Mirrors of society and culture

In a previous posting, I stretched Szarkowski's metaphor of mirrors and windows to breaking point. A mirror held at an angle will show an image of the outside world (with a mirror-observer present but not visible) and, if used in combination, may give a kaleidoscope-enhanced view. In the same way, a photograph that is an... Continue Reading →


Mirrors of the Self

At its most literal, the use of photography as a mirror of the self would mean to shoot a self-portrait in a mirror. There are many examples available (and probably most photographers have done it). My favourite is Astrid Kircherr's 1960 image, seen at the right. The TLR camera, clothing, direct gaze, and the use... Continue Reading →

Gone Astray

Clare Strand is a conceptual artist who uses photography in her work. Some of her more recent works, such as 'The Happenstance Generator' (2015) and 'The Entropy Pendulum' (2015), explore randomness though the intermediation of mechanical devices acting on photographs. (Brown, 2017) The work that we are directed towards for present study is 'Gone Astray... Continue Reading →

Temporary studios – Penn and Avedon

Making portrait photographs in a studio gives the photographer control of background and lighting. However, a permanent studio is expensive and also requires the sitter to travel to a fixed location, which is inconvenient. I suspect that it only really works if money has changed hands: either the sitter has commissioned a studio portrait or... Continue Reading →

June Street

June Street in Ordsall, Salford was demolished as part of major redevelopment programme in 1975. In 1973, knowing the houses and the community were under threat, Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr (then students at Manchester Polytechnic) contacted residents and photographed a (slightly formal) record of the community. June Street comprised small Victorian terraced houses, representative... Continue Reading →

Charlie and Bert

The Charlie and Bert of the title are not photographers but the subjects/collaborators of two photographers, Julian Germain and Kaylynn Deveney respectively. This posting looks at two superficially similar long-term projects in which the photographer has struck a friendship with an elderly single male subject and made a collaborative document of his life through routine... Continue Reading →

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