Task Two – Lee Miller

Lee Miller was born on 23 April 1907 in New York and died in East Sussex on 21 July 1977. She was a Model, muse, photographer, artist, war correspondent. She became known as a portraitist and fashion photographer, but her most famous work are Surrealist images. She resumed life in New York again in 1932, and set up her own studio which ran for 2 years, which was vastly successful. She was a freelance photographer for Vogue. She was the only woman combat photo-journalist to cover the front line war in Europe.

She used a Rolleiflex camera, it’s called a twin lens reflex camera because it has two identical lenses one for the photographer’s view and the other for the film to see the view. It only had 12 shots on a roll of film and because of the time to load film Lee carried 2 cameras so she could always have one ready. The Rolleiflex did not have a built – in light meter, flash or auto focus and it did not have telephoto lens to bring the image closer. She discovered solarisation and used the process in her work.

She was inspired by other surrealist artist and photographers such as Man Ray to enhance her own work, but also much of Man Ray’s work is in fact Millers’ but attributed to Man Ray.

Lee Miller frequently talked to the soldiers, she was most interested in ordinary people, their actions and profound thoughts.Lee Miller

This image is outstandingly beautiful. The main feature is the tree, but then you notice the soldiers behind it and the tone of the tree is balanced with all the other main and varied focal points of the image. It’s like a story telling process of the beautiful foreground the ugly war going on in the background. The space within the place of the gun point range is a frightening one. The image is also very sublime, but initially picturesque. We almost look at the soldier like an iconic figure because he wouldn’t have been given a choice not to take part in the war and that our safety is due to his and others bravery. The image is also indexical because it’s showing two very different things in one image like a juxtaposition, which it’s also very communitive to the viewer. The solider are almost lost in their collective non-identity. The viewer has a sense of stalking them. I think Lee is incredibly inspirational. Lee’s personal experiences include being raped at a very early age and lived with a venereal disease all her life subsequently shooting the war time pictures she suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.




Task One – Candida Hofer

Candida Hofer was born in Germany the daughter of a journalist. After graduating, she worked for a newspaper and then went onto become a student in Düsseldorf School run by the Bechers. 1973 to 1982 inclusive, Candida was highly sought after. She was considered to be one of the first of the Becher’s students to work in colour, always precisely composed, on a large-scale and shot in a classic straight-on frontal angle. She uses a Hasselblad (analogue) 6 by 6cm on a tripod to capture the images.

She mainly likes to photograph public buildings; banks and waiting rooms, but she also likes to shoot places like archives, hotels, libraries, museums, or opera houses encompassing non – human or without human presence because these are the places which should have frequent human presence. The empty and stark environment makes you question the fundamental character traits that draw people to these sites. She quotes “…it became apparent to me that what people do in these spaces – and what these spaces do to them – is clearer when no one is present, just as an absent guest is often the subject of a conversation.” It also helps us to look deeper into the fine architectural details within the scene, she also uses light in such a way to bring attention into the photographs. She has a tendency to keep the same viewpoint and an identical scale across a category of photographs of different subjects, which creates a typology within her work.

Candida Hofer Candida Hofer2

She researches from libraries and from the internet, but also the local residents, gaining as much insight as possible to enhance her photographs and maximise inspiration. She also verbalises that interiors and photography are an ideal match. Photography provides the opportunity to calm these spaces she feels. The images are parts of interiors. She also quotes “They are a continuation of my project of calm and ordered contemplation and reflection on spaces. They invite a concentrated view on structure, order and beauty.” She also adds “The subject matter itself hasn’t changed over time, but I believe my way of photographing has changed over time.” Photography for her is the right medium even though it’s evolved in the time she’s been photographing.

I concur and feel inspired by much of what she expresses, because it makes you think about the people who would normally visit these spaces, their absence makes you focus on the finer details of the architecture and even though the images look very simple and almost completely unedited there’s a fine beauty with all her work which appear to follow the rules of typology which help you identify her work and it also makes you notice much sooner the differences in the buildings. The colour is also very rich and expressive and yet quite a muted palette of colour is chosen for all those scenes. Her work is outstanding and gloriously beautiful I therefore, feel very inspired by her use of composition.





Contact Sheet Five – Where Do We Go From Here?

Mirror 007Mirror 0081901705_1_l Bill Brandt has inspired me to make this series as it shows the distortion of the model and her self-reflection, this style represents the way I was reflecting on myself over the year, I wanted to express the fear and terror that I felt and all the unanswered rhetorical questions. I loved the vast contrast between the highlights and shadows within the image and I wanted to recreate this within my own photographs. I wanted to capture a smaller depth of field to draw you into the reflection held within the mirror as opposed to anything else. I wanted to recreate the emotions I felt, but also inform the viewer how the symptoms started (vomiting) then the question “What is happening to me?” which of course the series, then shows the use of a chilli metaphorically representing my blood clot protruding from my mouth to demonstrate what had been discovered. I wanted to use a chilli because it is unwanted intense heat, uncomfortable and unpleasant and also seen as liberating because I was able to rebuild my life in essence, invigorating because I felt better than I did before. _DJS1762bw _DJS1816bw _DJS1825bw _DJS1913 _DJS1923 _DJS1933


How to understand a painting : decoding symbols in art / Françoise Barbe-Gall.

Contact Sheet Four – My Urban Decay


My Urban Decay, I chose this title to reflect the emotive subject of my personal experience and health deterioration this photo-shoot is all about the decay within my urban environment.

The title seems appropriate as a branded cosmetic company uses that name and the brand I use and this depicts how my illness made me feel bland and non-creative, the colours striped and non-invigorated, and a mask I could no-longer hide behind, exposed and bare.

My symptoms started in my home environment, a loving, warm place that I felt secure. The environment of the hospital was warm; clinical, and harsh, I have used decaying flowers, chillies and berries which were all grown in my urban garden highlighting the rustic and extrinsic feeling I hope are encapsulated in my images. The items I have chosen are not suited to the environs of my home and almost decline consent by decaying visually at an alarming rate.  I felt that this represented the blood clot that was found in my brain, this was invading a space that was not appropriate and how it trespassed into areas it was not welcome. The invasion seemed to explore all different places physically and emotionally. I also felt that though the flowers are decaying they’re also extremely beautiful which is metaphorically representing my transition, as a person I strove to overcome my blood clot and to find the positives from the experience. I looked at the colour of the natural decay and how this could appear as a dissipating clot. The colours fading to a soft yellow and pink their vibrancy fading to a golden hue, I have also used red chillies and berries with a strong texture, in an attempt resemble clotted blood in the tube of the vase to make it look like blockage which is what occurred in my blood vessels. I hope the viewer understands this depiction as I have tried to demonstrate this in a beautiful and subtle way. 7024d8e1_22470_img_2738

Laura Letinsky:

Laura L

I was very much inspired by Laura’s work, her subject matter seems to show the decay and soft muted colours that I wanted to use for my project. Photographs of the decay of the natural world represent and help to beatify a melancholic reflection of someone’s life and the way we can read them, the food and what we consume, how it is presented and how I can incorporate this into my work. Laura has said: “the photograph is a transformative and particular way we see the world that then informs the way that other photographs are made and the way the world is seen.” Trying to communicate what one sees in the world differently and directly changes how we see and understand the world.”  This of course made me want to show the world how I felt and I wanted to express my own experiences almost as a healing tool. Laura also said it can be too perfect to be true and then the falling apart of that or the spit or glue to piece it together, her choice of raw material, organic and natural to reflect her perceived world, this made me think about the way I had to remain steadfast and stoic and the ways in which I could photograph this in my work. She also said essentially,” magic and wonder to take your breath away”  which was something I felt needed to be in this photoshoot because there needed to be beauty and wonder making it look magical but you question the interpretation subtly lying behind the captures.


How to understand a painting : decoding symbols in art / Françoise Barbe-Gall. 

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Evaluation For “Sorrow”

The concept of my choice of subject matter was easily defined, Lee Miller: her experiences with trauma, resilience, inspiration and talent, her style and presentation made the choice definitive. I felt impassioned to pay tribute to her; I felt a connection to her and wished to pay tribute to her. I felt she was a unique character and wished to mirror some of her concepts.

Critical debate and seminars allowed me to choose key words to represent aspects of my unit; I wished to incorporate internal and external influences, space and place, sublime, picturesque interpretations.

The experiences I underwent last year I wanted to share and explain my journey in a pictorial, visual way, I realise that culturally this is unusual, the subject is personal and subjective and maybe brutal to a sensitive disposition. I know in some cultures near death experiences are celebrated and culturally accepted, the temperateness of the culture to which I belong would not embrace my journey, I will persist as I feel impassioned and inspired by my experiences.

The concept is profoundly personal; I don’t want to make it superficial, critically non-emotive, essentially I want a dark experience to feel like a warm and inspirational journey. I feel that Lee Miller had a dark journey and she found those experiences enhanced her empathy.

The research I provided to underpin the subject matter was my initial playing of David Gilmour’s “In Any Tongue.” I subsequently researched, watched, and explored every medium to gain insight or inspiration. I wanted the research to be precise and compliment my work ethic, encourage knowledge based correlations between the elements.

I adopted a timely approach to my unit, this I hope has enabled me to continue to research and include the most concise information.

The shots I spaced out to aid the flow of my work and keep the fluidity of the thought process.

The five photo- shoots consistently follow the principles, I adopted, the three books: How to Understand a Painting, Shooting Space and Twilight, The Magic Hour. These enhanced my representational and visual knowledge.

I spoke to a fellow student who has experienced a brain injury and we set objectives to “soundboard our experiences and memories. We inspired each other and gained useful principles.

I hope I have represented visually the language to convey the message I feel so impassioned about and whilst it may be misinterpreted I hope it connects to the emotions of the experience. I feel that I have captured in my journey and hope it reflects the beauty of that metamorphosis.

I have used experimentation to explore and expand my ideas, I commenced this process initially and have used literature; news articles, interviews, which are included in the environment genre. The life changing events I visualised with decayed and theatrical props that were carefully and painstakingly collected.

I hope that this carried the visually appreciated depiction to the viewer and connected to them the thought provoking elements of trauma.

The contrast between the clinical hospital environments is in stark contrast to the dark and gloomy style of the wartime captures. I enhanced the dimensions with my lens by using a slow shutter speed to create the intensity of the light prisms. I will need to make some refinements such as using a smaller ISO and editing in PSD files and fit to scale printing to prevent the need for cropping key elements.

Task Three

Task 3 image - 1Punk music shown the 70s to be a ‘different style of music which demonstrated an anti-music genre, this capture demonstrates their anti-establishment attitude they were seen on the streets in monochrome this photograph represented the essence of this era. The architecture and the band so quintessentially British.

Task 3 image -4This looks essentially like a cosmopolitan New York City centre the style of architecture and the amount of taxis in the road add to the hastiness of the scene. The composition is very balanced and vertically aligned.

Task 3 Image - 3This image has a huge sense of scale which emphasises the vast building and makes the human look inaptly small in comparison. There is a sense of transporting the people from one place to another, historically people found time to meander and enjoy the company of others.

Task 3 image - 3This represents a bird’s eye view of a monochrome scene depicting the architecture in a city. It feels very sublime because capturing the moment from that height would give most people a feeling of vertigo.

Task 3 Image - 5This image represents feminism, the evolution of the woman’s suffrage and the slow progression in the equality of the sexes. The woman are also seen on the street seeking the solidarity as much for the company of other women.

The street is the area between sections of houses that people live in, the area between is where the pedestrians walk, this enables the use of a causeway where cars can drive to reach a destination, or provides a place where people can meet. It’s a public place, which is usually paved and has more recently been tarmaced, streets can be in a village, town, or city. It can have a vast selection of people residing in them, walking in them, driving in them concurrently. There are many different social classes, ages, all sharing different identities. Historically streets were founded in Anglo-Saxon times and some still exist from ancient times, but essentially the idea of a street hasn’t changed over time, they are resurfaced and repaired at timely intervals of time. A Street could be in a formal place or in an isolated spot, but they’re still constructed in the same way. Streets unite the whole country, suturing the tapestry of the populace formulating easy access, enabling density of large groups in a small area. A street can be called by a series of alternative names; avenue, boulevard, court, lane, pavement, road, route, thoroughfare, artery, byway, drive, parkway, passage, row, terrace. A Street could be where someone in abject poverty lives on the path, but also someone with vast wealth could reside in a house on the same street. A Street could be where music takes place or where a protest happens or even a carnival. This brings all cultures and concentrates society all in one place for a multitude of reasons. A Street represents a whole diversity of architecture. This historically was determined by the wealth of a person, but we have seen in recent times the council providing housing for the lower incomed families.

Task Four

task 3

Roe Ethridge: Compositionally the model is placed onto the right side of the image and the compost is slightly more onto the left side therefore, balancing it out a little but the red carpet also offsets the model’s outfit. The photographer has used symbolic compost and a floral printed suit to inter- link the organic world to the commercial world in a less ethical way but still very communicative. There are also earthy hues, vivid colours the flowers appear to be growing out of the earth noticed by my evaluative eye, which some viewers may not see in this fashion portrait.

Task 3 image 2

Inez & Vinnodh: The tones in the image make you focus on the model, she is wearing the darkest hues in the tonal range. The background is a very elegant style of architecture this balances with the haute couture outfit that the model is wearing. The idea behind the image is that it shows the kind of things you’d wear to be seen in and what you would wear in the bedroom or in a more intimate place, perhaps less ethical and more subjective, however it does make us question inside or outside? The staircase is suggestive of leading upstairs or descending downstairs, artistically a vague narrative to provide a choice.

Francesca WoodmanTask 3 Image 3

The relationship between the outside windows and the wall either side represents an internal and external qualities. Having only one scale of grey in the whole image means that the image is muted, the tones making it feel very neutral. The image feels very motionless as the wall is flat as is the floor the model’s body is androgynous, very beautiful but lacks dimension. The image has a melancholic feeling perhaps drawing a parallel with Francesca’s life. The model poses very confidently but modelling in such a way she also likes a little uncomfortable, probably due to the rough floor and wall, the non-identity of the model makes us question the meaning of the image, the possibility that she has an audience and yet she is isolated and oblivious to her surroundings.

Looking at the image there is a square composition used eliminating space from the frame drawing our attention to the naked model hiding in the rough wallpaper, then we notice the two window frames on both sides that share a connection with the outer world yet a lack detail excludes our attention inside. We’re left with the question of the model and melancholic mood. We also feel that the model looks vulnerable because she is naked and standing alone in an abandoned room. We also see a very innocent woman standing like she’s waiting for the world to notice that she is out of step with the world’s time restraints, lost in time that she cannot influence. The image is layered but there remains in some sections of the image in the rule of thirds. This adds to the dimensions and the ethereal nature of the image. The image is a purposeful narrative; communicative of mood and is slightly subjective to some less evaluative viewers.

Contact Sheet Three – Solitude

Sorrow 5 Sorrow 6

This series really inspired me to make my photo-shoot, this was all about the isolation I felt at home, at University and also when I was in hospital. I felt as if I could be with thousands of people and I’d still feel alone and question why I was here and my place in the world and how I’d be able to reconnect to my surroundings. The torch in this image is a beacon of light illuminating the path this reflects the positive feelings I craved. I used an animated model whilst using a slow shutter speed (0.8) this reflected the sedentary life enforced on me by my health issue. I wanted to use a model with a slow shutter speed to blend her into the wall (like Francesca Woodman’s photograph).

Task 3 Image 3

I wanted to establish how easily you can feel lost in your environment and outer of touch with those around you. I wished to incorporate both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that enhance those feelings.

The ferocious light felt engulfing, the refractive lights from the windows and doorway exposed the images and cast shadows almost dancing in an animated motion. The overexposure of the pictures emitted the protectiveness of the impenetrable walls only able to cast shadows.

This gives an essentially core analysis of being feeling isolated and disconnected I have prevented a silhouette escaping so this encapsulates this visually. The extrinsic and intrinsic are separated disconnected and isolated from each other. This reflects how I felt and at the time was powerless to express.

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Twilight : photography in the magic hour / Martin Barnes and Kate Best, compilers.

Contact Sheet Two – There’s No Way Out Of Here

Sorrow 2

I used artists like this to influence the style in which I select photographs, adding a motion blur, movement, intense light and demonstrate abstract feeling to the images. Sorrow 3

Sorrow 4

This last image also inspired me because of the focal point in a section of the building and I wanted a focal point within my images so that people will be guided where to look. I wanted to use a method of a slow shutter speed 0.4 and have the lens fully zoomed in, whilst the shutter is open, adjust the lens to the 18mm again to create a focal point and a blur of light and movement.

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Shooting space : architecture in contemporary photography / Elias Redstone.


Contact Sheet One – High Hopes



Bate, David (2009) Photography: The Key Concepts, Oxford and New York: Berg

Twilight : photography in the magic hour / Martin Barnes and Kate Best, compilers.

The concept I set out to achieve is the idea of trauma, relating to my personal experience of last year when I had a blood clot in my Brain and I wanted to highlight all the things I experienced. I felt that I could draw parallels with some of the trauma that my chosen artist had overcome. I wanted to pay tribute to Lee Miller as she faced so much trauma in her life as she was raped at the age of eight and left with a Venereal Disease, she encountered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, following her experiences photographing in World War 2. Lee Miller

I used the idea of how Lee showed trauma in her work through the war and so I went to a gun point range in Dover, this place felt very desolate, isolated and alienated (sublime) this reflected my own feelings, so it felt metaphorically similar to the emotional place I was in when I was in hospital this was very symbolic.

SorrowI used the idea of black and white from Lee. I chose the above image, as I loved the way the greys are very much muted, which was another metaphor that represented the intensity of the lights that felt so blindingly uncomfortable. I felt lost and engulfed by the darkness that surrounded me.

Lost in mindDSC_5574_DJS1022_DJS1000writting_DJS0998writing_DJS0955Coming back to lifeWhy and how?