Seminars

Week 2 – Photos Without Context

7

What time period, decade or year do you think this photograph was created in? What visual cues support your choice?

I think this photograph was taken in the 1960’s as the subject is holding a packet of Marlboro Lights cigarettes which were popular in that time period, and he is also sitting next to a TV which is showing “The Flintstones”: a TV show which was broadcast in that decade. The quality of the photograph also makes it look like the photo was taken in the ‘60s.

 

Where in the world was this photograph taken? Again, please detail your reasons for asserting your choice.

I believe this photo was taken in the US as the cigarette brand he is smoking was very popular over there and so was the TV show “The Flintstones”. The man is also Caucasian which makes me think he is either from a European country or North America.

 

In a short paragraph, how would you describe the key visual elements of the photograph? What is contained within the frame?

The key elements in this photo are predominantly the man leaning on the bed (as he is looking straight at the camera and is well-lit from the left-hand side of the photograph) and the TV screen (as the bright white light it is emitting is very contrasting to the warm yellow light across the subject’s face and shoulders).

 

How is/are the human subject(s) of the photograph engaging with the camera/photographer?

The subject is positioned with his body facing the camera and is looking directly down the camera lens. There is an intimate feeling to this photo due to the man’s state of dress and how he is looking almost lustfully at the camera with a cigarette hanging lazily out of his mouth.

 

What, if any directions do you think the photographer may have given to the subject(s) of the photograph?

In terms of instructions from the photographer, I think the subject was told to relax and look down the lens of the camera as if it were a lover or a partner due to the intimacy of the setting and the subject’s gaze. I don’t think the subject was given much more direction than that.

 

What do you believe the photographer wants, you, the viewer to take from the image?

I think the photographer wants the viewer to feel a connection of sorts to the subject, whether it’s through the intimate gaze, the cigarettes that the viewer may smoke themselves, or the TV show which they may watch. I think this photograph was taken as an insight into the way one person lives their life and what they do in their own home.

 

Week 9 – Exhausting a Place in Lincoln

In week 9, we were given the task of sitting in a public place and taking in our surroundings. We had to write down everything we could see, hear, smell, and feel. I sat at a table in the Minerva Building as I felt I would have a lot to write about there.

See: As I looked around, I saw students sitting at tables either working or talking with friends so there was a relaxed atmosphere. Over by the cafe, there were workers walking around collecting trays from the racks and emptying bins, with other people behind the counter serving customers. There were a few people passing through on their way to and from lectures and seminars. The staff in the canteen started closing up for the night and pulled down the shutters.

Smell: There was a strong scent of coffee coming from the cafe which combined with the smell of chips to make an interesting aroma. Midway through the task, a group of male students walked nearby to where I was sitting and traces of aftershave and deodorant followed them through the area.

Hear: Due to some students sitting with friends, there was a steady, quiet chatter in the atrium. This combined with the noise of the till in the cafe and the sound of doors creaking to create a busy-feeling atmosphere. There was also the sound of the cafe shutter closing, and a bag zipper being closed.

Feel: At the start of this task, I felt out of place in the area I was sitting as the other people were either sitting in groups or sitting alone doing work. I was sitting alone looking around at the things about me so I was doing something different to everyone else and it felt obvious. However, after a few minutes, I no longer felt awkward and out of place once I realised that either no one had noticed what I was doing or they didn’t care.

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