Assignment 4

We are asked to make photographs as if we were from outer space; this reminds me of a famous saying attributed to Henri Cartier-Bresson about Martin Parr that he was from “another planet!”.

The aim here is to look at the strangeness of human beings, with a fresh eye as if one has never seen them before … looking at people in a detached way, at what they are doing, possible alienation between each other.

Choose a different environment to one one knows, go undercover! One might look at different groups of people such as a tatooist, hair dresser etc


I do not feel entirely happy with this approach; in many ways, I favour an opposite more intimate approach even if one is still a bit of an alien. Various possibilities suggest themselves such as looking down on a crowd from an unseen vantage point, doing close-ups with a wide angle, photos made in the work place or while lying on the floor.

In fact, most of the photos are made while on a visit to London.




Class 2

For the second class of Developing Your Photographic Eye, we blue-tacked our work to the walls of the room and then looked at each other’s work with Claudia leading the discussion. Many of the photographs were taken on mobile phones and although interesting reflections of those who made them did not reveal true photographic quality. I like to see a photograph that has been well printed rather than gouged out of some machine like a photocopier.

In the end, I decided to show my supermarket photos although I was tempted by the car wash images as well as the making porridge photos. The supermarket photos showed a certain consistency as a group! The car wash photos were a bit repetitive while the porridge sequence missed the bowl of porridge which had been taken but not printed!

A lot of the images shown by others were quite interesting in a number of ways. There was an interesting array of rain drops forming a design on what appeared to be a car bonnet but was in fact a man hole photographed under eerie light, the lights of a car shining animal like through a metal grill, a blue sky with a touch of yellow sunrise beyond a silhouette of houses …

The initial comment on my photos was that they were enjoyable and people seemed to respond positively to them though one woman’s remark that they looked like images from an instructional manual on how to use the supermarket made me question their value. Yes, perhaps they could fit into that category yet they were also my experience of shopping there. It may not have been meant as a criticism but it did hurt a little – perhaps I might have made more imaginative images such as close-ups of food and other items yet I wanted to communicate something recognisable to others.

The brief had stressed the need to adopt a different viewpoint and I had done this by crouching so that I was not looking down on the scenes I captured.

Golden Rule

For the course with Claudia, we are given a golden rule … to always carry a camera with us!

I do like to carry a camera with me particularly when in ordinary situations when one might not think of taking photographs. However, to carry an DSLR all the time is not easy – if one is using a mobile photo then it might not be so difficult since one has one’s phone with one anyway.

Supermarket Shop

As part of the Developing Your Photographic Eye course, we were asked to make five photographs of a routine; here is one about going to the supermarket …

When presenting these images to the group, nine other photographers and the tutor, Claudia Ascott, I left out the Waitrose exterior (this brought some laughter when I showed it as a reject) and the last image of the shopping on the table at home which was not unlike the first shot of the shopping list on the table.