For this first university task, I was asked to take photographs in certain given areas around the centre of Coventry which would somehow link to well-known photographers through the use of their given quotes.
Firstly, let me explain what “Brand- New Topographics” means- Photographs of a Man-Altered landscape. Another description may be “photographs that find beauty in the banal”. William Jenkins Curated this term and hired a group of eight photographers to photograph what would be an exhibition of American landscape photography. Jenkins 1975 exhibition rewrote the rules of landscape photography.
When presented with this task, I first researched into the photographers and quotes given. This gave me a better understanding of the photographers and in turn made it easier to create these photographs.
Here is my response to the task:
Area 1-Ellen Terry building-Phillipe Halsman
“The immortal photographers will be straightforward photographers, those who do not rely on tricks or special techniques.”
Firstly, Halsman’s photography is generally in black and white, hence why i’ve put a high contrast filter on my photograph. I made this photograph to go with Halsman’s quote because he is primarily a portrait photographer, and I believe this to be a simple, straightforward photograph as he states.
Area 2- The Hub- Robert Capa
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
I took this photograph quickly and as close as I could get whilst the officers weren’t looking. I wouldn’t have gotten close enough if the officers were facing towards the camera because they didn’t want to be photographed. This way their identity is also hidden.
Area 3- Around car park- Duane Michaels
“Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’ And then do it.” I saw these trees, and literally thought of this quote. I photographed the trees at this angle as I like the frame they make to the image, and with a close depth of field because I knew it would look interesting.
Area 4- Student Center- Paul Caponingro
“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”
Area 5- Jaguar- Edward Weston
“I would say to any artist: ‘Don’t be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.'”
Area 6- Herbert Art Gallery
Area 7- Alma Street- Nan Goldin
“The complete disregard for the cameras presence indicates its complete saturation in their lives. The subject neither notices nor seems to care that someone has been invited into their private moment.”
Area 8-Swimming baths- Martin Parr
“I go straight in very close to people and i do that because its the only way you can get the picture. You go right up to them. Even now, i don’t find it easy. I don’t announce it. I pretend to be focusing elsewhere. If you take someones photograph it is very difficult not to look at them just after. But its the one thing that gives the game away. I don’t try and hide what I’m doing- that would be folly.”
Area 9- Sports Center- Helmut Lang
“Juergen has a very strong individual voice,” Lang says, “which is rather a rare accomplishment these days. I love his ability to say out loud what other people are afraid to even think.”
Area 10- Bust Station- Edward Weston
“I would say to any artist: ‘Don’t be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.'” I took this photograph to match this quote because this kind of landscape and building photography is something I would not normally do or be interested in, but as it asks in the quote ‘dare to experiment’.