In class on Thursday we all spoke about where we are with our project ideas. I had alluded in a previous post that I was thinking about focusing on skin. I have developed this some more and I want to focus on looking at skin through subcultures. “Skin – Animal, Human and Synthetic” This will be explored through looking at the scenes of leather (animal), tattoos (human) and rubber (synthetic). Tying this to the overarching project theme of People and the environment will be a challenge, but going in through the door of subcultures and social commentary, should make it achievable – if I can make my photography match my vision.

I have now finished the Kathy Quick dissertation on Lewis Hine entitled “The Narrative Document: Lewis Hine and “Social Photography”.  This was referenced in an earlier post. It was a fascinating read, positing links between photography and cinematography and how she believes that Hine was influenced by cinematic techniques in regard of the composition and presentation of his work. This is all the more surprising given the relative ages of development of photography and cinema.

The paper  gave me quite a bit of food for thought in terms of composition for the pictures themselves as well as presentation of the project. One good thing is that it reinforced my initial idea of having anchor pictures for the three main strands. The latter stages of the paper focuses on some specific pictures and a photo story taken by Hine. What I got from this was the use of continuity, so and maybe obviously, the photo story had to take you on a journey. But a specific photograph, similar to the cinematic long shot was taken and used as the opening photograph to the photo story.

“The “Pittsburgh” article is not only one of the first, but I believe it is also one of the best examples of how Hine used cinematic devices to arrange his photographs. Like the filmmakers of his day, Hine‟s photographs take the viewer on a spatial and even temporal journey through this Pittsburgh neighborhood.” Quick pg.115

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I like this idea, but I am going to have to take a different approach to scene-setting first picture as I may not be able to create that same “spacious” spacial environment – I will have to contextualise using alternative compositional techniques…. but this is something I will want to bear in mind as I take my pictures and also when it comes to presentation.

This idea of spaciality (yes I did just make up that word), is carried on in this photo story in the composition, presentation (and for me the tilting of the pictures).

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So I may reverse this idea somewhat and instead of creating space, I will fill space. This may take the form of macro shots, going in deep or just filling the frame.

And yes I will start taking some test shots and get them posted soon as….

  1. Kathy Quick – The Narrative Document: Lewis Hine and “Social Photography”

Assignment criteria 1 & 2

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