Record a real conversation with a friend. (It’s up to you whether you ask permission or not!)
Before listening to the recording, write your account of both sides of the conversation.
Then listen to the recording and make note of the discrepancies. Perhaps there are unfinished sentences, stammers, pauses, miscommunications etc.
Reflect upon the believability of re-enacted narratives and how this can be applied to constructed photography. What do you learn from the conversation recording process and how can you transfer what you learned into making pictures?
For this exercise, I recorded a conversation with my friend Pam in the pub. It was mainly about the failure of her computer. Windows had had an update and it had started to cause her computer to freeze. I stated that there had already been several complaints about the update and that she wasn’t the only one. She had contacted a friend, David, who had checked the computer and found that the processor could not cope with the new updated version of windows, it was apparently running at one hundred percent the whole time. She had decided to buy a new computer and had asked advice from some people who knew about computers and had decided to buy a Hewlett Packard laptop as he did not want a desktop computer. She said that she had spent all morning trying to talk to Microsoft about the update but had been unable to get through to anyone. Continue reading Exercise – Conversation→
When I took my photograph for the Childhood Memory exercise, it was back in February. Having requested a critique I was quite rightly criticised for the fact that my boots were cut off at the bottom, and one person commented on the robin in the picture, stating that it was probably produced in Photoshop, and that it resulted in the loss of reality in the image. Consequently I decided to retake it, but I was rather beaten by the weather. Continue reading Childhood Memory – Take 2→
Question for Seller was a collection of work by Nicky Bird who collected unwanted photographs sold on Ebay and asked the seller how they had come across the photograph they were selling and what did they know about it. Continue reading Exercise – Question for Seller→
Gregory Crewdson is a fascinating photographer, who has taken some of the most amazing photographs of small town America. His images are extremely elaborate and they remind me very much of the films of directors such as Albert Hitchcock and David Lynch. Continue reading Gregory Crewdson→
In this scene from the film, Scorcese follows the character of Henry through from his car through to his table in the Copacabana in a single shot, as he walks in through the back door then through the kitchen and into the night club itself. Continue reading Exercise – Goodfellas→
This advert comes from a local magazine, and is for a chain of health clubs across Norfolk.
The advert shows a trio of women with one standing towards the camera whilst the other two are turning towards it. The woman in front is holding a flag with the name of the health club whilst the other two are standing with their arms crossed.
This is obviously intended to present a strong image of confident women. The words spread across the image are very positive: ‘Alive GIRLS CAN’ implying that you can do it if you are a member of this club. It is noticeable that the word used is Girls not Women, despite the fact that one of the women is obviously much older than the other two. This is obviously intended to connote that the whole thing is independent of age.
The woman in front, who also appears to be the youngest, is standing in a very proud manner, with her chest out, holding a flag whilst the crossed arms make the other two women appear very determined. This makes the whole advert look very similar to a wartime recruitment poster. It is very obviously the intention of the advertiser to create this association in the mind of the reader.
Below the image is the text ‘NO JOINING FEE’ which is the hook to get you to join up, whilst the valid dates are in a different colour, making them less noticeable than the main message. White against light blue is not a strong contrast, making those words easily overlooked.
Below that is another strong message which includes the words ‘You can achieve them’ and then the information of how to contact the health club. Finally you have the logo of the club again, plus a logo which has the powerful message ‘THIS GIRL CAN’. Although there is no web address, this turns out to be the logo of a National Lottery funded website promoting sport for girls.
This is then an extremely powerful advert for the health club, aimed at women to get them to join. The company name appears three times, twice in the two logos and again right at the centre of the image, so that there is no way to misunderstand and join a different club.
This image is one of Erwitt’s many Pictures with dogs in them. At first sight it looks like a couple out with their small dog, but the viewer can suddenly see that the legs on the left belong to another far bigger dog, quite possibly a Great Dane, Continue reading Exercise – Elliott Erwitt, New York, 1974→
The photograph of me as my grandfather is as close as I can make it to my own memory.
I don’t think that the clothes are quite correct, and my grandfather seemed to always have his pipe with him. From what I can remember my granddad’s cap was actually brown, but he would have had collarless shirts, as did my father in the 1950s. Continue reading Reflections on Childhood memory→
For me, approaching the age of 65, childhood is rather a long way behind me, and most of my memories from then are now pretty vague. Many relate to my time at school, and often being ill from school as I was a severe asthmatic.
Is there any sense in which Lee’s work could be considered voyeuristic or even exploitative? Is she commenting on her own identity, the group identity of the people she photographs, or both?
I must admit that Lee’s work makes me feel that it is similar to those programmes where a young person is dressed up to be old, or a thin person made up to be fat in order to experience what it is like to be in that situation.Continue reading Exercise – Masquerades→