Saturday, 30 June 2012

Saatchi Gallery Visit.

From visiting this galleries exhibition 'Out of Focus', based solely on photography, I could choose my favourite photograph and least favourite to analyse.
Still from 'Johnson and Johnson's 'Imagine' total hydrate bodywash TV commercial, print - 164.34x110cm By Phoebe Rudomino. Born in 1981, commercial diver and underwater photographer based at the underwater stage at pinewood studios, the only facility of this kind in the world. Her speciality in underwater stills and video for feature films. This informs us about her personal interest in this type of photography as a whole, it relates to her diving experience and obviously this influenced her into the photography part of diving as well as it as a sport. The still was used as part of Pinewood's exhibition 'Water on the lens' which included other underwater photographs taken at the studio, held at County Hall on Londons Southbank, 2009. You can tell this photography is modern because of the fact a photograph could be taken underwater, also as soon as we know what it was for we know the famous product brand and that this being a still for a video is modern for the advertisement. It links with other commercials because they were obviously popular then and now and needed to promote products because they are constantly seen on TV, it links with arts because of the fact they chose to include this as a still, as well as a video it works well as a photograph itself, supporting what Pinewood does as an individual business. Could link to history because of the 19th century style furniture and room layout/architecture, the idea of them having to use water as hydration rather than the product.

There is the sense of space in the image, the water expands the room size to the eye, we also wonder whats about where the women jumps from, the light gives an illusion of something unnatural. The scale of the print isn't too important, I think it could have worked better larger, represeting it as life size perhaps, because of the small props involved which could work being bigger so that every aspect for the narrative is clearly seen. Composition works well, woman centred so we focus of her because she would be the moving part in the video, the room looking quite wonky works to show the movement of her jump. The colour is kept quite subtle, not much contrast, could symbolise the softness of the product, not too harsh, also works with the light blue reflections on the water with the white walls, keeps it basic but works well with the idea of it being natural, the tone of the water creates movement from the ripples, shape and line aren't too important because their is nothing harsh involved. The process involved technological equipment that can work in water, for the video more photographers and cameras set up but for the still, it would have been taken from Phoebe's filming, captured from the paused video and printed.

The title is significant because it tells us exactly what its for which we can interpret a narrative for why they chose to do this, obviously water relates to hydration, the content is important because the room presents everyday life, the idea anyone can use it, the water being there is unusual but contrasts the normality of the room by making it seem different and more magical/surreal, she is trying to represent that the cream will hydrate you just as much as water can and shows this by symbolising it with everyday life. The woman is doing quite a strong pose, it shows strength to women and people that would use this product, the slightly revealing clothes could have been chosen to show confidence. The information on exactly what the picture is trying to present and what it was made for is all available at the gallery and on the website.

My first visual reaction is wow, I liek the look of it and the soft colours, the stillness captured from such fast movement, it reminds me of something that could be used in fashion photography, although it isn't fashion, it promotes a Johnsons product and involves femininity which is the biggest interest I have in photography, the idea of applying beauty to something simple is something I like because of the pretty appearance, it makes you feel relaxed emotionally and evokes senses of touch, you feel like you are in the water. I like it because of how it looks, the advert idea doesn't appeal to me as much because I can see it working successfully as a fashion photoshoot if more zoomed in or various shots from different angles.

Above is my least favourite, by A.L Steiner, 'Melissa with lipstick', 2006, lambda print 81x61cm. Born in 1967, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her photography exhibit here is all about 'women having a blast being women' quote inspired by Roberta Smith, art critic for 'New York Times'. It tells us she obviously supports the idea of women being able to be free and do what they want without being judged and we can see in this photograph inparticular that she has taken this idea to extreme levels to present a female. We can tell its date roughly because of the fashion, jeans and shopping bags that are always seen in this century, it is for exhibition and her own desire of subject matter, it can link with history in terms of the 60's being considered glamourous because it involves make-up and a womens attempt to use this in her own way, although shows contemporary style in the way she poses, an amateur way of being inspired by nude models.

The composition looks quite unprofessional, to me it seems like a photograph that anyone with basic equipment could take, it doesn't stand out to me because of this, the process being DSLR isn't too complicated either, the meaning is clearly quite strong because of the way the women is being presented, she isn't particularly attractive but present woman of her age as just as feminine as the younger ones in terms of thoughts and free time, present the mind rather than something visual, although this is important in terms of colour because of the way the lipstick stands out and is symbolic allover the picture, we can clearly see where it is and are drawn to it. Pattern isn't used, tone and shape are not so important because all we see is the woman, just the fact the picture is in colour shows it all rather than anything needing to be enchanced. The scale isn't that big, but this works well with the other pictures relating to the subject because we can look at them all.

The title sounds quite child like which represents play and the woman's experimentation with the lipstick, which is a childlike thing and could present a womans experimenting or a side that would be judged if seen by everyone, its shows something private which isn't expected to be seen, the type could be documentary to a womans life, or distant portraiture, the theme being women and how they are portrayed or really are. Interpretations are quite open, although the piece isn't visually attractive, I can interpret meaning to it and the Saatchi website gives us this information of why she chose to photograph this. The woman looks like she doesn't care, she looks like she is ready for anything and is comfortable looking like that in her own skin, but we don't know if she is to other people.

My first reaction is that the photograph looks like a photograph that somebody could just take in their bedroom, the scene is very obvious and natural to what you'd expect in a girls room rather than a womans, I don't like the look of it because it doesn't show a positive looking female, it could have a bad influence and isn't very attractive, it doesn't evoke much senses, just something to clearly see, emotionally it makes you think about women as a whole behind closed doors. It doesn't remind me of anything but I don;t like it because of the simplicity of props and composition/proccess and lack of narrative elements to tell a story of something positive towards women.

Fashion Photography.

My chosen aspect, in existance since 1839, after the invention of fashionable dress but this was when photography to help advertise clothes for sales came about. Fashion can mean the clothing, make-up, accessories or anything that goes about to change or positively make-up style on men and women. The invention of half-tone printing helped promote the idea, in 1856 Adolphe Braun (French photographer of mainly floral life stills) published a book of 288 photographs of Virginia Oldoini, significant to he first showings of this photography. Below she is seen in a photograph taken by Pierre-Louise Pierson.
More contemporary uses of fashion photography can be seen on billboards, TV advertisements, catologues, magasines and shop posters. Often appearing in fashion magasines such as Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair.
Overtime, the photographs have relied a lot on back ground and props to tell a narrative relating to the themeor style of clothing, presenting it in various ways to help get it sold - which is the ultimate aim. The use of setting also helps promote the beauty which is more appealing to customers, something different and out of the ordinary with a 'beautiful' look to it such as fashion photographer Jason Christopher's use of the natural rural lifestyle when promoting this clothing which could be used in these conditions (below).

In my own attempt to portray fashion, I chose a gothic garment because I could make use of the graveyard nearby, also make-up to help narrate this, using a friend to model, below are my results -
 High angle, using props around to narrate the photograph, graveyard chosen because it fits with the extreme make-up that could be being advertised for fashion, also the black garment, both very gothic so scene suits well, model not focused on audience,below I tried it with her focused, worked better because it directly stares at the viewer daringly. Flowers being bright contrast with the darkness of the context but represent beauty to the fashion.
More portraiture below, but still shows off make-up, the contrast works well to create depth on the face making the make-up look stronger and better, more appealing.
 Gaze below shows off models eyes, the idea it can be worn anywhere with the graves in the background, involves nature with her natural colours and contrasts with darkness.
 Lighting was slightly too backlit, didn't give a flattering colour to the face which wouldn't be acceptable for fashion magasines ect.
 Lighting was better here, lit from the natural lighting on the front of the model, shows fresh skin and healthy looks which are required, also make-up.
 Involving the rose, a more appealing expression, more colour to contrast.
Extreme subject matter but different, gives a supernatural element and makes what would be being marketed stand out.
 Eyes closed, more of a magical kind of shot, shadowing wasn't great, too strong, lighting too bright because of weather, would have worked better with the lighting under the tree like the portraiture above.
Showing off more of the garment, element of freedom, sky adds colour and definition.
 Glance is fierce and gives power to femininity.
Pearing around the stone gives a sense of adventure, anything can be done in this garment and for women.
 Lighting was too bright, shadows too contrasted rather than showing off the skin and make-up clearly.
 COntrast works well, composition too random and unprofessional.
Attempted set-up, not kene on composition.
 Shows off the whole garment, and make up, light works well, graves narrates the gothic style.
My favourite shot below, perfect lighting, natural fresh looking skin with contrated make-up, glance works best.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Different Themes.

'Forgotten Beauty'
Sven Fennema.
Shows pattern in the architecture, also amazing light shines through creating a misty look which matches in theme of the glass, it looks quite ancient clearly a church and could be quite eerie and even magical, the filter on creates a dark effect but also quite relaxed, the greys bring out a shadowed effect and contrast well with the light, showing off the art work put into the window lines. I like it because of effects created by the light, the way it links with a religious perspective too, architectural with meaning and stands out more than a typical building photograph.
'Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway'
Tommaso Renzi.
rare scene, interesting to look at creates a calm feeling, very still photograph, soft colours, not contrasting, quite dream like because of the unexpected scene, professionally taken, looks like a long exposure filmed because of the clouds that have been captured in different positions, same position used for camera, the texture is so still and smooth it looks unreal, paint like, captured and maybe smoothed, sky and sea are similar in colour which focuses us more on the mountains and their position on the water. I like the idea the photographer has put himself into a different position to take this and the amazing landscape that he achieved to present, the idea time and people don't exist springs to mind because this takes the 'normal' world away.
'Tobacco Harvesting'
Manuel Rivera-Oritz.
Documents harvesting, shows a whole families lifestyle/occupation within one photograph, composition can be quite random because it creates movement within the people because is capturing an even rather than 1 particular scene. We can see adults hard at work and children looking unmotivated and just free, stereotypically showing childhood. The black and white used shows a relation to older times of people less fortunate in different countries, background captured shows environment they live in and climate conditions, the photograph works to do this, i personally find documentary photographs of culture theme not s interesting to look at, I prefer the visual aspect of a photograph.
By Jason Christopher.
The photograph successfully shows the garment it is promoting, the narrative of nature being involved symbolises freedom, the idea that the clothes are suitable for anywhere, naturally make you look elegant and sophisticated, present power and value to the clothes, they wouldn't get destroyed easily in such a wild location. It also shows femininity as dominant, the low angle does this by creating a sense of towering and her confident glance goes well for advertising which is its purpose, it gives off a positive and aspirational image that women interested in fashion would want to live up to. I like it because of the simple yet affective composition, and nature used in the background, a darker background creates a sense that she has walked out of the darkness into somewhere more open and bright, digital photography most likely used, photoshop for editing, contrast, smoothness and airbrushing ect.
'Carpenter at his work Bench'
1858, William Henry Fox Talbot.
Victorian times not just theme or aimed to look like it, sepia affect commonly used in these times, processed by darkroom, could also fit into the figurative theme of subject matter, the idea of the solid viganette used frames it looking more traditional, frames that were more commonly used in the era. Clothing gives away the time, the idea of a work bench is less common now. I like the idea a relationship or narrative could be hidden within the photograph, Talbot often documented situations so perhaps the couple had argued, or experienced loss seen as this was a subject particularly photographed. Emotions are presented, the woman looks to the man and he looks out the window, presenting him looking or thinking about something outside of the framing.
Modern clothing gives it away, idea of capturing a moving image shows use of very fast shutter speed shows the use of technology, contemporary photographers would typically use a DSLR camera. very free narrative, running over a hill presenting new starts or adventure which would relate to the fact children have been used, trees show aspect of nature which shows lack of captivity and more of a rebellious approach. The framing isn't symmetrical but I like the idea of it being quite inaccurate because of the speed it creates, a single moment captured naturally rather than set up shoot, could fit with a documentary that is more story-like. Shows the direction of photography contemporary to us moves more towards this and the fashion aspect rather than plain landscapes. Also that editing (particularly contrast) is used.