Exercise 1.4 – from the family archive

It is slightly bizarre being thought of as somebody's 'imaginary friend', but that is what once happened to me and is the starting point for this particular collection from the family archive. I met David Pollard when we were children; our fathers worked together and lived some 50 miles apart, but there would be family... Continue Reading →

Exercise 1.3 • Portraiture Typology

One of the jobs I had in my Rotary club (until this year when GDPR made it problematic) was to produce the annual members directory, which includes a head-and-shoulders mugshot of each member. Since 2007, I have photographed and produced most of the mugshots myself. Some members want to keep the same image year-on-year (I... Continue Reading →

Human Typologies

Project 2 (Typologies) in the OCA course notes starts with a quotation from Roland Barthes, but I have taken an opposite meaning from that which the course compilers assume. The quotation is from an essay (The Blue Guide) in Barthes' Mythologies (Barthes 1972, pp74-77) in which Barthes is criticising a set of travel guides (Hachette's... Continue Reading →


Until now, my working definition of 'typology' has been 'what the Bechers did'. It seems that I have reached the stage where something a bit more rigorous is needed. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (online at https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/typology) : (noun) A classification according to general type, especially in archaeology, psychology, or the social sciences. (mass noun) Study... Continue Reading →

Victorian Giants

Unfortunately I missed this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, but I bought the catalogue because it is a good fit with the first part of Identity and Place. Although subtitled 'The Birth of Art Photography', the book deals only with English portraiture (understandable, given that this was an NPG exhibition) so there is nothing... Continue Reading →

Exercise 1.1 • Historic portrait

This is probably Lewis Carroll's best known photograph (Charles Dodgson adopted the pen-name in 1856 and is better known by that name than his own, so I will continue to use it) and shows the 6-year-old Alice Liddell in a 'beggar-maid' costume, a tattered dress, barefoot, leaning against a stone wall and gazing directly into... Continue Reading →

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