3 Feb: Photography & Film Research -Larry Clark, Taryn Simon & Jim Goldberg

Initially I was interested in looking at the work produced by photographers who have also worked with film.  This in turn led me to look at the following:

LARRY CLARK (b.1943)

His recent work entitled ‘Tulsa & Teenage Lust‘ was exhibited at the Foam Gallery in Amsterdam (13.06 – 12.09.14).

Larry ClarkIn my own images I have attempted to look at aspects not generally covered or which may not be easy to gain access to.  The images in Clark’s work are often shocking, but he is more concerned to depict life as it is for those young people in his images.  I was going to add his film entitled, ‘Kids‘ (1995) to the video page of this blog, but personally found it too unpleasant to include, as it is sexually very explicit so it has not been included.

TARYN SIMON (b.1975)

Her work shows almost painstaking attention to detail.  She has worked with photography, text and graphic design and also produced her film The Innocents in 2003.  This was of interest as it linked to my own work with homeless people.

Taryn-SimonThe actual film (in two parts) has been downloaded from YouTube and can be viewed via my Video Page (CLICK HERE for Part 1 and CLICK HERE for part 2).  This documentary film consists of the stories of individuals who have served time in prison, for violent crimes they did not commit.  It is powerful but understated, and was an achievement for her to gain the cooperation of the subjects that were interviewed.  However perhaps due to the circumstances, they felt that this was the only way of making their respective voices heard.

I then decided to take this a stage further by looking at other ways in which photography is used within film.  David Campany in his book, Photography and Cinema (2008, p.94) discusses the collaboration between photography and film and the use of stills.     


This is one example where a video has been produced about the book Raised by Wolves (1995) and consists solely of still images of its pages.

YouTube states that as this book is out of print and hard to locate, that this was the reason it was decided to put it on-line.

15 Jan: Looking at the Surrealists


I was first introduced to this film through a recent TV programme, where they described it as the most horrific film that was ever made.  I only watched a short portion and it was enough to shock me but led to further thoughts about it.  My investigations into the work of the Surrealist revealed that the eye was held to be of great importance to them, so this is probably why the eye is featured in the film.  I also discovered the following images but did not include them, as  they related to the eye but not to my work on the elderly.


This image by Man Ray entitled Tears 1933 shows an elaborate exaggerated, theatrical interpretation. This is very different to his earlier work on solarisation and rayographs as shown in the following image of Lee Miller produced in 1929.

Solarizedportrait2The work shows his interest in experimentation and of using the human body in differing ways, as shown in this image of  Le Violon d’Ingres 1924 where the body has been transformed into a musical instrument.

Man Ray Violin d'Ingres

14 Jan: Research into photographic genres


Whilst a portrait is usually associated with the face, it can also denote a total representations of a person.  The  photographic process to be widely used was the daguerreotype, which consists of an images portrayed on a highly polished, and sensitized silvered copper plate, which is covered by a piece of glass.

The following image of an elderly couple was made in 1839.  They are looking straight at the camera, which no emotion or contact with each other.  It is known that they would have had to maintain the pose for a long length of time.  Possibly they have dresses specially for the occasion.


The following image of a woman with her dead child was made in 1850s as a ‘memento mori’.  Despite the quality of the copy and there being no expression on her face, her body language and the expression in her eyes shows her extreme sadness. 36Post-Morten%2022Portrait,%20Woman%20holding%20baby,%20c_preview



2 Nov: Update and upload


I have just received details of the Homeless Film Festival Event to be held at the main university campus at the Old Sessions House on 5 November.  This is advertised as the first festival of its kind that is dedicated to confronting and presenting homeless issues.  The festival screens  high-end films from around the world all of which have homeless issues as a central theme or are films made by homeless creatives in a mixture of genres.

This will be an extremely interesting and valuable resource for me in view of my proposed video.  It also has highlighted the fact that a lot of practitioners are also looking at the issues I am concerned with and endeavour to document.


I have decided to upload my first trial shot to the blog at this stage as although I could still spend a great deal more time on it, e.g the sound level needs to be fine tuned etc. I need to be spending more time working towards the final end result which will be submitted for the assignment.

I have just discovered that the file size of the clip is above what the blog will allow me to insert, so I need to go back and reduce it for this example.

This is my first attempt at uploading a video from Dropbox to Vimeo and am still rather unsure if I have done everything I should.  So I will need to ensure that everything works well when it comes to the submission of the assignment.

24 – 28 Oct: Technical Research

During this week I have spent time accessing information about various functions of Adobe Premiere Pro CC, to initially enable me to improve on my first trial attempt.

These were as follows:

  • Ensuring that the camera settings are compatible for later uploading to Premiere Pro CC
  • How to start a new project from scratch
  • Adding still images and additional sound to the project, using transitions etc
  • Adjusting the audio volume – using key frames etc.
  • How to create better titles using graphical elements without the use of ‘After Effects’
  • How to export finished videos in various formats such as to a website such as Vimeo, DVD etc.

Camera Research

I also looked in more detail at using my Canon 5D MkII for making a video and the capabilities which the camera possesses.  Whilst it is not a camcorder, a professional result can be achieved if all other aspects such as composition, exposure, and settings are carefully taken into account.

I then need to think carefully when filming:

  • What do I want to convey? e.g close-up showing emotion etc.
  • Rule of 1/3rds composition
  • Looking room – subject looking at something perhaps
  • Framing which may impact on what I am trying to achieve
  • Camera angles e.g high angle, low down and at face level for differing impacts
  • Continuity between shots
  • How the camera is moved e.g hand held tracing shot
  • Using a tripod or monopod
  • Filters for special effects or to control light conditions
  • Using a Sektonic light meter

Some of these points were taken from the following video:

http://youtu.be/KwtpJ3T8eK4  – Richard Michalak discusses the fundamentals of cinematography.

http://youtu.be/ylt1hb-GRHM  : HDSLR: Filmaking for beginners, discover your inner filmmaker, is also helpful as a starting point of reference.

3 January 2014 : More research

CHRIS SHAW (b.1967)

His work is currently being shown at Tate Britain together with Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama until 6 April 2014 and displays images taken from his book Life as a Night Porter. This documents photographs taken over a 10 year period. After finding himself homeless, he began working as a night porter in a number of hotels in London, Paris and New York. There are shots of guests and staff, the tired and bored, drunks and hookers.


Chris Shaw

He talks about his work on the following YouTube video:

BEN ROBERTS (b.1979)

On 15th October 2011 protesters set up a semi-permanent camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral in central London.  Roberts documented some of the communal and private spaces and these show traces of human habitation and activity of the permanent and temporary residents. His work is recorded in his book Occupied Spaces.



Ben Roberts

This links with my current work particularly about the winter night shelter scheme. During the summer period of 2013 I also previously documented the temporary residence of some of the homeless clients, who took over a disused petrol station in Canterbury and set up home there.  Most of the images show traces of human habitation, but there is a lack of actual presence in the images.