Sunday, 15 December 2013

Recommended Books for your course

(1). Photography The Whole Story (Hacking and Campany).

This book comes highly recommended because of the way that the information is laid out and concise nature of the each of the photographers and themes covered
Each of the themes or photographers are dealt with in a similar way, with a basic outline relating the photographers work/subjects/themes etc. Many of the pages include (as below in the Horst P Horst section) the "Focal Point" notes which are useful for students in that you get some sense of what could and should be analysed and considered within an image. 
Genres are covered as one of the theme elements within the book, and these come with a time-line at the bottom of the page contextualising the photography with the coinciding historical events.
Overall the book is great for basic information and giving you a feel of why the photography is seen as influential, innovative and important, all of the things that you need to be discussing within your projects in conjunction with your research.
If reading books isn't your thing and you just need to find the photographer that shoots a specific theme/subject - use my list here to find the photographer you need by searching by theme/subject.
(2). Photography Portfolio - (John Ingledew)
For the more practical elements of the course, how to do stuff and what to use and why and how it works, you should use this book - check out the reviews. To be honest it's not one that I own myself, at the moment I would recommend this one here, but I've ordered Ingledews 'Portfolio' a moment ago and once I've got it I'll update the blog, but it is highly recommended by my colleagues and the people that review it on amazon.
(3). The Photograph as Contemporary Art (Charlotte Cotton)
This book is a must for names, genres, ideas and concepts. The book is broken up into several sections which can be read in isolation. Each section deals with a type of genre and discusses the work in very concise terms giving you the basics leaving room for further and deeper research if required. The magic of this books is that it connects photographers, detailing who inspired who and leading you to new avenues and approaches. Concepts and ideas in photography as an under-pinning factor in the way that you approach your photography are fairly unique to FE and HE education, so this book gives you a really useful insight to this way of working with your photography.
(4). Langfords Basic Photography (Michael Langford).
As it says on the cover "The Guide for serious photographers". This book focuses on the actual doing, materials, techniques, processes and equipment aspects of photography. Back in the day if you were doing a level 3 course this was your bible and at the end of the 2 years you'd have absorbed most of what was in this book. For students looking to attain high grades - Merits, Distinctions, B's and A's, this is the book that will fill in for your lecturers inadequacies!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Approaches to producing images - Typology

Typology (Work in Progress)

This is one of the approaches we cover and teach you about.

Typology is an approach where you focus on 'Types' and produce a series of images in sets, often presented as a composite on one single piece of paper, e.g. an A3 print with 9, 12 or 15 images or more. Alternatively the images can be produced singularly and then displayed as a set at the end of a project.

Within your longer projects, whereby you have to explore and experiment with different approaches in producing your images, this is one of the approaches that you can evidence in your work that has excellent opportunities to link with high quality research that evidences key points in Photography history. Typology also allows you to discuss several other elements in conjunction with the images/approach. If you look at Bernd & Hiller Becher, this will allow you to explore and discuss Objectivity Vs Subjectivity maybe linking with Deadpan and other artists such as Thomas Ruff and looking at the links his work has with Photobooth images and the imposition of a set of rules that takes the subjective elements out of the image taking process.


Other artists that you should look at directly linked to Typology are James Mollison and two of my Favourites Jeffrey Milstein and Alejandro Cartagena.


Jeffrey Milstein (Planes).
 Jame Mollison (James and Other Apes)
The images here all use relatively simple approaches with the exception of the Bechers, the Bechers would have used 10x8 view cameras, film and darkroom approaches. Similarly you have to make decisions as to whether you want to keep things simple and produce the work at the experimental phase using your digital cameras, but once you've produce your work in a number of different ways you might consider shooting your work using the Typology conventions and perhaps explore producing it with another experimental approach, or use film and Darkroom/analogue techniques.
Pinhole camera (As a Typology)
Mixed Media (As a Typology)
Liquid emulsion (As a Typology)
Images & Text (As a Typology)
All of the artists mentioned here have either been featured in recent Journals or have Youtube videos where their work is discussed and explained by either the artists or someone qualified to do so.
In terms of difficulty, this is a relatively easy approach with the potential to produce visually interesting outcomes that meet a great number of your learning outcomes required to attain the higher grades. Needless to say at the end of any work that you produce around the theme of Typology you should then reflect on the work that you've produced and consider it as a possible method of producing your final body of work. Because of the potential of Typology and the fact that it can be easily mixed with a range of different approaches, this could also be the main thing your project could hinge around and explore and could easily serve as your starting point for any independently led project?
Additional photographers that work using the Typology approach can be found here -

Friday, 13 December 2013

Recommended web links

This is probably the best photography website ever...  check out the 2 tabs at the top 'Artists' and 'Browse'.

Dazed & Confused on-line presence?

Learning resource for higher order thinking skills (Generic)

This is a useful link to a blog compiled by a lecturer at a college in the UK

Sean O'Hagan at the Guardian

Massive list of Photographers searchable by theme/subject/content especially useful for students.

Monday, 9 December 2013

List of Photographers and their themes

Whoa! The list has gone!!!

No it hasn't, it's just been updated and improved just click the link below...

If you've been re-directed here via a link in your assignment click on the link above. Once you're there use

CTRL + F to find the name of the photographer you were interested in. Once you've found the photographer, there should be another link to a high quality resource for your research.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Experimental/Alternative approaches in Photography

(Work in Progress). Here's a list of suggestions of a variety of different ways you could approach your work moving it away from purely digital and straight photography approaches. On your A- Level there is a requirement to explore a range of different and experimental approaches within your work.

Mixed Media - Victor Sloane, Peter Beard,

Subjective v Objective

Pop Art  - Julian Opie, Andy Warhol

Expressionism - Ernst Haas, Alfred Stieglitz (Equivalents),





Voyeuristic - Merry Alpern, 2,

Deadpan - Tereza Vlckova Thomas Ruff, The Bechers,

Typology - Bernd & Hiller Becher, Jeffrey Millstein,


Pinhole - Barbra Ess, Gina Glover,

Tilt Shift - Slinkachu

Liquid Emulsion - somebloke

Cyanotype - Anna Atkins, Wig Sayell,

Repetition Andy Warhol,

Degrading & Damaging - Ed Burtynsky (Chittagong Polaroids), Sally Mann

35mm & Darkroom techniques -


Joiners - David Hockney

Images & Text - Peter Beard

Found images -

Comic Book - Sin City, Ah Ha (Stand by me video).

Colour - Evzen Sobek a life in Blue

For more check out the list of photographers - CTRL + F and search "experimental"