Over all my assignment went ok, although there was a minor problem with the page order when the document was posted on to issue.
A frozen moment can be described as a story frozen in time, this may be portrayed through an image, a song, literature and much more. Photography allows for a freeze frame of history, pausing time, to be reviewed, reassessed and in some cases reveal what the eye didn’t see.
In 1957, MIT electrical engineering professor Harold Edgerton developed a special photographic strobe that allowed the camera to freeze an object that would normally be to too fast for the human eye to see.
High-speed photography is defined as any set of photographs captured by a camera capable of 128 frames per second or greater, and of at least three consecutive frames.
In common usage, high-speed photography may refer to either or both of the following meanings. The first is that the photograph itself may be taken in a way as to appear to freeze the motion, especially to reduce motion blur. The second is that a series of photographs may be taken at a high sampling frequency or frame rate. The first requires a sensor with good sensitivity and either a very good shuttering system or a very fast strobe light. The second requires some means of capturing successive frames, either with a mechanical device or by moving data off electronic sensors very quickly.
This research allowed me to look in to a different area of photography I previously new very little about, I learnt about its origin whilst viewing various images under the topic of high speed photography. It also gave me an insite into photographing a subject in a different way.
Social comentary is the act of using rhetorical means to provide commentary on issues in a society. This can be done through all means of comunication from, art to wrighting. Using speach, imagary, and often in contemporary society the internet.
This is done to express feelings towards a certain aspect or nature of society and is often done with the idea of promoting change.
Here I have looked at work by both the photographer Camilo José Vergara and the street artist Banksy.
Camilo José Vergara
Camilio Jose Vergara (born 1944) is a Chilean-born, New York based writer photographer and documentarian.
Vergara is best known for his photographic documentation of American slums and decaying urban enviroments during the 80s. He would photograph the same buildings and neighborhoods from the exact same vantage points at regular intervals over many years in order to capture the changes over time. Using this tecnique of rephotography in New York, Detroit and Chicago as well as other cities across America.
Trained as a sociologist with a specialty in urbanism, Vergara applied his systematic documentation methods at moments of extraordinary urban stress.
Whether his work was done with the goal of influencing change or simply to document the dyer conditions of American ghettos at the time, his work reflects social issues of urban neglect during this period.
Banksy is an anonymous street artist known for his politically based, Social comentary artwork. Mostly done in the form of graffiti using various stencils and paint work, his work has been compared to Blek le Rat who began to work with stencils in Paris around 1981 although Banksy denied the artist was of any influence to him. Banksy’s work has caused masses of controversy not only due to its subject matter but also due to the way the artist chooses to present various ideas to his audience, for example painting a live elephant at his first U.S exhibition. Various pieces of Banksys work have been sold for thousands at auction, for example his piece titled Simple Intelligence Testing sold for 363,500 GBP.
This work tought me about Social commentary found within art work and photography something I was aware of although I didn’t fully understand the concept. The research I did helped me get my head around it. Looking into work by Camilo Jose Vergara taught me about the tecnique of rephotography some thing I found interesting as it allows a photographer to document a subject over time. As for my research into Banksy, I was already rather familiar with the artist, As I have been a fan of his work for some time dispite this it was interesting to find out a few facts I didnt already know about the artist, such as the incredibly high sales figures of some of his pieces.
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for its visual artworks and writings.
Surrealist works feature the element of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artefact
Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities during World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film, and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy, and social theory.
Examples of Surrealsit Photography
Jerry N. Uelsmann (born June 11, 1934) is an American photographer, and was the forerunner of photomontage in the 20th century in America.
Uelsmann’s photographs are not meant to depict a familiar place, but rather allow the viewer to transcend the frames and take them on a journey through the unfathomable. Through the picturesque representations of his subject matter, this becomes possible. Like the Pictorialist movement in the twentieth century, Uelsmann’s work played on big ideas, and because those ideas are so vague, the artist did not allow room for literal interpretation of his work, but rather left the interpretation to the subjective.
A self-taught professional photographer, born on April 13, 1984 in Czech
Republic. Martin’s distinctive vision of photography etched as a unique space
located in a balance and serenity, while his sophisticated and rewarding images
exists in that narrow space of a few seconds between dreaming and awakening.
During the last two years Martin has gathered over 30 remarkable international
photography awards, from different competitions including: Professional
Photographer of the Year, Emerging Talent Award in Nikon International Photo
Contest, International Photo Awards, Sony World Photography Awards or Digital
Photographer of the Year two times in a row.
Some of my own surrealism work
Surrealism as a subject for phtography, is some thing I was already farmiliar with as it was the subject I based one of my final A- level photography projects around. For this assignment I went over various research I had already done, although it would have been handy to of had my A-level sectch book to hand. As I had previously done extensive research into the subject. Unfortunately for me I didn’t so I looked into a couple of artists I remebered being interested in and posted some of my own surrealism photography work.
Almost 2 years ago I travelled to Africa to help volunteer at a slum school in Kenya. It was a great experience as it allowed me to absorb a totally different culture, whilst meeting people from all over the world. Unfortunately for me during my last week in Kenya, a Norwegian girl by the name of Anna, managed to reformat my camera whilst taking a drunken photo of are group. I lost all the 900 odd photographs I had taken on my journey, although I suppose I still came back with some pretty decent memories.
The Photos I have Selected, although not my own, help to tell the story of my journey.
Like all great journeys mine started in my local pub, haveing one last pint with friends and family before jetting off for a month and a half. The New Inn is a great village pub and has been a home away from for as long as I can remember, the type of pub that you can walk into and providing it isn’t to busy, they’ve already pulled your pint by the time you reach the bar.
After the pub it was a long blast down the Motorway to my uncles where we stayed for the night before I was dropped at the airport the next day. Just to clarify I wasn’t the driver.
After six hours or so I was sat in my uncles living room with another beer. Both tierd and excited I soon took my self off to bed.
The next morning I eagerly boarded my plane at Heathrow accompanied my huge bag rammed full with football shirts, crayons and anything els I could give to the far less fortunate children I would be working with.
The plane I was on looked nothing like this plane. Thow I suppose unless its a private jet, they all look pretty much the same to me. I travelled coach working my way through the in flight movies excited to land 9 hours away in a much warmer climate.
I arrived in Nirobi, Kenya’s capital city, and was greated by the wide cheek to cheek smile of the dreadlocked fun loving local Chomlie. Chomlie Worked for the organization I was volunteering for and drove me from the airport back to what would become my home for the following month. The small house was situated just out side the slum I was soon to be working In, it was shared by people from all over the world. Familiar faces would change as volunteers from other parts of the country passed through and others moved on. I spent my first night playing football out on the street with a few local children before heading to a close by bar with an American soon to be teacher by the name of Rory.
Tusker was my drink of choice through out my stay, along with Kenya cane, a cheap spirit distilled from sugar cane. Being out at night in this area was advised against as many volunteers had been robbed most of which at gun point. During my stay I was told various stories of this happening the most extream case I heard of was a girl being put in the boot of a taxi at gun point, driven to an ATM and told to withdraw all her money. From what I heard She walked away unharmed although a little worse off and continued her stay in kenya. Luckily you can only withdraw so much at any one time.
Despite the various stories, we drank after dark in multiple bars on the edge of the slum over the course of the next month, and never ran in to any serious trouble, thats not to say there was’nt a few questionable moments, although over all the mojority of the people we came across were increadibly friendly. We spent our first night out sipping Tusker whilst playing and betting on pool games with a group of locals. The pool table was increadibly wonkie, and I won only one of the many games I played that night.
The conditions in the slum we’re extreamly bad and for many of us this was are first glimps at real poverty, seeing this in real life as apposed to on the charity tv adverts we are all used to was a real eye opener and really made me appreciate what I have and the things we take for granted. Despite this people in the slum seemed happy and content. I would find my self in random convosations with passers by daily, as I walked through the slum towards the school. It was increadible to see how many people spoke good english there. Making me realise how ignorant we are in the U.K when it comes to different languages, just because English is such a widely used language dosen’t mean we shouldn’t learn a few more are selves.
I tought daily in a class room alot like this one. Despite signing up to coach football I wound up also teaching English, Maths, and Science to years 3 – 6 the children we’re great and increadibly willing to learn. I was most deffinatley under qualified for the job and was out smarted by the children regularly, trying to recount work you did in primary school was no easy task, although I tought them what I could and focused on having a bit of a laugh with my students. I was working at the School with another english guy by the name of Ben, he was in his late 20’s and had recently married his australian wife. They had come out to volunteer before moving out to Australia. Between us we had dug a well, created a vegetable patch and fixed the school gate by the time we both left.
During my time in Kenya, me and some of the other volunteers spent a long weekend on Safari. Are guide was known as Safari Mike, in his white matatu identical to the one’s in this picture he drove us across country to the maasai mara. For those of you that don’t know what a matatu is, its a van that is often used for low budget safari’s, but more so used as taxi’s throughout Kenya, for a small fare you dive in an oftern over crowded van and get to where you need to go, whilst the fare collector hangs off the side jumping on and off at each stop.
During are Safari we saw all the animals you would excpect to see as well as stopping of to meet a maasai mara tribe. Mike was a great guide he seemed to know the area like the back of his hand and was constantly providing interesting facts about the animals. As the rest of the group were all girls that wanted to go to bed early in order to make the most of their days out on Safari, Me and Mike spent the nights getting drunk with other tour guides he intruduced me to. Me and mike got on we’ll. Upon are return to nairobi we dropped the girls off and headed out to a local bar, where he promised me if I ever come back to kenya he’ll take me and a friend on a free safari. Providing we hide in the boot whilst entering the game reserve, as the guide pays a proportion of their fee to gain enrty.
This image shows tribesmen performing a jumping dance, whoever can jump the highest supposedly gets their pick of the women.
Soon my month of volunteering was up, but after hearing about Ukunda a small island off the coast of Mombasa I decided to extend my stay. Me and 3 norwegian girls by the names of Hennrietta, Anna and Tiriel were all kean to cheque out the island. They had a week of work left in Nirobi so I decided to go ahead and meet them there. The organization we were working for arranged a place for us to stay, putting us intouch with a family that accomidation for volunteers to stay in. Chomlie dropped me off at the bus station in Nairobi and I got a 9 hour night bus across the country to Mombasa.
I didn’t sleep on the bus unlike the heavy set kenyan that used my shoulder as a pillow for half the journey. The sun had come up and I wasn’t quite with it when the bus came to a hault on a busy street in Mombasa. Suddenly the doors opened and people stated getting off, all of them leaving their luggage on the bus. I grabbed my bag and followed the other passengers. On my way off the bus I asked the bus driver whats happening to which he replied by simply pointing at the sea of people outside. I got off the bus and followed the huge crowd of people down hill, desprately trying to stick with passangers I recognised from the bus. When I saw the Warter and a number of over crowded boats, it became pretty obvious we were getting a ferry, Although which boat to get on and how to find my bus on the other side i had no idea.
Luckily in the hustle and bustle of the crowd I bumbed in to a group of canadians, who looked just as confussed as me. They were heading to the same place so we boarded a ferry together. I found my coach after the crossing easily enough and continued on my way.
Ukunda was a great way to end the trip, In my first few days there I befriended a local guy named Clinton we became good mates and he attempted to teach me Swahili, although I wasn’t very good at it. The Girls arrived a week later and soon after that Rory also found his way on to the Island with Hanna, another volunteer from Brighton.
For two weeks we spent every day on the beach, the tranquil island seemed worlds away from the madness of the capital. We would drink at Fourty Thives beach bar throughout the day, whilst in and out of the warter or playing football on the beach. Then head back for a shower and some rest before returning at night. Fourty Thives was often filled with people from all over the world, all their for different reasons. It was a spectacular two weeks, although sooner or later I had to return to England and my mondane 9 to 5 selling business insurance.
The only Photograph I have of my Time in Kenya, Taken and sent to me by Lina Garcia.
For me this task became more of a writing task as I tried to recount my journey in a journalistic manner. I would have much preferred to have used photographs I had taken on this trip, although as explaind in the article doing so was impossible. Despite this I tried to use photographs as closely fitting as possible to portray what I did and saw on my travles. I found writing this piece enjoyable as it brought back some great memories.
Propaganda is a biased form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude and opinions of a community toward some cause or position.
Propaganda often presents facts selectively with the aim of influencing its audience through various tecniques such as slogans or a brief, striking phrase that may include labeling and stereotyping.
This image was an American wartime propaganda poster created by J. Howard Miller in 1943 for Westinghouse Electric as an inspirational image to boost worker morale.
The poster was rediscovered in the early 1980s and widely reproduced in many forms often known as “We Can Do It!” but also known as “Rosie the Riveter” after the iconic figure of a strong female production worker.
The image was used to promote feminism and other political issues beginning in the 1980s. The image made the cover of the Smithsonian magazine in 1994 and was fashioned into a US first-class mail stamp in 1999. It was incorporated in 2008 into campaign materials for several US politicians, and was reworked by an artist in 2010 to celebrate the first female prime minisister of Australia.
This image is a piece of American recruitment propaganda for the U.S army the image portrays Uncle Sam a common national personification of American government that apparently came into use during the war in 1812.
This poster was designed by Alfred Leete, it first appeared as a cover illustration for the London opinion on the 5th of September 1914.
During the outbreak of the First World War the prime minister appointed Lord Kitchener as Secretary of state for the War, he was given the task of recruiting soldiers to fight German forces.
The Poster is believed to have been one of the main influences bringing millions of men in to the army. The month the image was first published had the highest number of volunteers. As requests were made for reproductions, the magazine issued post-sized copies and the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee obtained permission to use the design in poster form.
The Image of Lord Kitchener sternly pointing towards the viewer, exclaiming ‘I Want You” was posted nation wide helping to recruit military forces.
This assignment tought me more about propaganda and the ways it can be used. It was interesting researching propaganda images I was already familiar with and finding out more about their origins and why they were created. For example In the “Your country needs you” poster, I had no idea who the image was of, my research went on to show me it was in fact Lord Kitchener and I learnt about who he was.
Narrative, (The story within an image)
In photography, narrative is related to the idea of context. No matter how complete or comprehensive a narrative appears it will always be the product of including some elements and excluding others.
Robert Capa D-Day
The narrative of a photograph can be formed by a viewer through a number of means, for example Knowing where an image was taken and what it is of may relate the image to the story, for example knowing this photograph is of soldiers on a beach during D-Day, allows the view to relate what they are seeing to what they know about the event.
Narrative can also be suggested through connotations that may be related to by the viewer, for example, military uniforms in the image could suggest war which in turn could relay something else to the viewer.
Narrative can be portrayed as either liner or non linier, when the photograph is an image of an event, it seems a linier narrative is more easily portrayed.
As the view can see clearly what is happening within the photograph in this case ( an execution ) the viewer can easily conclude the basic narrative, therefore persive the story in the image. As well as the primary narrative a secondary conclusion may be made through connotations, such as Fear, War, Violence this then widens the narrative within the image.
Surrealist photography, such as this image by Philippe Halsman often attempts to portray the subconscious, there for relaying a non liner narrative to its viewer. A narrative can still be concluded through what is being portrayed and connotations the viewer may make to what they see and the narrative is likely to vary amongst viewers.
For this assignment we were asked to look in to the narrative of various images. I found this intresting as a photograph can portray both a straight forward narrative as well as a more complex indepth narrative through its connotations. I also found it intresting how the narrative portrayed through a photograph can vary between its viewers.