Exercise 5.2

Exercise 5.2

The Task


Select an image by any photographer of your choice and take a photograph in response to it.  You can respond in any way you like to the whole image or to just a part of it, but you must make explicit in your notes what it is you’re responding to.  Is it a stylistic device such as John Davies’ high viewpoint, or Chris Steele Perkins’ juxtapositions?  Is it the location, or the subject?  Is it an idea, such as the decisive moment?

 Add the original photograph together with your response to your learning log.  Which of the three types of information discussed by Barrett provides the context in this case?  Take your time over writing your response because you’ll submit the relevant part of your learning log as part of Assignment Five.

I have spent around three and half years living on the Isle of Man for two separate periods.  The Isle of Man is famous for its motor sports and in particular the TT motorcycle racing which takes place every year at the end of May/early June.  I had been to two earlier TT races but felt my photos were largely the same as every other person out on the course.  There is the added difficulty that as an amateur photographer I was unable to go into some of the spots marked for the media photographers.  The racing takes place over two weeks – a practice/qualifying week and then a race week culminating in Senior Race Day (a public holiday on the Isle of Man).

Prior to going out this year I researched both how to take motor sports photographs and I looked at motorsports photographers through a Google search.

The one that seemed to have a good variety of work both of cars and motorcycles was Jamey Price.  He appears to use two techniques – panning to give a sense of motion which results in a sharp motor vehicle but blurred background or the opposite using a fast shutter speed to freeze action or give a ‘decisive moment’.

The photo I have chosen from his work is

(https://fstoppers.com/automotive/interview-motorsports-photographer-jamey-price-8640 accessed on 4/6/2017)

This photo shows the moment the car hit the mud in rainy conditions on the race track.  I am responding to the excitement of motor racing but also the skill of capturing a ‘decisive moment’ – the viewer of this photo will be left wondering what happened next – did the car go out of control or was the driver able to bring it back under control.  There is also the difficulty of taking photos in such conditions.

The photo below was taken during the first Superbike race during TT:

I believe this image shows a ‘decisive moment’ with the bike up in the air – he has just gone over a hump in the road.

In exploring Barrett’s (accessed 24/04/2017) article and the three types of information available for this image the following conclusions can be drawn:

  • Internal context – if one clicks through to the picture information this internal context is readily available in Photoshop under file information.  It will show that the author is myself, the image number and that it was taken on 4/6/2017.
  • External context – this refers to the ‘presentational environment. It can be seen that this is a motorcycle on a road that has a number on it suggesting that it is participating in a race.  There appears to only be a small audience so one may wonder if it is a practice.  If the viewer is unaware of how the TT race works they may wonder about a bike on its own in the middle of what appears to be a rural area.
  • This leads me on to the original context which is around what I knew was physically and psychologically present when taking the image. This meant I was aware that the TT race is a timed race which means that the bikes start at 10 second intervals so that particularly on the first lap often they will come through the course singly.  I also was aware that the race takes place over 37 miles of roads on the island and passes through built up areas as well as rural areas.  In addition there are now very strict guidelines in some areas of where spectators can be or not be in order to minimise the risk of spectators being injured if there is an accident with a bike.  The small audience on that side of the road is due to that being private property and restricted to the general public.  Sadly every year motor cyclists are killed undertaking what is seen as one of the most dangerous motorcycle events in the world.  This year there were three and in fact I have an image of one competitor at this spot whom within 30 minutes of my taking the photo was fatally injured.  Thus psychologically one is always mindful of the danger ever present but also in the case of my image above the superhuman strength required to control a bike that flies in the air in order to land safely.  For me these instances are the ‘decisive moment’ of motorbike racing.  Despite this awareness there is always the psychological awareness of ‘the race’.  I have over the years followed one particular New Zealand competitor, Bruce Anstey, which gives me a particular psychological interest in how he does – 13th in this particular event from memory.  He did get a 1st in a race later in the week.  Barrett (p.116) talks about attempting ‘to place the pictured segment back into the whole for several reasons and in particular to understand the reality it came from.  In terms of my picture the original includes a wider frame which has a 50 mile an hour sign which could have added some irony to the photo as the bikes tend to average over 120 m.p.h. around the course.  My first version of cropping the photo was as below:

However, I think including the people on the wall gave the impression that it was a race and that there was audience participation.  The slightly blurred background in the one with the audience means that the bike is still clear and the main focus of the image.


 https://fstoppers.com/automotive/interview-motorsports-photographer-jamey-price-8640 accessed on 4/6/2017

www.terrybarrettosu.com/pdfs/B_PhotAndCont_97.pdf accessed 24/4/2017

Exercise 5.1


Use your camera as a measuring device.  This doesn’t refer to the distance scale on the focus ring (!).  Rather, find a subject that you have empathy with and take a sequence of shots to ‘explore the distance between you’.  Add the sequence to your learning log, indicating which is your ‘select’ – your best shot.

When you review the set to decide upon a ‘select’, don’t evaluate the shots just according to the idea you had when you took the photographs; instead evaluate it by what you discover within the frame (you’ve already done this in Exercise 1.4).  In other words, be open to the unexpected.  In conversation with the author, the photographer Alexia Clorinda expressed this idea in the following way:

Look critically at the work you did by including what you didn’t mean to do.  Include the mistake, or your unconscious, or whatever you want to call it, and analyse it not from the point of view of your intention, but because it is there.


For this exercise I used a group of teenagers from a local dance group Unity.  A local photographer, Andrew Barton, organised a workshop – some of the photos are shot in his studio and some outside in the local area.

For this exercise I have chosen photos that on looking at them generally have something unexpected in the shot rather than the more formal, completely composed, smiling young people.

I have a lot of empathy with children and young people as I work with them on a daily basis as part of my job as a social worker.  This group were great to work with because, as they relaxed, they came up with their own ideas for poses, and  you could see they were having a lot of fun.

In terms of distance – the group in the studio set ups were relatively close and it was easy to get into a dialogue and get the girls to change the pose.  They were at more of a distance in the car park but by this stage they were very relaxed and able to come up with ideas of their own.  I was restricted by only having the two lenses with me – some of our group who had a telephoto took photos at more of a distance in the car park.

I used my Canon 6D camera and mainly used a 50 mm lens in the studio and the 24-105 mm lens for the outdoor photography.  The camera was set on a tripod with a wireless trigger to utilise the studio lights.

There were two main set ups used in the studio – one with a black background and one with a white background as shown in the diagram below.


Lens EF24-105 with focal length of 58mm 1/160, f9, ISO100


In this photo I did have the wall of the studio and edge of one of the lights included – this was a difficulty with being part of a group of photographers all vying for the best spot!  However it does frame the photo on the left.  I’ve also included it because it is somewhat unexpected in that it is not completely formally posed with the two girls on the right clearly enjoying a joke together.


Lens 50 mm, 1/200, f10, ISO 100

In contrast this picture is more formally posed – however I think a bit of ‘punctum’ is added to the photo by the ginger headed girl at the top looking sideways down at the group.

Lens 50mm f.18 II, 1/200, f8, ISO100

In this photo the studio umbrellas have been used to help ‘frame’ the group.  Again the ‘mistake’ is the inclusion of the photo wall and gobo light.  This could be fixed by a square crop as below:

Lens 50 mm 1/200 f8 ISO100

Again I enjoyed the spontaneity of the two back girls in this photo however there are several mistakes – the back girl’s arm is chopped off, the lighting has made the front girl’s photo look orange and I think there is too much umbrella in the left half of the photo.

Lens 50 mm, 1/200, f8, ISO100

Lens 50mm; 1/200, f9, ISO100

This was a pose that the girls sorted out for themselves – however the left hand girl at the front struggled with it which is why she was lifting her head that point.

Lens EF 24-105, 1/25, f10, ISO 100

This was one taken outside a church across the road.  For me there is at least one mistake and one unintentional inclusion.  I think this one may have been improved by a vertical orientation which at the least included the entire door.  There is also the green moss at the side which I’m not sure detracts from the photo.  The girl in pink is also not focused well – probably due to the shutter speed being too low.  The addition of flash would also have helped – unfortunately my flash decided to die at this point and it was not a battery problem – I’ve had to buy a new flash since then.


Lens 24-105, 1/50/ ISO 200, f22

This photo includes some ‘framing’ – the blue metal railings and edge of the wall to the left and the top of the tower and wall to the right.  A slow shutter speed on Tv was used in order to give the sense of motion – I could equally have chosen to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action.  I feel the incorporation of the speed bump and down ramp to the right gives some context that this is taken in a car park.  For me this is my ‘select’ as it does have some framing that gives context to the photo but also has some action along with the clock tower giving a bit of ‘ punctum’.

Lens 24-105, 1/160, f4, ISO 200

This last photo was also taken in the car park and is framed by the walls each side.  I think if you didn’t know this was a planned shoot it gives the idea of a group of teenagers hanging around and creating their own fun – in fact you often see groups of young people in this car park.

I really enjoyed working with this group of young people – they were willing to try anything and were pleased to have the attention of our group.  I do have a lot more images from the day that look much more formally posed but I felt these examples both highlight learning from the day (i.e. from the ‘mistakes’) but often seemed to have a more punctum due to a less formal pose.


Overall Comments
You chose a very good subject; it is all about the light!

Feedback on assignment
However the distorted taxi image is the one that probably least meets your idea so probably not a good idea to have it first in the series which probably needs to be your strongest image relating to your theme or one of them.

I think that might be image #3, even though it lacks the ghostly figures.
It has a particularly uncanny feeling and of course there is a ghost of a human in the window which could perhaps be made a little more of, like this…

Image #2 has got the elements and the tilt adds a dynamism to it, like jumping out of the way of the speeding car light trails but all the action is tight to the bottom of the of the frame, one wants to pull the camera down to see what’s happening below the bottom of the frame.

See Barthes ideas about studium and punctum.  The studium is what we expect to see, it’s what we don’t expect which engages our interest above being visually entertained.
With #4 your comments about the road works suggest a rather pictorialist approach, in
fact we should be looking for elements which disturb our expectations to make
interesting narratives in our images, such as you have in #3.

Going back to the previous assignment it’s the decisive moment which is the punctum
in that case and this assignment would have been a good opportunity to include your
learning from that assignment, which you were so successful with, into this

#5 is beautifully executed but it’s all stadium with no punctum; a fine pictorial representation of the church but lacking in the ghostly narrative.

#6 As you say doesn’t work in a square and is slightly tilted.  This crop is better and makes more of the figure…

#7 is potentially effective with a ‘huddle of ghosts’ but needs some post production work to make the most of it…

As with #8 too; in general the prints seem to be darker than the images on your blog.

#9 certainly makes for an interesting image, putting it in a category above most light
trail shots as we contemplate what the statue makes of the colourful miasma in front of
Overall I would say that it was an excellent idea which was realised more successfully in
some images than in others but more work in post production could improve the
outcome noticeably.

The coursework is fine as always.

As is the reserach

Learning Log

Great you got the image click through going!
What would have been good to have more of in the log is your reflections on how you are progressing conceptually as a photographer. How have your ideas about photography changed as you have progressed through the course and how do you feel your progress has been expressed through your work.

Suggested reading/viewing
Carry on with your approach.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment
This is the assignment which sums up your development through the whole course
and it will be the final impression you leave with the assessors so take some time over
immediately comes to mind.
Typically in assessment one might look at the first and last assignment first to see the
progress in conceptual thinking, technique and approach so a well thought through
and executed last assignment can affect the outcome more than all the other
assignments so be sure to do something that really engages you and if your initial efforts aren’t panning out the way you’d hoped then stop and go in a different direction rather than ploughing on. You can run any ideas past me first if you like.

Tutor name Clive White
Date 15/5/17
Next assignment due 15/7/17

Reflections on Feedback

Unfortunately when you copy and paste from Clive’s feedback it does not paste his images – I will include a copy of all feedback provided in the hard copy for assessment.

I felt Clive’s feedback was all very valid for this assignment.  It was one due to work commitments I had struggled to find time to do very well or to have the head space to really reflect on what I was doing which is probably why I lost sight of the ‘punctum’ concept.  I hope to re-do a couple of the photos on one of my Scottish trips prior to needing to submit the work for assessment.

I hope to re-print photos for assessment – I have difficulty in that I do not own a printer and there is the difficulty of getting correct calibration.

I will spend time think and reflecting on my progress through the course and make some notes in the appropriate section on this blog.

Assignment 4 – Languages of Light



Revisit one of the exercises on daylight, artificial light or studio light from Part Four (4.2) and prepare it for formal assignment submission:

  • Create a set of between 6 and 10 finished images. For the images to work naturally as a series there should be a linking theme, for instance a subject, or a particular period of time.
  • Include annotated contact sheets of all the photographs that you’ve shot for the exercise (see notes on the contact sheet in Part Three).
  • Assignment notes are an important part of every assignment. Begin your notes with an introduction outlining why you selected this particular exercise for the assignment, followed by a description of your ‘process’ (the series of steps you took to make the photographs).  Reference at least one of the photographers mentioned in Part Four of your assignment notes, showing how their approach to light might link in to your own work.  Conclude your notes with a personal reflection on how you’ve developed the exercise in order to meet the descriptors of the Creativity criteria.  Write 500-1000 words.

Include a link (or scanned pages to Exercise 4.5 in your learning log for your tutor’s comments.



For this assignment I decided to expand on Exercise 4.3.  I had taken photos in both London and Edinburgh for this exercise just prior to Christmas.  I was not going to be visiting London again so decided to expand on the Edinburgh set of photos.   I explored all the photographers outlined in the course book who had undertaken night photography – I particularly liked Rut Blees Luxemburg’s work – see Notes section of the blog (https://joysphotographyblog.wordpress.com/category/research-reflection/notes/).  I liked the way she was able to ‘think outside the box’ and take unusual photos of things such as carparks.

I was also influenced by Brassai’s Paris by Night images which tend to be more traditional but show the people of the city as well as the cityscapes.

I have always loved the city at night and Edinburgh is particularly beautiful with all the old buildings and cobbled streets.   I was at home in Fife over the Easter break and decided to spend the evenings in Edinburgh using artificial light.


 The majority of the photos were taken on the Royal Mile with a few on nearby surrounding streets.  I travelled into Edinburgh on two consecutive evenings on the Easter weekend.  The difficulty with night photography at this time of year is that the sun didn’t set until 8.30 so it was around 11 p.m. before I finished on both evenings – I was somewhat restricted by train times in order to return to Fife.

I would have liked to be more creative in terms of finding out of the way spots or to have had time to look for the unusual but time was against this so my images were perhaps more in tune with Brassai’s work on the whole.  Edinburgh has a reputation for ghost tours so where I took images of the older buildings I tried to include shadowy figures.

On the first evening I took the images using an ISO setting of 800 but while this made the photos sharp it was difficult to get much creativity in terms of either light trails or ghostly figures.  I have only included one photo from this first shoot which was something quite different – at the top end of the Royal Mile near the castle there is a Camera Obscura building with three mirrors outside which gives for some interesting shots – I have included one of a taxi driving outside on the cobbled street by the mirror which distorts the road and car.

The rest of the images are taken the following evening where I used my camera on a tripod – ISO was initially set at 100 and by the end of the evening I had raised it to 200 due to the darkening sky.  I could have used the bulb setting to keep it on 100 but being mindful of the limited time did not want to take exposures that were over 30 seconds.

I feel that this next image is perhaps the weakest of the set.  It was taken during the ‘blue hour’ straight after sunset – the long exposure does give movement in the clouds and with the traffic trails but unfortunately I didn’t straighten the verticals in photoshop before printing so everything seems to lean inwards.  I feel there is too much in the bottom of the photo with a lot of blue empty space through the middle and above the buildings on the left.

There are not many modern buildings in this part of Edinburgh but I liked the way the steps lit up the area in the foreground of this building and with the lamp giving a ‘starburst’ effect.

The Raddison Blu hotel in Edinburgh has a changing light colour display – I was able to capture it in blue to go along with the hotel name.  Unfortunately there were road works outside so the barriers do spoil the image.

As I went further up the road it became darker and the rest of the photos have a black sky.  St Giles Cathedral was the next on my list.  It took some patience to get this selected photo due to an annoying car that first of all was parked just in front of the monument with its lights on and then drove round it and parked just outside on the road – it did eventually drive off!  By this time I did an internet search on how to straighten the verticals in Photoshop – (duplicate layer, transform, perspective and then drag the handles until it is straight) so was pleased with the final result.  Some sharpening was also added.

The next three photos show the particular ghostly effect I had hoped to achieve with old buildings and ghostly figures.  These were created using a long exposure but not too long to completely obliterate the people.  It would have been even better if I could had some people dressed up in either ghostly clothes or old fashioned clothes but couldn’t quite plan for this.

The photo of the castle unfortunately has a lot of foreground space due to trying to get the whole castle in – it does look better as a panoramic picture with that cropped out but in the interests of keeping the photos in the same format left the foreground in.

The next image is taken looking down one of the many little cobbled staircases that abound in this area and has a group of ghostly figures coming towards me.

This next photo is looking back down the road from the castle.  The different lights on the buildings made it somewhat difficult to capture and there are some slightly blown highlights on the right with it being a little dark in the background.  Again there are some ghostly figures walking up the road.  Sadly there was a modern litter bin that took away from the ambience of the photo.

And last but not least I decided to attempt some traffic trails – the idea in this photo was to try and frame the statue (I think it is of Robbie Burns) with the trails – this has been somewhat successful although I think the thicker white trail at the top (from a passing tram) is perhaps too thick for the photo.

Assessment Criteria

I think I demonstrated my knowledge of the technical and visual skills required for this assignment.  I knew that in order to capture images after dark you either need to raise the ISO setting on the camera or use longer shutter speeds.  A tripod is essential for avoiding camera shake with longer exposures.  I wanted the images to be sharp so also used a narrow aperture.  I think I have been able to be critical of my final images and to point out the ones where composition was not as good.  I have included these weaker images to show that I can reflect and know what has not worked as well as what works.

This assignment was around being creative – this is something I always find harder than the technical side of photography.  I have tried in this assignment to be creative with my use of longer exposures  in order to create in some of the images an effect that goes in with the nature of old Edinburgh.  I also took some photos of new buildings to show the contrast.  Again I used long exposures to capture traffic trails and used these to frame.

I researched the suggested photographers in order to gain and understanding of how they had used artificial light in their images.  I have communicated their ideas in my Notes pages and took some of their ideas but made them my own in the context of old Edinburgh.

In terms of my written work I believe this is clear and easy to understand and follows a logical order.

The link to Exercise 4.5 is as follows:  https://joysphotographyblog.wordpress.com/category/coursework/part-4/ and is the last exercise in that section.

The annotated contact sheets have been sent with the print version to my tutor – given the large number of pages I have not uploaded them to this blog.

Part 4 – Notes

Part 4 – Notes

  1. Sally Mann

www.americansuburbx.com/2013/01/interview-sally-mann-the-touch-of-an-angel-2010.html [accessed 12 March 2017]

In this interview Sally talks about her development as a photographer.  They discuss some of the series of photos she has put together.

For example her series At Twelve looks at young girls at puberty and the stepping stone into adulthood.  Sally explains they need to be seen as a series in order to understand her concept.  On the other hand when viewing The Immediate Family each photograph can be looked at individually to get the narrative behind the photo.  Having said this as Sally states they show the complexity of childhood issues throughout the years.  She also used two different style of photography in these two series with the subjects in the former being carefully posed whereas the latter were candid shots of her family going about every day life.

Sally also understood Barthes concept of ‘punctum’ and wanted her images to stand out or grab the attention.  She wanted people to ‘think and question’ what they saw.

Sally wonders what the ‘truth’ is in photography and feels this can be made up of many layers and that it is her responsibility to try and get to the bottom of the many layers that make up truth.

In the interview it also becomes apparent that Sally is not adverse to trying different types of photography.  From her childhood photos she moved into landscape photography.

She believed that the south of the United States has a complex and varied history given the civil war and other events so chose to make a series called Deep South.  She felt that southern people are deeply ‘romantic’.  In addition as the quote in the course book shows she felt the light was different and had a special quality particularly in the afternoon.

She felt as she travelled round the area a connection with bygone eras and that perhaps the ghosts of slaves and previous army personnel were ever present – she indicates some of these thoughts in the photos entitled Proud Flesh on the website.

This preoccupation with the past and death led to a new series ‘What remains’ and Sally works through these ideas in this series and concludes that the one thing that is everlasting is love.  Sally indicates that the death of her father had a profound impact on her.  In addition Sally herself had a life-threatening riding accident and realised how vulnerable the human race is.  She said this led to the reflection that ‘if you are aware of death you can look at it in 2 different ways: “ Either you are fearful of it and try to guard yourself from it. Or you can live more intensely in the moment.”

Sally has represented all of these themes in creative ways and using monochrome which seems to accentuate what she is trying to convey.  She also talks about trying to make the mundane beautiful – for example a photo of her husband taking off his shoes is particularly poignant for her.

She talks about the need to break social taboos and how if you are brave enough to do this it can make the image that much more powerful.  She states that you need to be patient and be prepared to spend hours perfecting your craft.

Interestingly Sally said she often takes the first photograph without having any particular concept in mind.  She will take the image because there is some visual attraction and then will consider the context.  She feels that those with artistic ability should challenge their ‘intellectual curiosity’ and if possible to make something beautiful out of the ordinary.

http://sallymann.com/selected-works/southern-landscapes [accessed 12 March 2017]

In looking at this series of images one can see what Sally was talking about in the interview – the soft, diffused light lends itself to the viewer thinking about days gone by.  The crumbling ruins and pillers of the old southern houses adds to the atmosphere.  In the photo of the tree roots one can see the ghosts of the southern slaves bending over while carrying out menial tasks or being whipped into shape by their masters.  Despite the dark history there is a beauty to this series of images due to the light that Sally has captured so well.


  1. Michael Schmidt

The course book (p. 81) points out that Schmidt actively sought out a flat midday light:

“I prefer to work with neutral diffused light, i.e. to produce an image without noticeable shadows.  The viewer must allow the objects portrayed in the photograph to take their effect upon him without being distracted by shadows or other mood effects”.

www.prixpictet.com/portfolios/consumption-shortlist/michael-schmidt/ [accessed 12 March 2017]

I found in looking at this series that some photos were easy to work out what they were but others puzzled me and I spent considerable time trying to work out what they were trying to convey.  Overall in constrast to Mann’s work I did not find this set inspiring – maybe I need mood and shadow to speak to my emotions.  It would be interesting to know if there is a gender difference in viewer’s perceptions of photos and speaking in very general terms males are often seen as having more difficulty in conveying feelings whereas females can be seen as romantics.

  1. Eugene Atget

The course book (p.82) discusses Atget’s progression from images that again were mostly taken in the midday sun to his latter work which were often taken in the early morning  ‘using light and shadow to create a mood rather than describe a place’.

This suggests a progression in what Atget was trying to convey with his images or perhaps like myself he had realised that bright blue sky does not necessarily make the best photos.  I also now prefer photos that I have taken either at the beginning or end of the day for creating more atmosphere.

www.nga.gov/feature/atget/work.shtm [accessed 12 March 2017]

This article describes the technical process Atget used for his photography.  He used an old-fashioned camera on a wooden tripod and glass plates for his negatives.  Photos were taken under a black cloth.  When he pressed the shutter this allowed the light passing through to appear on the negative.  He was known for vignetting – having a dark halo round the edge of the image from using lenses with a short focal length.  When printing he would use albumen silver photographic papers.  Atget classified his work by theme some of which he worked on for long periods of time; sometimes with smaller projects within a main theme.  His architectural photography was different from those of others as he made asymmetrical images.

An example of his change to use light and shadow for mood rather than place is shown in the image on the website  Parc de Sceaux.  In this image there is a statue to the right with a grass path leading through some trees which appear to be leaning into an arch at the end with the low light shining through.

  1. Rut Blees Luxemburg

I enjoy night time photography and feel that  there is a beauty inherent in artificial light.  I did some research on the internet and looked at the following website:  http://www.mintmagazine.co.uk/art/an-interview-with-photographer-rut-blees-luxemburg/(accessed 04/04/20017.


Luxemberg states: “

A picture can have many layers of meaning, an inherent ambiguity which invites interpretation and can give visual pleasure, so I got more and more drawn to photography.”


She feels it is important within the current ‘image culture’ to be critical and to interpret and analyse images.  She states that she was drawn to the urban denseness and that the face pace means there is always something to draw the senses – rural photography takes place at a much slower pace.  She prefers night time as it is different from every day life and there is a sense of anticipation.  She looks for the ordinary or things that would normally be overlooked.  She feels that this can be marginalised or subversive.  She refers to one particular photo where it appears you are looking over an edge but never falling thus creating a sense of vertigo.  Luxemburg continues to use film rather than digital.


I also accessed the following interview:



In this interview Luxemburg talks specifically about her body of work entitled Liebeslied.


“his elusive writing on the wall which seemed always more than just graffiti or some quick communication. Even when I first saw it was indecipherable. I think that the writer tried to eradicate it. Just after they’d written it. And now it has become a stain or trace, adding to all the other stains on the surface of the city. I like the curves, they are so baroque that they suggest something much more palatial, or sacred, instead of a cold outdoor space.It looks like a very private form of communication, the opposite of most graffiti or street writing which might tend to be a disenfranchised citizen announcing something to the world in general.”


The interviewer and Luxemberg have a conversation about the comparison with street photography.  The interviewer sees the two as being opposite stating that street photography is usually taken in daylight with fast shutter speed whereas night photography requires a slow exposure.  However there is still the common theme of the street with both types ofphotography.


They then move onto look at some newer works where Luxemberg believes she has gone in deeper or closer to the ground.  She sees herself as wandering, usually alone and looking for ‘encounters’.    They discuss her increased use of the river in her images and the relationship of this moving body of water to the sky and the use of reflections.  She feels the use of nature makes her photos more intimate.


They talk in a similar way about the reflections of the glass in the city and how it reflects the city around it and that in this way the city isn’t as ‘impenetrable’ as it seems.


Luxemberg infers that she doesn’t do any post-production but carefully considers and plans before taking her images.  She would rather spend more time on an image.  She believes her use of titling opens up the images in another way.  She does however want to leave some things open to interpretation.


  1. Brassaï (americansuburbx.com/2011/08/interview-brassai-with-tony-ray-jones.html

Brassaï was born in Transylvania in 1899 but didn’t begin his photography career until 1930 and published the book Paris by Night in 1933.  He felt that studying art in the widest sense would help the student developing their photography.   He stated that ‘one doesn’t only photograph with the eyes but with all one’s intelligence’.  It  was his enjoyment of walking around Paris at night that led to his desire to photograph it.

He was influenced by Goethe and tried to include his objectivity into his photography.  He also talks of being influenced by other painters and writers including Picasso.  He wasn’t as strict about not cropping and did at times light the subject.

Brassaï believes that it is important not only to know how to compose an image but also places importance on the subject matter – the two go hand in hand.  He doesn’t want ‘disorder’ or chaos in a photo.    He very much saw photography as art.  He didn’t want to make fashionable photos but ones that were made to last.

Many were of people on the streets at night.  (http://www.americansuburbx.com/2015/07/brassais-lgbt-sex-paris-at-night.html accessed 09/04/2017).

And to finish with a quote that encapsulates Brassaï and his work:

“Fascinated by the night, which he found disconcerting, enigmatic, and suggestive, Brassaï photographed its every aspect, from police to prostitutes to the homeless to socialites, all in a dreamlike and mysterious manner”

(http://www.americansuburbx.com/2012/05/brassai-paris-by-night.html accessed 09/04/2017)


  1. http://sato-shintaro.com/work/night_lights/index.html [accessed 09/04/2017]

These photos are of Japanese city streets with all the brightly lit street signs.  Many include cycles.  I find them rather cluttered but then perhaps this is representative of a highly populated country and particularly Tokyo.


































































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