Thinking About Light; Thinking About Self Portraits Again

Images from the week 26th March – 1st April

Some weeks I know that deciding to do these weekly photos is a really good discipline for me, even if no-one ever looks at them. I know that even if I can’t produce the post on time  I’ll have to take some images to be able to produce it later. No matter how busy I am I will usually force myself to take something so that I can do that. And it clarifies for me what I’ve been thinking about and where my ideas are going.

I’m going to do this week backwards.

These are from Northwick Park station on Saturday evening after visiting the hospital. God, my life is so glamorous. (In case you’re not British and you’re reading this, that’s sarcasm; Northwick Park station on a Saturday night is not where you want to be). I wanted to experiment with artificial light, and I wanted to do it with my iPhone. I’m trying to work out what it’s capable of, because despite having a ‘proper’ camera, a phone camera is light, I always have it, and it’s less conspicuous. I have to be realistic – I’ll always use it and I need to get better shots with it.

April (16 of 17)

Shadows

April (15 of 17)

The contrast between no movement….

April (14 of 17)

and movement

April (10 of 17)

This was about colour

April (11 of 17)

I took this because I loved the tree – I’m not sure the phone has done it justice really, had I used a camera I’d have zoomed in, but the phone quality is not good enough to do that.

April (9 of 17)

April (13 of 17)

Changing exposure 1

March (2 of 2)

Changing exposure 2

Earlier that evening I’d been on the SouthBank and had seen some light that I wanted to capture.

April (6 of 17)April (8 of 17)April (7 of 17)

I’d made it to a study visit this week; this is the Instagram version of my study visit image.

April (5 of 17)

I came to London by car; I usually take the train. It was raining very heavily and I was a passenger in the car on the M25 which I hate. I took some images to try to distract myself I suppose.

April (4 of 17)

The M25 motorway in the rain

During the week I was still thinking about the idea of presenting messages that I get every day as a female. Every day there is something that screams out at me. I’m quite interested in mystical ideas and I read a lot of books about mysticism, religious experience and the occult. The great majority of esoteric books are written by men, and many of them were written in less enlightened times. However, it doesn’t stop the language having an effect on me now, today. They talk about ‘men’, ‘man’ and ‘mankind’ a lot, everything is written by men, they sometimes talk about women in negative or weak terms and yes, it gets to me. At best I feel totally unrepresented, at worst like a weak, directionless idiot.

April (2 of 17)

I need a man for his strength and sense of purpose, apparently not having a sense of purpose or any strength of my own. I wish the publishers would re-examine these books and consider changes. Text from ‘The Occult’ by Colin Wilson

I was also thinking about using self portraits and the period tracker app so I played with those a bit more. I’ve been reading Auto Focus; The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography by Susan Bright. I’d found it in the library and decided it was one I’d have to buy because I found it so inspiring. I don’t want to put in every single post where I talk about this that I got the beginning of this idea from Kate Aston’s Instagram page because it gets repetitive and I’m not sure that having said it so many times already it’s now necessary, so I’ll say it for the third time here and have done with it. For me it’s not OCA work anyway, and I’m sure that anyone who reads this blog will now understand that it’s not my idea. I have seen Kate’s images, I haven’t looked at her site for her current OCA course so I don’t know if these have been part of an assignment for her or exactly what her reasoning is for them or where she’s going with it. (But her work is great and I would recommend a look). I think that because my own ideas are developing in my own way it’s probably best that I don’t look now!

Anyway, I was thinking about female stereotypes so I’ve been playing with different screen grabs from the app and different self portraits; I quite liked this one. I’ll probably do some self portraits with more of me included, at the moment it’s just my face because I use the Photo Booth app on my iMac. I’m currently clearing out a space that I can use as a studio and then hopefully I can play around with the concept a bit more. I have so many ideas that I want to try out now that lack of space and light in the Victorian house I live in is becoming a real problem.

April (1 of 17)

I’m not totally sure where I’m going with these images at the moment, but the ideas are developing

march-1-of-99.jpg

I realise that most of the work I’ve presented for assignment so far has been monochrome (again, this isn’t assignment work). I quite like the idea of being able to use these unrealistic colours (above), but I also like the  the mixture of monochrome and colour here (below).

March (3 of 99)

I find this whole thing uncomfortable as I’m usually so private. Both using self portraits and using the data from this app is a bit intimate for me really, it’s very difficult putting it here. I suppose that is why I am burying it at the end of this page where visitors will have to get through photos of Northwick Park station and the M25 before they see it!

One thought on “Thinking About Light; Thinking About Self Portraits Again

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