In my earlier post discussing August Sander’s comprehensive study of German ‘types’ made in the first half of the 20th century, I limited myself to the sixty plates included in the 1929 book, Face of our Time at least in part because this was the only part of Sander’s wider project where he had been in complete control of how it was presented.
As I looked for copies of the images I wanted to use to illustrate my post, I realised that the pictures included in the book had often been cropped from wider – sometimes much wider – original images. For example, the Shepherd – Pl.2 in the book – has been cropped down from a wider composition, concentrating the picture’s depiction of it’s subject’s lined face and removing extraneous detail.
fig.1 – Unemployed (pl.60) as shot
Mostly, the cropping of the images for publication simply concentrates the meaning of the original, but, in at least one instance – Unemployed (Pl.60) – the effect is completely changed. Continue reading
fig.1 – government (london)
fig.2 – government (bristol)
fig.3 – software (london)
fig.4 – financial services (london)
fig.5 – government (london)
MSP® is part a UK government managed portfolio of Best Management Practices. It has no practical element. 2 levels of Certification are available – Foundation and Practitioner. The higher level certificate (practitioner) expires after five years and so everyone is expected to sit a re-registration exam. Most people do this at the end of a short course to refresh their knowledge of the methodology.
On the 16th and 17th of March 2017, eight people attended a Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) re-registration course in a commercial building near Liverpool Street Station in London. I was one of them. I had never met my fellow students before the course and I will probably never meet any of them again. We all work for large organisations, working on projects and programmes that will have significant impact on the way our colleagues work.
While one of my fellow students did not wish to have their photograph taken, six (and the trainer) allowed me to take a photograph of them during breaks from studying. Here are five of the resulting portraits.
fiona, from the metropolitan police, who did not want to be photographed
‘Your first assignment is to make five portraits of five different people from your local area who were previously unknown to you.’
– IaP Coursebook, p.35
This is the eleventh assignment I’ve done for the OCA and It has probably the least ambiguous brief yet. But unambiguous doesn’t necessarily mean, easy or simple…
‘You will almost certainly find it challenging to make photographs of people you don’t know; it’s often much easier to photograph somebody you’re already familiar with. This could be referred to as the ‘comfort zone’ – and for the purposes of this assignment you will be specifically required to leave it!’
– IaP Coursebook, p.35
It has never come naturally to me to approach someone I don’t know and ask them if I can take a picture of them and this is probably why I have far more pictures of peeling paint, or dappled shadow or architectural geometry or whatever silting up my hard-drive, than I do of people. Continue reading
places where people who were smoking outside buildings had been smoking – april 2017
As mentioned in my previous post, easily as many people declined to have their picture taken by me as agreed to be included in my smokers’ typology. After a while, I realised that I could always take a picture of where some of them had been standing, after they had gone. I tried to keep the focus slightly in front of the wall, where the smoker would have been and tried to make interesting compositions that would work with the others in a grid.
Here they are. I quite like the effect and probably would be more likely to have these printed, framed and hung on a wall somewhere than the ones that actually have people in them.
sean in the three judges, glasgow – may ’17
“Make a portrait of someone you know, paying very close attention to what is happening in the background of the shot. Be very particular about how you pose the subject and what you choose to include in the photograph. Ideally, the background should tell the viewer something about the subject being photographed.”
IaP Coursebook, p.26
I have mentioned Sean in my learning log twice before: he was one of the people who helped me generate my self-portrait in part three of Context and Narrative and he made a cameo appearance as a ‘colleague’ in my discussion of Robert Adams’ Why People Photograph during The Art of Photography.
We both come from Orkney; our sons are in the same class at school; we shared a flat for a while. I have played in bands with him, played in the same Glasgow chess club. He is a rather good photographer and writes proper computer code for a living. Continue reading
Madame Frénet et fillettes, c.1855. (Image Copyright, Wilson Centre for Photography)
I went twice to see Tate Britain’s 2015 exhibition Salt and Silver. This picture hung in the final room, Portraits and Presence. Certainly, it was the presence of a woman who must have been dead for nearly a century and a half by the time I was standing in front of her portrait that drew me back to this particular photograph again and again.
After its simultaneous discovery by Frederick Scott Archer and Gustave le Gray in 1851, the collodion process for producing wet-plate negatives quickly superseded the earlier Daguerrotype and Calotype methods for capturing images. Glass Collodion negatives were more sensitive to light (meaning that they required shorter exposures) than either of the older processes and were capable of finer detail than the grainy paper negatives that were used for Calotypes. Continue reading