A Global Image Re-Make

mickyates Coursework, Critical Research Journal, Documentary, History, Ideas, Photography, PositionsPractice, PPWeek1 Leave a Comment

I would like to offer a ‘reverse re-make’, with, I hope, good reason. Sebastião Salgado is rightly seen as one of today’s most influential photographers. As part of his Genesis project, he was in Papua New Guinea in 2006. Here is an example image, a pair of musicians. Beautiful image, which he shot in an ‘outdoor studio’ (hence the background).

In 1994, some 12 years earlier, we visited Papua, in the same Highland areas. In particular we visited the Huli Wigmen. young men who spend roughly 18 months growing their hair, to make wigs for ceremonial purposes – and that’s all they do. I took images of individuals and groups, although without a studio. In fact my current work is mostly ‘environmental’.

I have always been interested in human interaction, and the two men depicted seemed to be having an interesting time. Who said what to who, and why the look?

I don’t hold this up in any way better – that would be rather silly. But I think the approach is different enough to warrant discussion. When we document, what are we, as photographers, looking for?

Image © Sebastião Salgado (2006) used for research and teaching purposes only

There’s always an image

mickyates Candid, Critical Research Journal, Ethics, Photography, PositionsPractice, PPWeek1, Street Leave a Comment

I am at the University of Leeds today, teaching, and I took this picture at Kings Cross – shot and edited on iPhone 7Plus.

Seems to me there is always an image, waiting to be taken.

That said, I am mindful of a point I was making when lecturing today on ‘Big Data, Ethics & Privacy’. Just because something can be done, you have to consider whether it should be done. I said this in the context of data analytics of customer behaviour, where sometimes over zealous analysts come up with things affecting individuals which go beyond cool to become plain creepy.

For me, street photography is a reasonably comfortable genre. I know some very good photographers who still find street hard to do, for different reasons. And I know others who, in my opinion are overly aggressive and intrusive on people’s private space.

Two things struck me about this scene. First, the gaze, and the Leon sign. Second, Stannah and the contractor’s reception. Stories unfolding but incomplete, unfinished.

Like many things, finding the happy balance to practice ‘street’ is an interesting exercise, not just in the technical aspects of photography, but also in the ethical.

Leon, Kings Cross, London. iPhone 7Plus