Whilst this is not the best edited or shot video there is out there, it shows individuals lives and cultures that perhaps we knew nothing about before in an eye opening and factual way. I feel a part of the tribes whilst I watch (having been to Ethiopia to teach sport and English Literature to children out there I feel a sentimental attachment to the country anyway) and believe that this depiction of their lives, whilst may not be everyday activities per say, allows the viewer to feel aware of their culture and appreciative perhaps. Maybe one day someone will be able to look back at my photos of the everyday and feel educated on a culture they knew limited things about before too. This “thing” of documenting life before you as it happens has the ability to educate, inform and even entertain others viewing the medium who can then try and relate or see differences of their circumstances to the ones they have just seen. It is fascinating to know that whilst you may believe your life is “boring” and “nothing out of the ordinary” to someone else it is the most interesting and fascinating thing they have seen in a long time! It is all down to the individuals own perspective on life and cultural understandings. With my images whilst they may seem mundane to me occasionally, to an outsider of my life and culture they are just as original as Ethiopian tribes jumping over cattle to me! The images below are another example of this. The every day tattoos and scars these individuals mark themselves with are common place amongst them yet to myself (a British citizen) it is something I have never come close to! Their every day is beautiful eye opening to me and thus demonstrating that my film work could have the same affect on others, I just need to keep documenting life as it genuinely happens before me and the images will follow.
These images all show a fraction of a window into someone else’s/somethings life- all used as a screenshot to hold that moment in time forever that shall always represent that scene in a certain way forever. By documenting my own life I can hold a memory in time frozen forever and allow others to feel as if they were a part of that moment, even if they have never even met me. Allowing access to your life gives people the opportunity to feel involved and valued as a viewer and they can form an attachment to the person featured in an image as they feel as if they know them. Documenting ones life in black and white film gives the opportunity to make it go on forever.
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These beautiful images show people in their elements- they’re own lives and environments. This is where people flourish and show who they truly are, when they don’t feel anyone is judging them or watching, they relax and embrace their “me” side. With me documenting my own life and the people I share it with, I want my images to show as much unhighlighted emotion as these ones, they don’t shout out but subtly contain fragments of meaning and soul within them, allowing the viewer to feel apart of the subjects life without disclosing any of their personal secrets. People can feel involved whilst still unknowingly are being kept at a distant . I want to see if I can master this in my own work and generate emotions felt by both viewer and subject personal to themselves.
Jewish Museum Berlin
I went to visit this exhibition in Berlin over Christmas and it truly has been an inspiration second to none. The Jewish Museum was a remarkable building in itself, the architecture of it an exhibition alone. However the history that was exposed to me made “In An Instant” that bit more outstanding and breath-taking. With so much conflict and persecution happening around Stein, it’s an emotional amazement that he was able to flee the situation and make good of the cruel position he and his wife found themselves in. The images themselves are remarkable and most heart warming, their spontaneity, composition, ability to capture a genuine moment in history worthy of the utmost appreciation and respect. Fred Stein has done what thousands wished and wish they had; he has produced images that not only tell his life, the subjects life and share a little segment of history but images that still to this day are being remembered and celebrated for their exquisite ability to educate and delight any viewer who looks upon them. His work (that I feel honoured and privileged to have been able to see first hand) has inspired me enormously and set me off in the right direction with the ambition to shoot like Stein.
Art of darkness: Animals display their sinister sides as they pose for moody black and white portraits
“Photographer Alex Teuscher pictured a range of exotic creatures including tigers, rhinos and elephants with his artistic project which took him more than two years to complete.”
This black and white project demonstrates that whilst some bodies of work are meant to be spontaneous and quick, others need time and careful planning to produce the best results. Whilst I shall be shooting in the spontaneous category I agree with Teuscher that the black and white really enhances his work and gives it a much deeper meaning and sense (“My aim was to show the magnificence of these animals and capture a little bit of their soul. The black and white brings out their personality in my opinion.”) I usually stay away from black and white as I much prefer the richness of colour but after seeing this work (despite being digital rather than film) I am excited to try out the black and white medium on subjects I would usually always shoot in colour. It has filled me with confidence that such beautiful images one personally would expect to see in bold colours look so magnificent in deep black and white tones. It does not phase me at all now that I shall not be working in my preferred way, on the contrary I feel quite impassioned about the task ahead!
My proposal for this module is:
I’m going to shoot “The Uni Student” and document my life as a student in Cheltenham 2014. As captain of the basketball team, living in a pub, regular nights out, scuba diving, part of the shooting club, working in the boxes at the race course, training for the London marathon and 10k extreme assault course, going to a 21st in Ireland, general day to day life and of course studying I think I’ll have a huge scope to work with giving me plenty of opportunities to capture variety and interesting shots. I struggle a bit with film so having an accessible subject (myself) I’ll be able to concentrate on the technical side of things rather than seeking a subject. I’ll take the camera around with me and it’ll become second nature!
This emotionally beautiful document of this elderly couples life has reinforced that having your own life as the subject can produce a very powerful piece of work indeed. People can relate or emphasise or compare or laugh or think “thank god thats not my life” but they all generate emotion towards your work which makes it memorable and interesting.