Review of my Photogram Alphabet

The evolution of this piece of work stemmed from myself wanting to create a traditional analogue and silver based darkroom alphabet, so I came up with the idea of making a photogram alphabet. A very simple way to communicate what the brief asked for. I love the concept of photograms and have been fascinated with them for many years now but I have not really experimented with them a lot myself.  There are many subjects and themes that can be interconnected as an alphabet with the use of photograms. What I really wanted to highlight is my personal homage to the importance and the art of photography and its birthplace in the UK. It is a very big nod and a doff of my hat to our greatest pioneer of photography William Fox Talbot. The first time I ever heard about photograms is when I was a small boy, I remember the kids TV program Blue Peter did a piece on the home of William Fox Talbot the English inventor of photography and his home Lacock Abbey. I recall being captivated with the conception of how you could capture light and chemically fix its moment in time into a photograph without the use of a camera. This is where my passion for photography first began. While being on this HND photography course I have been reintroduced to the notion of photograms, and this has reawakened my hunger and enthusiasm for the most basic of photography mediums.

I spent time considering how I could bring this concept to life, what did I need to use to construct the alphabet form?  I thought about using Blutac, Playdoh, Playskool Magnetic Letters but I wanted something a bit more hands on and constructive.  Williams Fox Talbots early photograms included a feather, I really wanted to emulate the softness but without the use of a feather as I could not easily form an alphabet from this material. I wanted an item with a soft covering that could easily be manipulated into alphabetic shapes.  I decided to use pipe cleaners as they had a soft down exterior covering that would best resemble a feather giving the appearance I was aiming for.

 After purchasing the pipe cleaners I sat and considered the simplest way to shape and form my alphabet.  I found that to create the shape I needed to bend each pipe cleaner into the basic formation of each letter.  I then cut differing lengths and attached where necessary to complete each letter.

After I had finished making the alphabet out of the pipe cleaners the letters looked pretty cool and I was ready to take them into the dark room.  I have a dark room at home so it was much easier for me to make the photograms, I wasn’t constricted to lesson time so I could have a much more relaxed approach to producing my work for this alphabet.  I started by cutting dark room paper into quarters, this was not only to save paper but I also wanted to make 26 individual photograms. I used a standard dark room method and chemical fix to obtain my images. After I completed a few test prints and was happy with the results I continued to print the whole alphabet.

The results I achieved from making these photograms were very gratifying and they look very cool. I got the exact appearance I was aiming for; the pipe cleaners gave me the feathered soft edge I was aspiring for. Once the photograms were dry I had to scan them all into Photoshop just to do a final post edit to clean them up and sharpen before I put together the final image using InDesign.

 When I showed the final image at a critique session in class a very interesting conversation presented itself. It was pointed out that the font I had inadvertently designed with pipe cleaners looked very child like almost like a Comic San font, I never even thought of this.  It is an interesting comment and when you do take another look it could also resemble writing on a school chalkboard. This makes this particular piece multi meaningful in a retrospective kind of way; everybody seems to interpret it slightly differently. This is a good place to be as it just shows how other people envisaged and view other people’s art. Overall I was very happy with this alphabet and I nailed it to what I was trying to communicate as a piece of work.

D.W Images Photography Milton Keynes

Photogram Alphabet

 

 

 

 

 

Milton Keynes Photography – Commercial, Event, Product, Family and Wedding

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Tate Modern

This week I have had a trip down to the Tate Modern Gallery in London, It was part of my Photographic HND course I am doing. As a group of students we where tasked with searching out primary research and inspiration for our own work.  It was interesting to look at so much art work and if we couldn’t find inspiration here I don’t know where we could, some of the installation work I found went over my head but other pieces literally gave me goose bumps.My style of photography tends to lead me down the documentary portrait style and I was pleased to see a selection of work from Miyako Ishiuchi and William Eggleston.

Two images from Miyako Ishiuchi’s collection Yokosuka Story 1977 and are Photographs on gelatine silver print paper.

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These two images are from William Egglestons collection From Chromes 1970-73. Photographs, dye transfer print on paper

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Both these photographer appeal to me as the images are very simple but both convey life at the time they were taken, especially Willaim Eggleston all of the subjects in this collection of prints looks very personable.  To me these images are beautifully natural even they are all clearly posed.  When I shoot I normally shoot black and white as that is my thing but I do really love early colour prints but to me colour photography is like looking at someone else’s  sandwich, theirs always looks better than whats in your lunch box.  But even with todays printing technologies the prints will never compete, older original prints will always be more alive and feel more tactile in my opinion.

While I was down in London it would of been rude not partake in some personal photography of my own, so when I had an opportunity to get my camera out and below is the images I got.

Gregory Crewson

Gregory Crewdson, an American artist renowned for his elaborately devised photographs of small-town life, digs into the commonplace and familiar to find images that are haunting, surreal and—most agree—profoundly unnerving. (Though Crewdson himself, we discovered, finds his work essentially “optimistic.”)

With production teams and set budgets that rival those of entire films, Crewdson chronicles moments of disconnect—downcast eyes, faces turned away—in expansive portraits of people lost in thought, isolated and inaccessible, both to each other and to the viewer.

His images are rich in detail, and there is not a thing in the frame—not a stain, not a lampshade—that he does not carefully select. And yet, this abundance of detail is balanced with a striking lack of information—the settings are ordinary (a suburban kitchen, a living room, a dark street corner)—and, more importantly, the frame is de-contextualized: we don’t know what happens before or after, or who these people even are.

The effect of this combination of visual detail and narrative restraint is that there are as many narratives possible for each of his images as there are viewers of it: each person comes to the image with their own anxieties and desires, which they project onto the scene. To commemorate the release of Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters (a documentary tracing his decades of work), Crewdson sat down with The American Reader to talk about the limitations of photography, the challenge of human connection, and the overlap between the two.

—Alma Vescovi and Alyssa Loh

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