Photographing the unseen – Case studies

I’ve read through the three case studies of Peter Mansell, Dewald Botha and Jodie Taylor of which I find them all to be inspiring in individual ways.

Peter Mansell

Peter Mansell, paraplegic form the age of 20, talks about how he came about photographing his injuries and subsequent change of life through visual metaphorical perspectives.

This makes me think back to Bryony Campbell’s, The Dad Project where part of her work in that series had an air of reflection rather than reaction.  There are evidential photographs within that series that shaped the narrative but the feelings came through in the more metaphorical images.  One such image on first glance appears to be blood splatter on a hospital floor:

BrionyCampbell milkshakeBryony Campbell, The Dad Project

However, after reading Campbell’s accompanying essay on The Dad Project, it becomes apparent that her dad in his ailing body had dropped his milkshake on the kitchen floor when she was looking after him.  This is a very reflective photograph as she couldn’t bring herself to photograph it straight away and instead quite naturally reacted as a daughter first and picked up the glass and paused to reflect before picking up her camera.

Coming back to Peter Mansell, His work seems to consist of his story but with a large amount of viewer interpretation.  The photo above has the same complication, like a puzzle that needs to be solved.

I’m left wondering how do I get it right?  How do I tell a story that can evoke similar feelings to what these people are producing?

It seems to me that there has to be a background story.  In the case of Peter Mansell, If I didn’t know about his accident before viewing the photographs I wouldn’t have been able to interpret them in the correct context.  So, are they too metaphorical?  How do they strike a balance?  Some photographs form a narrative and others put emotions into the series.  There needs to be a complimentary balance between the two.

I felt inspired by Peter Mansell and how he came to rely on photography as a form of expression which helped him deal with suppressed feelings.  It made me realise that a feeling, especially of the visceral kind can become a narrative if you let it.

Dewald Botha – Ring Road

Unfortunately I felt bored with how baffling this narrative comes across and that may be because I haven’t experienced the same feelings.  I think the photographs are beautiful and I can see how I’m drawn in by the symmetry and uniformity but in tern is preventing me from appreciating the narrative in this series.

Jodie Taylor – Memories of Childhood

This particular case study has my interest immediately.  It’s something I’ve thought of doing many times as the culture in my home town is very different to where I live now.  I find it fascinating that in a short distance life can be so very different so through time into the mix and I’m getting excited.

Jodie Taylor’s ‘Memories of Childhood’ is how I imagined my project to be.  The hairs stood up on the back of my neck when I read that she presenting her series in on of those old fashioned photo albums with the sticky plastic coverings.  I have a few of those on my shelf full of photographs I took from the age of 10.  Taylor’s work has evoked a huge feeling of nostalgia in me.

I watched OCA assessor Jesse Alexander’s video critique of Taylor’s work and it becomes apparent that this theme runs throughout all of her work in different formats.  It helps to see what other people are doing and step out of the comfort zone of whats been asked of you.

I’m particularly impressed with the different types of media used to present her work.  It’s very imaginative and relevant which further extends the narrative.

 

This makes me think back to Bryony Campbell’s, The Dad Project where part of her work in that series had an air of reflection rather than reaction.  There are evidential photographs within that series that shaped the narrative but the feelings came through in the more metaphorical images.  One such image on first glance appears to be blood splatter on a hospital floor:

BrionyCampbell milkshakeBryony Campbell, The Dad Project

However, after reading Campbell’s accompanying essay on The Dad Project, it becomes apparent that her dad in his ailing body had dropped his milkshake on the kitchen floor when she was looking after him.  This is a very reflective photograph as she couldn’t bring herself to photograph it straight away and instead quite naturally reacted as a daughter first and picked up the glass and paused to reflect before picking up her camera.

Coming back to Peter Mansell, His work seems to consist of his story but with a large amount of viewer interpretation.  The photo above has the same complication, like a puzzle that needs to be solved.

I’m left wondering how do I get it right?  How do I tell a story that can evoke similar feelings to what these people are producing?

It seems to me that there has to be a background story.  In the case of Peter Mansell, If I didn’t know about his accident before viewing the photographs I wouldn’t have been able to interpret them in the correct context.  So, are they too metaphorical?  How do they strike a balance?  Some photographs form a narrative and others put emotions into the series.  There needs to be a complimentary balance between the two.

I felt inspired by Peter Mansell and how he came to rely on photography as a form of expression which helped him deal with suppressed feelings.  It made me realise that a feeling, especially of the visceral kind can become a narrative if you let it.

Dewald Botha – Ring Road

Unfortunately I felt bored with how baffling this narrative comes across and that may be because I haven’t experienced the same feelings.  I think the photographs are beautiful and I can see how I’m drawn in by the symmetry and uniformity but in tern is preventing me from appreciating the narrative in this series.

Jodie Taylor – Memories of Childhood

This particular case study has my interest immediately.  It’s something I’ve thought of doing many times as the culture in my home town is very different to where I live now.  I find it fascinating that in a short distance life can be so very different so through time into the mix and I’m getting excited.

Jodie Taylor’s ‘Memories of Childhood’ is how I imagined my project to be.  The hairs stood up on the back of my neck when I read that she presenting her series in on of those old fashioned photo albums with the sticky plastic coverings.  I have a few of those on my shelf full of photographs I took from the age of 10.  Taylor’s work has evoked a huge feeling of nostalgia in me.

I watched OCA assessor Jesse Alexander’s video critique of Taylor’s work and it becomes apparent that this theme runs throughout all of her work in different formats.  It helps to see what other people are doing and step out of the comfort zone of whats been asked of you.

I’m particularly impressed with the different types of media used to present her work.  It’s very imaginative and relevant which further extends the narrative.

 

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