photograph, shows Muybridge’s early work where the cameras ran alongside the horse. The cameras were situated as the photograph on the left shows us, in one long line.

Study of Horse, Muybridge. Getty Images
Muybridge race horse animated.gif

By Eadweard Muybridge – The sequence is set to motion using these frames, originally taken from Eadweard Muybridge’s Human and Animal Locomotion series, (plate 626, thoroughbred bay mare “Annie G.” galloping) published 1887 by the University of Pennsylvania, Public Domain, Link

In the photograph below, Muybridge placed cameras at the side and in the front of the subject so that two viewpoints were photographed.

Head Spring
circa 1884: ‘Head-Spring,’ a side view and front view stop-action series of photographs of a man performing a headspring, Muybridge. George Eastman Museum/Getty Images

The photograph below, shows us how Muybridge began to shoot his subjects from the side, front and back perspectives.

Woman jumping over barrier, 1887.

Muybridge’s work is very similar to the stop motion technique so his work is an early form of animation. His sequence images work on taking six to twelve individual images of a moving subject in quick succession one after another, therefore showing the movement of a subject within a small time frame.

21st Novemeber 2019

Duane Michals

Duane Michals is an American photographer who creates narratives within a series of images and is not only known for this work but his photographic multiple exposures and text that accompany his images which give his work another dimension.

Michals began his photographic career when visiting Russia when he borrowed a camera from a friend and began to shoot portraits. Following on from this start he has shot in various genres from portraits, street photography connected with deserted sites within New York and onto the more structured photographic works which were narrative based multi frame compositions. He has written, painted and drawn on photographs as well as manipulated them, he does not settle on one specific style but continuously pushes his artistic boundaries.

Duane Michals, Chance Meeting, 1970 

Michal’s narrative sequences, for which he is widely known take on cinema’s frame-by-frame format and rely on the sequencing of multiple images to tell a story. In the above work, ‘Chance Meeting,’ the background stays static but the characters within the narrative change position within the frame. It is us, the viewer who has to decipher the story within the sequence. However we do know the title and the philosophical ideas that he works within – death, gender, sexuality etc… so we are pointed to a specific direction for us to unravel the hidden content. The viewer will need to pair these clues with those within the images, for example, the gender of the characters, their age, clothes that they are wearing, body language, poses and the environment they are within.

Due to the viewers individuality, we are still able to come up with slightly different outcomes largely due to the fact our life experiences are different from each other and these influences will direct us differently.

25th November 2019

Keith Arnatt Self Burial (1969)

Arnatt is a conceptual British artist and photographer who has influenced the likes of Martin Parr.

Arnatt was fascinated with works of art that are created in the natural landscape but leave no trace of their presence behind. ‘The continual reference to the disappearance of the art object suggested to me the eventual disappearance of the artist himself’, he wrote. This sequence of photographs was broadcast on German television in October 1969. One photo was shown each day, for about two seconds, sometimes interrupting whatever programme was being shown at peak viewing time. They were neither announced nor explained – viewers had to make what sense of them they could.

Gallery label, April 2009

Self-burial, Keith Arnatt 1969

Below are the stills for the above TV video. However please note the video plays the sequence backwards from an empty picture image to the full man, I am not sure why but I thought it intriguing at least to see the images moving.

Self-Burial (Television Interference Project) 1969, Keith Arnatt

Television Interference Project: Self-Burial was shown on German television in October 1969. Each image appeared for two seconds on consecutive days which left viewers intrigued as to what was happening and many thought they were watching photographs of a suicide.

I find this concept quite cool, especially that the television station supported this artistic project. It also reminded me of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and the reported event of 1938 when it was broadcasted over the radio and people were hearing the story and believed that there was really a martian attack happening.

Self-Burial depicts Arnatt in a sequence of nine photographs, where he gradually sinks and then disappears into the ground. When seeing them in grid format I am reminded of the stop motion technique again. In this sequence of photographs the background is static and the only movement is Arnatt’s body which is slowly disappearing. The viewer does not have to decipher any hidden messages although they can question, ‘Why?’ is Arnatt performing this act.

Photograph: Courtesy Sprüth Magers/© Keith Arnatt Estate.

John Hilliard and Ed Rushca’s Every building on Sunset Strip 1966

Video taking the viewer page by page through the work, ‘ Every building on Sunset Strip.’
Hilliard and Rushca, Every Building on the Sunset Strip. Reed College Art Department

The above photograph from the Reed college Department Website (link above) shows how the 54 pages, 25 foot length book is folded in an accordion style.

Rushca photographed these images while driving up and then down both sides of the street in his pick-up truck with his camera mounted on the back of it. The images show photographic views of the mile and a half section of Sunset Street and they are collaged together and labelled with their building number.

Maquette for Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966, Ed Ruscha, gelatin silver prints and labels on board with annotations. The Getty Research Institute

Rushca’s work (Every building on the Sunset Strip) is a sequence that records a journey. It is very similar to how google can view roads and buildings and you can actually walk up and down them. Although this sequence shows us a journey in a specific place and during a specific time I am wondering if it comes under the heading of ‘documentary,’ because it is documenting that specific period which becomes history.

The documentary aspect would be the fact that he has recorded buildings, cars and signs etc… of a specific era, yet, it becomes conceptual because of the way that he has presented the images in a fold out book which the viewer can travel from left to right or right to left as though taking the journey themselves, or indeed stopping and observing details and moving around the strip as they wish.

I actually love the book ideas that we are learning about, I have used them for my fine art practices but I have never presented my photographs in such a way. Something I will definitely look into.

This link takes you to further research on sequences and looks in depth at Duane Michals images.

18th November 2019

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg106

My initial thoughts and feelings on seeing this work is – ‘Urrgghh, Yuk! Not for me!’ It looks like work an A level student would complete with a smile of ‘look what I did for my sequence of work.’ It is just so cringe making.

Let us see that if after researching the work and understanding the context and concept of this OCA exercise and the images combined, my mind is enlightened and changes its’ viewpoint.

Taken from the website:

Zelt (Tent) are a series of video stills showing a sequence of images of a man running from a tent, which explodes. “A passage of time and movement is depicted in each successive frame.” OCA course Folder pg 105

I had pre-read this article on Signer’s website before starting this part of the exercise and it answers some of my questions that I have about the work and already I am beginning to look at this work from another perspective.

Roman Signer Rachel Withers

Signer’s works have acquired the label ‘time-sculpture’. They share traditional sculpture’s concern with the crafting of physical materials in three dimensions, but they extend that concern into what may or may not be characterised as the fourth dimension: the dimension of time. Time-sculpture investigates the transformation of materials through time, focusing the viewer’s attention on the experience of the event, the changes wrought, and the forces involved. Variously combining three-dimensional objects, live action, still photography and moving-image documentation, Signer’s time-sculptures frame episodes of the containment and release of energy − always with ingenuity, often with captivating, epigrammatic swiftness and irresistible humour. In Cap with Rocket (Mütze mit Rakete 1983), for example, a length of string connects a firework and a knitted hat that Signer has pulled over his head. The firework is ignited; it shoots into the air and whisks the hat away, revealing the artist’s face. In Stool − Kurhaus Weissbad (Hocker − Kurhaus Weissbad 1992) a small explosion triggers the catapulting of a four-legged stool out of a window; the stool sails through the air and crashes to earth. In Kamor (Kamor 1986) a gunpowder explosion at the summit of a small mountain in the Swiss canton of Appenzell produces a burst of flame and a plume of smoke and momentarily lends the summit the appearance of a live volcano. In Attaché Case (Aktenkoffer 1989/2001) a concrete-filled briefcase is taken on a short ride in a fast machine − a helicopter, to be precise. At a height of about a hundred metres it is dropped. Like a meteorite, it plummets into a grassy field and gouges a deep crater in the turf.

Simple! And in some ways, the step from sculpture to time-sculpture is indeed beautifully simple: elementary, to borrow a word the artist himself has often associated with his work. In the face of the striking immediacy and poetic plasticity of Signer’s pieces, critical commentaries can sometimes seem frankly redundant − like a dull-witted, pedantic glossing of a perfectly-timed, beautifully-judged joke. The critic is dogged by the suspicion that (to co-opt a phrase from Simon Critchley) a time-sculpture ‘explained’ might be a time-sculpture misunderstood. From a seemingly restricted palette of processes and materials, Signer generates a poetics whose tones range from the melancholy to the thrilling, from the charming to the violent, from the grave to the frankly, irresistibly silly, and many points north, south, east and west of these affective co-ordinates.

© Rachel Withers 2007, Excerpt from:
Withers, Rachel, ‘Collector’s Choice. Roman Signer (engl.). Volume 07’, Cologne: Dumont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, 2007

Due to the fact that I have researched a little bit more and read the above article about Signers working beliefs and some of his work, I understand where the series comes from. I am a big fan of Gilbert and George and their living sculptures so Signer has taken it one step further and put his living sculpture into a narrative sequence, recorded it, taken out stills to tell the story in six easy shots that have a beginning, middle and end. This gives us a time-sculpture still narrative – very clever. Do I like the series now? No! I still I do not, but I do like the reasons behind it and why it has been created, however the subject matter still comes across as a teenagers piece of work and is quite boring. Perhaps if the subject was slightly different I would have been attracted to the overall piece of work and just not the concept behind it.

Would this work have been as effective if the cameras viewpoint has changed with each shot?

This series of stills work because of the uniformed shots which are taken from the same static viewpoint. The viewpoint of the viewer is straight in front of the subject and this allows their eye to keep a constant comparison of the time lapse changes within each shot, the tents explosion and of the man running towards them. Due to this it shows movement and the passage of time without any other visual aspects disturbing the viewers deciphering of the image content.

The constant viewpoint also allows the viewer to view the scale of the explosion and its changing size and shape as well as the running mans movement towards them and how his size also changes accordingly within a time frame.

This would not have worked if the viewpoint would have changed within each shot because the narrative (although the same) would have lost its dynamic layout and the information connected with changes of the subjects size and distance would not have been easy to envisage. The grid formation also works with this viewpoint as the narrative is kept clear by the constant and doesn’t allow the viewer to look for any other information other than the explosion and the running man.

What encapsulates this sequence, makes it seem like a finished piece?

This sequence of images has a distinct beginning, middle and end. Each image is connected with one viewpoint and one narrative theme. The title of the the series is ‘Tent’ therefore we know this is the subject matter we are focusing on and therefore the end of this sequence would be the end of the tents life because it has been totally destroyed from view apart from some debris on the floor around the site where it was.

How do you ‘read’ the sequence – from left to right, like a text?

Yes I do read the sequence from left to right that is what I have been taught to do since the age of three, and as there were no instructions to the contrary, I have continued to decipher the work as usual.

Zelt (Tent) strip order from grid above

Do you notice your responses changing through each shot?

No, because I didn’t like it to begin with and was just happy to get to the end of it.

How do you interpret the work? is it ‘just what you see’ or is it a metaphor?

I just see what I see, nothing more or less. However knowing the concept behind it has made it a little more interesting, but I still do not have any time for it.

How am I going to end my picture analysis? I now see the work as part of performance piece which has been captured in stills from a video. This makes the creative process more in depth than just a click of the camera that created a set of images that are to be presented in a specific sequence. It is easier for me to all of a sudden shout ‘eureka!’ because I come from a fine art and conceptual art background. If someone is a pure photographer this transformation of photography to time-sculpture, performance art is quite a big leap. It becomes an end piece of a performance rather than a photographic sequence in its own right – it is a recording of something outside of the image – the time-sculpture.