Sunday, 20 October 2013

Seminar Task Compare And Contrast Ansel Adams & Stephen Shore

The two Photographers i have to chose to compare and contrast are Ansel Adams and Stephen Shore.

When researching into the two artists i first discovered that both photographers are American, this could have had a impact and a effect on their work in regards to american culture. Further into my research i discovered that both photographers had shot images of Yosemite which is a national park in America, i feel that Stephen shore would have been influenced to produce his images of Yosemite from Ansel Adams, Stephen shore has also met Ansel Adams.

 "At dinner was Ansel Adams. During the meal I saw Ansel drink six tall glasses of straight vodka and, at some point during our long conversation after dessert, Ansel said - and I remember him saying this in an unemotional, detached way, like a photographer observing something: "I had a creative hot streak in the 1940s and since then I've been pot boiling."  - Stephen Shore 

Here is Ansel Adams and Stephen Shore's Images of Yosemite 

When Comparing both images there are very clear differences within not only the environment the images were shot but how both photographers have represented Yosemite within their images.

Ansel Adams created his image of Yosemite in 1938 and Stephen Shore's image was created in 1979.

Stephen Shore's image of yosemite is a much friendlier approach using a family within the image tells us that this sort of environment is safe for people and families unlike Ansel Adams image that looks rather dangerous and unexplored. I feel that stephen shores image is almost an advertisement for the park, the image gives off a very picturesque feel. The image also cleverly includes the beautiful hills in the background to include how scenic the environment is.

Ansel Adams uses his image to create a picture of Yosemite to be vast with no signs of the man made, everything is completely natural within the image. Both Photographers have chosen to use a elevated view so we look down into the image. 

The same year as Ansel Adams' image was taken (1938) was the year The aircraft was a twin-engined Douglas Aircraft Corporation DC-2 crashed within Yosemite Park on a mountain. 

Here is a Exhibition that Ansel Adams' Yosemite featured in

Also around 1990 a fire forced the park to close.


  • Ansel Adams' images show a much wilder and unexplored landscape 
  • Stephen Shore's images feature more of a man made environment, like the environment we live in today.
  • Stephen Shore's images also showcase more of a american theme, For example we can look at his images and identify it as american For example :
All the images on the left are Stephen Shore's 

Reasons why these images suggest themes of American Culture.

  • This image is of american diner . The american Diner is classic and is a american stereotype. Many countries have adapted the american diner theme. for example there is an american diner located in London.
  • - American Diner in London  

  • This image fits in with american themes of hunting and taxidermy. Taxidermy is not usually seen/talked about in other cultures or countries.
  • The decor also speaks a lot about the area this photo was taken speaks and points us to american culture.

  • Ansel Adams' images offer a very different viewpoint of the american environment, this being unexplored and dangerous.
  • The environments that his pictures are made do not look suitable for families like Stephen Shores images.
  • Ansel Adams' images also have a cold and dark feeling to them.
  • Highly Contrasted black and white which looks very dramatic and puts emphasis on this kind of environment. 
  • Extreme Viewpoints that emphasise the size of the environment that the image was taken.

Interview with Stephen Shore

Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California by Stephen Shore (Image)

The four Seasons In Yosemite Ansel Adams

Yosemite crash

Yosemite Fire

Monday, 7 October 2013

Tina Barney Image Analysis

Full Analysis in Sketchbook 

The importance of faces in portraits. Portraiture Task

The importance of faces in portraits

“Art historian E.H Gombrich calls attention to the importance of faces, some times hidden, to human vision, reminding us of its importance to our survival and that it is unborn and not learned. Faces Fascinate us from birth with a ‘language that is simple and direct’. The face is made up of many muscles, and is capable of hundreds of different facial expressions.”

Within my Portraits faces and facial expression will play an important role, faces and expressions have the power to express feelings and emotions through a image and one simple change in a facial expression can completely change the outcome of the image.

“We learn to read the information expressed in a human face long before we learn verbal language. The language of the face is a visual language that we learn in infancy”

This information has informed me to think closely about facial expression within my portraits and how it can have a big affect my image


Here are two images that i find demonstrate really well the power of emotion and facial expression within a portrait.

Richard Avedon
Taken from
In The American West


Richard, Z (2007) ‘Subliminals’  in: Perception and Imaging. Focal Press; Third Edition

Richard, A In The American West 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Portrait Idea

'Artists In Medway' 

My Idea
For my series of portraits i wanted to show the artist and how artists work creatively. I would like my location shots to be in a environment that the artists work for example a painters studio etc.
People i'm looking to take shots of are 
Painters, Photographers, Fashion Designers etc 


Through this project i will look at the art job sector, the way artists make money through there profession and also the struggles most artists can have while making a living doing what they love.

Influences and visual influences 

Arnold Newman 
"noted for his "environmental portraits" of artists and politicians."

Irvin Penn 'Trades'

"American photographer known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still life's."


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Environment Brief David Plowden

David Plowden 

Background information on David Plowden 
David Plowden, born October 9, 1932, is an American photographer known for his historical documentary photography of urban cities, steam trains, American farmlands, and small towns. 

While looking through the Uca library a book by David Plowden stood out to me. 'A Handful of Dust' is a collection of work he did looking at America and how it seems to be 'disappearing'. 

"The America of these photographs is a bitter-sweet reminder of things once cherished, and a life no longer possible. Deserted Main Streets and crumbling facades stare at us blindly. Abandoned houses and buildings reach back to ground." - David Plowden 

How this fits in with my Idea ?
My idea for this project brief was to look at elegant and very detailed architectural buildings that once were used but have now sadly been left to be subject to neglect and carelessness.
Within this i will also look at how small towns for example Rochester are suffering under economical stress apposed to main cities for example London.

Why is David Plowden Relevant to my idea/ Theme 

Plowdens images were taken in a time where much like our economy economic growth and job growth was slow, economic growth and job growth both fell in 2006 (Around about the same time as the book was published) from previous years as the residential housing boom came to an end.

The labor market weakened:
  • Job growth continued to drop. In 2006, the economy added on average 149,000 new jobs per month, down from 165,000 new jobs in 2005 and 175,000 in 2004. Job growth was 14.5 percent slower in 2006 than in 2004, the year with the highest job growth in this business cycle, which started in March 2001.
  • Wages made up a record low share of national income. In the third quarter, wages and salaries made up 51.4 percent of national income, the smallest share since the U.S. government began to collect this data in 1947. Total compensation, which includes benefits, dropped to the lowest share in nine years. At the same time, profits grew to the largest share of national income since 1947.

A Handful Of Dusts cover really stood out to me.


A Handful of Dust: Disappearing America, W. W. Norton & Company, 2006