Lydia scanned the dank, damp and flea ridden kitchen that she shared with her two housemates; Ron and Emma. The fleas had come in after Emma had started to feed the stray tomcat, who they called Ginge with left overs and gone off milk. The place stunk of old food and rotting vegetables and eggs in the overflowing bin. Lydia threw herself onto one of the broken wooden chairs that sat with their equally horrible table that they used for house meals. Lydia wished to God, prayed to God, that one day she would be freed from the hell of house sharing but with cost of living crisis and the fact that she had no savings and no family that could support her she knew that the chances of every getting out of this vile hole were slim to none. Lydia scoured the room to see if there was any chance that there might be a relatively clean bowl to eat some breakfast cereal out of then she realised there would not be any milk and anyway she had suddenly lost her appetite. Lydia pulled her old green cardigan close around her and closed her eyes, perhaps if I just imagine hard enough a miracle will save me, she thought. She imagined a clean white modern kitchen with shiny marble tops, an American two door fridge that smelled fresh and clean and had beautiful fresh food inside. She imagined the sun shining through french doors and her walking out into the beautiful warm sunlight.
Wednesday 26 April 2023
This term I was considering the work of Wim Wenders and Atget when completing my urban landscape image. I found the quiet and strange places of Wenders photography emboldened me to create more colour images as otherwise I am always tempted to complete everything in Black and White.
I was pleased with the colour here on Revolution Red, the colours are rich and deep and the triangular shapes and arched windows really do make this image work.
With my other images in black and white I was thinking of Atget and wanted my images to exude some of that poetic beauty however here I don't think I quite got that, there are some abandoned places and I like the idea that they are just awaiting for human touch again
Final Destination has a rugged grimy city feel to the scene but I would not say it was poetic, perhaps I do need to work in the dusk light and create a little more atmospheric shots. However, I do like how this image works with the shadow play of the trees on the ground which does draw your eye to the wall and then you glance over to see the abandoned trolley. There is always a sort of sadness for abandoned shopping trollies.
Eugene Atget (1857-1927) was an architectural photographer who was never recognised in his own time. In the 1920s Atget work would be well respected and the surrealists held his work in high esteem and popularised his work. The Surrealist; 'found his pictures of deserted streets and stairways, street life, and shop windows beguiling and richly suggestive (these were published in La Révolution surréaliste in 1926.' (Moma: Eugene Atget 2023). Atget used a bulky view camera and large (18 x 24 cm) glass plates despite advancements in photography and produced an archive of thousands of images of Paris its building, architectural details and events of the time.
Atget's images are documents of place and how it changes over time and, at this time, the beginning of industrialisation and modernisation Atget's photographs now are valuable historic documents;
'Around 1900, Atget’s focus shifted. The city’s urban landscape had been recently reshaped by the modernization campaign known as Haussmannization—a necessarily destructive process led by (and named after) Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann' (Moma: Eugene Atget 2023). In 1968 the Museum of Modern Art purchased Bernice Abbott's✱ collection of Atget's work which consisted of over 1000 photographic plates and at least 10,000 images making it one of the largest collections of his work.
The above image of Saint-Coud exemplifies the beauty of the photographic work that Atget produced. Here is the perfect use of the rule of thirds with a leading line that makes your eyes follow the steps through the image, and arrive up in light above with the tall trees and lone bench looking out probably onto a Paris boulevard. This image was made in the; 'formal gardens of the royal palace at Saint-Cloud, laid out in the seventeenth century by Louis XIV's landscape architect André Le Nôtre.' (French, 1921) These later images were more personal to Atget and there is a haunting poetic beauty to the prints which invite the viewer into the frame to share in the experience of the image.
✱Bernice Abbot was an assistant to Man Ray and was a 'central figure in and important bridge between the photographic circles and cultural hubs of Paris and New York' (Encyclopedia Brittanica 2023)
Brittanica (2023) Eugène Atget, Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Eugene-Atget (Accessed: April 26, 2023).
Eugène Atget: Moma (2023) The Museum of Modern Art. Available at: https://www.moma.org/artists/229 (Accessed: April 24, 2023).
Museum of Modern Art (2023) Berenice Abbott: Moma, The Museum of Modern Art. Available at: https://www.moma.org/artists/41 (Accessed: April 26, 2023).
French, E.A. (1921) Eugène Atget: Saint-Cloud, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Available at: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/285845 (Accessed: April 26, 2023).
Sunday 23 April 2023
I finalised my thoughts on my collection and will put this together on Photoshop with an introduction on my website on the gallery.
I will begin by creating a canvas, I did this by clicking on 'New' then 'Print' and in the dialog box I chose A3, I the chose landscape and checked that it was 300dpi. I the chose a very slightly off-white tone for the canvas.
I then added my images by selecting and then going to edit and then copy, then returning to my canvas and the edits paste I adjusted the size to the canvas and lined this up correctly using the guidelines and then added a title on each using book antiqua font at 36pts
I then saved this in a new folder as both a psd and jpeg file ready for my website and so I could make any adjustments if I needed to. I had this folder on my desktop and when completed I added to my Google Drive and as a back up added this to an external drive.
I checked this worked in Black and white with the same background.
I completed all the images like this and then I opened my website on wix and went to the editor.
I began by going to the menu and creating a new page, I renamed this and then opened the new page, I chose a gallery that I thought would be suitable and the uploaded my images.
I then uploaded the images here and added them to the gallery I edited the title of each one to ensure this came up when you clicked on the image.
As my computer was being a little slow I took this time to consider the introduction I would write.
Solace in the City
There is comfort in living in the city, at every time of the day there is noise, people, something happening, the city has a hum that is always there. However, finding the places that are quiet corners, the places that have the traces of human life, yet remain almost dormant, waiting for renewal, there is a beauty to enjoying this solitude in the metropolis. These places need someone to look at them kindly again. This ancient city has many such unloved corners and my camera is drawn to memorialise them. They will evolve and change over time, people will impose upon them again, but for now they are still and quiet in the frame.
Finally they uploaded and after adding all media to the correct gallery and adjusting the order I previewed the gallery page.
Lastly I added buttons on the portfolio page and a back button the gallery page and then I republished, I then checked the mobile view and rearranged this to work with extra links and republished again
Now you can check this out on my website zoevan-de-velde.com
After choosing which images I might include in my portfolio from both my class shoot of the cultural quarter and my own 'quiet shoot' of abandoned places I began the quality control of the images and curation in earnest.
Checked the view at 100% and actual size so I did this on Photoshop by clicking onto 'View' then '100%' or 'Actual Size' then I used the hand tool to check the images and move around. When I was happy with my checks I then clicked back on the top menu and 'View' and then 'Fit to screen'
The next check I did was crop and straighten so I clicked on the crop tool the left hand menu and then I could crop anything that was unnecessary on my frame and then I clicked return. To straighten I clicked on the crop tool again but this time I hung over a corner with me arrow so that I could straighten using the grid that appeared then again pressed return on keyboard.
The next tool I used was using the top menu 'Image' and then 'Adjustments' and then went 'Curves'and gently adjusted the light level to make it a little brighter. I then wet back to adjustments and then vibrance and added vibrance +23 which made the image really pop.
I also used adjustments and saturation to bring out the colour images.
After considering how my images would work together I also looked at how other had considered work for curation. I will here discuss the work of Alexander Dorner (1893–1957); 'Dorner is mostly associated with creating the “Abstract Cabinet” together with El Lissitzky as well as “The Room of the Present” with Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, both at the State Museum in Hanover, Germany.'(Artnet News, 2017). I wanted to discuss this curator as the work that he curated I consider to be exceptionally important to photographic history, Dornor was one one of the youngest curators every apppointed at only 25 years old. He wanted to promote the avant-garde work of artists in to 1920s and 30s; 'Dorner was one of the early and great leaders of avant-garde art collecting in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s concentrating in Constructivist art for the collection focusing on Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo, Kazimir Malevich, and El Lissitzky' (Dictionary of Art Historians 2023). In Germany with the Bauhaus movement, Dada and then the Surrrealists, the constructivists and an explosion of change in art which reflected a society that had come out of war but was on the verge of great upheaval and change with World War II on the horizon, the rise of the Nazis was about to begin. Dorner was innovative in how he wanted to curate and present the artists work at the time to the public. With Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Dorner commisioned the artist to create '"Raum der Gegenwart" (Room of the Present) which was designed to include film projections, although the space was never realized.' (Dictionary of Art Historians 2023).
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Photogram (Date unknown) Moholy Nagy stated in 1936; ;Thanks to the photographer, humanity has acquired the power of perceiving its surroundings, and its very existence with new eyes.”;'(Jasminedirectory- et al., 2020)
Dornor worked in America as director of the Art Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1938 and his career was thriving until the outbreak of war and the fact that he was German and had a brother in the Luftwaffe he had to leave his position despite a clear anti-Nazi history and his work on exposing the Nazis and their idea of degenerate art.. Dornor had created dramatic installations and displays that appealed to the public and were full of innovation in the gallery and museum space. Dornor's passion for art and pushing the boundaries should have been more celebrated and considered.
Artnet News (2017) Who are the most influential curators of the last century? 19 art-world tastemakers weigh in, Artnet News. Available at: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/influential-curators-last-century-19-art-world-tastemakers-weigh-1090805 (Accessed: April 23, 2023).
Dorner, alexander (no date) Dorner, Alexander | Dictionary of Art Historians. Available at: https://arthistorians.info/dornera (Accessed: April 23, 2023).
-, B.R.G. et al. (2020) The modern self: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Jasmine's Business Blog. Available at: https://www.jasminedirectory.com/blog/the-modern-self-laszlo-moholy-nagy/ (Accessed: April 23, 2023).
Den Haag, K. (2018) Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: The Art of Light, Kunstmuseum Den Haag. Available at: https://www.kunstmuseum.nl/en/exhibitions/laszlo-moholy-nagy (Accessed: April 23, 2023).
For the shoot today of urban landscape I was concentrating on abandoned or quite places near my home in Leicester City Centre, I was lucky to have a good day with sunshine. Today I was using my Olympus OMD Mark II. I had been considering the photographs of Wim Wenders however this morning I also had Eugene Atget on my mind the beautiful depictions of the empty Paris streets and as he photographed them over time the effects of modernisation, I will write about Atget in a further post following my own images.
These are the contacts from today, I used both colour and black and white. I believe I did get some of the shots that I wanted but like Atget I want to go back and photographs this again...
These are a few of the the ones I was taken by when considering the images for portfolio I have started to have a feeling for what I would like in my final en images which I will discuss in my next post.
Thursday 20 April 2023
As a photographer I enjoy the stillness and silence of the image, the perfect frame where contained within it is a whole world to be enjoyed and explored. In Wenders' Places Strange and Quiet, Wenders states; “When you travel a lot, and when you love to just wander around and get lost, you can end up in the strangest spots. […] I don't know, it must be some sort of built-in radar that often directs me to places that are strangely quiet, or quietly strange.”(Wenders 2023). The image below shows a looming sky, just before a storm and the dilapidated wall with the old painted advert seems to cut into the sky itself. The street behind is empty and the cars seem unloved and abandoned the blue-covered car pointing one direction and the red van behind seems to perfectly balance the images and the colours of stone and the red car and sign make this picture a wonderfully empty but perfectly full image. Whimsylph writes considers that; 'In Black Square (2002, New Mexico), the hues of blue and red contrast with, even highlight more saliently, the decaying wall and tatty old advert, which poignantly includes the words Why Not Now. This photograph shows a deft painterly skill with colour and composition' (Whimsylph Writes 2014)
This next image I chose to look at the as it included a bench just like my own in my final Traces image. This empty bench looks out onto what looks like some kind of military ship, a horrible battle grey metal construction that with a walkway up to what looks to be an unpleasant experience. The empty bench here is red so contrasts with blue border to the walkway and the picture kind of works in thirds, our eyes begin at the bench and move upward to see what sitting here what would be the view. Wenders took many of these images while scouting for film locations, he states; 'My first films were basically landscape paintings, except that they were shot with a movie camera. I never moved the frame. Nothing ever happened in them. Each scene lasted as long as a 16-millimeter daylight reel, which was about four minutes. There was no editing involved, other than attaching one reel to the other.' (Barcelona, 2011) this is a place where some soul-searching could certainly be done.
barcelona, dpr (2011) Places, strange and quiet: Wim Wenders, dpr-barcelona. Available at: https://dprbcn.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/wim-wenders-photos/ (Accessed: April 20, 2023).
Poyner, R. (2021) Wim Wenders' strange and quiet places, Design Observer. Available at: https://designobserver.com/feature/wim-wenders-strange-and-quiet-places/26548 (Accessed: April 20, 2023).
Wenders, W. (2023) Wim Wenders: Welcome to the official site of Wim Wenders, Wim Wenders | Welcome to the official Site of WIM WENDERS. Available at: https://www.wim-wenders.com/ (Accessed: April 20, 2023).
Whimsylph (2014) Strangely quiet or quietly strange: Wim Wenders' photography, Whimsylph Writes. Available at: https://whimsylph.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/strangely-quiet-or-quietly-strange-wim-wenders-photography/ (Accessed: April 20, 2023).
Today we looked at images by Thomas Struth, Micheal Wolf, and Wim Wenders. The last term I concentrated on taking images thinking about the composition and framing of Thomas Struth. I did still employ these techniques this term but I also wanted to get more images like Wim Wenders Places Strange and Quiet. as it is always good to find places in the city that are abandoned, unused and unloved but have a stillness that is pure beauty.
Here like the Wim Wenders I loved the quiet place and the abandoned shopping trolley, I shot this in both colour and Black nd white I think both work well and I will definitely use this in final portfolio.
Today I started photography in creative media production and we began by looking at basic functions such as ISO, Aperture and Exposure Compensation.
We then looked at artists who used traces of themselves in their photography, looked at Francesca Woodman, Ana Mendieta, and others
I created contact sheets on Photoshop by clicking on File, Automate, and Contact Sheet, and then IO chose my 'Traces' file and clicked okay and Photoshop created three contact sheet
I added these to my google drive as well as my desktop
In these images, you can see that I used a wide aperture and I completed this set in black and white which was an artistic choice before I began the shoot. The sky was overcast so I used an ISO of 400.