Re-work and Reflection on Tutor Report Assignment 5
Overall I was pleased with the completed Assignment and the tutor’s Report. Following the suggestions in the Report I re-visited the canal walkways and took a number of series of photographs; in post-processing (Photoshop) I layered individual photographs to produce a single composite image. Gallery 1 below shows the final composite image make from several photographs taken from the same point of view as that shown in Image #4 in the Submission series. In the composite image individuality is maintained because gaps are visible between people – there is much less blending than in, for example, the work of Alexey Titarenko (Titarenko, 2015). This is in keeping with the ‘individual psychological ambiguity’ idea behind the Assignment. In addition, the spacing of the individuals allowed for the place to be discerned and not totally obscured by the mass of people. Converted to black-and-white (see Gallery 1) perhaps the crowd becomes slightly more homogeneous.
Gallery 2 is a composite image made from about 25 separate photographs (see examples in Gallery 3). The point of view in this photograph allows for the place to be unambiguously present and for a greater density of people to be overlaid. The conversion to black-and-white (see Gallery 2) is more successful in that the absence of points of colour makes the mass more homogeneous – this is definitely a crowd.
The place I chose for this Assignment (a functioning 18th century city canal) does not attract large crowds, mostly individual or pairs of walkers along the canal banks. In the Assignment images the blurred individuals compliment the ambiguous place (i.e. city or park). It is the individual (identity) and the place that is under view. With the images in Gallery 1 and 2 (below) the emphasis changes to that of the city crowd and the threat to the inner life that city dwellers can face. Examples of explorations of this theme include Berenice Abbott’s ‘Tempo of the City 1, 1938’ (see fig. 1.), Paul Strand’s ‘Wall Street, New York, 1915’ (see fig. 2.) and Hiroharu Matsumoto’s series ‘Quiet Tokyo’; this latter changes locations throughout the city (Gear, 2017). The subject in these examples is the individual and the de-personalised culture of the modern city, which differs to what I was attempting in this Assignment where I choose to explore a specific place i.e. the locale of a specific canal and its interactions with individuals as it coursed through a city. Thus, in the Assignment the place is not generic to the same extent as it is in the example above. While true that the Assignment theme may be generalised to the subject of alienation in modern society, nevertheless emphasis is on a particular place (or more broadly a particular mix of the geographic with the social).
Gallery 4 (below) shows a series of nine images as suggested in the tutor Report; four of the images in this new series were also included in the Submission’s final series of fifteen photographs. I agree with the Report’s observation that in my Submission’s fifteen images there is a blurring of the balance and visual representation of ‘Analogy’, ‘Witness’ & ‘Reportage’; a less complicated series, for instance leaving out ‘reportage’, makes for a better series.
Figure 1 (click to enlarge) ‘Tempo of the City 1, 1938’ – Berenice Abbott
Figure 2 (click to enlarge) ‘Wall Street, New York, 1915’ – Paul Strand
Gallery 1 (click to enlarge) Composite layered image make from individual exposures
Gallery 2 (click to enlarge) Composite layered image made from about 25 separate photographs
Gallery 3 (click to enlarge) Examples of individual photographs used to make composite image shown in Gallery 2 (above)
Gallery 4 (click to enlarge) Series of nine images as suggested in the tutor’s Report
Gear, E S (2017) Photographer captures loneliness in the crowds of Japanese megacities [online] Available at: https://www.featureshoot.com/2017/06/photographer-captures-loneliness-crowds-japanese-megacities/ [Accessed 19 03 18]
Titarenko, A., 2015. The City Is a Novel. Bologna : Damiani editore