At first I found the Picturing the Body course to be a bit daunting, being asked to go out and photograph a stranger for our first task really threw me in at the deep end. But after going about the tasks my own way I started to really enjoy it. I could focus on self-portraits, something I hadn’t done before and I found I really did like taking them. I also photographed other people, mainly when it was a set task, but I enjoyed this as well. I could get to know people like Zach a bit more than I had before, and forge new friendships. With David I already knew him very well, but I could use our relationship to be able to get closer to him and produce personal images. I think this is what made my images come out so well, the fact that David trusted me to photograph him and that I wasn’t afraid of asking him to pose how I wanted. This is made even easier when photographing myself, as I can pose how I want. It quite hard focusing the image when taking a self-portrait, but I eventually solved the problem with a piece of paper stuck to the wall I was using as a background. It helped me to focus the camera at the right spot.
My final images are a response to everything we have done throughout the course, from the set tasks to the lectures. They are self-portraits, but can also be anybody as they do not have a face. This means anyone can look at them and change who is in the photograph they are looking at. I really like to engage the viewer in my work, not laying out the meanings clearly, I want them to look closer and create their own meanings to my work. Of course there is a meaning behind my work, that can be found on the final images post but to write it all again here would just be wasting your time, as you do not have the images to look at on this post.
I chose to print three of my final images A3 size, because this is the best size to get people to step closer to the images when they are displayed. I did not want to put them in frames, as I feel this would detract from the detail in the images, and possibly ruin the meaning of equality and identity. I like how the prints look now, plain and simple, letting the image do the talking. This may be my own opinion, as I like photography to be about the photographs not how they are mounted or displayed. I know it can add to the photograph, and I love frames, but for this set of images I am keeping them as they are, so the body can the main centre of attention.
I was inspired by many artist that we looked at in the lectures and my own research. I especially liked the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, he inspired my images because of how he captured the tones and lines in the human skin. I wanted to capture the lines in my own skin and how they can show identity, like fingerprints, but showing the body print. I like how light shines off the skin in Mapplethorpe’s images I wanted to capture this in my own images.
Overall I really enjoyed this course and the work I have created because of it. I am certainly going to carry on taking self-potraits and portraits of other people. I suddenly have found I have an interest in photographing in black and white. I shall take this interest back to using 35mm film and maybe medium format. I know the summer break will be a good time to experiment with Picturing the Body.