Friday, 14 February 2014


I am going to ask someone to take the pictures and see the outcome and whether I should take this idea further or make changes. I am going to do this to see whether the shots work logisitcally but otherwise I think the idea is interesting as you can really only see the outcome and whether it works when all of the 9 people's images are shown together. I should have it done and developed by next Friday so that discussions can be had during my next Tutorial.


Below is a list of 27 images that I would like you to take, in numerical order. Some will be very detailed and others will give you a lot more freedom. What exactly you photograph is up to you but the guidelines are there to help you choose.

All of the images must be taken landscape and the flash should always be used.

  1. Go into the next room and photograph the first object you see
  2. Circle
  3. Take a photograph of your bedroom how it is right now
  4. Two green objects next to each other
  5. Love
  6. An obsession
  7. The contents of your bag
  8. Food
  9. Photograph something that gives you pleasure
  10. Put the camera on the floor, bottom down, and take a picture
  11. Moist
  12. The letter P
  13. Photograph something you find weird
  14. Take a picture of your front door from outside your house
  15. Something big, next to something small
  16. Nature
  17. Fun
  18. Open your fridge and take a picture
  19. Photograph the shoes you wear the most
  20. Beauty
  21. Something beginning with E and something beginning with L next to each other
  22. Life
  23. Take a picture of the sky
  24. Photograph of your favourite thing
  25. A body part
  26. Something you like, next to something you don’t like
  27. Photograph something that reflects your current mood
Thank you for all your help. 


I am thinking about 27 different images on each images that I want each person to produce and I am thinking about brainstorming different ideas of what could be asked for each image. I want a range from the very specific to the very broad. I will specify that the images should always be taken in a landscape format and that the images should not contain themselves.

  1. Beauty
  2. Photograph the shoes you wear the most 
  3. Two green objects next to each other
  4. Your bedroom
  5. Your kitchen cupboard
  6. Food
  7. Fire... or Heat or Warm? 
  8. A circle
  9. The letter P
  10. Fun
  11. Lines
  12. Go into the next room and photograph the first object you see
  13. 6 of something
  14. Put the camera on the floor and take a picture
  15. What you do the most
  16. Something beginning with E and something beginning with L next to each other
  17. Busy
  18. 2
  19. The contents of your bag
  20. Nature
  21. Something purple and something round
  22. Point the camera up and take a picture
  23. Take a picture of the next person you see
  24. Something wet or moist?
  25. Something brown
  26. Something small next to something big
  27. Love
  28. An obsession
  29. Hair
  30. Something weird
  31. Photograph your front door
  32. Life
  33. Reflection
  34. Take a picture out of the window from the highest floor you can
  35. A body part
  36. Something that gives you pleasure
I have been updating this list the past few days as things come to me, from this list I will now formulate the set of instructions that I will give to my subjects. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

LECTURE: Intro & The Photograph and the Wall: A Modern Story?

'The contexts and sites of photography are multiple - across pages, walls and screens, and the distinctions are never entirely clear-cut. For example work made first for magazines may be recycled and recontextualized by museums or in books, while many contemporary photographers and artists present their work simultaneously in different sites.

  What have the museum and gallery wall meant for the understanding and experience of photographic art?  This lecture considers some of the key photographic exhibitions of the past and introduces the challenges of contemporary exhibition practices.' 


  • Module about context!
  • Thinking about it from the point of view of the photographer and writer
  • Genre - Landscape, portrait etc. 
  • Institutions - Fashion, Art, etc. 
  • Format - wall, page, screen. 
  • These can overlap
  • Thinking about how one photograph might be used in different contexts
  • Rut Blees Luxemborg - used in exhibition, book cover, album cover

  • Brassai - in journal and magazine
    • Photos are used a number of different times, meaning could possibly change over time too
  • When you see an image next to different images in a book - how does it change? 
  • Never a clear distinction between the contexts
  • William Klein 
    • Image made for the page but we have seen it on the wall and so it has been recontextualised to fit the exhibition purpose 
    • Curated own show
    • Extracts from films, show reel 
  • Early photo exhibition - 1858
    • London photographic society
    • Doesn't look like contemporary art space, looks more like artist studio. 
    • 'Salon hang' style not the way we would usually see images like this
    • also showed stereoscopic photography (3D), man in corner, faded by exposure, probably has list of pieces of work numbered to look at while you can go around and then take home with you
  • 1861 - Not purpose built for gallery, woodcut illustration
  • 1917 - Steiglitz 
    • His gallery. He showed cubists etc. for the first time in America. Starting to look like what we would think of as a gallery today. Contemporary lights
    • As well as gallery he had magazine 'Camera Work' - had to subscribe, he thought that the magazine was as important as the exhibition. If you keep it, it lasts longer
    • Anthology called called camera work documenting all of the magazines
  • 1929 - poster for massive exhibition that was shown in Japan and Europe
    • Clusters of images, cabinets filled with publications and movie viewers
  • USSR room - thinking photographically and graphically and architecturally
    • Seemed very contemporary
  • Film and photo shown in books
  • 1946 - Edward Weston - serene calm exhibition showing small images at the MOMA after the war
  • Before the war exhibitions were much more extravagant. Thinking about how we can show photography but after war it went back to a much smaller and calmer manner
  • 1955 - 'Family of Man' Steichman exhibition. 
    • One picture should fold into the next. Didn't want you to dwell on images for too long but most of the photographers weren't happy about this. It was arranged with a route through so you didn't linger. 
    • Last two images - atomic bomb cloud and then an image of a meeting from the united nations. 
    • The last image after that was 2 children holding hands, walking into the distance. 
    • Arranged thematically
    • Childhood, death etc. 
  • Warhol 
    • Got hold of FBI pamphlet somehow. Photos of images of the most wanted men that was a privately circulated document and he blew it up and made it very public. They wanted it to be taken down but he didn't
  • Richard Avedon
    • Works mostly for page of Harpers Baazar etc but recontextualised this for an exhibition
  • Richard Hamilton perspective in the Tate soon!
    • made for all sorts of purposes - gallery, book, album cover etc. 
  • Victor Burgin
    • Floor replaced by photo simulation/print of itself for a path across the room 
    • entirely site specific
    • path was black and white but you can't tell this because all of the images are black and white
  • Georges Rouse 
    • started with sculpture but got interested in photography through having to photograph his sculptures
  • Michael Fried

EXHIBITION: The Photographers Gallery: Warhol, Lynch & Burroughs

I recently attended this exhibition and thought it was worth mentioning as again I am looking into how specific works have been shown within a gallery setting, much like I plan to do with my own work. It was a white wall gallery. Each artists work was shown on a different floor and a mixture of photography, mixed media and video were shown along with books working alongside the imagery. It was really interesting to see how the work complemented each other while still staying separate. 

TUTORIAL: 07/02/14

I had a one-on-one tutorial with my Tutor, David Campany today to discuss where I currently am in the process of working out what I am going to do with this project. It was well needed as I was feeling quite confused by all the different ideas that I could potentially do. I discussed through my current idea of the feet and how you can tell what the person is like by the shoes that they are wearing. I had also been thinking about the idea of working this in with hands and the old stories/fables based around what you can tell about a person through looking at their hands. I still wanted to work this idea in with the disposable camera as this gives of ideas based around a self portrait as I would be interested in using these images as a self portrait, without the self. When discussing this, we weren't sure whether the detail would come across through using the disposable cameras because it wouldn't work if the images were filled with flash, possibly slightly blurred because for this idea it is very detail specific.

We went on to discuss idea 1, the idea where one camera is given to one person along with a detailed list of instructions and the images that are then received, effectively become the portrait of that person. When discussing this idea it felt as though it had a lot more grounds to work on and that it could work a lot better. We discussed the idea of giving 9 cameras out to 9 different people, as I really like the idea of this number in a grid format. I would then show it in 27 different grids showing each of the images that each person has produced. To effectively allow the audience to form an opinion on each person, their space in the grid will say the same throughout and by doing this you allow them to walk through and process each of the images in a certain way while comparing the result of that particular person with the rest of the subjects. The question will be shown alongside each of the grids.

When thinking about other ways of which this could be displayed, we discussed how well that having this in a book format could work. Through having the grids on a page it allows the audience to view it in a more specific way, it is right there in front of them and they can flick between the pages much easier to make comparisons. I really like the idea of this context and this could work really well alongside the exhibition.

When thinking about other ways it could be displayed within a gallery context, there is always the possibility of showing it using a projection. Showing the question and showing the images following. This gives myself as the power in choosing how the audience view the work and so it is much more specific. I'm not sure which way I will go with exactly but I think this will become much more obvious once I have the images in front of me.

RESEARCH: Relevant links to articles on hands

Thursday, 6 February 2014

RESEARCH: Shoes as a source of first impressions

Journal of Research in Personality:
Shoes as a source of first impressions
Omri Gillath, Angela J. Bahns, Fiona Ge, Christian S. Crandall

Gillath, O., Bahns, A. J., Ge, F., Crandall, C. S., (2012) 'Shoes as a source of first impressions', Journal of Research in Personality, vol. 46, issue 4, August, pp. 423-430

'Surprisingly minimal appearance cues lead perceivers to accurately judge others' personality, status or politics. We investigated people's precision in judging characteristics of an unknown person, based solely on the shoes he or she wears most often. Participants provided photographs of their shoes, and during a separate session completed self-report measures. Coders rated the shoes on various dimensions, and these ratings were found to correlate with the owners' personal characteristics. A new group of participants accurately judged the age, gender, income, and attachment anxiety of shoe owners based solely on the pictures. Shoes can indeed be used to evaluate others, at least in some domains.'  

'People need very little information - a mere thin slice - to form a judgment. Nevertheless, the consensus and accuracy in people's judgments are quite remarkable. Using thin slices people can generate judgments of others across domains, such as personality, political views, racial biases, and sexual orientation.'

'The speed of the decision or judgment, however, can and often does come at the expense of its accuracy. Accurate person perception is an important skill for understanding the social world.  If "perceiving is for doing," then the ability to form accurate impressions based on limited cues is an adaptive social function. Knowing what someone is like based on their outward appearance can save resources and even one's life by giving him or her cues about potential harm doers.'

'Researchers have used different approaches to look into these issues. For example, researchers focusing on first impressions made while on a date, found that even after a relatively short period of conversation, people for a quick first impression and use it to decide if they would like to date a person or not. A different line of research based on the zero-acquaintance approach, showed that participants are capable of forming accurate impressions even without interacting with the target of the equation.'

'Physical appearance is thought to play a central role in the person perception process. To be able to evaluate the unique contribution of physical appearance, however, the amount of information available to the perceiver must be restricted.'

'Shoes are usually the single most expensive item in people's outfit, they have received relatively little attention in research. Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages. People tend to pay attention to the shoes the and others wear. Variation in colours, shapes, and styles convey various messages about the shoe owner (such as his/her status or intentions).'

'Although various people have suggested that shoes can reveal information about their owners, such as their sense of security or insecurity, political ideology, and more recently, friendliness, intelligence, happiness, or being outdoorsy, there are actually very little data to support these claims.' 

'One possible framework to explain why shoes might serve as an effective cue about their owners and how observers might use that information to form their impressions is Gosling and colleagues theory on identity claims and behavioral residue. Shoes have great variety of styles, brands, looks, and functions. Because of this variety, shoes can carry individual difference information, but do tey? Adopting Gosling et al's (2002) idea of an identity claim - a symbol displayed by the owners to reinforce their self image - we suggest that the answer is yes. For example, people who are extraverted may think black-and-white is dull, and tend to wear more colourful shoes as an expression of their personality. People with higher income may be more likely to wear shoes with high-end brands as a mean to exhibit their social status.' 

'Conscientious people might clean and organize their shoes more regularly; their shoes may possess a newer or tidier look than shoes of others. Can we use shoes as an example of personally and socially meaningful static cues for accurate person perception?'

'People use shoes to infer others' characteristics. Owners wear shoes that represent a public image - but that image differs substantially from what the tell us with questionnaires. Observers generally pick up on the image the shoe wearer is conveying, but in doing so they might be fooled. Yet unless a shoe owner purposefully generates a deceptive image, shoes can be a reliable source of information.'

'Do people buy and wear shoes strategically to portray an image, and can observers detect the "acquired image?"  These are fundamental questions in personality and social psychology, and they play out in many domains - shoes are merely one attractive alternative to research.'

I have really enjoyed this article and have found it really inspirational. I really like the idea of photographing shoes as there is so much more meaning behind it, I like the idea of this being again with the disposable cameras as I won't know who the owner is and too can make the assumptions, only the subjects will know that it is their own shoes. By giving the subject the camera to photograph the shoes themselves it works almost as an alternative self portrait and I really like the idea of it being an unconventional self portrait as it will be giving us an insight into the subject themselves.


I am currently thinking further into my ideas to hopefully finally come to the decision of which project to move on with. For Idea 1, the outcome would be very specific as I would be telling the subjects what to photograph with a detailed step by step list of what to do. Before making a final decision, I thought it would work well if I began to brainstorm ideas of what I could get them to photograph. With this idea, I don't think it is necessarily that important as to the exact subjects I get them to photograph, the images could potentially be of quite banal things but the interest will lie in what they do with these steps and as a viewer we will see what we can take from these images to interpret who they are and what they are about.


  • A portrait of the person you love the most
  • Point the camera down towards you feet and photograph what you are wearing on them
  • A close up of two green objects next to each other
  • The font cover of what you are reading at the moment
  • A close up of a pattern you like
  • etc. 
There is something I like about this idea, but it just feels as though there is something missing. Something that honestly, I don't feel all that interesting. I  think I will carry on looking into this idea and the other ideas. 

THINKING ABOUT IDEA 3 - A large amount of something...

I'm thinking about the possible subjects that I could get people to photograph for this idea showing a large amount of one thing. I am interested in showing something that could reveal something about the person behind the image, the person that would own that particular object. I really like the idea of the unknown, not knowing who exactly photographed it but having a sort of hint into the kind of person that could have photographed it.

I like the idea of doors, they can reveal a bit about the kind of person that lives behind that door.
Maybe something more specific could work too, an object, perhaps an object that everyone has.

Or maybe an image of peoples feet, what shoes they were wearing. I was recently reading an article about how you can learn about the kind of person someone is by the shoes that they are wearing. Shoes are often noted as a first impression and  I could potentially give the cameras our asking people to take a point of view image of the shoes that they are wearing. The images will all be from the same point of view but the subject within them will be different. I am really interested in this idea of having a small insight into the person, but giving the audience the rest to work out.

EXHIBITION: A New Objectivity: The Dusseldorf School of Photography

As soon as I heard about there being a Dusseldorf School of Photography exhibition in London, I had to go. Not only for my interest in how it was being displayed but too for my love of the work. Exhibited in Sotheby's S2, the work was shown for 'a selling exhibition'. It was a very small exhibition but set within quite a nice white wall gallery space. With a range of work from Andreas Gursky, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Candida Hofer, Axel Hutte, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth. It was shown in a very simple way with all of the focus on the images. There was no name or information shown next to the image.

EXHIBITION: The Book: Materiality and Making

'An exhibition of bookworks by four artists, designers and illustrators who traverse various content, media and contexts. The exhibition focuses on the relationship between the book as a material object and the processes of making the final outcome.'

Working on this module and thinking about context, it is really interesting to see work in the context that the artist has agreed to it being shown in, whether this is the one intended when the work was made or not. It is really interesting to see the work and although this was not a photographic exhibition it was interesting to see how they exhibited not only the final outcome but the process as well, showing the importance of this. The part that really inspired me was actually one of the pieces where the process was shown on the wall with a large range of images, inspiration, experiments etc. It was almost as though they took all of their work from their workbook out and laid it out in such a way so it was all there to see in one go. There were pencil scawlings on the wall to explain what certain parts were which I think worked really effectively. It showed a lot in one go, much like I am interested in with my project, it was almost overwhelming with the amount that was there but it worked so well. 


I tried to give myself a bit of time to decide on the exact subject of my project but in all honesty, I am still torn between a few ideas as I honestly would like to work with them all at some point. I have had a look and I currently have 7 cameras to work with but I can get more if needed. I am still picturing my work on a gallery wall as I feel this is the context this work would work the most effectively in.

Idea 1- a Detailed portrait in 27 exposures

Giving one person the whole camera to work with, with a detailed list of images to compose, in order, which can therefore act as a portrait of themselves due to their choices. I am currently imagining this shown in one long row, perhaps with their name at the beginning, a word they would describe themselves with, or something like that. I'm not really sure yet. I am also thinking about the possibility of showing the next person directly underneath, with a small gap in between. I like the idea of making the comparisons between the people and the images, although this could take away from the idea of the images being a portrait of the people.

Idea 2 - Beauty

Working from the ideas of a previous project, I am interested in what it takes to make people beautiful and the products that they use. I think that by getting people to photograph their products and showing them all in a large grid would give the effect that I am after as it would appear quite overwhelming. This links quite directly to myself, as a beauty blogger, and is also something I am really interested in. Do women need all of this?

Idea 3 - A large amount of one item

With this, I'm not really sure what the item would be yet but by giving the cameras out and asking for one thing could work really interestingly. I really like the idea of seeing a lot of one thing in one go, I just need to work out what that could be...

I'm a little undecided at the moment as to which way I will go with this, but I am sure that it will fit into a gallery context.