Exercise 3.1 – Searching

Brief:- Take at least a couple of hours or more to wander around. Don’t be shy; you won’t be arrested, you’re not breaking the law. You’re doing exactly what most photographers do every day. When we search we don’t necessarily have a clear idea of what we’re looking for. However, the act of searching is never aimless because to search implies an open-ness to finding. It also helps us to hone our ideas, to sort out what is and isn’t relevant. There will come a time when you need to consolidate a body of work, but for now you’re free. When you’ve uploaded your photos decide whether to arrange them as smaller images in a scroll that reflects the journey you made. Or pick out some individual images.

The exercise was a lot of fun. I went out to a small village called Danby on the eastern edge of the North York Moors. It was a place which I haven’t been to before, was accessible, and it’s always enjoyable to photograph in a new place. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to go to the Moors National Park Centre, nor the Inspired By gallery. That is on my agenda for a future time and an earlier train, maybe a bit of sun as well, its good to be warm.

The first thing that I photographed when I got off of the train was a small bush, and a large Monkey Puzzle tree (Whitby Jet is the fossilised monkey puzzle). I started photographing and texture, lines and geometry became an unscripted theme to explore. I photographed footprints, stones, trees, tree bark, plants, landscapes and an RAF Hawk trainer/fighter.

My difficulty has come with deciding how to present the photos. The review of Michael Wolf (seen here) was inspiring, but his series are so well presented that I have had difficulty with selecting photos and grouping them together to try and replicate his quality.







I feel that all of the grids are presentable, but geometry more so. The layout for that works well, and adds to the geometric theme, as well as being easy on the eye. It matches concrete with concrete, wood with wood, and post with post.

Macro could possibly have done with an extra photo, but to be honest I wasn’t pleased with the others that I shot on the day. The first two photos are of a good quality technically and aesthetically, although the third lacks clarity towards the edges of the thorn.

Trees is a consistent series but it lacks punch, and that’s because of the first three photos. If I were to take a few more photos similar to the bottom pairing and add those, it would improve the series considerably.

As always I welcome critique and feedback.




Pleased With Progress – Colour Verus Content – Viewing Photography From My Internal Frame of Reference

Two recent projects that I have completed, as a part of my studies, have given me a boost. They are the beginnings of the kind of photography that I wish to make. A Hermits Journey (here)  is a narrative that expressed part of my current life experiences, and combined text with photography. Sick of Bulimia (seen here) is a conceptual sequence exploring that particular eating disorder.

A Hermits Journey

The snow provided me with the opportunity to make photos which could convey the mood that I was looking to express, and the use text gave me the oportunity to present a visual and emotional journey. There were two influences that I used to help me to develop the idea for this work. Chloe Halstead, an OCA Photography and Creative Arts degree student, has produced Snippets, for assignment three. Snippets is a photograph (which can be seen here) that has text written onto it. The text is snippets of conversations that she heard. The narrative is broken in respect that brief glimpses of heard conversation do not provide a continuous narrative, but viewing the progress of her assignment sparked the potential for using text as a part of photography, rather than only as an introduction to a series.

Telling Stories by Judy Bach (seen here) has been an incredible experience to view. The story is told from a first person perspective and begins with the narrator, Florence Fountain, finding a box of photos in her mothers former home. Using appropriated and found images, Bach has developed a story which explores Florence’s family history. The use of photography and text has been both emotionally moving and convincing. Telling Stories was produced by Bach for Assignment Five Digital Image and Culture (seen here).

My initial plan was to create a sequence that was purely a physical journey, but as I began my walk I realised that I could take the opportunity to express a little of who I am and what the journey represents to me. Whilst I was walking I considered what I would like to say in relation to the scenes that I was photographing. A five hour walk left me with a lot of photos, and the selection process wasn’t easy. However, because I had considered the personal importance of the scenes as I was photographing them, some sections were quite straight forward.

Sick of Bulimia

The conceptual sequence that I produced for exercise 3.3, Sick of Bulimia, is photography that I am very proud to have produced. The idea has been nurtured over many months, with test photos taken last year. Having reviewed Self Burial by Keith Arnatt (seen here) I returned to my ideas in relation to bulimia, and decided to develop this into a conceptual sequence. The power of Sick of Bulimia is due, in my opinion, to my personal experiences. The photos are an expression of my emotions and thought patterns, and the emotion is evident in the series.

Two key learning points come across from these projects; Studying the developmental process of other photographers is a key to learning to turn an idea into a body of work. Halstead and Bach’s work has included reasearch, experimentation, development of ideas, critique from peers and tutors, re-working and excluding some photography that did not work. The other point is that photography which I have an emotional connection to, and that I feel passionate about, will be of higher quality and be more evocative than work that I approach nonchalantly.

Colour vs Content

I follow many student blogs and I recent commented upon the learning log of OCA photography degree student Tanya Keane. She was comparing two photos from groups on opposing sides of the abortion debate (eighth amendment) in the Republic of Ireland. The comment that I had made was in regard to the exposure of the two photos (seen here). Keane disagreed with my reflection and explained why. This gave me an opportunity to explore in some detail my confusion about colour, vibrance and exposure.

I am drawn to colour. You will see me out and about in blue, red, purple, green and other coloured trousers, and my jumpers and shirts are always colourful (not that they often go together). Much of my previous photography has been high contrast, colourful and  with added vibrance. One comment that I received a while ago was that a photo looked like it had been processed as HDR, it wasnt, but I do produce similar photography with the use of Lightroom. How I view photography is affected by this. My initial attraction is to colour, and then progresses onto the content.

Once I had completed my presentation for Sick of Bulimia, I sought critique and feed back, and it was suggested that I try different layouts, and a white background instead of the midtone grey in the original. The photos with the white background appeared brighter and were more prominent, however the series with the grey background meant that I felt drawn into the photos, and connected with them on a deeper level. I can make use of this practical experience to guide me with developing photographs in the future.

Frame of reference when viewing photography

We all have a personal belief system that has developed from our experiences. My mental and emotion frame of reference informs how I view the world around me. Having realised the importance of making photography that means something to me, which is developed from my frame of reference, I have discovered where there can also be a drawback.

Viewing others photography from my own frame of reference is completely natural, and I particularly enjoy reviewing the work of photographers. Once I have written my initial thoughts, I try to get into the photographers head and see what they are wanting to convey. I fall short of the mark but it helps me to see things from a viewpoint which is different from mine. My frame of reference is humanistic, ideological, left-wing and sometimes borders on anti-establishment. This is limiting when it comes to analysing the photography of others who have created their art from a different internal construct. To have realised this at an early stage of my studies is very useful indeed, and will broaden how I relate to the work of other photographers, and hopefully make me a more rounded individual.



Bach, J; 2018; Assignment Five Digital Image and Culture; Online AT: https://judybachdigitalimageandculture.wordpress.com/category/assignments/assignment-5/ (accessed on 10/03/2018)

Bach, J; 2018; Telling Stories; Online AT: https://tellingstoriesmyfamily.wordpress.com/ (accessed on 10/03/2018)

Keane, T; 2018; Two very different images taken from the media; Online AT: https://tkocalevel3.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/research-for-contextual-studies/ (accessed on 10/03/2018)

Halstead, C; 2018; Assignment Three handwriting; Online AT: https://chloeslenscape.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/assignment-three-handwriting/ (accessed on 10/03/2018)

Sick Of Bulimia – Conceptual – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence

Reflections upon Sick of Bulimia.

I have published Sick of Bulimia as a separate blog post, because I believe that it warrants being presented as a stand alone project. It can be seen here.


Exercise 3.3 is about photography as sequence, and I have now explored many of the options, based upon the ideas and learning about the photographers that we have been asked to review. Keith Arnatt’s Self Burial is a conceptual sequence, which I reviewed as part of the coursework (seen here).

It helped that I have had an idea that I wanted to explore about bulimia, and created some test photos around 6-9 months ago. Two of the photos in my final sequence have come from those, and the rest I have taken over the past couple of weeks. The opportunity to build upon my previous photography and to do so for exercise 3.3 was influenced by reviewing Self Burial.


I have an eating disorder, and was first diagnosed with Anorexia – binge-purge subtype in my late teens. I was actually a restrict-pirge but that’s not a separate diagnosis. My eating disorder has changed its shape over the years and I haven’t purged for many years. Having a personal investment has meant that I could explore bulimia from my own perspective, the experience of others, and from additional research.

There is a sequence, a ritual that is often associated with eating disorders, and I have tried to express the mental urgency around going out, buying food, bingeing and vomiting by using blurred photos, movement,  the use of bright colours. Some of the photos are taken from the perspective of the person engaged in the depicted activities rather than going with the golden rules of photography. Bulimia is personal, deeply emotional, and both thrilling and devastating. The excitement and the rush of buying and bingeing is short lived, and is quickly replaced by overwhelming shame and distress.

The central portrait is the signifier of shame, and I think the sequence would have worked better if I made this image larger and more dominant.


Reviewing eating disorder charities and websites from around the globe has evidenced that death is a very possible outcome for people with an eating disorder. Up to twenty percent of individuals with an eating disorder will die from either heart failure, organ failure or suicide. This made second photo important for me to include. The symbolic references by including the memorial and the shop where the food was purchased has a deep significance.

Bulimia is secretive, as are other eating disorders initially. Overtime it becomes obvious to family, friends and healthcare workers that a person is severely underweight and may have anorexia. People with bulimia may be underweight, of a healthy weight or overweight, and this poses many problems because it is less obvious to loved ones.

Purging depletes the body of the vitamins and minerals that it needs for electrical conduction (we are electro-chemical beings) and death can come from disturbances to the hearts electrical conduction as well as organ failure. Of those who die from bulimia, heart failure is the biggest cause of death.

However recovery is possible if help is asked for, so I included a link to eating disorder charities from a few countries.


Self Burial (Arnatt) helped me to formulate how I could build upon my original photos and create a sequence. The urgency of HAVING to go out and buy food, knowing that you were going to binge and then purge was a starting point, and lead onto re-creating the journey to do so, and things flowed from there. I made use of two cameras, Olympus OMD EM10 MKii and Mzuiko 25mm (50mm equivalent) prime,, and Huawei P10 smart phone with dual Leica lens, 27mm, 20mp raw. The Huawei gave me the opportunity to create good bokeh, if slightly unusual, which can be evidenced in photo 5 where the shopping is on the floor.

Fully aware that it is important to take lots of photos of each scene and from different angles, using different lighting (building upon 100 photos, soft light landscape, smash – part one of FiP coursework (seen here)), I set to work and took many photos.

Creating the vomit was a simple process of blending dog food, baked beans, carrots and eggs together. It’s visually effective. I have made the toothbrush the focus of that photo because the photos of just the vomit were too graphic. A tooth-brush may often be used by people with bulimia to make themselves sick.

The selection process also built upon previous coursework in relation to evaluating and selction, as well as the skills that I have learned from reading The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers, 2015 by Scott Kelby.

Through following the blog of an OCA degree student (can’t remember who) I picked up the idea of writing upon contact sheets as a method of aiding the evaluation process, and this was indeed very helpful.

Lightroom (Bulimia 1.png and 33 others)

The weakest two photos are the first – the trainers, however they are symbolic of the urgency to get food, and the third photos of the shopping basket and trolley. Nine Photos make for an aesthetically pleasing grid, so I have included these. I had not planned to use a combination of portrait and landscape orientation, but the final photos were important to me because they carried the message that I wanted to express.

Reworking from Feedback

Sick of Bulimia has received a lot of welcome feedback, which has included using photo two, the memorial with its symbolism od death as the central photo, keeping the same background, and changing the background to white. Having tried these options and also a white background and a grey border, I feel very strongly that my original presentation is the strongest, along with the grey background, which I was originally unsure of. The restructured grid to have death as the central photo doesn’t work because it significantly changes the grid layout. The shame of having an eating disorder is also the strongest emotion that I have in relation to my own experience of bulimia (I have no shame about anorexia), so the portrait of me crying has to be the central photo. The white background with the grey border is presentable, however the focus is taken towards the colours rather than the content. Having the grey background draws me deeply into the photos, and that’s what I would like for the viewers.

Here is the original presentation, and the other forms of presentation that I have tried.








The Individual Photos















I am deeply grateful for the feedback that I have recieved.


Kelby, S; 2015; The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers; New Riders; Pages 47-54

Keys, R; 2018; Review – Keith Arnatt – Self-Burial; Online AT: https://photosociology.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/review-keith-arnatt-self-burial/ (accessed on 09/03/2018)


Sick Of Bulimia

Sick Of Bulimia


Bulimia is an eating disorder, a psychiatric illness. eating disorders have the highest death rate of all of the mental illness. Between ten and twenty percent of people with an eating disorder will die as a consequence of this illness. Those deaths are attributed to heart failure, organ failure and suicide.

Bulimia (or bulimia nervosa) is a serious mental illness. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, or background. People with bulimia are caught in a cycle of eating large quantities of food (called bingeing), and then trying to compensate for that overeating by vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or exercising excessively (called purging). Early intervention offers the best chance for a rapid and sustained recovery from bulimia.(Source link)

If you have an eating disorder – recovery is possible, speak to a family member, someone you trust, a doctor, or search google for an eating disorder service in your country.

United Kingdom


Men Get Eating Disorders Too

United States





The Minds Foundation












Dogs – Animals In Motion – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence

My first attempts at capturing animals in motion were photographed using my bridge camera, and I wasn’t particularly happy with the results. I have re-photographed, this time using some dogs that were playing in the snow. I made use of my Olympus OMD EM10 MKiii for this series, the lens was the MZuiko 4-150 zoom. As well as making use of the photo video format, I have made a grid presentation style using Adobe Photoshop.


The results are better here than they were for the birds, not perfect, more improvement needed but a better than my previous attempt.

Narrative – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence

A Hermits Journey

A Hermits Journey

I do not live alone, I live with myself. This is a position of strength, although it may appear to be an isolated existence.

A Hermits Journey

My mental health difficulties can lead to very morbid thoughts, but somehow I manage to walk that path in between life and death. I find there is as much joy to be found in darkness as there is in light. That’s not the way it used to be, so I think a positive attitude comes with experience and age.

A Hermits Journey

People are important to me. Through my studies I have developed an online community, and I have some very close and wonderful friends that I have known for years. However I chose not to meet with people very often, I prefer to have a physical distance, and enjoy the freedom of not having to be with people.

A Hermits Journey

If I spend too much time around people I feel overwhelmed and oppressed. It’s not that people are oppressive, its hard to explain. I find that being with people is quite heavy and tiring. It’s hard for me to just let go and move with current of life when I am in the company of others.

A Hermits Journey

Its much easier to blend into the background and be invisible.

A Hermits Journey

Spirituality, in my mind, is not about a church or belief system. Nature and space provide me with a connection and nourishment, as of course do birds. For me, feeling connected, that I have a place and purpose is important, and photography has given me that in bucket loads. I am grateful for my camera, and grateful to be studying photography.

A Hermits Journey

Gratitude is something that is so important to me. It is possible to feel grateful for so many small things, and in this photo its the colour and texture of the wood, and how they are strengthened and exaggerated by the snowy background. One of the many things that I found to be grateful for on my walk. Gratitude is a spiritual practice. At the end of each day I write five things down in my daily gratitude journal. Positivity has to be cultured.

A Hermits Journey

One of the down sides to living the life of a hermit is that there is a wee bit too much time for thinking. I find it is easy to slip into either negative thinking or dwelling on the past.

A Hermits Journey

Too much self-reflection can leave me feeling trapped, brittle and easy to break.

A Hermits Journey

During those times I have to dig deep and find my inner strengths and push myself forward. Colour and beauty is to be found within those inner resources that I use to move onwards and upward.

A Hermits Journey

Once I have pushed myself back up to the top of the hill, and re-discovered the joy of being, I can take a rest at my post. I lean upon this post with my camera in one hand and binoculars in the other. There are so many different bird species to be found in this small patch of bracken, bramble and trees. Peace and beauty flutter around me.

A Hermits Journey

In the journey through life people come and go. Maybe in passing, for however long that maybe, we will sit on these benches together and connect. But whether I sit with you, or someone else, I will never be alone because I will always be with myself.



I am so grateful that I have used the opportunity provided in exercise 3.3 to explore different themes in relation to photography as a sequence. The photos for A Hermits Journey were taken during a walk from Whitby Abbey, down into the town, along the river Esk into Ruswarp, and then back into Whitby, ending with a walk along the West Cliffs.

The walk took me five hours, and I took many photos along the way. Although I will publish others in my gallery, I narrowed my selection for this narrative down to twelve photos which I could use to express a little of who I am. These photos are sequential in relation to the walk that I took, and I have tried to use my words in a manner that flows throughout.

If viewed by anyone who hasn’t walked the route I enjoy, then the photos without text would be seen as a series rather than as a sequence. The writing brings the photos together as a sequence, and provide a way for me to communicate and express myself. This is directive in its manner and probably doesn’t leave the viewer asking questions, although some may be able to relate to different aspects. I don’t believe that this has any abstract or conceptual slant to it, and fits very neatly into a genre of narrative photography.

Critique and feedback are always welcome on my blog.

Perspective – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence

Brief:- Make a sequence using either your own photographs or images from the internet or from charity shops, i.e. found images. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re the person who took the photograph because here you’re appropriating and re-contextualising it within a sequence of other photographs. A good place to start would be your archive of photographs. Look for connectivity between images. Experiment by placing images together either in Photoshop or as prints. Notice how one image resonates with another image and how the two combine to produce a new meaning.If your sequence would work better as a slideshow, use PowerPoint or download Open Office to create one.

For this sequence I have been influenced by Duane Michals series Andy x 4. He made use of perspective in his sequence, which I reviewed here.

My “Perspective” is different in nature as it is a reflection upon a place that I rest on one of my walks, and I have included hand written text to create a narrative around the place that I rest. My sequence is not chronological, so it is comparative with Michals Andy x 4, but because of the text I have included it is narrative rather than conceptual.My hand writing is poor, which doesn’t help, however I am fairly satisfied with this initial attempt. The difficulties that I encountered were relating to the amount of cars in the background. It doesnt matter what time of day that I go there, there are always cars that will be seen when capturing these different perspectives.

Resting in its Beauty


Animals in Motion – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence

Brief:- Make a sequence using either your own photographs or images from the internet or from charity shops, i.e. found images. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re the person who took the photograph because here you’re appropriating and re-contextualising it within a sequence of other photographs. A good place to start would be your archive of photographs. Look for connectivity between images. Experiment by placing images together either in Photoshop or as prints. Notice how one image resonates with another image and how the two combine to produce a new meaning.If your sequence would work better as a slideshow, use PowerPoint or download Open Office to create one.

I have made a series of photo-videos for this part of the exercise, and have tried to emulate the style of Eadweard Muybridge by capturing animals in motion. I made use of my bridge camera, and I am aware of the lack of quality within these. I will need to take my Nikon and the Tamron 18-270 lens to ensure better quality and some proximity to the birds. The high-speed continuous motion was effective though, but again it had its drawbacks, well at least I did. I could have set the camera to record 20 shots rather than 10, and using a tripod would help.

Redshank Feeding


Black Headed Gull Landing


Female Mallard Preening


Male Mallard Preening (1)


Male Mallard Preening (2)


Review – Ed Ruscha – Every Building On The Sunset Strip

Ed Ruscha (1937)

cofFig. 1. Every Building On The Sunset Strip (1966)

Every Building On The Sunset StripFig. 2. Every Building On The Sunset Strip (1966)

These images are important to show together. The first is a close up of part of the whole sequence, which appears to be made by taking photos incrementally that slightly overlap. They start at one end of sunset strip and are taken down the whole length of the road, and then back on the other side. Ruscha then had these printed into a strip book, with one side of the street the correct way up, and then the other side is upside down at the bottom of the page. I consider this sequence to be documentary photography, that becomes a historical artifact. The presentation is the most appealing aspect, and how I would love to own this, and slowly explore each page, look at the shops, buildings, people and transport. I have had a look online and certainly cannot afford the originals (£1,000 – £7,000). If any body is aware of later additions which are more affordable, then I would love to know where I can buy it.

At first glance the photos look to have been taken at different times of day and have a change of light conditions (I could not imagine a project of this nature being undertaken in one day). The montage that is the correct way up, the space in between and then the images that are inverse, add together to create a scene that is as if the viewer were looking down from above, but with a slightly altered perspective. I love it, and it has inspired me somewhat, although what is coming to mind for me is a different take upon the theme. When I start exercise 3.1 Searching, I will use my camera at eye level and take a shot every few seconds as I walk around either Durham or Leeds, so that I have a record of my journey. Once I have developed them I will turn them into a photo-video. This will be a sequence that records a journey, but also becomes a documentary style,  historical sequence.

Anyhow, back to Ruscha.

Although the photos were taken along the Strip and then stitched together, the interval that Ruscha took the photos means that there were physical gaps between where each photo was taken. This means that although the complete photo is a historical document, it is partial. There is a lot of symbology to the image that I had missed completely, the rise of the car and the increase of urbanisation and sprawl. Both of which were concerns at the time (Hacking, 2014; 408, 409)

MoMA records that Ruscha had built upon the work of Walker Evans ” but their deadpan, cool aesthetic is radically different. While each book chronicles an aspect of Los Angeles or the artist’s round-trip drives between LA and Oklahoma, their use of photography as a form of map-making or topographical study signals a conceptual, rather than documentary, thrust.” (MoMA Gallery Label; 2012-2013)

The above quote has been a little difficult to get my head around, map making and topography are conceptual rather than documentary? Rushca’s map making is dissimilar to maps created by Ordnance Survey which provide accurate and detailed coverage of the complete area of the map. Ruscha’s photo books are partial and incomplete representations of journeys that he chooses to take, and he chooses when to make the shot. They become a representation of something that he wants to explore and tell, rather than what is there. Exploring the themes that arise from Sunset Strip, cars, urbanisation, which are in my opinion both conceptual and documentary. I don’t believe that they have to be considered as an either or. The polarisation by analysis is a concept of the reviewer (including me)/academic, and their beliefs take the viewer further away from the photo, and even more distant from the subject. I have gotten myself a little carried away.

If anyone is able to shed further light or ideas on the documentary/conceptual themes I would be grateful to hear them.

What ever ideas have been explored I like Ruscha’s style of photography, and would love to get my hands on some of his work.


Figure 1; Ruscha, E; 1966; Every Building On The Sunset Strip [Offset lithograph on paper]; In: Hacking, J; 2014; Photography The Whole Story, Page 408; London; Thames and Hudson

Figure 2; Ruscha, E; 1966; Every Building On The Sunset Strip (1966) [Offset lithograph on paper]; AT: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/429.2008.a-bbb/


Hacking, J; 2014; Photography the Whole Story; London; Thames and Hudson

MoMA Gallery Label; 2012-2013; The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook, April 16, 2012–April 29, 2013; Online AT: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/146931 (accessed on 23/02/2018)

Ordnance Survey; Online AT: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Edward Ruscha; Online AT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Ruscha (accessed on 23/02/2018)

Review – John Hilliard

Brief:- Images in Sequence. What defines a sequence, as opposed to a series, is the connectivity of the images in time or concept. Make sure that you are clear about the difference between a series and sequence. Photographers have used sequences of images in many different ways.

John Hilliard (1945)

Sixty Seconds of Light 1970 by John Hilliard born 1945Fig. 1. Sixty Seconds of Light (1970)

Initial thoughts – This is a hard sequence for me to get to grips with. There are 12 photos, displayed in a line on a gallery wall. Each image shows a clock, and after looking very closely I can see that there is a time progression that flows through the series, in five-minute intervals from 12.05 through to 12.00. The images start off dark and then becoming increasingly lighter with the passing of time. This suggests that the exposure also gets progressively longer with each passing five minute passage of time. There is an obvious time and light sequence, is there a perceptual one. What springs to mind is moving from night to day, from death to life, or from life to death with the ethereal ghosting effect that increases with the exposure. I am more inclined to go along with the second, because the symbology feels more accurate. The lack of colour or warmth, do not suggest to me that it’s about the day or even progression of seasons. There has to be a metaphorical meaning though. The sequence is too dull and non distinct to purely be about the passing of time.

Sixty Seconds of Light was the foundation for Hilliard’s future works “Camera Recording its Own Condition” (1971) and “The Twelve Representations of White” (1973). The Tate catalogue Entry (1975) Reports that Hilliard had used a dark room clock as the subject of the photos, and whilst developing the negatives he increased the time of exposure to the developer in five second increments (the clock hand that moves in the sequence is the second hand, not the minute hand), as well as increasing the exposure time by five seconds (shutter speed) whilst taking the photos. Hilliard believed that the camera does lie, and that any photo that is taken is not a representation of “Truth”One factor that led to Hilliard’s concern with this theme was his consciousness, beginning when he was still a sculptor, of the extreme inadequacy of the often single photograph by which a sculpture was better known than it was in three dimensions, to convey the reality of the work’s appearance, despite the strong impression of reality given by each photograph.” (The Tate Catalogue Entry, 1975)

Jennifer Quick writes “The work of John Hilliard (b1945), like that of many conceptual artists, problematizes photography’s relationship to fact. Hilliard’s photographs, such as Cause of Death? (1974), point towards a future that has become a reality in which digitally altered imagery is the dominant mode”  (Hacking, J; 2014; 413)

The ideas that relate to photography as a representation of truth, photography as a distortion of truth, photography as art, conceptual photography, and the modern-day compulsion to film or photograph every event and therefore miss the experience, are relatively new to me. Reading, studying, following the blogs of OCA degree students (many of their blog posts explore these themes) are opening my eyes and mind to what photography is or is not, depending upon your perspective. However I have to say that this intrigue is an intellectual one at the moment, and I don’t find the sequences of Hilliard as being something that I wish to photographically explore or emulate.



Figure 1; Hilliard, J; 1970; Sixty Second of Light [Gelatin silver prints on paper]; AT: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hilliard-sixty-seconds-of-light-p07233 (accessed on 23/02/2018)

Feature Image; Hilliard, J; March 2016 – May 2016; John Hilliard “Town and Country”; AT: Brescia: Massimo Mini; AT: http://moussemagazine.it/john-hilliard-galleria-massimo-minini-2016/


Hacking, J; 2014; Photography the Whole Story; London; Thames and Hudson

Tate Catalogue Entry; 1975; John Hilliard, Sixty Seconds of Light 1970; Online AT: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hilliard-sixty-seconds-of-light-p07233 (accessed on 23/02/2018)