Reflections on Project 1

Page 46 of the course notes quotes apparently contradictory philosophies. I am a documentary photographer, and if I take a good photograph in the process, that's a bonus. (Martin Parr) and I'm interested in good photographs, and if they document something, so much the better. (Tom Wood) and asks which approach most closely follows my... Continue Reading →


Exercise 2.2 (supplementary) – Escalators

One interesting idea that came out of Exercise 2.2 is a realisation of how people strike a pose when riding an escalator. The images below all feature escalators in the Tate Modern. Technical aspects are not particularly good, but this is a 'proof of concept' exercise and may be worth working up for Assignment 2.... 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 : (noun) A classification according to general type, especially in archaeology, psychology, or the social sciences. (mass noun) Study... Continue Reading →

Historic portrait photography

There are two obvious threads for discussion of historic portrait photography: the underlying technology and the practice of photography. It is conventional to date the history of photography from January 1839 and the rival publications of Daguerre's and Fox Talbot's commercial processes, the daguerrotype and calotype respectively. (As an aside, Geoffrey Batchen (1999) gives a... Continue Reading →


Place is more difficult to define, because there are so many meanings (my COED, 5th edition, gives 13 sets of meanings for the noun and 7 for the verb) from which we have to select those that are relevant to the present discourse. These are my selections: From COED: 'Particular part of space; part of... Continue Reading →


It is always nice to get an understanding of our basic terms before starting a new course. Identity is one that seems to have had some subtle shifts over the years. According to my COED (5th edition, 1964 vintage) the meaning is 'Absolute sameness; individuality, personality' as well as some mathematical meanings which are not... Continue Reading →

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