It has been a busy week.
First, I have made some progress on the book editing, with a final story from Sarath. Vicky has also made good progress on the design and layout.
Today, I have been working through the school project details, and although I have a good outline, I am not totally sure if it is situated right in the book narratives. I decided that I would give it a break, and come back to it in the next couple of days.
Second, spent some ‘time’ on Deleuze – but more on ‘place’ with James Tyner. That lead me to realise that I had missed these from my fledgling ethics framework – so now updated and repeated here:
- THE PHOTOGRAPH ITSELF (Technical – Composition. Think Szarkowski et al.)
- SUBJECT MATTER (Content – Symbols – Meaning)
- CULTURE (e.g. Hofstede + Confucius)
- PLACE (Significance – Cultural – Spiritual – Grave)
- TIME (Significance – Appropriateness – History)
- CHANGE INTENTION (Observe – Document – Advocate – Programmatic)
- POWER RELATIONSHIPS (Photographer/Subject – Knowledge – Politics – Media – Ownership)
- NETWORK EFFECTS (Nodal Identity – Searchability – Trustworthiness – Actionability)
- ROLES (Photographer – Editor – Media – Audience)
- THE LAW (Of course)
There is something of an ah ha in the seven typologies of place that Tyner quotes, referring to Edward Relph’s work. There is also a hierarchy in the sense of one’s relationship with place, in ascending order:
- Existential outsideness – everywhere the same except in superficial qualities (unreality, poetry?)
- Objective outsideness – viewed scientifically and dispassionately
- Incidental outsideness – place as background to something else
- Vicarious insideness – a second-hand experience of place
- Behaviourist insideness – deliberate attendance
- Empathetic insideness – understanding the real meaning of the place
- Existential insideness – significance of place without conscious reflection
That book is on its way from Amazon. The constructed use of both time and place by the Khmer Rouge in their ‘manufactured’ revolution is something that is worthy of serious consideration as I create the BRLSI installation.
Separately, in my on-going conversations about ‘time’ with Gary, I wondered whether a similar typology was evident in that arena, too?
Thirdly, ‘what I love to do’. This week has actually been a lot of fun, photographing the Frome Festival. It pushed me a couple of times – 6 minutes in the pit, and this evening, covering a classical concert where it was really hard to get close. I was also very conscious of my in-built photographic need to be sure the details are properly composed in such situations. For example, only images where the complete clarinet is visible. Yet I still want things to be happening in the image – movement, interplay between characters. I was encouraged by this feedback on social media:
‘I like this because the conductor is full of movement and rhythm which spills over to the clarinet player, so I get a real sense of music from a still photo’.
It is also interesting to compare my style with other Festival photographers this week. Without being critical – just noting the differences – there is a modern trope of bright and clarified images. Pushing the boundaries of the digital files, which does not always represent ‘reality’ (whatever that is). Just not my approach. I prefer black blacks, and natural detail. Of course I push the files – I shoot gigs underexposed, not wanting to blow the highlights, and fully conscious that I can get the shadows back. But, too bright is, for me, too bright.
It makes me remember why I love photography – and it’s not the critical theory!
Header: Mick Yates. 2019. Frome Symphony, Mozart Clarinet Concerto. David Pagett Clarinet, Mark Gateshill conducting.
RELPH, Edward. 1976. Place and Placelessness. 2008 Edition. London: Sage.