Garry Winogrand speaks about photography and life.
As part of my research into representations of the Irish landscape I have been looking at Irish Landscape painters and paintings. The local library is understocked on the subject, and while the internet is a great source of information, I prefer to read about subjects in depth from a book – I just cant read more than a thousand words on a computer screen before my eyes and mind glaze over, or I am distracted by some flashing banner or link.
Luckily, my sister and her boyfriend have an extensive library of art: Both of them are artists. Irish Art, by Bruce Arnold, has a good introductory section to landscape art, and it is from this section that I discovered the art and artists featured below. (though not all are included in the section).
Most of these paintings are from the late 19th Century, a very different Ireland. So distant, yet still so close. This list by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it chronological. I will be updating in the near future with more paintings and painters from more recent times.
I am now entering the final phase of the MA in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography. The final project will run from now (April) until mid – end November. Thats roughly six and a half months. It seems like a lot of time, but this is no time to get complacent.
I have been thinking what subject to explore / investigate for the final project. Initially I thought I would like to do something along the lines of Alec Soth’s photography. Wikipedia describes his work as cinematic in feel with elements of folklore: Nice description.
There are so many things to think about: timeframe, cost, accessibility, equipment, to name a few.
Alternatively, I have been thinking of doing a set of landscapes on a particular stretch of land near where I live. I’m just wondering how I can tie in the two ideas together?
Answer: more research and much thinking.
I’m almost finished editing the ghost estate (temp title) series. The wall in my study is covered with 6×4 black and white prints of abandoned buildings, decaying buildings, and scarred landscapes. I have edited the photos down to around 25 images, and am now agonising over the sequencing.
As an antidote to all this black and white grimness, I dusted off the old Hasselblad, loaded it up with Kodak Portra 400NC (RIP), and ventured into the great outdoors. These photos are like a breath of fresh air.
Some of the photos I have been posting here as part of my Ghost Estate (temporary title) series have perhaps been a little too descriptive. What I am trying to achieve with the photos is to convey a sense of place, an atmosphere, and to use the phrase again, something just beneath the surface.
There is a very fine line between descriptive and suggestive (if that is the right word). During a recent tutorial where I was showing a very loose edit of around 80 photos, a fellow student suggested that there are opportunities for two projects in the collection: It all comes down to editing. I could choose a set of photos that are great, and descriptive, and have immediate visual impact. Or, I could choose a set using my intuition, my feelings, and perhaps take a few chances.
April 1st deadline for our Rethink documentary photography project is fast approaching, and I have decided to present my final edit in a book format. So, lately I have been thinking about editing, sequencing, layouts, font types, spacing, spreads, and the limitations of photography.
I found this interesting video of Christopher Anderson talking about his book Capitolio. In it he explains some of his sequencing choices, and attempts to demistify the book editing process for a group of photography students.
You can view more about Capitolio here on the Magnum Photos website.
I set out with the aim of photographing the landscape, but also to photograph – if possible – something just beneath the surface.
Raymond Moore put it rather eloquently: “the no-man’s land between the real and the fantasy”
Following on from my recent Vernacular Unpectacular posting, I was pointed – during a tutorial – in the direction of Raymond Moore, photographer; a man who in his own words tried to photograph “the magic that lies beneath the surface of things”.
The photographs below were taken prior to looking at Raymond Moore’s work, which is really interesting and challenging.
When I set out to document these rural vernacular buildings, I didn’t fully think about what exactly I was photographing. I guess there was some hidden desire to try and capture a sense of place, a sense of the history, some kind of resonant energy, and its entirely probable that these images also reflect some inner state of being at the time of pushing the button.
I admit I have been really bad lately at updating the blog, I don’t have any genuine excuses, other than whenever the weather and conditions are right, I can be found in the sea with my bodyboard and a couple of surf buddies.
Recently I have been plagued with a horrible chest infection that seems to be lasting forever. I haven’t been in the sea for a few weeks now, but I still make the trip to the beach to see my friends in action.
So far this Autumn the swells have been pretty good. The water temperature is dropping (currently 12 deg.C) and I need to get myself some good quality boots and a hood. The longer I can spend in the water the better.
As you can see from the photos, I don’t have a telephoto lens. I think all of the photos here were taken with a 50mm lens. A 50mm lens covers just about most situations, but If you want to keep your camera dry shooting watersports, then you are gonna need a longer lens. I recently got a waterproof reusable film camera, so I hope to post some more extreme surf shots here in the near future.
Photojournalism practice photoessay, and History & Theory Critical essay submitted, to much relief. I’ve seen some of my fellow students work and the standard is very high.
Editing from 545 photos down to 25 was not easy, specially when the photos are so personal – family photos. So, I have included a selection of the ones, that for whatever reason, did not make into the final 25.
Now looking forward to the next phase, and working on some long term projects.