Birds

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Henri Matisse, Vence, France, 1944, Henri Cartier-Bresson

Researching all over the place and found this photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. It is beautiful. The composition of the doves at the forefront and another in his hand. Lovely sunlight casting down into the room creating those pockets of bright white. It feels peaceful and calm.

 

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A Peach

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Morning Mist – Henry Peach Robinson, 1893

Whilst researching an essay on the use of photography in psychiatry I came across Henry Peach Robinson. One of his mentors was a Hugh W Diamond, the main subject of my essay. With a background in painting, Robinson adopted a clear style. He used a photomontage technique. Splicing together a couple of negatives in order to create the finished product. This allowed background and foreground to both be perfectly exposed. A lot of his images feature a figure by a window with a dramatic sky or sea scene.

His methods weren’t well received and he left the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and formed a splinter group with others in 1892, Brotherhood of the Linked Ring. Promoting the idea of photography as fine art.

 

Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. 2018. Linked Ring ENGLISH ASSOCIATION OF PHOTOGRAPHERS. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/. [Accessed 27 February 2018].

Jewels

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I came across this editorial jewellery shoot referencing Frida Kahlo and Klimt. Our most recent project was to recreate a painted portrait. The hand in was today otherwise I would have included this in my research. I am not sure on the photographer, it is just said to be produced by Candyfornia Studio.

Calvary

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I recently re-watched Calvary; released in 2014 it was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh.

I enjoy the composition of a lot of the shots throughout the film. It features many extreme long shots with a tiny human in the frame. The opening credits show the crashing waves from above. A surfer is paddling through the frame dwarfed by the giant power of the sea. It is very beautiful and reminds me of shots in Hero, the style of which is thought to be linked with the Toaist philosophy. The belief in the human world and natural world being one and humans should stay as part of nature.

Calvary is thought to be the location Jesus was crucified. It is also said to mean an experience of great suffering. Although the subject matter is bleak the film is beautiful and witty.

 

Scully

Scully, Sean, b.1945; Red Light

An exhibition of Sean Scully’s work is on at Laing Gallery until 28th May.

I was unaware he studied Fine Art at Newcastle University. The work is so clean and bold. The two by the door were my particular favourites. Instilling a peculiar magic eye feeling after a long stare.

Loveless

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I would recommend watching Loveless. A film that has been recently released here, written and directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Showing the relationship of a couple in a strange limbo, not yet divorced and tied together by their son and the social stigma of separation. Neither are likeable, in fact I haven’t seen a film in so long where I have thoroughly despised both leads. Their son goes missing after hearing a particularly brutal argument. It keeps you engaged with the pure desperate hope their son will be found or actually that he won’t. Realising that maybe his life is better without them.

The cinematography is captivating. My favourite scene features the father and the lead of the search party, Ivan. They feel like they should be the same thing, the search party lead is so driven and focused on looking for the boy it highlights the resigned, blank nature of the father. They are searching a high-rise block of flats, going floor to floor with a torch. This is shot from a neighbouring building across the gap. Snow is swirling down and the torch is the only source of light. A beautifully composed shot that only highlights the hopelessness of the father.

It is rare to watch something where you hate nearly all of the characters but are so engaged you can’t look away. It is bleak, infuriating and cold but I can’t recommend it enough.

Telfer

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Terry & Gina in ‘The Buccaneer’

It was refreshing to hear from a photographer who believes in-camera shooting is the priority.

Visiting Alex Telfer’s studio was rather surreal. Inside the converted church there was  a quiet that cannot be replicated outside a building not made for that purpose. With vast rooms and high ceilings, he has built himself a perfect place to work and play.

Creativity is at the root of his approach. It was nice not to be bogged down in technical jargon and meet someone who could articulate his feelings about an image.

Alex has a large, varied collection of work. He presented a slideshow of 70+ frames, a mixture of personal and commercial. He talked of the circumstance; how he got the job, the conversations he had on set and any difficulties faced on a shoot. That was another element that stood out, his ability to talk. Not in a condescending or monotonous way, he was able to communicate clearly and engaged the room. It is easy to see how he could be welcomed into the folds of wary communities as shown in the image above. “Terry and Gina in The Buccaneer” is from a personal project called “The Travellers” documenting the life of Travelling folk who attend The Appleby Horse Fair. The project was subsequently commissioned and published by The Sunday Times Magazine.

It was surprising and enjoyable seeing such a body of work presented by someone who enjoys the process.

Film Fetishist

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A great film is playing daily at the Tyneside Cinema until 25th February.

Mirer is filmed entirely on 16mm, it shows with great cinematic expression the Arriflex 416 Plus.

A film by Gethin Wyn Jones, Northumbria University Graduate Artist in Residence . It is something really beautiful.

Visit

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The space inside your mouth is entirely yours, except when it’s mine – Susie Green, 2017

I went to see Interior Report, a collection of work by Susie Green at Workplace Gallery in Gateshead. It is running until 24th February and worth a look. Beautiful vivid colours with a large, acrylic on tissue paper piece dominating the room.

Shell Out

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This image was published in December 2010 for Vogue UK. The photographer was Tim Gutt. This is one image in a collection of twelve depicting all of the zodiac signs. The sets for this series designed by Shona Heath, it was styled by Kate Phelan.

What most attracted me to this shoot was the surrealist, dreamlike nature. The sheer size of the conch shell dwarfs the model making her look like a borrower.

Shot in a studio, it is dramatically lit from above causing a large dark shadow cast by the shell. Her legs are also lit to highlight the bikini bottoms this piece is advertising. This is a very hard light, the shadow cast onto the shell is sharp and dense. I don’t believe there would be a lot of post production on this image besides the grading. Although this is not an area I am well versed in so could be completely wrong.