Migrant Mother – the mistake.

There are many sites on the internet which make fun of photographs which have been badly retouched, or ‘Photoshopped’ as most of the sites call it. In fact it appears that these errors are far older than Photoshop and I was quite amazed to find out that there is a retouching error in one of the most famous images in the world.

The image is question is Dorothea Lange’s famous picture entitled Migrant Mother, which is the last photograph of half a dozen taken of Florence Owens Thompson, a farmers wife from Oklahoma who had been forced to move to California after her home state had suffered a drought. She was living in a pea picker’s encampment, and was desperate for food and money after the crop had failed. Continue reading Migrant Mother – the mistake.

Dorothea Lange – The Politics of Seeing

This exhibition was a partner exhibition to And Time Folds by Vanessa Winship, consequently, I visited it after the end of the Study visit at the Barbican,

I have to say that I found this exhibition riveting. It covered all of Dorothea Lange’s career right from when she was a studio photographer in San Francisco, to her later work in the 1960s. Continue reading Dorothea Lange – The Politics of Seeing

Research Point 1

To what extent do you think the strategy of using objects or environments as metaphor is a useful tool in photography? When might it fall down?

I think that metaphor is always a useful tool, whether it is written, drawn or photographed. Sometimes you do not want to refer directly to the subject itself, but you need to get the idea over to the reader or viewer the concept that you wish to convey. It does, however, require the viewer to understand the metaphor, which may not happen if it does not come into their area of knowledge. Continue reading Research Point 1

Reflections on Assignment 4

My first thought was how to relate this assignment to Identity and Place. I decided to use a local story for this subject, firstly because I thought that a folktale would provide some possibilities of interesting images, but also because folktales reflect the places where they originate.

In this case, the tale originates in Norfolk and is reflected in several aspects of the story. The use of some language that is part of the local dialect (‘dob’ for a curtsey) and the fact that the gooseberry bushes mentioned in the story are a staple in Norfolk gardens.

The writer of the book from which I took the story is a local storyteller, who lives in the county but tells stories all over the world. He has produced several books and I was privileged to hear and photograph him last year. Continue reading Reflections on Assignment 4

Assignment four – Image and text

Create a series of work (aim for 7–10 images) which in some way reflects upon the ideas surrounding identity and place that you’ve looked at so far in this course. Use the written word to play a part in its creation.

You may be inspired by a poem, song or a novel or decide to write your own fictive piece. You may draw upon other people’s words via eavesdropping or another source or use extracts from journals. You might find interesting textual accounts in archives in libraries that could inform this assignment. Allow your creativity to be spurred on by spending time with these words and reflecting on them.

Continue reading Assignment four – Image and text

Preparation for Assignment 4 – The Green Lady

I spent quite a long time selecting a text for this assignment. I liked the idea of using a folk tale, and I read quite a few before I chose The Green Lady. Many of the tales that I read would be totally impractical to photograph, whilst others did not have enough to create decent mental imagery.

The first photograph I took for this project was the gooseberry bush. It so happened that the bush in my garden was producing fruit so I took a few images of it before I harvested it. At this stage, I did not know what I was going to do with the pictures that I had taken but felt that I could use them. Continue reading Preparation for Assignment 4 – The Green Lady

Reflections on Exercise 4.5

I was rather worried about this exercise as I had real problems finding suitable texts to which I could create images. It was only when my partner found the quotation written by her mother that I had the inspiration to use it for the exercise.

Strictly speaking, I should have found five different quotations, but this quote from Mrs. Craik was convenient to split up into sections, and the actual writing would be able to supply the text to the images in a similar fashion to Kaylynn Deveney’s The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings. Continue reading Reflections on Exercise 4.5