Continue working on your personal project and produce a photo essay of 15 images. Your work should demonstrate good research, a methodical approach and a wider scope than previous assignment work.
Focused on the everyday
This assignment was never meant to be so personal or so long. I was in the now famous city of Wuhan with my wife at the time of the lockdown. We came to her parents home to celebrate the new year together but after the lockdown officially started on the 23rd of February we were confined to the apartment. It will be 86 days as I write this and the following photographs are dedicated to the time I spent inside like many worrying, surviving and looking at yourself and the world.
Many photographers see the everyday as banal and uninteresting or even cliché but when faced with its harrowing simplicity everyday we are confronted by its importance. Our focus seemingly shifts to the unseen or unheralded details we pass ever minute or hour. The views from our window or photographs on ours wall take on new meaning when we are confined to a limited space. Our imagination may wonder or our faith maybe tested but either way the everyday takes on new meaning. I created this series naturally as time passed by but it is in fact only a small portion of all the photographs I took. It serves as simple reminded of how individually and collectively we only really start to comprehend how much we see everyday when the everyday becomes important.
I reviewed and referenced Graham Clarkes book The Photography (1997) in an attempt to have a foundation of practitioners who worked with the everyday. This first led me to photographers of the everyday such as Gregory Crewdon Ansel Adams and Jeff Wall. Then also discussions on the sublime, media and the cliché. While these photographers have a clear vision in mind for their work it was if I was rediscovering the banal for the first time. The pandemic has put it under the microscope.
It was important to understand the banal and why those who photgraphed it were successful but at the same time cross reference their successes with this new everyday caused by the pandemic. Crewdons work for example is based on hours of meticulously working with lighting and atmosphere until he creates an almost paranormal everyday which as a result can draw our attention. This surreal feeling was replicated instantly once the lockdowns were in place and a new norm was formed. This gives great insight and credence to his work as it took an extraordinary context for photographers to capture something similar.
To put it simply for thier work they had to created a context, a specific approach out of a necessity to highlight their personal vision and as a by product present how intriguing the everyday can be. I on the other hand out of necessity needed to photography the everyday all the while journeying to try and understand it. I’m sure I am not alone as many have rediscovered how the everyday things we take for granted are also so important. The only question is, will we remember those lessons when this is over. (research links below)
Interactive book version (click HERE or use the address below to open)
Single image version.
Like many being under lockdown is an experience I will never forget and this assignment did in fact start out as a much large collection of images. You can view a full version by clicking on the link here – Large version. Click here to explore.
References and reading done for text here as well as the book.
Clarke. G. The Photography. 1997. Oxford University Press. pp.70-71 (Banal Landscapes)
Clarke. G. The Photography. 1997. Oxford University Press. pp.172-173 (Ansel Adams)
Clarke. G. The Photography. 1997. Oxford University Press. pp.183 (William Eggleston)
Clarke. G. The Photography. 1997. Oxford University Press. pp.208-209 (Henri Cartier-Bresson)
Clarke. G. The Photography. 1997. Oxford University Press. pp.215 (Irving Penn)
Sontag. S 1965. Against interpretation. The imagination of disaster. pp224-22
Book Entries / Revisions (click to view)
Core links (click to view)
Specific research (click to view)
Beginning post production work (click to view)