Assignment 2: preparations

I have been keeping a diary over the last few days of what I have been feeling and doing and I have noticed throughout my entries I talk about my feelings and the weather. I think that My subject will be feelings for photographing the unseen, and maybe incorporating the weather in with it as this seems to effect my feelings as well.

I had been recently inspired by Wolfgang Tillmans and they way he created some of his work. I have been thinking of ways that I can be creative and double exposures have been playing on my mind. I read up on double exposures that some SLRS have this function but unfortunately mine does not. I do Have a Diana lomography camera but I am not sure about using that as I have experimented with double exposure on it before and didn’t have much success with it to be honest.

Ribbet collage


I have been thinking about taking two photos and creating double exposure effect in Photoshop as I feel this would work much better for me and I still have control of whats happening. I think my next step will be researching double exposure photographers and also playing around in photoshop to see if I can get the effects that i have in my mind that I want to achieve for this assignment.

Assignment 2: Photographing the unseen

I have come to the decision that I am going to go with “photographing the unseen”

Start by reflection in your learning log. what kinds of subject might be seen as un-photographable? how might you go about portraying them using photography? list a few examples of things your experiencing now or have recently been thinking about.  At first you may come up with literal examples, but the more you think about them the more ideas will develop into specific and more original ones.

I’ve been writing down my thoughts in my journal, this is helping me develop ideas for the assignment.

At first my thoughts were obvious ones

  • Noise
  • Smell
  • God
  • Black holes
  • Area 51
  • Air
  • Wind
  • Light

After I had finished researching yesterday all day at the back of mind my mind I had been stewing over UNPHOTOGRAPHABLE things and once you start thinking about it you can stop!  More ideas kept popping into my head.

  • History is unphotographable as its the past unless we take photos of  pictures taken from the time along with artifacts and so on.
  • Spirits, ghosts and souls
  • Dreams
  • Something we never see in a photograph is the lens that was used to capture it.
  • Thoughts and ideas in our heads unless spoken of or shown.
  • I guess a lot of things go unseen in everyday life we overlook and take things for granted but i dont think that would work as that would be photographable.
  • Emotion and feeling are somewhat unphotographable, only perceived but then that could be unseen as people can be good at hiding what they really feel.
  • Illness- just because a person on the outside may not look physically ill doesn’t mean they they are not.
  • Light is unseen we only record what it reflects.

I think i have actually surprised myself with how many ideas i have come up with as when i first started this photographing the unseen seemed hard and I  thought at the time that I would really struggle with coming up with ideas.

At this point in time I am liking the idea of light and also the idea of thoughts feelings and emotions. I am going to continue researching further and will post up again very soon with my progress.

Photographer research: Wolfgang Tillmans

I came across Wolfgang Tillmans when looking at the exhibition of the unphotographable, his work immeditaly sparked interest so decided it was worth a look further into his work to see what he was all about. One of Tillman’s contributions to art photography is his focus on the physical fact of the photograph, moving away from the anodyne formula of the perfect photograph displayed in a fram

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968) rose to fame as a documentary-style photographer, with a focal point on London’s gay community. He studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design in England from 1990 to 1992. He spent the next several years moving between London and New York with Jochen Klein (German, 1968-1997), a painter.

Klein’s death from AIDS-related complications made a notable impact on Tillmans and his work. The photographer began his career covering gay pride events for magazines such as i-D, Interview, and Spex magazines. Later, his casual, family-photo style shots of important gay figures in the arts world would appear on their covers. In 1997, Tillmans became the coeditor of Spex Magazine. The following years were filled with a wide range of projects, including the labor-intensive Concord Grid on display at the Chisenhale Gallery in London, in 1997. The presentation followed airplane flights at Heathrow Airport from various locations around the city. His 1998 collection Total Solar Eclipse Grid, made up of 21 photographs, similarly documents a solar eclipse. Tillmans won the Turner Prize based on the installation. He was the first photographer, and the first non-English, to receive the award. He received an honor once again in 2001, when his design was selected as the basis for an AIDS memorial in Munich, Germany.

During the 2000s, Tillmans turned toward Abstract expression, using photographs themselves to create sculptures or by exploiting mistakes during the development process. This began with a presentation in an issue of Parket in 1998, in which the artist displayed years worth of damaged negatives. This tied back to an earlier interest in photocopied creations, making up the heart of his debut exhibit in 1983, Approach. This thread continues to run through his work even today in works such as his film project Kopierer in 2010, a ten-minute film showing a laser copier printing documents. Tillmans is represented by Maureen Pauley in London, Galerie Daniel Buchholz in Berlin, the Andrea Rosin Gallery in New York, Regen Projects in Los Angeles, and Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris. He is an Artist Trustee of the Tate Board, was a professor at Städelschule in Frankfurt (2003-2006), and runs a nonprofit gallery for new or glossed-over artists of note at his studio in London.

I also came across an interesting interviewswith wolfgang about his early years and his life as a photographer.



Ostgut Freischwimmer, 2004


Freischwimmer 15, 2003.

Freischwimmer 26, 2003.


Freischwimmer 40, 2004

‘Frischwimmer’ is a “badge [that] is awarded to swimmers who can swim for 15 minutes without holding onto the side of the pool and dive from the lower diving board. Children without the Freischwimmer badge displayed on their trunks or swimsuit are not allowed to use the deep end of a public swimming pool unless supervised. The next level up is the Fahrtenschwimmer, which entails a 30-minute swimming test, beginning with a dive from the higher diving board.

I really like wolfgangs abstract approach to his work of creating art in the photographic medium.

Assignment 2: Research

I came across an exhibition that was held back in 2013 at the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco. The exhibit was called The unphotographable  and was compiled of about 50 works from unknown photographers.


Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to announce The Unphotographable, an ambitious survey exploring the history of that which cannot be photographed. Comprised of approximately fifty works, the exhibition interweaves prints by artists as wide ranging as Alfred Stieglitz, Sophie Calle, Man Ray, and Glenn Ligon, as well as works by anonymous and virtually unknown photographers from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Unphotographable will be on view from January 3 through March 23, 2013, and will be accompanied by a 124-page hardcover book.

More than a century of attempts to depict, through photographs, a reality beyond appearances is testament to a stubborn conviction that what can be seen is not all there is. In the book’s introduction Jeffrey Fraenkel writes, “From the moment of its invention almost 175 years ago, photography has proven adept at depicting the photographable: the solid, the concrete, that which can be seen. […] But another tradition exists, a parallel history in which photographers and other artists have attempted to describe by photographic means that which is not so readily seen: thought, time, ghosts, god, dreams. A vast array of strategies has been employed to bring such pictures about, tactics that have intersected and enriched the strains of modern art.”

JAY DEFEO: Untitled, 1973-74, gelatin-silver print with incised lines

JAY DEFEO: Untitled, 1973-74
gelatin-silver print with incised lines, 9-3/4 x 7-3/4 inches (image, sheet & mount) [29.9 x 19.7 cm] 20-3/4 x 16-3/4 inches (frame) [52.7 x 42.6 cm]
WOLFGANG TILLMANS: Mental Picture #97, 2001, unique chromogenic print
WOLFGANG TILLMANS: Mental Picture #97, 2001
unique chromogenic print, 20 x 16 inches (image & sheet) [50.8 x 40.6 cm] 21-5/8 x 17-3/4 inches (frame) [54.9 x 45.0 cm]
CHRISTIAN MARCLAY: Silence (The Electric Chair), 2006, silkscreen ink on paper
CHRISTIAN MARCLAY: Silence (The Electric Chair), 2006
silkscreen ink on paper, 20-1/2 x 30 inches (image & sheet) [52.1 x 76.2 cm]

Assignment 2: finding my way through

As I have come to the assignment I think I am going to do some more research on photographing the unseen as this seems to spark an interest with me but I am really not sure where I go with the project so maybe its worth looking at some photographers who work in this sort of genre of narrative photography and see if this can help me go in the right direction with my assignment. I am steering towards photographing the unseen as it has much more of an openness to be creative whereas using props of either a white shirt or hanky can be quite restricting in a way.Whereas photographing the unseen will essentially push me out of my comfort zone and try something new which is always a good thing to do.

Assignment Two

I have come to assignment 2 I am not really sure what direction I am going to take as of yet but I shall reflecting upon what I have learnt in this section and will work out which category I want to base my project on.

  • Photographing the unseen
  • Using props

at this moment of time using props seems quite a good option but photographing the unseen could be interesting and would push me out of my comfort zone.



Upon reading a fellow OCA students work that was presented in the briefing folder, I immediately went on to look at her story more in depth on the OCA website.

I think I connect with Jodie Taylor- memories of childhood project as I think nostalgia and memories is what we all have and even though her photos would not be the same as my photos i still feel a connection with them.


Image by Jodie Taylor

As soon as i saw this image my mind went flooding back to a 10-12 year old me playing by the fields where there were a set of garages just like this. Even though her story is different to mine there is always something similar that will spark memories of our own past.

I think with photography you do loose authorial control, because how ever much you want to control what the viewer sees you cant control how they will respond and read the photograph that they are looking at. I guess that I feel ok with this as its something I am coming to terms with. I think if there was a really strong message I  wanted to get across then I think id write text with the image but at the end of they day you just have to put your faith into the viewer/ viewers that they will read the photograph how you wanted them too if not then let them run with and let the viewer see at it as they want.