Informing Contexts: Week 2. Independent Reflection W/C 02/02/2018

Did any ideas particularly interest you:

  • The close connection between photography and ‘physical reality’
  • How the photographer is part of the situation that they depict.
  • I think authenticity depends on why the photograph was taken – What was the intent of the photographer
  • I read about the Cottingley Fairy Hoax  of 1917 ( This links to the intent – these photographs were produced to mislead no matter if you believe in Fairies or not!
  • I didn’t agree with the description that photography lacks expressive freedom – expressiveness is something that I aim to achieve with all of my images.

What Challenged you and have your ideas changed:

  • I think my main challenges this week was weighing up whether any photography can be trusted any more than any other type of image.
  • This process of evaluation has also changed the thoughts that I had at the start of the week. These days with the easily available digital editing platforms it is almost second nature to edit and make changes to any image. I used to think that photographs were the most truthful form of art, but now I am swayed to think otherwise.
  • As with painting it is down to the choices of the photographer as to how trustworthy a piece of work is and unless information is given out with each image we would never know what the choices made were.

How might your work be (or not be) considered as a peculiar practice:

  • I think my work would be seen as a peculiar practice by many! My project currently focuses on Macro photography – relying on abstraction using an iPhone. In many circles this method will not be understood along with the fact that I take images of the mundane/the everyday.

Think about how the context affects how people view your work:

  • Context plays a major role in how people view my work, without the context of challenging perceptions and advising people that I want to know what they can see, without them need to be correct my project would be a confusing concept for many.

Reflect on your practice in the context of other visual practices and theoretical points:

  • I think I can continue to research artists in genres such as abstract, expressionists, surrealists, modernists to give context to my work. Like Scruton said “the viewer often looks through the photograph to the object it depicts” this is what I personally want the viewer to do.
  • I was interested also in another section of Roger Scruton’s article Photography & Representation. “the medium of photography has lost all importance: it can present us with what we see, but cannot tell us how to see it” pg 590
  • This quote seems to encapsulate what I want to do with my project. Whilst I don’t agree that photography has lost its importance. I want to present an image and the viewer to tell me what they see – I don’t want them to be told how I want them to see or what society wants them to see. I want them to explore and express themselves.
  • I agree with Scruton that if I start telling people what I see in my images, I would then be required to describe the image and tell others what they should be seeing (pg 586) – this is not what I want to achieve with my project.


This week I have also explored the work of John Humphrey. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

I chose to look at this work as he is a tutor on a course I have been taking to improve my skills and learn the technique of stacking.

His image Cactus 1 is the type of image I want to create – it made me wonder what it was as I couldn’t tell and it encouraged me to explore the frame. This is one of the things that motivates me with my project – encouraging the viewer to really look and spend time gazing and wondering.

Cactus 1 -John Humphrey 2017

At the same time I think Cactus 2 is a little too far into the abstraction for what I want to achieve and it makes me realise what a fine line it is to tread.

Cactus 2 – John Humphrey 2017

I really enjoyed paper curl. The aesthetics of the image I can relate to as it is an object similar to what I want to shoot for my project. I get great satisfaction from the way it makes you wonder where it goes as it disappears into nothing, as if it were melting into the background.

Paper Curl – John Humphrey 2017

With the image Torn Paper I can also apply elements to my project work. It is important that I learn these lessons on composition to enhance the work that I produce for my project.

Torn Paper – John Humphrey 2017



Informing Contexts: Week 1. Independent Reflection W/C 26/01/2018

The nature and intent of my own practice:

  • I want to challenge the way people see things, explore if they can still identify something if it is photographed in a more abstract way.
  • I take my images using a square format, on an iPhone, using macro photography using an olloclip, I apply black and white/silvered filter.
  • I am in some ways struggling with my narrative, I know I want to look at perceptions of how people see, but am still looking at the means in which I do this.

Where am I now?:

  • The place I am right now is pulling together my style and deciding where my work belongs. I want to find a theme to my work to provide continuity perhaps the various different items I have previously used is not what I need for my project.
  • I am still also trying to narrow down my audience and then this in turn should help me with everything else.

What contexts your work could be consumed in:

  • My work would probably be consumed as fine art/abstract. In a photobook or perhaps a small exhibition.
  • The idea of a small exhibition really excites me and I am looking at hosting a small event at Newcastle City Library.
  • I do however enjoy blogging and perhaps to keep on building my website is still a good way to go.

Your practice in the context of other visual practices and critical ideas:

  • You could look at it along the lines of abstract or surrealist art.
  • Perhaps some aspects could be related to Frida Kahlo’s still life work in the way that I look for textures in my work.
  • Or maybe the hyperrealism art of Giacchino Passini like his flower image in the following link:  This painting shows so much detail and gives me ideas and inspiration of how to present my objects to the viewer.
  • Or the work of Dennis J Wojtkiewicz – http://www.wojtkiewiczart.comRosette Series #32.jpg
  • The abstracts gallery of Wojtkiewicz is of particular interest to me and I can relate to it so much . Although I have all of my work in black and white and much closer I can really relate to these pieces of art. Wojtkiewicz’s work in particular appeals to me stylistically, although it is a painting the up-close textures and angles show what it is possible to achieve, but also how I could start setting up images in terms of composition.

This weeks Presentation:

During this weeks presentation the work of Uta Barth really drew me in

I particularly enjoyed the project Field 1995 – 1998 especially Field#9 and Field#6. In these images I like the bokeh, this is something that I have captured in a couple of pieces of my own work and I like the aesthetic that it gives. I have found that I am being drawn to a more abstract style of photography in a sense that I am enjoying creating images where there is absolutely no way of telling what the image is.

Kirsty Logan Photography
Through the viewfinder of another camera

They above is an images that I have created this week and I think this can be shown as similarities of Barth’s work where focus or lack of focus is not necessarily on the area it would have been conventionally in a photograph. This is something that really intrigues me and I would like to explore further.

With the work from this week I applied some of the readings/presentations to my practice – I agree that photography is an art form of its own, I also agree with the statement that “the human eyes sees differently from the camera lens” – Uta Barth. There is a perceptual relationship which goes hand in hand with what/how we see.

A point that really got me thinking was regarding constructed reality. In my practice whilst the items I photograph are real – they are not always in their natural setting, therefore it is a constructed reality but I am not necessarily capture reality as in events etc.

With Shore’s visual grammar – Flatness, Frame, Time & Focus. I understand that an image is 2D but this does not necessarily mean flat. I try to create depth and texture within my images to make them more interesting to the viewer and excite them with what they are seeing. I did agree with the point that the image creates its own world.

With my practice I relate most to Szarkowski – the thing itself being key to my work as it is of ‘things’. In some ways it is like a record keeping process of an item. The detail is also relevant especially when described as fragmented/discreet details. This is exactly what I am doing when capturing the world with my macro viewpoint. In my work the frame is also important as I want to have a limit to what the viewer sees to make them more inquisitive. Being involved in still life the time part of the analysis is possibly the least relevant, although when attempting to use natural light time is also of the essence. Vantage point to others may well have a different meaning to what it does for my practice I look for a different vantage point of a small object rather than a large vista for instance.

My favourite quote from this weeks work was from Alec Sloth

“The best photographs inspire curiosity”

This is something that I strive to achieve within all of my images.


John Szarkowski (1966) The Photographers Eye, New York: Museum of Modern Art

Stephen Shore (1998) The Nature of Photographs, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press

Aaron Schuman (2004) ‘The Mississippi: An Interview with Alec Soth’ In Seesaw Magazine –