Contexts Of Practice Notes


Reading images

  • Images is text it is more than just visual reaction- look deeper into the images
  • We are surrounded by visual culture
  • What is visual culture?- Trying to get you to buy things
  • Analysing images- what is the photographers trying to say? what do you see?
  • use a photographers personal ideology to our images- we have our own style/taste
  • What questions spring to mind and why
  • Larry Clarke
  • William Eggleston
  • Nan Goldin
  • Kevin Carter
  • Steven Meisel
  • Martin Parr
  • Annie Leibovitz
  • Tom Hunter


Introduction to Portraiture

  • David Hockney
  • Paintings use optics and lenses to create their paintings (Hyperrealist’s)
  • Artist: Daivinci etc
  • Portraits in 19th century was the most photographed subject
  • Felix Nadar- renowned portrait photographer
  • To begin with getting your portrait taken meant wealth + satuas
  • exposure time was very long
  • 19th century evolved the genre of mortem photography- way of remembering them
  • Julia Margaret
  • Man Ray – likes to experiment
  • Does a good portrait reveal a person/photographer
  • Book by Clarke -1997
  • Edward Steichen- offers a clever visual reference to his subjects style
  • Yousuf Karsh- took very famous portrait
  • Herman Leonard- whats to show people what to capture the way music sounds
  • Would some images not be so dramatic if they were taken in colour not black and white
  • Henri cartier-Bresson
  • Richard Alvedon- fascinated by photographers capacity for suggestion the personality and evoking the life of his subjects, he registered poses, hairstyle etc
  • Rankin
  • Annie Leibovitz
  • David Bailey
  • Tom Oldham
  • Alan Clarke
  • Cecil Beaton
  • Dorothy Wilding


Environment portraiture

  • Yousuf Karsh
  • Environmental portraiture can reveal something about them you might not always see
  • His images very well composed- structured
  • Dennis Stock
  • Image staged/composed the images are thought  about a lot before taking them
  • You need to tell a story with the image
  • How do you represent the subject and their story in it best way?
  • Robert Frank- Amazing photo story- took 4 years to create- shows the segregation between black and whites in america+the overall life in america (the american dream)
  • Diane Arbus- Drawn to the fringe of society- the unusual people- the strange
  • Mary Ellen-Mark- editorial-street documentary- shows the pro and cons of Vietnam war
  • Took pictures of people who took drugs and mental health- the unusual people- wanted to show them and not just have them locked away- composed themes
  • Showing the contrast that not all is well in america
  • Anton Corbijn- Album cover- music photography- “the blurriness and the grain that I use for me, is close to life. I find things are very static and very well lit and all that is not how I experiment life”
  • Anthony Kurtz- fashion/editorial/street- photographer- interested in people that have a story to tell
  • Eleanor Bentall
  • AOP Photography- protects the rights of photographers- networking- look at website
  • Charlie Clift
  • Julian Calverley
  • Seamus Ryan
  • Jon Enoch


The language of advertising

  • Advertising – key for capitalism -money- free trade-open market + individuality
  • Commodity culture- commodity are good market to consumers in a commodity culture
  • The consumer society- like commodity culture
  • Advertising- is the way in which the exchange of goods is promoted
  • Everything that is made to be sold need photographing- advertising photography
  • Advertising create idealised mythical world
  • The hierarchy of needs- basic needs, safety needs, belongingness, love needs, esteem needs, self actualisation
  • A theory of human motivation
  • Advertising uses:
  • Visually staged product to appeal
  • Brand familiarity/ loyalty
  • Positive association/ connotation
  • The use of shared culture values
  • Humour
  • Shock Tactics
  • Visual references to art/history
  • Metaphor
  • Metonym
  • Stereotypes
  • Celebrity endorsement
  • Romance
  • Sex
  • Addressing the consumer- people identify with the add
  • Difference+ individuality- buying products to stand out
  • Envy+desire- by not buying their products you are inadequate
  • Narrative- emotional connection with the audience
  • Essential techniques of advertising:
  • Attract attention
  • Spark intrest
  • Explain ideas
  • Trigger Emotion
  • Create desire
  • Initiate action
  • Semiotics- communication through imagery- A sign is quite simply a thing whether, object, word or thing which has meaning to a person or group of people
  • 3 defining levels of messages in advertising
  • Linguistic messages
  • Denoted messages
  • Connoted messages
  • Commodity fetishism
  • Marxism- understanding the mechanisms of capitalism


Representation in advertising + the media

  • How are people represented in the media?
  • Representation declares itself to be represented
  • Gender representation- very different about how they are represented
  • Posing is very different for men and women
  • Women posed very provocatively
  • Men poseed to look strong powerful
  • photoshop used on women to make them slimmer
  • All advertisement , speak the language of transformation
  • Glamour is a central theme
  • Men+ women interpret advertising in different ways
  • Terry Richardson- very provocative photo for advertising
  • agism


the evolution of fashion photography

  • It is about the clothing and selling it
  • A record of culture, social change
  • David Bailey
  • Terry Richardson
  • Irving Penn
  • Helmut Newton
  • Important on how the clothing is been represented advertising i.e Vogue magazine
  • Corrine day
  • Edward Steichen Photographer dared to promote fashion photography as a fine art
  • Did not invent fashion photography but was the template for the modern fashion photography
  • Cecil Beaton
  • Horst. P. Horst
  • Richard Averdon
  • Martin Munkacsi
  • Louise Dehi- Wolfe
  • Guy Bourdin
  • Look at Rankin documentaries on photography
  • The second world war shifted the photography industry from Europe to America
  • 60s brought a new era of fashion photography
  • David Bailey’s work showed the British culture


Theorising fashion photography

  • What is theorising- it an idea which is backed up
  • Therosisng fashion- 6 key words
  • Culture
  • Class
  • Communication
  • The body+ identity
  • Sex
  • Aesthetics+ art
  • What is a culture- a group of people- way of life in countries – politics religion- everything come under the banner of culture + it is always changing
  • The Eurocentric system
  • Fashion industry originated in Pairs in the mid 19th century
  • Influenced came from royalty and aristocracy
  • Paris fashion houses producing haute couture dominated the early 20th century
  • The fashion system is inextricably linked to the development of consumer culture
  • Paris fashion comes under threat from the 1960s with the development of popular culture
  • New fashion capitals of Milan, London, New York now compete in design production+ Marketing
  • Chanel
  • Coco Chanel 1883-1971 one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century
  • Transformed female fashion creator of the little black dress
  • First perfume no.5, 1921 best selling in history
  • recognised the value of using hight profile models and celebrities


theorising fashion photography

Part 2

  • Herb Ritts
  • Bjorn Looss
  • Holly McGlynn
  • Mario Testino
  • Giampaolo Sgura
  • The body and identity
  • sex
  • Body techniques- we are all engared  with it i.e. by the way we move, what clothes, groom ourselves etc
  • Clothing is neither simple functional nor purely symbolic codes of dress are technical devices that articulate the relationship between a particular body and its lived environment. Clothed construct the habits of the self.
  • The language of posing- how do you pose your model?
  • Fashion gender- more women models
  • Femininity- females contive to create a certain look that is spectacle and that becomes the object of the normatively male gaze
  • Masculinity- constructs body techniques that communicate power and authority over the body and its habits
  • Helmut newton
  • Emma Summerton
  • Gender Fluidity designers express notion of fluid sexuality and non-binary gender in their work, these ideas are gradually homogenised from the persecuted fringes of society and transforms mass consumption by magazine editors, fashion bloggers and stylists keen to celebrate this new diversity with shoots, editorials, articles and blog posts a go – go