This is my learning log for the OCA Ditigal Photographic Practice course

Friday, 18 October 2013

Reading: Art Photography Now – Susan Bright

Containing examples of the work of eighty contemporary photographer/artists, I am finding this a valuable reminder and reference book in my struggle to understand photography as art. A lot of what is shown and discussed I can relate to and hopefully will enable me to form my own ideas for study projects. Some is not so clear and I struggle to understand what the artist is saying, despite quotations from the artist and explanations from the editor. This may come as I re-read and study the work but some will fall on stony ground.
All of the usual suspects are included, Parr, Sherman, Wearing, Crewdson, Wall. There were some that I had not come across before and that resonated with me and some of the things I have tried. Beat Streuli for example takes candid images on the street of self absorbed people going about their daily lives in situations that we are all familiar with. There may be more to his work that this but I have tried this in my own street photography project in various locations in the UK: which is on-going. My web gallery shows just a few examples.


Although primarily a sculptor Richard Wentworth’s photography interested me. He has taken images of found objects for a series “Making do and getting by” where everyday objects apparently at the end of their usefulness are left in places or in positions that make them appear quirky and/or give a hint as to why they are discarded. These are found in the city. I have modified this idea and have taken photographs of discarded objects in the countryside. This week I came across this wrought iron bed head that was re-emerging on a footpath having at sometime been discarded and buried in the undergrowth.

The abandoned sofa is also a popular subject at the roadside. While in Plymouth earlier this year I spotted this one at the waterside and photographed it as a tribute to Wentworth. The juxtaposition here grabbed my attention. (I have also nearly finished Geoff Dyer’s “The Ongoing Moment”. My review of that will be written shortly)


Art Photography Now has put contemporary art photography into some sort of context for me. It is making me consider projects in different ways and in different genres. (The book is divided into seven genres;  Portrait, Landscape, Narrative, Object, Fashion, Document and City although there there are some overlaps -  work that will fit into more than one genre.
There is till a lot about art that I do not understand but I’m slowly getting there.

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