PPD – 154MC

In 2010 Painter Paul Wright came to our photography class to talk about his career in art and how his style and interests have transformed through his education and professional life.

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The talk began with Paul talking about his theory on portrait painting saying that he believed anything he paints becomes a sel portrait as it is created by his hand and therefore his own representation of his subject. He then went on to talk about his early education and his transition into illustration moving to study the course at Falmouth, from this he showed us one of he early pieces of work after leaving university showing how he kept in touch with his practice and the importance of keeping in touch with your practice throughout your life ant trying to keep something going to therefore continue your work.

After talking about his illustrative work Paul went on to show and talk about his first portrait painting, he talked about the way in which he painted the portrait talking of it size being over a meter, from this he talked of how some people would say that by his style taking the size of the painting to a bigger scale he is therefore not painting a true portrait but then went on to show that it is part of his style and that he does it to explore the mark which I feel is clearly shown in the detail of his work.

the talk encapsulated Paul’s style of work and how he goes about composing his paintings it gave an insight into his career and the style he works in, as someone who has not had a deep-rooted interest in painting and paintings the talk for me gave me a style to look into and to look deeper into the style of portrait paintings and incorporating it into my photographic style.


This February i attend a Coventry Conversation with Mike Valente a well established automotive photographer who had come to talk about his photographic career and his style of photography and how he achieves his photographs,the talk also had a focus on the industry itself and how it is to maintain a job within the automotive photographic industry

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The talk opened with a sideshow showing a selection of mike’s work showing a wide variety of still shots, tracking and panning shots, some on location and some indoors such as studio work and car shows, the talk opened with mike talking about his early career and how he became an automotive photographer, although throughout the talk mike talked about the process behind taking his images I enjoyed the way in which he gave an insight into the job as well he talked about the way in which he is given work firstly taking about the briefs he is given one such example he gave was working for a magazine ant a car show he would be given a list of the makes and models of the car that the company want, he also talked of the styles that he is sometimes told to stick to and how he I given the shots that the company want, I found this interesting because it was good to hear about how it is to be a professional photographer and what the constraints are like as a photographer within working in competitive level.

Overall the talk for me was a good insight into a professional photographers world which looked into the way in which to make an image , the way in which the process of making the images comes about and the general day-to-day working life an industry photographer.

During November I was lucky to sit in on a talk given by professor David Campbell which focused on the idea of  Narrative, responsibility and power within a photograph and photography as a medium, the talk was much more about piecing together the idea of narrative and how its works. Within the talk the focus started with a focus on the fact that a story is there already and a narrative is constructed after the event, David also talked about the fact that a narrative can change when people develop their own stories of a situation after the event therefor constructing their own narrative of the event. From this David talked of how because of the construction of narrative it is used as a way for people to understand events that have happened.

David later went on to bring up context ” the circumstances that form the setting of an event, statement or idea and in terms of which it can be fully understood and processed” this links into the above helping to establish the narrative created for the event, David also talked about the narrative structure firstly looking at the traditional forms of narrative such as linear , begging/middle/end, such standard methods are common ways of constructing narrative, he then went on to talk about the way in  narrative is an account of connected events talking about time and space all being part of the setting to create the event. the topic of classic narrative came up showing the classic stages of exposition, conflict, climax and resolution which can be seen in most narrative structures as it build a simple story which can be easily understood then from this using the classic structure there are key moves made to construct a narrative such as giving a location to the event giving the story a certain pace , contextualize.

The talk in general explained the main way of constructing a narrative and then understanding the key theory behind the construction of a narrative within storytelling and photography.

Hi Alex the date is Wednesday 11th may 2011 , Your sitting in your room at University just looked back at the old letter funny thinking I wrote that it the house I’ve lived all my life which now I’m hardly there, it’s been about 8 months since you wrote the last letter and things have changed since I think.

So since the last letter when I was waiting to go to university I’m now nearly through my first year, time goes fast thing go very fast, it’s been a good year not much has gone wrong, the course has been good and I’m still enjoying it challenging at times but overall if I worked harder it will be ok.

In the last letter you wrote about how you felt that it was good to look back on the experiences you have had in life as a learning curve and I feel the same way now and I hope you do, the year for me has been challenging especially managing the work load there has been a lot of rushing in this first year and I hope I can take from the rushing and start planning my time a bit better so I can achieve the most and get the best out of myself. Yu also wrote about the fact that you felt the year upcoming would be a challenge I felt the nerves of moving away and the challenging feeling of starting somewhere new but I think now I’m nearly a year through I’ve settled in well and still feel I’m going the right way with it all.

You wrote about staying true to the dreams and aspirations you’ve have in life like one day moving to Australia and its good that I’m still looking into the options of incorporating the degree I hope to get and my want to join the military but I’m sure at the moment things will pan out fine, just recently I’ve been looking into it all again trying to get the ball rolling.

The last paragraph you wrote to me was about trying to use the year ahead to cement a direction that you wanted to go in I think that over time it will all fall into place and only recently I’ve started to look for options which can provide a way to go with the thing I enjoy. Overall the same tings apply stay true to what you want to do.

So recently I’ve done a piece on trees when doing this I looked at a short piece of poetry written by William Wordsworth, as you can see in older post i included the poem in my final piece to interlinks with the piece to I feel make it stronger after thinking about whether to include the poem it got me thinking a bit more about how including something say like a poem can completely change in this case my work or it can solidify what you are trying to communicate which is what I was going for. So after all this I’ve decided to look at the short piece of poetry and look a bit deeper into it.

There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
Which to this day stands single, in the midst
Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore:
Not loathe to furnish weapons for the Bands
Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched
To Scotland’s heaths; or those that crossed the sea
And drew their sounding bows at Azincour,
Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers.
Of vast circumference and gloom profound
This solitary Tree! -a living thing
Produced too slowly ever to decay;
Of form and aspect too magnificent
To be destroyed. But worthier still of note
Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale,
Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;
Huge trunks! -and each particular trunk a growth
Of intertwisted fibres serpentine
Up-coiling, and inveteratley convolved, –
Nor uninformed with Fantasy, and looks
That threaten the profane; -a pillared shade,
Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown hue,
By sheddings from the pining umbrage tinged
Perennially -beneath whose sable roof
Of boughs, as if for festal purpose decked
With unrejoicing berries -ghostly Shapes
May meet at noontide: Fear and trembling Hope,
Silence and Foresight, Death the Skeleton
And Time the Shadow; there to celebrate,
As in a natural temple scattered o’er
With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,
United worship; or in mute repose
To lie, and listen to the mountain flood
Murmuring from Glaramara’s inmost caves.

Above is the poem which i took an extract from to use within one of my pieces of work  which is highlighted in italics the whole poem is a very powerful piece of literature after reading it more times it becomes more and more powerful, when you read a poem or a piece of writing that can present itself powerfully to you as a viewer it is easy to see why adding words be it your own or not to  piece of art can affect its final outcome, having studied poetry early in my schooling its a interest to me because it shows the power of words and what they are capable of  in any capacity.

I recently saw a new film called Limitless at the cinema I thought id review this film because whilst watching the film it was hard not to notice the use of camera techniques throughout the film to create the desired effects, Limitless tells the story of  Eddie Mora a struggling writer who cannot find the inspiration to finish his current book, soon he finds himself bumping in to his ex brother-in-law and being offered a drug which he believes to be legal and he is told that it can allow the human brain to be used to 100 percent capacity, throughout the film Mora becomes reliant on the drug and finds him self climbing the social ladder,he appears to be secure in his position but he is found out by a man that he is working for and soon finds himself out of the desired drug, after a fight against the drug the story resumes some time later with Mora recovered and running for senator apparently of the drug.

When watching the film more than the story stood out as it is clear to see in the poster the image is based around a busy fast-moving street scene which looks as if it could be recreated by using long exposures this style is used a lot throughout the film which can be seen in the image below.

Also as pictured above I like the way in which such simple effects as mirrors are used to create an effect of giving the viewer a warped perspective as if to show the warped world that Mora sees when he is enhanced by the drug as he states he sees the world in a clearer way, I think this film shows great use of camera and photographic techniques to mimic the viewpoint of the main character.

Recently I’ve watched The Blind Side for the first time, it tells the story of a family and a woman who take in a young homeless boy in Memphis giving him a new life and taking him in as a son and a brother within their family, the film ultimately tells the story of the young boy Michael Oher’s real life story from homelessness to NFL Football star with the help of Leigh Anne Tuohy.

This film tells the story of at the time homeless teenager Michael Oher who now plays professional american football, the film details his transformation from homelessness to star with the help of the Tuohy family pictured above, the reason i chose to write about this film is because of the comparisons its draws on imagery, as you can see above the two photographs the top being taken from the film itself showing the cast as the family and the photograph below showing the real family at the time of the film, it is clear to see that the original image has been drawn upon to create a staged fake image using the cast and through out the film imagery is used from the original images which can be seen is the character style of clothing and the casting of the characters themselves.

I think as with most films its clear to see how the way in which films are set, staged and designed it is clearly influenced by photographs and other imagery in this case due to the real life story behind the film.