Elinor Carucci has produced some interesting thought-provoking images of her family and family relationships through family-portraits and self-portraits.
Photo by Sally Mann. This linked image is available to view on line: http://www.boumbang.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Sally-Mann-7.jpg
Sally Mann has used family portraiture and attracted controversy by publishing images of her naked children. Her pictures are in black and white and by always having a camera by her side has caught some interesting images.
Photo by Elina Brotherus. This linked image is available to view on line at: http://www.paris-art.com
Elina Brotherus has used self-portraiture in some interesting and creative ways, I like this image of her reflection in the mirror held in front of the face of the model. Brotherus has a good website illustrating a lot of her work. Brotherus has also studied ideas of self-portraiture in connection with landscape and her environment and how they relate.
Photo by Francesca Woodman. This linked image is available to view on: http://www.heenan.net/woodman
Susan Bright, comments, “It is difficult not to read Woodman’s self-portraits as alluding to a troubled state of mind.”
Looking at Woodman’s images I see a mixture of fantasy with pathos. There is a feeling of melancholy and vulnerability in her poses. There are a lot of nudes, but the images are not about the nude body but the nakedness and perhaps this was a reflection of how she felt.
I can only guess at her thoughts based upon her tragic end and not having read her diaries but this is what I read from the photographs.
However, I find Woodman’s photos both a little erotic and disturbing. Woodman clearly had a lot of pent up sexual-tension with an artistic voice wanting to be heard. If I was to say that there was an element of narcissism in Woodman’s photos I think I would be wrong. I think that she was probably insecure about herself and her looks, yes she was very self-indulgent which may sadly have lead her to her death. I think that Woodman’s images don’t need accompanying text for the images to be appreciated.
I wonder however, that Woodman clearly had mental-health issues and perhaps the wider issue is the stigma attached to this form of health-issue and the lack of understanding and help for sufferers. Many artist suffer from depression as many artists by there nature are bipolar in some degree and perhaps educational institutions such as schools and colleges / universities should also watch for this and offer counselling and support. Woodman committed suicide in 1981 and over 30 years later we are still loosing talent through our lack of understanding of how to help.
I HAVE RECENTLY BEEN MADE REDUNDANT……
I have found that companies are generally now looking to recruit from a headhunting point of view with candidates having to bring customers, and business contacts with them.
Eventually I found another job in a new industry, the learning curve was steep. I spent a lot of time away from home travelling. I worked tirelessly to achieve my goals. Tasked to introduce a new engineering concept, the product I was selling was expensive and required time to persuade industries to change their long established methods. However, after only nine months my company decided that I was not meeting their objectives and sacked me.
This came as a huge blow, I felt that I had been set up to fail and totally deflated. At first I thought I could cope but this second redundancy so soon after the first took its toll and my confidence began to evaporate with every new rejection. It wasn’t long before I didn’t want to switch on my computer in order to job search and as a result of having attended some absolutely dreadful job interviews, I began to dread the prospect of going to any more. My health began to suffer.
Fortunately, my wife, a trained therapist, recognised my symptoms of clinical depression and encouraged me to consider a complete change of direction in my career. She also persuaded me to adopt a dog from Battersea to keep me company. I have now had the time and space to consider alternative options and I have returned to my love of photography. I realize that this is what I want to do more than anything. I am now making a fresh start with new hope and optimism for the future.
D800e, 85mm f/1.4, 1/400, f/2.8, ISO-125.
On Saturday, I attended the Nikon School in London for their ‘Film-Noir, Part 1’ course. The day consisted of lighting techniques just using portable speedlights with demonstrations and practical hands-on exercises with between one and two speedlights to create stylized ‘film-noir’ images, typical of the Hollywood age of the silver-screen. This is a shot using two remote speedlights, one in a soft-box the other naked.
Some more examples of the work I made on this great day!
Working in Black & White, by David Prakel, Basics Photography, Published by AVA.
I have just read this book on black-and-white photography which covers both for film and digital with advice on developing and darkroom techniques for those unfamiliar with it and for digital post-production editing with Lightroom and Photoshop. The book covers all aspects, including going about thinking about tones rather than colour; but explain a bit of colour theory to help with understanding the mental and physical grey-scale conversion. If using film cameras there is also an explanation of filters for both cameras and darkroom enlargers, how and why they are used and how digital software that mimics filters that can be used and again why. This book also looks at returning or adding colour to black and white prints either digitally or manually for various artistic effects. This book offers allsorts of fresh ideas that can be brought to your work.
I began photography with a Pentax K1000 SLR working with Ilford Black and White film that I used to develop and print myself. I would recommend any modern photographer who has only experience with digital cameras to have a go converting some images to black-and-white and playing with the effects.
The main reason I chose to read this book now is because I am going on a couple of courses at the Nikon school in London doing Film-Noir style black and white portrait photography.