BA students take to the studio and head onto the streets to start to develop their photographic practice. Starting points are evolving.
As part of the practical workshop programme this semester, first year BA (Hons) Photography students have been exploring the studio, developing their technical and interpersonal skills, whilst also considering the nature of the photographic studio as a creative space.
Last week, students were set a simple brief to design a style and strategy to apply to a series of portraits. They experimented with ways of provoking a reaction/response from their subjects, either disarming their sitters or putting them under duress. Working in small groups they analysed the relationship between photographer and subject, questioning the notion of either party holding power when the shutter’s pressed…
This week the groups created their series of works, under live conditions and to tight time limits, they took control of the studio space and acted out their strategies:
© Ian Sharpe, Joe Williamson, Natashca Istratoglou, Roxy Moss, Thomas Rees
© Ali Hibberd, Damian Klemczak, Emma Givens, Abi Moss-Coomes
© Jason Rose, Ashleigh Swan, Eli Stewart, Charlie Stanton, Andrew Rawlinson
© Iain Hamilton, Beth Furbey, Petra Viltova, Rebecca Keogh
© Kendall Willmore, Holly Flethcher, Claire Rogan, Beth Holiday, Anna Hodgson, Bethanie Lawson
“It’s the result of thinking—and I see this with students all the time—that using the view camera forces conscious, decision making. You can’t sort of stand somewhere, and it is exactly where you want to be. Do I want it here, or do I want it there—two inches this way or two inches that way.”
– Stephen Shore
The MA cohort were inducted into the 5×4 View Camera, they spent the sunny afternoon working in a small group getting to grips with this format and exploring it’s implications when producing imagery.
This format produces great detail and students were taken aback by the clarity of the ground glass, the flipped image causing them to slow the process down and consider composition in a way that they haven’t before.
Using large format sheet film can be a very costly exercise, so the students also explored an experimental way of producing prints using darkroom paper negatives. The developed results provided unique and unpredictable prints that mirrored the subjects they put before the camera’s gaze.