This is some of my work that I have done previous to joining the university here, it shows off the style I like to shoot in and what mainly interests me:
Monthly Archives: September 2012
Photographs from my initial week as a fresher here in Cheltenham. I selected these ten images as I felt that they were the ones that provoked the most thoughts and curiosity into the subjects lives.
Whilst in London I also visited The Photographers Gallery (http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/exhibitions-6) where there were various exhibitions on different floors. One particular room held the “FreshFaced+WildEyed2012” exhibition which University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, MA Photography graduate Helen Goodin featured in.
“A defining factor of Goodin’s practice is questioning what photography is and what is key to the production of the photograph. Her answer is light. She experiments in the darkroom make images and play with light onto the surface of photographic material.” [see website above]
In comparison to the pre 21st century photographer Maurice Broomfield, this 21st century photographer has not captured my attention for the right reasons. Her images taken from the series Source displayed in the gallery did not intrigue or captivate me nor did they impress me like Broomfield’s work did. Her photographs (whilst have an interesting concept behind them considering the nature of light, its changing behaviors) in my opinion represent where photography has gone wrong over the centuries, in the sense that we as society now call her work “photography”. 50 years ago her circular images would have been scoffed at and moved aside in favour of images showing the real life world and its contents taken to fulfil people’s hunger for new information and insight into their rapidly changing planet. Now however, due to people’s acceptance of ‘the artists unconventional mind’ images like these are being featured in the same gallery as David Goldblatt’s South Africa exhibition, which showed the horrors and impacts of the apartheid; truly powerful and educational shots.
To me her light circles are another series that represent the movement towards over manipulation of photographs and far-fetched concepts that need text to explain what on earth they are on about. You could not look at these and feel the same emotion as, for argument’s sake, when you look at Goldblatt’s saluting child (shown below). For me Goodin is just another contemporary artist trying to stretch the boundaries and explore deep and meaningful concepts that quite frankly, few people even care about.
Whilst visiting the V&A British Photography Since 1945 exhibition (http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/British-photography-since-1945) I was captivated by a photographers work I had never seen before. The photographer in question was Maurice Broomfield, a pre 21st century British born photographer best known for his work of post-war British industry.
“Broomfield sought to elevate the figure of the worker. Through careful composition and strong lighting his photographs create a sense of the drama and atmosphere of labour. As manufacturing has turned to cheaper markets overseas, these photographs serve as a reminder of an important moment in Britain’s industrial history” [20/03/2012 V&A]
Out of his work exhibited there was one that I took particular interest in that stood out to me from the rest, a photograph of a wire manufacturer in Somerset. Broomfield has managed to glorify this stereotypically mundane job and give it the same amount of awe and amazement November the 5th has to small, transfixed children. Taken in the late 1950’s (when health and safety would have allowed photographers to get that close to industry workers) and when society would have looked down upon such manual labourers, it challenges people’s perceptions and opinions of the common working man.
The white circular sparks that emphasise his black form offer a vision of angelic eternity as they engulf the background; never-ending loops of light. The binary opposition of light and dark creates stark contrasts a) visually but also emotionally as onlookers view this ordinary man highlighted by far from ordinary surroundings, once again glorifying this mundane lifestyle. By choosing his position as so (behind the worker) Broomfield has made the subject photographed anonymous, making the image far more powerful simply because anyone can relate to it or feel a connection. Without the personalization of a particular character, everyone can visualise themselves in that position or someone they know, or merely appreciate those before them, who ran the country through industry.
In this sense I believe that Broomfield’s work is extremely successful in “elevating the figure of the worker” as onlookers admire and value the enormity of the work required before improved technology but also the hidden beauty of it and tranquillity perhaps seldom believed before.
I have created this blog to show off my work and articulate my thoughts and feelings on various matters throughout my time here at the University of Gloucestershire studying photojournalism and documentary photography. Hope you like what you see! Liv x