Camapna – Chema Madoz

Posted July 5, 2010 by lovelysqualor
Categories: still life

This image was taken by Spanish Artist, Chema Madoz, who is known for his black and white surrealist photos. I’ve chosen it because it’s representative of his work- simple objects used to make visual puns.

In this image, smooth riverstones in a small frame filled with sand, form a quintessential thought bubble – the joke seems to be that the stones exist in a ‘zen garden’, and zen of course, being about clearing your mind from thought. It’s subtle and in many ways secondary to the design, but it adds a layer of meaning to the frame.

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Repetition

Posted July 4, 2010 by lovelysqualor
Categories: architecture

I’m not sure if I have mentioned this, but finding myself in the position where I have needed to photograph buildings has given me an appreciation for architecture that I didn’t previously have. I think I have begun to see buildings the way architects intended them to be viewed, the lines, the textures and the repetition contain a kind of poetry and I understand the appeal of creating such functional art.

I’m not sure who took this image, but it really accentuates the repetition of two distinct patterns- this shot borders on abstract, but the photographer has chosen a good portion of the building to detail.

Piss Christ – Andres Serrano

Posted July 4, 2010 by lovelysqualor
Categories: still life

Andres Serrano’s controversial photograph depicts a crucifix submerged in urine has been the subject of much outrage from people who regard the work as blasphemous. It was subject to vandalism attempts when displayed at the NGV and archbishop George Pell even sought a supreme court injunction to prevent the work from being displayed in Victoria.

The image is not aesthetically challenging until the viewer becomes aware that the subject is immersed in urine- it’s very simple from a design perspective and the images impact is primarily due to its confrontational nature- I’ve included it here because I believe firmly in freedom of expression in art.

Tear Gas Canisters – Mert Cakir

Posted July 4, 2010 by lovelysqualor
Categories: Documentary

This images was taken in Istanbul, by Turkish photographer Mert Cakir. I wasn’t able to ascertain what the protest was about, but I felt this image was a poignant depiction of unrest.

In the foreground, spent tear gas canisters lie where they have fallen, while behind them, the crowd have moved on. A reasonably shallow DoF ensures that the viewer first looks at the in-focus foreground – this is important in establishing a starting point in an image with lots going on.

From a design perspective, this image has very effective rhythm. The audience’s eye is moved along the canisters and then follows the bollards into the crowd. The figures in the mid ground are moving in different directions & this recreates the discord and chaos of a violent protest. The abundance of space in the front of the frame is also effective in identifying the canisters as debris – it suggests a kind of path of destruction- almost as though the canisters are bodies.

In the distance, the crowd is submerged in a fog that *may* be tear gas (in many ways, it does not in fact matter whether it’s tear gas or something else – the viewer makes this connection automatically because of the canisters in the foreground). Significantly, Turkish flags are visible in the background, and similarly to the presence of the canisters and fog, this creates the impression that the protest is anti-Government.

The Glen

Posted July 4, 2010 by lovelysqualor
Categories: landscape

The Glen – as ridden through by Robin Hood. I was unable to locate the name of the photographer, however the images was listed on a website selling images for desktop backgrounds.

A quick look at the metadata shows that, amazingly, this shot was taken with a point-and-shoot camera! I have included it because it is in my estimation, a powerful image, both in its subject matter, but also in the composition.

The photographer has framed the valley relatively centrally between the hills, and has shot the foreground in a way that it leads right up to the viewer. The ominous sky occupies at least half of the frame, it is menacing and communicates the danger and unpredictability of this landscape. A lighter component of sky in the mid-ground provides a visual interest point & the viewer is drawn here because it is a kind of refuge from the brewing storm.

Severalls Mental Hospital – ant43

Posted July 3, 2010 by lovelysqualor
Categories: architecture, Architecture - written piece

Located on deviantArt, this image belongs to a UK photographer who uses the handle ant43.

It was taken at an abandoned psychiatric hospital and I have chosen to include it because it invokes a very strong mood in the viewer. The sense of scale and perspective created by the long corridor convey a stark minimalism that is often associated with hospitals. It conjures imagery of a cold, unwelcoming place inhabited by strong armed orderlies under the instruction of Nurse Ratchetts.

The obvious signs of decay create contrast with these images of a sterile, inhuman environment. The flaking paint and graffiti provide a texture that the viewer knows, has not always existed.

Also noteworthy is the light that the photographer has used – plentiful natural light pours through the windows, illuminating the corridor unevenly. The sense that the building is abandoned is heightened by this and the spooky atmosphere that is created sits well with the popular notion of abandoned psychiatric facilities being places that are unable to escape their pasts.

Anarchist Dance

Posted July 2, 2010 by lovelysqualor
Categories: Documentary, Documentary- written piece

This photo was taken in December 2008, in Greece, following the police shooting of fifteen year old Alexander Grigoropoulos which sparked weeks of riots in Athens.

I wasn’t able to find out who the photographer is, but I really like the image. Presumably the subject has just thrown a projectile, but he really does appear as though he is performing a jubilant dance of defiance in the face of “the man”.  A smokey haze sits across the mid-ground, and behind, an old man watches the proceedings.

I think the image is rich in symbolism- a lone protester strikes at an enemy outside of the frame. It’s important that the protester is alone; it provides a sense that he is outnumbered & the fact that his target is unseen portrays a sense that it is something difficult to define- it’s an image that captures the hostility that the young sometimes direct towards the institutions created by earlier generations.

The technique is simple- a long lens has been used to capture this image, which is evident from the compression of the space between the subject and the background and the way the background has been thrown out of focus- a reasonably fast shutter speed has frozen the protester’s dance, though the lines of his body still portray a sense of movement.

Viewing this image, it is easy to get a sense of the exhilaration the protester must feel, anonymous behind his mask in an act of defiance