Project 2 – Lens work

“Do your own research into some of the photographers mentioned in this project.

Look back at your personal archive of photography and try to find a photograph that could be used to illustrate one of the aesthetic codes discussed in Project 2. Whether or not you had a similar idea when you took the photograph isn’t important; find a photo with a depth of field that ‘fits’ the code you’ve selected. The ability of photographs to adapt to a range of usages is something we’ll return to later in the course.

Add the shot to your learning log and include a short caption describing how you’ve re-imagined your photograph.”

Ansel Adams (1902–84) and the F64 group

Landscape photographer and conservationist. The f/64 group referred to an aperture setting which produced a sharp image across distance. This style of photography is associated with fine art and does certainly remind me of grand oil paintings. Its beautiful, dramatic and demonstrates a love of nature. During wartime Adams was criticised for taking pretty pictures of irrelevant subjects. A little harsh!


Fay Godwin – Our Forbidden Land (1990)

This is a more modern take on landscape photography. Godwin has deliberately chosen to use black and white images, which I think greatly influences are response to them. I would argue that the associations we might place on monochrome include words such as “serious”, “dramatic”, “thoughtful”, “moody”, “textural” and sometimes”bleak”. Godwin has also been linked to conservation, in reference to a dialogue about public access to the countryside.


Gianluca Cosci – Panem et Circenses

Hmm I seem to be rather prone to accidentally mimicking this style at the moment with my rather hit and miss focusing! Cosci’s camera technique makes for really intriguing viewpoints, I really like the mood of these shots. They seem to evoke an oddly secretive world which is slightly discordant.


Mona Kuhn – Evidence 

Khun also uses a shallow depth of field to draw us in to the subject. Some images in this book make use of glass and reflective surfaces. The theme of this work is broadly speaking, we are all naked beneath er….our clothes. They are generally flattering images, so I would imagine if she asked you to pose, you’d be happy to do so. This work has been described as deliberately not exploitative or sexy, simply showing the naturalness of the human form. However, I wonder if some images are implying voyeurism – we are sometimes peeking through glass, doorways and so on. I don’t completely get it, but its difficult to say something new about naked humans!


Kim Kirkpatrick 

Kirkpatrick is a landscape photographer perhaps slightly similar in style to Cosci. The subject matter often includes landscape photos that feature construction sites and industrial areas around Washington D.C.  He is quoted as saying “I take pictures where nature and man meet, where one is taking over the other”‘. His style sometimes includes a technique known as bokeh – which is how light displays in an unfocused area of a photograph. I find these images really effective. The hard lines and industrial materials contrast against the soft de-focused areas beautifully.


Guy Bourdin (1928–91)

A painter and fashion photographer. Many of his images were quite subversive, challenging ideas about fashion photography as a genre. He was a protégé of Man Ray. and consequently inspired by early surrealist ideas. According to the Louise Alexander Gallery, Bourdin was “famed for his suggestive narratives” which I think you can clearly see from these images below!


We were asked to pick an image of our own that fits one of the aesthetic codes discussed. I’ve chosen this image, as it uses a very  shallow depth of field as in Mona Kuhn’s work. However,  you could argue its a different take on ‘up close and personal’ – as the lens is simply hovering very close to a human being and their personal space.

2016-03-18 15.13.48



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