Cyanotypes

This is a process in which you get a cyan-blue print. The chemicals used are Ammonium Iron (III) Citrate and Potassium Ferricyanide. The procedure was discovered by Sir John Herschel it was brought to photography by his friends daughter Anna Atkins. The process was used to document the scientific specimen of algae and published in a book.

The process itself, once the right quantities of chemical is made up into the solution needed. It is brushed on to a strong surface that can absorb iron solution like water colour paper and kept in a dark place to dry.

To make an exposure you need to expose it to UV light such as the ones from the sun. These days UV lights can be bought which is a good idea in countries where there is less sunshine. On a nice bright sunny day 10/20 minute exposure is good enough. The UV light reduces the iron in the area that is exposed turning the paper into a grey-ish blue colour. You can use everyday objects to make monograms or you can use large format negatives or lithography film. After the exposure is made the paper is washed in water and the soluble chemical washes away and the insoulble stays leaving the cyan colour. The process was in high use for engerneering prints due to its low cost and fast reproduction. These are what is known as blue prints.

My Cyanotype work:

 

 

For my series here I actually made digital black and white negatives of my colour negatives. It is printed on inkjet compatible acetate. I enjoy this process a lot as it is very experimental and I’d love to do more work like this.

You can buy a cyanotype kit from silverprint in waterloo but I habe not tried that yet. It does’t come with a light source so you would have to rely on the lovly sun to come out.

These images are complely out of focus shots of westminister skyline and two of them are also zoomed into during exposure.

Preserving these images is tricky as if exposed to UV light for long they fade. Although strangly if you put them back in the dark they get darker again with time. Its a good idea to not keep it in direct sunlight.

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"Cheka Kidogo" – Rankin


“Cheka Kidogo” means “smile a little” in Swahili.

This series of photographs by Rankin in association with Oxfam was photographed in the, Democratic Republic of Congo’s Mugunga refugee camp. There are around 17,000 refugees there. Although it is to document the victims of Congo the photographs have been taken in a unique way.

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/oxfam_in_action/where_we_work/drc/rankin_gallery.html

We are used to seeing “traditional” photos of conflict, crisis and its victims. Photographs like these only highlight the issue of war and struggle but do not show the people as real people.

Rankin however has photographed the victims at the refugee camp in a different light.

In this series there are 36 photographs and each portrait has a story. Rankin took time to ask them their names and about themselves and their struggles. Each photograph is titled with their name. Knowing their names was the first step in helping us understand them and look at them as real people.


Although these are portraits of the victims smiling you can still see the hardship they are going through clearly on their faces and in their eyes and because of the personal effect of the photos the viewer feels a connection to the photograph through humanity. The photographs are not just documenting current affairs but going deeper and touching peoples hearts to make a change.

Andrew Zuckerman

Andrew Zuckerman, an awardwinning director and photographer born in Washington DC in 1977. I came across an article in BBC’s Wildlife magazine. The article was about his book titled “Creatures”. The book contains a series of portarits of animals. the animals are photographed individually against a white background.

I also found another article similar to the one in the magazine online at the daily telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/5023210/Creature-by-Andrew-Zuckerman.html

Here Zuckerman quotes “When a subject is stripped from its context, its behaviour, rather than its purpose, is all that remains”

You look at the animals diferently and the images are able to really show their charecters and you can connect with them.

This series really interest me for the mere fact that the photogrpaher was able to get these animals in to the studio and get such stunning shots. that do not look like the animals are scarred or nervous. Photographing animals requires patience and time and still it is very difficult. Yet Zuckermans photos are perfect and beautiful.

His recent work is titled “Wisdom” a series of portraits and a 60 min film. Based on the idea that the greatest gift that man can pass down to the next generation is wisdom they have gained through experience. The series includes those people who have left their mark on the world.
http://www.wisdombook.org/ there are some very interesting flims on this website about how they made the series aswel.

Paul Graham | Television Portraits

This by far has to be my favorite Paul Graham series. something so plain and ordinary became something interesting, funny and quirky.

The TV portraits are intimate documentary photos. The series came about by Paul taking a spontaneous photo of his flat mate. Now the series features many people watching TV around the world.

The photograph is taken while the individual is fixed on watching the TV and in a way becomes unaware of the photographer.

I found a link to an interesting description of Paul’s earlier work and in contrast his new work.

http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?cgroupid=999999961&workid=20981&searchid=13097

Philip Lorca diCorcia

American photographer Phillip Lorca diCorcia born 1951. His photographs are either snapshots or on the other hand elaboratly staged. He came about in the 70’s just as conceptual photography was finiding its footing.

“Hustlers” is a series of photographs where diCorica has asked random people to pose for a photograph. They were paid the amount they asked for. When exhibited, under each photograph was the amount they were paid for their time and the location. This giving the implication that they were like “prostitutes”.

“Eddie Anderson, 21 years old; Houston, Texas; $20”
https://ilkirstiewilkinson.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/philip-1.jpg?w=1086

In the article above it does mention that the boys look more like home sick college boys than prostitutes but the captioning of the photo would easily help to direct your mind.

Here is an interesting article on Lorca diCorcia’s work relating to modernism and post modernism:

http://artscenecal.com/ArticlesFile/Archive/Articles1997/Articles1097/PdiCorciaA.html

Modernism & Post Modernism

Modern thoughts. Throught history the culture of the western society has been changing. the term modernerism is often used for this. The term refers to those who left the traditional forms of art behind. proceeding with experimentation with form and the uses of material. Moving away from pretty paintings and romanticiezed art.

Photographers in the Modernist movement would include Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Imogen Cunningham to name a few.


Edward Weston


Imogen Cunningham

Post Modernism of also known as Pomo is the “after modernism movement” although modernism is to do with the goings on of the present day. its to do with in realation to the past. Pomo includes the social and cultural issues of today aswell and in a way reacts to the old ideas of moernism.

Pomo came about as a movement against the lack of blandness and hostility in modernism itself. The belief that modernism should be about politics society and culture. Some think it takes away the art from them work.

I found and interest discussion on the internet about the ideas held by Pomo’s:

http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/0038Ff

i perticulary like this part

” –things the post-modernists know nothing about; they would prefer to frame a piece of feces and call it a “photograph” and discuss all the theoretical issues it raises. Then, print your photos with technical competence and virtuosity and write a short essay to the effect that the meaning in these photos is not contained in any accompanying words and theories, but rather it’s right there in the photos, available to anyone willing to show up and sit through them. “

Intersting point they make.

Feminism & Photography

Feminism is a movement for women’s equal rights. Feminism is talked about in three waves. The first wave being in the 19th and 20th century which was mainly to gain political rights and the fight for women’s right to vote.

Suffragettes March in NY 1912

The second wave during the 60’s and 80’s concentrated on social and cultural inequalities as well as political. And the third wave which began in the 90’s and is ongoing in the present day is about the continuation of feminist movements and accomplishing any failures of the second wave. Mainly including women of all races and backgrounds, as the second wave was only carried out by white middle class women.

Due to this movement, women’s place in society has changed through time. From housewives and mothers, to working women with powerful jobs. The third wave is also associated with lesbian rights these days. Still today a lots of issues need to be addressed better. I found this poster on the internet addressing feminist issues by Fireangle.

There is a female art group called the Guerilla Girls and they address all feminist and racist issues. They fight against discrimination. They point out that compared to male artists women are rarely seen as successful, and that a lot of galleries would only display male work. There is more mention of men in history than of women. So they make posters, stickers, publications etc to bring the issues to light. They are anonymous women and in public they appear in Gorilla masks.

 

Photography is very useful in highlighting these aspects of life, and many photographers are involved in taking photos to highlight these issues, for example Nan Goldin and her photographs of domestic violence.

Photography Project | Celebrities in Indian

My very first year at University, we were set out a challenging project to complete over the Christmas period. This was to photograph a person who is famous. The brief was to ensure the photographs are to be negotiated portraits and not paparazzi style. I was stunned reading the brief and left thinking how could I possibly complete this task.

Paparazzi Style vs. Negotiated Portraits:

 

The last two portraits here are by Photographer Rankin which are clearly planned and negotiated.

I wanted to do something different and exciting. We had the Christmas break to work on this project and my mum was going on holiday to Mumbai, India which sparked the idea to photograph an Indian celebrity.

Before going to India I confirmed with my cousins the possibility of this. I went to India for two weeks with the idea that I would photograph anyone and everyone that would be willing to meet with me. The more people I met the better.

The first person I photographed was Dr M Kataria a master of Laughter Yoga Therapy which was recently shown on The Apprentice. I had no idea what I was doing and I felt under pressure. I took a few shots and left. Strangely it didn’t get any easier, I continued to feel the pressure of getting good shots quickly in a short time frame.

The most fun shoot was on set of a TV Drama called C.I.D. The actors and everyone involved with the shooting really made me comfortable. The lead actor Mr Shivaji Satam was someone I had seen on TV and in movies many times and it was an honor to photograph him.

I also met the actress Shubhavi on the C.I.D set who I had also previously seen acting in another TV Drama Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi – she played an antagonist and the character was disliked greatly.

Here are there photos:

By that stage, I had become more comfortable with my camera functions and flash gun and I was finally thinking a little faster about what settings I could use in certain lighting conditions. Being under pressure helped me learn and remember things I wasn’t able to grasp just by being told to or just reading about.

The most stressful shoot has to be the one on set of a movie production later on in the week. I had to wait around the whole day until the actors were a little free from shooting scenes. Eventually I did get some photographs but I also had to sit in some takes as an extra. I photographed the actors Ranbir Kapoor (an upcoming superstar from a well known celebrity family), Upin Patel (a North London born actor/ model) and Govind Namdeo (an older and much experienced actor) to name a few. I have to say I appreciate movies a little more now seeing how long it takes to make one scene.

(Photos to come)

In total I photographed around 15-19 people over two weeks it was a lot of running up and down from North, South and Central Mumbai to meet everyone and if I had stayed a week longer I would have met more people and some even more famous.

Amazing project which proved to be a great learning experience and also a great trip to Mumbai, India.

Peter Sanders | Culture | Travel | Religion

I first came across photographer Peter Sanders when I was in college studying photography. 

At this time I was only vaguely aware of his work photographing The Hajj Pilgrimage.

Upon further research, I found that Peter Sanders started his photographic career in the 1960’s, taking photographs of the icons of that time.

– “Having photographed almost every famous person in the music industry I got bored and started getting in to spiritual things.” – Eid Magazine London 2008

(Image Credit: Kickdefella.wordpress)

To name a few icons Sanders photographed:  Jimmi Hendrix, Mohammed Ali, Bob Dylan.

Sanders became interested in spirituality and religion and traveled to India and North Africa to gain further insight.

He photographed The Hajj Pilgrimage at a time en very few professional photographers were allowed access to this Islamic sanctuary. A rare place to be photographed by anyone. Since then he has been granted special access to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

A link to his website where you can find his work: 

http://www.petersanders.co.uk/home.html
He has traveled all around the globe to capture the beauty of the Islamic world. One off his books titled “In the shade of the tree” shows the 30 years of his travels and includes many beautiful and spiritual photographs. These photographs unveil the truth of the peaceful nature of ordinary human beings and not those of humans filled with hatred. These peaceful images are of great importance in a time like this were religion is used as an excuse for war.

“In the Shade of he Tree”

His most recent work exhibited (2007) at East London’s Rich Mix Gallery was titled “The Art of Integration” which is a collection of images highlighting that Islam has brought its cultural diversity to Britain for over a century and that there are British Muslims living peacefully and in unity with British people of other faiths and backgrounds.

“The Art of Intigration”

Photography is used here in a positive manner. Sanders’ work makes me want to go out there into the world and see this for myself. Very Inspirational.