The Art of Photography:Mike Mudd's Learning Log

The Art of Photography:Mike Mudd's Learning Log

Vivian Maier

General ReadingPosted by Mike Mon, July 01, 2013 19:33:29

The recent Alan Yentob BBC production provided an illuminating modern reflection upon the work of Vivian Maier, a modern reflection in that there is so little known about this very private individual, and we only have our modern interpretation of her work now she has passed away.

After surveying the many references upon twentieth century photography and street photography, via TAOP and wider reading it is easy to assume that these same references affected her work, though it is a pleasing thought to consider that this New York Nanny to the children of upper and middle class New York operated outside these reference works - under her own influence and in isolation from the same works which influence my works as a student at the OCA.

The images so far released of Maiers work are both observant, intimate, strong and not without humour, though compared to the works of William Klein and other New York street photographers they are not aggressive or intrusive. This distinction from other works of the same period is perhaps a reflection of her sex, and of course of the head down non eye contact photographer via the Roliflex camera.

most markedly in my mind is the suggestion that her photography was such an acute and composed practice, with each of the twelve frames in each roll of film that was exposed in her Roliflex was a quality image - considered and well captured both technically with a fully manual camera and compositionally in attraction - reflecting in my mind that Maier was certainly an unacknowledged master of her art.

It can only be guessed upon, but to imagine her reaction to he current posthumous fame across the globe may not have been so agreeable to such an intensely private individual.

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General ReadingPosted by Mike Mon, May 27, 2013 16:20:20


The photograph of the Holmes family hiding from a violent bushfire in Tasmania was shared around the world. But what became of them? In a unique multimedia project, the family speak exclusively to the Guardian about the day their community was devastated, and the new breed of bushfire that is impossible to fight.

On the morning of 4 January 2013, the people of Dunalley had watched with caution as a bush fire burned slowly on top of the hill. It was not an unusual occurrence – fires are a part of Australian life – and Dunalley had never been troubled before. They made their preparations, just in case. Even so, they had no idea what was about to hit them.

In the aftermath of the Inala Road fire, Jon Henley and Laurence Topham visited Dunalley. They spoke to the families there, shot video of the devastation and photographed the beautiful but deadly landscape. Minute by minute, they reconstructed what had happened – the residents, the emergency services … the moment the flames struck the first houses.

Firestorm explores what it means to live in a natural environment that has evolved to burn. Meteorologists and firefighters alike fear the growing ferocity of the fires it produces as Australia’s summers grow ever hotter. Scientific facts suggests that the Inala Road fire may have been just a hint of what is to come.

An hour-long drama of text and video, Firestorm combines the account of the day with photography and six exclusive films to create a rich, beautiful reading experience for your tablet or mobile device. Firestorm is the story of the terrifying fire, and of the remarkable and resilient character of its inhabitants as they seek to raise their homes from the ashes.

But most of all, it is the story of the family under the jetty, clinging on as Dunalley burned.

An interesting presentation, and possibly a new version of the printed narrative story, the Guardian team have drawn together a superb account of the experiences of the families affected by this devastation, the images are both intimate, personal and still show a landscape of scale...

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A selection of contemporary art involved and photographic individuals reflect on their relationships current and historic with photographs

General ReadingPosted by Mike Sun, May 19, 2013 21:04:02

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Photographers rights and subjects rights - the confusion continues

General ReadingPosted by Mike Tue, April 23, 2013 19:16:07 the Right to Photograph, or Not to Be Photographed

An interesting article, with input from Martin Parr, a man whose career has been based upon the candid moment.

I must admit, after photographing a friend at his recent graduation, that I am a little perturbed by the lack of knowledge of both police and security teams at various 'public' venues.

Indeed, at this particular venue I witnessed a security guard question a passing policeman regarding this issue- making note of my presence with two slrs. I find it bemusing that neither had 'the answer' and neither therefore dared to approach me and watched me for a while from a distance.

Laughable though this situation is, it is frightening that the current level of suspicion of photographer’s capturing essentially what is the daily mundane is going to lead to a photographic blackened window on the world, where the only record for the public will be the contrived media of perfect boy bands and pop starlets... the real person will have slipped into obscurity.

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Thurston Hopkins -unsung hero

General ReadingPosted by Mike Mon, April 15, 2013 20:53:14

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Saul Leiter... a quiet sense of genius

General ReadingPosted by Mike Fri, April 05, 2013 21:23:47

Having just completed assignment 4, I came across the work of Saul Leiter in BJP, vol 60, Issue No. 7809, p.60. The delicate colour work and narrative producing framing in his street work is superb, and fits the nature of his personal story as a photographer very well. Mr Leiter is carefully yet casually presented by Tomas Leach as a much under appreciated man, who genuinely pursued his craft for the pure reason of his craft and not fame and fortune - A great standard if ever there was as to why any photographer records the scenes they do - a need to satiate the desire to record and capture frames of beauty derived from real scenes of all natures. There is a sublime nature to his images which causes a smile from the viewer and a flutter in the heart.

Finding Leiter's work at this point in TAOP - narrative is the next theme, is poignant, I admit to a yearning to create images which satisfy the narrative story.. but which have a sense of beauty - we shall see!

There is a recognisable sense of the William Eggleston's in Leiter's work - but with a lighter, less forboding view of the world.

Both artists are critical to my further use of colour, and in my words 'to use colour in a way that I enjoy black and white imagery...'

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A superb example of Martin Parr's study of Black country People

General ReadingPosted by Mike Thu, March 28, 2013 16:37:43

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The Ongoing moment: Geoff Dwyer

General ReadingPosted by Mike Sun, March 17, 2013 13:59:39
THE ONGOING MOMENT is an idiosyncratic history of photography. Seeking to identify their signature styles Dyer looks at the ways that canonical figures such as Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Kertesz, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus and William Eggleston have photographed the SAME things (benches, hats, hands, roads). In doing so he constructs a narrative in which the same photographers - many of whom never met in their lives - constantly come into contact with each other.

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