PHVP 3409 Week 17. New Inspirations

To begin with, let me remember you what my inspiration was for this staged portraiture project. In 2013 summer I came up with a very successful and famous internet blog called Humans Of New York. Here is the link for it. Photographer Brandon photographs people, their portraits, asks something and than writes a caption next to the image. Such idea really fascinated me and I have decided to begin taking portraits in Leicester and see what is going to unfold.

It is not a surprise that Leicester is very multilingual city and I thought that it should be a very good place for taking portraits with a different kind of cultures people and to see and feel diversity within their opinions. Unfortunately, my idea didn’t work out because most of the Muslims, Indians or Asians quite frequently used to refuse or even not to understand what I wanted from them. This led me to focus more on British people and looking from the photographs this tendency is quite clear. 

Straight from the beginning I showed and still show interest in capturing slightly older individuals and it is probably because I feel that they have greater or more interesting stories.

These portraits are most recent ones and quite soon I will upload some more.

During tutorial this week, tutor Greg noticed that in couple of my photographs it is quite hard to say in which period they were being taken and this made me to think for a while.  We agreed that various modern logos on the windows and lights distracts viewers attention from a subject and it would be better to avoid adding such objects in the pictures. So now, I have decided to add slightly more attention into composition and try to capture people in timeless location.

In my previous post I did mention that I will write about some my new found inspirations and here they are: 

London based photographer Jim Rice had extremely interesting project in London years ago. According to 20thcenturylondon, between 1990 and 1993 Rice explored an extensive documentary project, recording the industrial area around Deptford Creek. Several businesses and Deptford Power Station were among buildings being demolished to make way for riverside redevelopment. Rice’s award-winning project resulted in a book, an exhibition at the Museum of London and widespread coverage.  

Unfortunately, there isn’t any photographs online, so I had to take some on phone. 

Despite the fact that I love urban, industrial landscape between those pictures I found many portraits of man who used to work there, I suppose. While looking at them I saw how well Jim composed the photographs and how high contrast perfectly reflects working conditions. 

Between many books in our library I accidentally found a book about world wide famous portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908 – 2002). He mainly worked in the studio and it is quite different from what I do now, however I really like how he made some of his subjects to look just a slightly over the lens and not straight to it. Perhaps to avoid same compositions in my images I could try to take couple shots with the same person. For example: a close up and medium shot. In opinion, when subject is looking just over the lens, pictures is even more bizarre  and interesting.

According to Peter Granser, project “Sun City” is a series about a retirement colony in the American southwest, where you are only allowed to live, if you are over 55 years of age. In this book, Peter captured the true daily life of real Americans and despite of urban landscape shots, withing his portraits he perfectly revealed subject personalities. Maybe it is because everyone knew that there is a photographer between them and inhabitants felt just relaxed about that. Leicester is not a small city, and such type of shooting wouldn’t work I guess. 

Quite by accident in Flickr I found one photographer who does similar thing as me and Brandon (author of Humans of New York ). His name is William Hoiles and he shoots on film as well. As far as I can see from the pictures, photographer only snaps the photograph and doesn’t speak much with the subjects. However, that doesn’t make pictures boring. I have decided to shoot on black and white because I can develope it by myself and it is cheaper, but looking at William’s pictures I tend to say colour may be even better for such type of photography. Pictures are definitely more vivid and has more visual information in the background because on B&W we cannot see and understand it.
Here is the link for more of his photographs on flickr.

My last inspiration for this time is going to be a book called The Forgotten Ones by Milton Rogovin. Unfortunately there isn’t many photographs online as well, so will photo copy them and talk about in my following post. Here is the link on Amazon.

In the last tutorial I did mention that my portraits becomes boring from my point of view, however after looking through so many artists I came up with a couple of new ideas. I will try to show them in the next post 🙂 

 

Fred Herzog

Another Saturday came and I am dedicating this lovely afternoon to a very interesting photographer about which I have never heard before. His name is Fred Herzog (1930 September 21). In De Montfort University library, I came up with this monograph and tried to look and get deeper with his works. This photo album with artist essay and interview can be easily bought from Amazon.

51uFz4W3+CL

Fred Herzog had a hard childhood because during his early childhood he lost his both parents, abandoned school and moved to Canada from Germany. Eventually, he established in Vancouver and straight away started taking photographs in the streets because he felt particular interest in taking photographs with people..

While spreading pages through the book, only then I realised that he is one of the first 35 mm colour photography pioneers. During the 50s, 60s serious organisations such like Magnum and many other photographers were shooting entirely on Black and White films because it seemed to be more appropriate at that era, not that distracting and much cheaper. Colour Photography during those times were related with special occasions or travel snapshots. To make prints from color slides were not only difficult to produce around 60s but also they were very expensive and often chemically unstable.

Fred Herzog wanted to intimate journalism in a city environment and felt that someone has to do it, because people in the future would only be able to see how people looked at those time in Life or Time magazines…

winner cafe portland 1959 by fred herzog

two-boys-1960

herzog5_

herzog-red-stockings-1961-time

tumblr_mg9sdtL6Ok1rf97u6o1_1280
granville and robson 1959 by fred herzogPersonally, while looking at the pictures I couldn’t believe of such great quality colour images taken with the film camera around 1960s. Most of them looks like photographed with Digital camera. Another quite interesting thing which I have noticed looking at Fred’s images is that he also tended to photograph and capture neon lights at night, shop display windows, cars, various companies signs, all the suburbs and back yards with interesting stuff.  (There are some similarities to another very famous still living street and fashion photographer William Klein works.)This year while taking photographs in the streets I became interesting in familiar subjects and, perhaps, for the next year, I will dedicate one module for Urban Landscape theme.

To sum up, Fred Herzog is very interesting and talented photographer who is still living and I reckon, that every photographer should take a look to his works. It is uncommon chance to see early 50s and 60s America in colour!

19765

90158

fred-herzog-bookstore-main

foot-of-main (1)
elysium-cleaners

Daily Leicester

Hello Everyone!!

I must apologise for such long silence from me.. During this period of time I was so busy working with my university works that I didn’t have enough time for this blog. Today is Monday the 29th and that means that in a morning I will be handing in my final project for university. Do you want to know more about this project??

For this assessment I am handing in 14 best images taken from 2012 September until 2013 end of April. This series I called Daily Leicester (currently I live in this city) which shows and represents the daily life of my neighbourhood. I tried to concentrate on interesting people and worth capturing moments which could show Leicester as a fast pace city. I don’t want to expand very much because I think that photographs should be able to speak for themselves.

In previous post I have mentioned about 5 rolls of different films about which I really haven’t forgotten. On Tuesday I have my last handing in for Uni and then I will dedicate more time for this Blog and Street Photography.

I am attaching a gallery of images which you have probably seen already for my final assessment. Please take a look and leave a comments if you like it. 🙂