Assignment 4 further reading

Helen suggested I look at the works of Edgar Martin, in particular, the image series ‘When Light Casts No Shadow 2008‘[1].  This particular series was created at night on various airports around the world with special airside access.  The long exposures have been used to create a very abstract very lonely and series of images.  Image 122.jpg is a 3 hour exposure and appears to be a light trail, there is no indication of what created the light trail but it is very symmetrical and if the image was taken out of series I would not know what it was or how it had been created.

The other identifying point to this series is that the runways/taxiways are all of black tarmac and which allow the painted lines to stand out, as mentioned in the series description this is quite unique as most runways tend to be a grey concrete colour.  The black also adds an eeriness and soace to the images. The negative space allows the eye to focus on the positive space such as the lines and light trails, the sense of the scale of the lines also makes the vehicle and aircraft in the following images appear to be toys,   023.jpg[3] 033.jpg[4] . On reviewing the series I do feel the first image of the lady standing by the wall of the terminal building is a little out of place, although I think its a well lit and balanced image it stands apart from the abstract lines of the rest of the images.

I’m praticularly drawn to the series of ‘This is not a house 2008’[5].  I like empty vistas and dereliction, the absence of man and what he’s left behind.   Not quite like the images of Keith Arnatt [6] but of those similar to Rebecca Bathory[7] and Lady Schnapps [8]. Relating to empty new buyild houses following the subprime mortgage market collapse in 2007 that triggered the current financial crisis.  The images (but 1) show empty and sometimes vandalised new homes or rooms, housing estates and co mmercial developments that simply were not completed and stand derelict across the US.  The images lead the viewer into a snapshot of an era of depression, the empty homes ask questions as to whether they will be ever completed or occupied,  piles of rubbish, broken windows, unused building materials and furniture show some form human presence since the builders left. Image 34 [8]is a yellow and purple house with rubbish piled in front of it, there is a darkness to this image, perhaps the financial cloud itself, due to the vignette that draws the eye straight to the house and the rubbish then tells the story.  Comparing this to a similar house in image 33 [9]but with a nice sunny perspective tells a completely different story.

[1], [2], [3] & [4] ‘When Light Casts no Shadow’, 2008 Edgar Martin. – Accessed 21 January 2018

[5], [8] & [9]’This is not a house’, 2008 Edgar Martin. – Accessed 21 January 2018

[6] Keith Arnatt ‘Pictures from a rubbish tip’ 1988-89. accessed 21 January 2018

[7] Rebecca Bathory ‘Orphans of time’. accessed 21 January 2018

[8] Lady Schnapps ‘Asile des Alienes (FR)’ – accessed 21 January 2018.

Back to Assignment 4


Assignment 5 – further reflection

Part of the feedback from my Tutor for assignment 5 included the following photographers:

Sarah Lee – accessed 22/01/2018

George Giorgiou – accessed 22/01/2018

Thomas Kellner – accessed 22/01/2018

I looked at the work of Sarah Lee, the images have a nice colour pallette bright and in most cases light even through they are at night she uses the available light.  Most of the people are going about their business, sitting on the bus or just waiting around for a bus. They are in their own worlds wirther reflecting on what is going on in their heads or being taken away from the journey by a book to pass away the time.  Some of the commuters have recognised the camera and there are looks ranging from interest to discontent.   I particulartly like the image of the man behind hte condensation on the window, there is an element of intrigue here, what does he look like, who is he, do I know him.  You also felel like you wnt to reach out and draw a smiley face into the condensation so you can see him peak though.

George has sat on a bus and taken photographs of the life that passes by him on the journey, normal people going about their business.  These are images you see everyday on the bus when you look out of the window, they are image sthat you see and then quickly dismiss from your memory as they are just normal like.  I saw the image of the tyre fitting workshop, I immediately recognised this as it’s a 5 minute walk down the canal from me, it no longer exists as most of that area is being regenerated.  A moment in time which is now lost, just like our memory of the journey and the fleeting billoard advertisement of Davina McCall and the hair colouring.

I love the abstract works of Thomas Kellner.  The monuments of Big Ben (the Elizabeth Tower) and the Eiffel Tower are amazing.  csm_02_01_a72c8dcf7e.jpg (accessed 22/01/2018)


They remind me of a Transfomer robot toy or a kaleidoscope image.  The framing of each image with the film frame adds an extra layer away from the actual individual frames.  There are pages (accessed 22/01/2018) from his noteook on the Eiffel tower which give an insight into how these images have been constructed and layered to produce the final output.  Very impressive and a tick in the box for me to attempt!

Gregory Crewsden at the Photographers Galley – Study Visit 24th June 2017

Prior reading to visit

Links provided by the OCA in the study visit pre-reading; accessed 19th June 2017 accessed 19th June 2017 accessed 19th June 2017 accessed 19th June 2017

Study Visit – The Photographers Gallery 24th June 2017

Our tutor for the day Jayne Taylor.

The exhibition was over 3 floors of the gallery.  The images were printed with a border but were not mounted, they were in deep black frames and glazed with a white fillet between the glass and the print.  all images were of the same size.  The images do not have a description, only a title and a date and they are laid out on each floor so there is a linear flow to the exhibition but the images are not necessarily linked a ss subject.  IF I was to step back I would say they were like taking a negative roll of film and holding it against the light with the frames of all equal sizes.

What I connected with

Image titled ‘The Mattress 2014″

[1] accessed 11/01/2018

This image feels very much in the theme of Twin Peaks to me.  The police car in the background is parked next to another card with an open door, the main subject is a main standing over a mattress he’s not in uniform but appears to be carrying radio.  On the mattress are petals and he seems to be reflecting over the scene.  I’m drawn to this image as I feel it is very much in the theme of Twin Peaks to me, the character is/isn’t a policeman but what else is going on? dos this image want you to think he’s investigating a missing person or has something darker occurred?  The mist in the background adds that element of cloaking/disguise aswell

Image title “The shed 2013”

[2] accessed 11/01/2018

Image is of the inside of a shed and a woman standing outside in her underwear, she is barefoot and has dirty hands.  On the floor there are flowers and inside the door there are more flowers in a pile and framed pictures of flowers propped up against the wall next to the door.  I like this image as it symbolises death, it appears the young girl has buried something or someone and done so with passion with her hands.  The flowers seem to be there for a remembrance element of the buried thing.   A dark interior fo the shed leads to the mystery and your eye tracks to the main subject which is the girl and the flowers and then to the interior and the flowers (the picture he’s used in other images)

What I didn’t connect with

There are a couple of images that I was unsure as to why the subjects are naked, it didn’t serve an obvious reason as to why it added to the story.  In particular the VW bus, a naked woman in the road and a naked man in the VW camper van.

[3] accessed 11/01/2018


We spent around 1.5 hours at the exhibition.  The image quality is excellent and the focus is sharp throughout all of the images and they work together as a series.  Some of the images have a common set of props that include wall art, the outside toilet as examples.  The images are very cinematic in look and feel, this is due to the actual set up and time employed to create the set and stage the photograph and they are more like a still from a film than a photograph. I enjoyed this exhibition even though I was left with a thought that it was too overdone, the images felt too staged even though they were obviously set up.

After the exhibition, the study group popped into the Red Lion for a debrief on our opinions.  Jayne our tutor was brilliant throughout and led the discussion.


Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970’s study visit works from the Verbund Collection and curated by Gabriele Schor.

This was my first study visit on 29th October 2016, our tutor for the day was Dawn Woolley.   The morning element was at the Photographers Gallery and then after lunch we popped over to the Tate to look at an installation there.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, my first study visit and also my first time at the Photographers Gallery.

Needless to say it was a day that certainly opened my eyes to other photographic and video elements.  I’ll start off with the Feminist Avant-Garde exhibition as that’s the first part of the day.

A huge collection of images, with some physical art and video displays.

My favourites from the exhibition, the series by Helena Almeida born 1934 a Portuguese.  8 images in this series that show a female hand in various positions, through a window, through a fence.  the series  I thought was a reflection on a woman trapped inside, maybe feeling trapped in a marriage and trying to reach to the outside world and freedom.  The series is actually about the artist exploring the relationship between the human body and its surrounding space.  This series in particular is a response by Almeida and her artistic Isolation under the Portuguese dictatorship at the time. [1]

My first time experiencing the works of Cindy Sherman, the Bus Riders series from 1976.  I looked at all of the images and thought they were a great piece of social documentary work, the idea was great grab a busload of people from different walks of life and photograph them to record them.  It wasn’t until I paid closer attention to the images themselves that I discovered it was Cindy dressing up as different characters and acting the part. A beautiful set of images.

Following lunch at St Pauls we made our way over to the Tate Modern and looked at the installation of a video by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd.  The dark annexe had a large bean bag and individual headphones to watch the video on a wall of old CRT screens.  Wow, lots of loud music and what I can only describe as surreal angles of camera work, naked women and a voiceover that was quite odd and an attack on the senses.  If I had been taking some form of medication then I may have actually understood this.

After this we made use of the learning rooms and had a debrief of the day, this was extremely useful and a great way to share views and opinions.  There are elements to any exhibition that you may miss when walking around, certainly, there are images that will be considered differently by 2 people standing next to each other so having this discussion was very helpful and I learned a lot not only from there interpretation but also from other learning experiences and researching of different photographers.

[1] TPG guide from the exhibition page 1

Street Photographers

While exploring assignment 3 I looked at some famous street photographers as research.

Eugene Atget

He was a street photographer born in Paris, France 1857 and died in 1927.[1]

He specialised in street photography, using a fixed format (check this) bellows camera around the suburbs of Paris. Known for images of the architecture,  local people and the street scenes, vendors, shop windows. Due to the constraints of the bellows camera, this images often have a hard vignette and are taken with long exposures, evident in the ghosting/blurred effects of subjects moving through the frame while the plate was exposed.

Henri Cartier Bresson

Born 1908 died 2004 – started taking photographs around the time of the death of Eugene Atget.  early photographic work clearly shows the influence of Atget, such as street scenes, mannequins and shop windows. Surrealism work in early days, captured during WW2 and spent 3 years in POW camp.

Bruce Gilden

Born 16th October 1946, Brooklyn, New York.  Extreme portraiture work which I viewed at the Strange and familiar exhibition 2016 in the Barbican. Vivid and graphic detail taken with wide-angle lens that distorts the facial features so not very flattering.  It portrays individuals on the edge of society not in a good way and I feel takes advantage of their vulnerable position. These images are currently the main image carousel on his webpage. [4]

Martin Parr.[5]

Born 23rd May 1952, Epsom Surrey

‘Focus on sets rather than images’ [6]

One of the best and well-known street and social documentary photographers, I particularly like his black and white image set of abandoned Morris Minors, their sad demise is also accentuated by the life shown surrounding or even in them. [7]

Vivian Maier

She worked as a nanny and her street photography/photographs of children went unrecognised until after her death. [3]She died penniless and a virtual recluse but left behind a legacy of thousands of photographs. There was a BBC documentary a few years ago that explored her life, images and style. Although there is some information on the BBC webpage the actual documentary is no longer available[2]


[1] Ian Jeffrey  – How to Read a photograph – Thames & Hudson

[2] BBC documentary – accessed 9th January 2018

[3] Vivian Maier website of her work accessed 9th January 2018

[4] Webpage of Bruce Gilden accessed 9th January 2018

[5] Webpage of Martin Parr accessed 9th January 2018

[6] Webpage of Eric Kim accessed 9th January 2018

[7] Martin Parr abandoned Morris Minors accessed 9th January 2018

Assignment 4 response to feedback

Very pleased that Helen turned around my feedback to this assignment really quickly, the feedback is better than I expected overall so I’m pleased here.

Things to attend to and reflect on:

  • I submitted the assignment digitally.  My tutor would like to see the prints from this particularly as they are dark to ensure the shadows are captured.  In addition, Helen has asked me to consider a good quality lustre or fine are baryta.  Not to forget the borders as fingerprints on dark prints show up.  The suggestion is to speak to my lab and to then write this up.

I’ve printed all of the images onto Baryta and also on a satin paper, these have been included with assignment 5 for review. All of the images have a 2cm white border and on the reverse, all of the images are labelled with:

  • my name,
  • student number,
  • image name (number in this instance)
  • paper used.

This was also a suggestion in feedback from assignment 3.  The label has been affixed to the bottom right of the image to aid in orientation and identification.

I’ve taken on board comments from Helen regarding inspecting the actual prints and comparing the 2 types of paper used.   The Baryta paper is a little brighter in the whites and has more definition in the darker tones of black, in particular as most of these images are quite dark anyway.  I do feel however the pearl paper has certain colours (yellow) that are far brighter but also some of the highlights are just a little too bright but the paper suits the spinning propeller discs.  I reviewed the individual prints and decided to select the Baryta paper as my paper of choice for this assignment.

Helen would like to see my brainstorming of ideas in response to this brief

Image 1 Helen asked to see the original unedited image – Image is below and I’ve also uploaded with my assignment 5 images.

ASS4 Image 1 Original-1

  • Image 2 and 3 – feels that these are the least fit within the series

I can see why these don’t necessarily fit within the series, they are darker than most of the others and the subject is darker in the frame overall.

  • Image 6 Ties in with Edgar Martin – photographer to research
  • Images 8 & 9 Images have echoes of James Goggin.  Suggestion to use a smaller aperture and experiment with f11 or f16 is suggested to get more in focus
  • reflection on how to approach next section and write this up.


Write up of exercises 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 are missing.

Write-ups of exercises for part 2 & 3

The exercise write-ups are in progress and should be finally completed mid-late January.

Learning Log

Research for A4 needs to be written up in greater detail and referenced as it’s thinner than A3

Suggested reading

I think you’d enjoy looking at the work of Dan Holdsworth, and reading as much material as you can find on his approach and intentions. in-southampton/

Also the technically ambitious works of Edgar Martins… Do-I-Know-what-I-Know….pdf

The cinematic quality in some of your images and those of say James Goggin, also reminds me of the work of Julia Fullerton Batten, whose staged imagery relies upon artificial lighting in outdoor locations…


Calibration and Printing

One of the elements I picked up as an output for evaluation from assignment 3 was to look at printing at home.  I had looked at this earlier in the course and decided to print from home my assignment 2 submission.  I was not satisfied with the printed output from Assignment 2 and the feedback from my tutor pointed out the print colours were flat, I had assumed as they were submitted on a matte paper.  I chose to use Loxley (whom I send any client printing to) for Assignment 3 prints submission partially due to the large areas of black in the image.  Since then I have been experimenting with different paper types obtained from Hahnemuhle, Fotospeed, Canson and Marrutt.  Various threads on the OCA forums advise against using glossy paper for assessment submission and in the feedback from my tutor for Assignment 4 Helen advised using a good quality lustre or even a fine art baryta giclee process.

Printing workflow starts with the image itself and ensuring you have the correct white balance setting in the camera at the time of capturing the image.  There are aids on the market which can be used to assist in getting this right at the point of image creation to then assist with post-production such as ColorChecker [1] and in the same family range, the cube [2]can be used to check white balance, exposure and brightness levels.  Essentially these have known colour swatches printed onto the target and one of your test shots needs to include the colour target full screen and in the same lighting conditions, in post-production, you can then select the colour target and adjust all of the subsequent images and maintain the colour balance.    This can further be corrected in post-production and refined further if you are shooting in RAW.  Before any image manipulation is undertaken your screen needs to be calibrated and if you’re then printing the printer needs to be calibrated to the type of paper it’s printing on.

Screen Calibration

For screen calibration I use a Spyder 4 by Datacolor, this is straightforward to use and includes a piece of software to control the calibration device.  To calibrate your screen(s) you start the software and hand this device onto the screen, the software then projects a number of colour swatches on the screen and the device reads the colour value and the software then compares the known value to the actual output and creates a profile for that screen.  Your screen profile is then adjusted to match this new profile and any colours/lightness/darkness on the screen should then match the image you’re working on.  A reminder is normally set in the software settings to re-calibrate the screen at a specified interval to ensure consistency. There are numerous walk through videos on YouTube on how to calibrate a screen,  a useful walkthrough of the process here [3] by Damian Symonds and [4] here by Northlight Images.

Printer Calibration

The next step is to then calibrate your printer to match the screen.  There is an individual ICC profile for each paper/ink combination.  Generic profiles are included for each printer, in my case I use an Epson SC-P800 printer,  to be used for the manufacturer specific available papers.  For each type of aftermarket paper, generic ICC profiles can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s websites(I’ve listed below the ones I have used).  Given that each screen needs to be individually adjusted it then follows each paper/printer combination also needs to be checked as the generic profiles will only go so far.   With manufacturing tolerances and technology, you should expect them to be fairly accurate, there is very much debate and technical conversation on gamut, paper evaluation, printer specifications etc and I’ll be clear with this blog I’m not going into that detail just on how.

Producing a specific ICC print profiling can normally be obtained free of charge, you need to buy a box of your chosen paper type (A4 size) and then print onto it the test target. Test targets are supplied by the manufacturer, in the case of Marrutt instructions are emailed and you download the profiles (before and after) and a link to the Adobe Colour Printer Utility [5]which is used to print the test target [6].

The is then left to dry for a few hours to prevent smudging, once dry it can be posted to the manufacturer.  They scan this using a Spectrocolorimeter [7]and compare the recorded values against the test print expected values. I did also buy a sample pack from Fotospeed and send them all back for profiling, needless to say the response I received was not favourable and they only chose to profile a few of their most popular papers as they had better things to do with their day.

An ICC profile is created which is specific to your printer and paper type.  This profile is emailed back to you in a couple of days which you then install on your printer.   A further test print is made using an evaluation target [8] which is then sent back to the manufacturer.  The evaluation print is then checked to ensure the profile generated is as intended.  Manufacturers recommend the print profile are tested every 6 months to ensure consistency.

I have purchased papers from the following suppliers:

Hahnemuhle [9]

Fotospeed [10]

Marrutt [11]

Canson [12]

I have profiled the papers from Marrutt.  Marrutt provided detailed information on how to undertake the print profiling on their webpages[11]and initial instructions via email.  With the exception of one profile, the process has performed as expected.  The failed profile for their gloss paper had noticeably reduced red values when first installed.  I repeated the process using the test target and sent this back again to be re-profiled, the second profile was better. I did struggle with some of the smooth art papers as to which was actually the print side.

Print calibration can also be performed at home, you will need to use a device that not only calibrates your screen but also can read and then calibrate any printed pages.  Two of the most common devices are the Spyderprint [13]manufactured by Datacolor [14] where there are two separate devices and the ColorMunki Photo [15] by X-rite [16] which is combined into one device.

Referencing –

Note all links will open in external pages and any relevant content remains the copyright of the owner.

[1] Datacolor ColorCheckr – Accessed 8th December 2017

[2] Datacolor SpyderCube – Accessed 8th December 2017

[3] Screen Calibration Walkthrough – accessed 8th December 2017

[4]Northlight Images – accessed 8th December 2017

[5] Adobe Colour Printer Utility accessed 8th December 2017

[6] Test target – accessed 8th December 2017

[7] Image of a Spectrocolorimeter s3p-kit.jpg accessed 8th December 2017

[8] Evaluation target – Accessed 8th December 2017

[9] Hahnemuhle – Accessed 8th December 2017

[10] Fotospeed – Accessed 8th December 2017

[11] Marrutt Print profiling – Accessed 8th December 2017

[12] Canson – // Accessed 8th December 2017

[13] Spyder Print – Accessed 8th December 2017

[14] Datacolor – Accessed 8th December 2017

[15] ColorMunki Photo Accessed 8th December 2017

[16] X-rite – Accessed 8th December 2017