Week 7

Going to the NGV was an utter blast this week, really good to get out of the classroom!

Bill Henson’s almost Mapplethorpian aesthetic grabbed me immediately. The juxtapositions of youth, the natural world and classical art all melded together into this moody, harmonic image of the human condition for me. The dark, shadowy, cool toned aesthetic was so easy to absorb and ponder as well.

William Eggleston’s portraits felt so cinematic, like every image told its own story. I think that the first thing that really gripped me was the literal clarity of each image; the resolution, colour and technical brilliance of each picture made them look like they had been taken yesterday. Turns out the film that he used was a high quality cousin of Technicolour film used in cinema, which I believe is a contributing factor to the cinematic feeling of his series. I find that Eggleston’s method of composition and using high key or low key lighting also creates this feeling of a story being told. We get a sense of context, perspective, wondering where the characters have come from, where they are going and what they are thinking. I want to be able to apply this idea to my photo essay and create a sense of a story, simple or complex, being told.

Week 6

This week we have been looking more at photo essays and storytelling practices in photography. This is something that I have been looking forward to since to me, storytelling through visual imagery is incredibly significant through human history.

Something that I have taken away from Sebastio Salgado’s documentary,¬†Salt of the Earth, was that there is some auteur theory that goes into how a photo essay is received. For instance, Salgado came from a background of commerce and economics. His photography explores, to an extent, the circle of life and the unity of the earth. He looks at how humans behave with eachother and with nature and our landscapes. He often uses a wide angle lenses to show a sense of depth within an image, and also the grand scale of the earth. Conversely, Vivian Maier was a nanny who looked at suburban and city life, at the individual characters within an urban space.

I will be sending my partner Chynnae hopefully to the office where my sister works as a social media marketing coordinator for a company that imports raw coffee beans. Part of her job is taste testing coffee beans in an intricate process called ‘cupping,’ and I hope that Chynnae finds the process visually interesting for her photo essay.