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 -


  1. This is a fantastic support source!


    I am a 33 year old married father of 3 boys and studying my AS photography at Swindon College!

    I have printed and clipped this article and included it as a source with a harvard reference to this site in my work!

    Keep up the good work, I am looking forward to seeing/reading more of your posts in this production!

  2. Cheers for your feedback Steve! Hope you find the rest of it useful, I've updated it again today here with a little section on using research. Have you seen the list of photographers - that's proving to be popular, so I've separated that and it's on a blog of its own here and that's the only place where it gets updated now. If you could I'd appreciate it if you could distribute it amongst the rest of your class?