Sunday, 28 February 2010

Photography with text

Experimenting with photography

On Saturday morning, 27th February, I took my camera out into Manchester city centre to play. The objective of this exercise was to look around and find abstract shapes and compositions that to me represented the political and religious divisions throughout Belfast.

I was looking for:

1) Things that meet
2) Things that divide
3) Lines (peace walls)
4) Opposites attract
5) Representations / metaphors (Protestants / Catholics)
6) Halves that make a whole
7) Equal Vs Unequal
8) The same ... but different
9) Contrasting elements
10) Edges

For a first attempt I was extremely happy with some of the results. I enjoyed the process of searching through the mundane and ordinary and by changing my perspective and slowing down I was able to capture unique, abstract images that to me signify the divisions in Belfast.

I have displayed the photographs in black and white because the high contrast is most effective is resembling the two sides. The black and white also helps the viewer not to be distracted by colour, therefore focus is on the layout, texture and lighting of the composition.

I find the images powerful standing alone, however, at this stage I think they would send a stronger message if they had some accompanying text. Words that either supported or conflicted the message of the image. Words about Belfast, quotes from the people of Belfast, opinions, facts, stories. Words that are profound, witty, clever, funny, sad, truthful, hopeful, honest. Words that make people think.

This would give the project more meaning and substance. A combination of people's thoughts and memories of Belfast in contrast with my personal abstract photography. The tone of the overall piece ... would write itself.

The text would be displayed in a way that compliments the theme of the project, lines, cutting through images, diagonals, divided, long and short.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Photography Book Layout

This is a photography book of Chicago edited by Suzanne Lander. This is an example of how photography can be displayed along side text. I find the layout very clean and simple, however, every photograph taken is in landscape orientation which could prove restrictive in my project.

Opposites Attract - Inspiration

Sasha C. Damjanovski - Abstract Photography

Sasha takes beautiful abstract photographs with a similar style that I aim to achieve.

Belfast in B&W

I find black and white photography really effective. The absence of colour creates the impression of a moment frozen in time. The mood and atmosphere encourages the viewer to reflect and search for a greater meaning.

Personally I feel black and white imagery looks really professional. I love the photograph of the children climbing the wall. The strong contrast of the railing against the sky and the composition and perspective leading your eye deep into the photograph.

Effective Black and White photography is a technique I would like to develop.

Belfast Wall Murals

Murals in Northern Ireland have become symbols of Northern Ireland, depicting the region's past and present divisions.

Northern Ireland contains arguably the most famous political murals. Almost 2,000 murals have been documented in Northern Ireland since the 1970s. The murals more often than not represent one side's political point of view.

Almost all Northern Ireland murals promote either republican or loyalist political beliefs, often glorifying paramilitary groups such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Ulster Freedom Fighters, while others commemorate people who have lost their lives in paramilitary or military attacks.

Segregation in Northern Ireland

Segregation in Northern Ireland is a long-running issue in the political and social history of Northern Ireland. It’s often been regarded as both a cause and effect of The Troubles between the Roman Catholic and Protestant populations of Northern Ireland.

A combination of political, religious and social differences plus the threat of intercommunal tensions and violence has led to widespread self-segregation of the two communities. Catholics and Protestants lead largely separate lives in a situation that some have dubbed “self-imposed apartheid”.

Belfast is a city divided along religious grounds. West Belfast is mainly Catholic, in most areas over 90%. For many years, the Catholic population expanded to the southwest, but in recent years it has started expanding around the Shankill and into north Belfast. The east of the city is predominantly Protestant, typically 90% or more. This area, along with the north of the city, is the main growth pole of the Protestant population. When trouble flares in the city, it is in the border areas between largely Catholic areas and largely Protestant areas. These areas are common in West Belfast, where a large ‘Peace Wall’ was erected some years ago to try to keep rival groups apart. There is also trouble in North Belfast, but there is much less sectarian tension in the East and South of the city.