New house week :) I’m actually writing this in the middle of packing but it’ll be published the week I’m unpacking :P looking forward to it! I did want to talk about an ongoing project I have at the moment in which I’ve been documenting everywhere I’ve lived for the past few years, as I moved away to university and lived somewhere new each year, then moved home and now I’m off again. I was interested to see where everything would fit, what it would all look like in a different room/house layout and which things were important enough to travel with me from place to place, what was left behind. It began as what I called my “surroundings project”, and I didn’t realise i was doing it for the first couple of years as as at that time I just wanted images to look back on- to remember the time and places. So a personal project other than the likes of my tableau shoots, which I can’t wait to get cracking on.
That plus the fact that this was something I hadn’t researched which is rare for me: I usually look for photographers who have done a similar project for a kind of background story, technique ideas and inspiration. So I just carried on my own route and i have a couple more stages to go before I finally put all of these image together into a series :)
Having said that, for this blog I have done a bit of research. I hate to use wikipedia but I did come across this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapshot_aesthetic and I don’t really usually like things like this, but I did pick up on a term used here; “pictures that seemed to have a casual, snapshot-like look and had subject matter that seemed strikingly ordinary” which I don’t mind the sound of, I wouldn’t exactly describe my images as snapshot- like but I did recognise a few names in this article as well, people I looked at for various university projects. Also partially relevant is the genre social documentary (which I believe Hannah Ali touched on last Wednesday- yeah I’ve come back to type this in lol) so that’s worth a look into if this interests you, I didn’t go down that route with this blog in the first place as it’s more of a personal project than anything else.
First up is Wolfgang Tillmans and I may as well carry on with the wiki: “His comprehensive and diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the photographic medium’s foundations.”
I found a lot of still life images as well as other genre’s Tillman participated in, but there weren’t many I could relate my images to, maybe I just didn’t look for long enough as all I appeared to find was food hehe excuse my ignorance I don’t remember what I looked at his work for initially, but this image in particular caught my eye. It was the composition mainly, the green colours, the light. I also couldn’t help thinking that it could have been staged- i know it’s a shelf and with plants there’s generally not many other ways to place them.. but what’s stopping you from tidying it all up a bit, alining them and adding a few extras? Saying that of you were going for perfection I guess the window would be clean.. Either way, it got me thinking about my project, I haven’t deliberately moved or added anything to a still life image, it would take away from why i’m actually doing the project but I have with the likes of my memory chests- they’re so full of stuff and I move items so more is on show. A minor, personal project so I don’t think it matters.
Next up is Lee Friedlander. I love these series’ of work, the still life and “social landscape” street photography. I’m most fond of the composition this image:
Again, I can’t help but to think that it could have been a bit staged- was having the eye on the screen planned? Anyway, it works brilliantly as an image; the rule of thirds- the lamp, tv (both light sources) and the table eliminated create a triangular shape, the eye on the tv draws you in further as if the image is staring right back to you and i think the contrast of the black and white is perfect. Found here on a great blog for research, I definitely recommend sites like this when needing some background info or wanting to look back at where it all began: http://fantomatik75.blogspot.com/
I had one more name lined up; Arnis Balcus, but I don’t think it’s relevant anymore however i’ll give it a mention for those interested in the documenting of surroundings and in this case, partners and lifestyle.
This blog was on an unexpected topic, i was intending to carry on with what i’ve been doing for the past few weeks but in light of recent events it seemed fitting and i’m looking forward to putting together the final series :)