Blog posts, thoughts, things

A photograph that made me think – Untitled, Francesca Woodman

Many components of this melancholic photograph depicts the struggle of women within a patriarchal society of the 70s (of which this photograph was taken). The most striking aspect being the nudity. The two subjects have been stripped down of their worth and are there to be gawked at, vulnerable. Furthermore, the head of the woman on the left has been completely cropped out – her identity is lost and she is objectified, only to be seen for her body. My eyes were then drawn to the woman coiled up on the floor. Not only is she hiding herself in shame, but her eye contact with the lens of the camera gives a sense of desperation. She craves emancipation and is looking to me to give allowance for this. The fact that this photograph was shot in black and white film not only gives a sombre ambience, but draws attention to this raw emotion.

At second glance, I then realised that the subjects are surrounded by clutter – within the background, midground and slightly in the foreground. It is almost as if the women have been consumed by the mass of ‘stuff’, thus connoting their objectification as well as being ‘treated like dirt’.

Emma Hugill

L1 Photography, University of the West of England


A photograph that made me think – Nilufer Demir’s

A photograph that made me think.

This photo was produced to show the world the reality of what the refugees and migrants face on a daily basis. This specific photograph made me think how photography can be used as an aid to help. Here specifically help people understand more about humanitarian issues going on in the world around us and helps to explain something that perhaps words cannot. This photograph I believe, evokes more emotion and sympathy than any article I’ve read. To use the term a picture speaks a thousand words is appropriate when referring to this image. I think it changed the world’s view of this crisis and exploited the horror of their journey and what the refugees face. It shook the world. It made me think about how photography can be used as a platform of communication to show the world the truth. To exploit issues in the world that, if not for a camera, may be lift hidden and shunned. Although a good journalist can describe catastrophes I think a photograph can do what writing cant and that is show people reliability the truth.

Prudence Bond


A photograph that made me think – ”Hotel by Railroad” by Richard Tushman

Hotel by Railroad is a photograph taken by Richard Tushman from the series ”Hopper Meditation” in 2012, I have seen it by chance on the internet as I was making some personal reserch about Edward Hopper and the photo made me think a lot.

Firstly I was amazed by the idea of representing a painting as a photograph, I found it extremely fascinating and arduous to develop: the maniacal study behind every details it is the hardest thing for me to figure out.

I have always thought that the most beautiful images are taken instinctively, without thinking very much at the location or so – in this case I came to the conclusion that I was completely wrong. I love the attention, the idea and even the research I can see behind every single shot of his project. The composition, the light and the colour surprise me greatly: it seems a real painting made by Edward Hopper himself. As I said before, even though I am not a big fan of stilted photographs, I do not find this image static at all: the photographer has got the ability of making me feel a lot of different sensations with this shot. I chose this photograph because it made me aware of a fascinating technique I would like to implement in my style.

Jasmine Bruno

L1 University of the west of England


A photograph that made me think – Birds in the trap by Nick Knight

I chose this image as it looks unorthdox, it has as strong vibe, with lots of mystery. The image feels like it has broad interpretation and depending on the viewer that will get something different from it.

Showing my partner the image, he initially thought that the model was a aboriginal man locked in a cage. On a second glace he noticed the model wearing a watch with tattoos, he then said that that was the current trend with youth. My partner then suggested, “The youth are trapped”.

At first my original thought was that the model looked trapped, as piece is called ‘birds in the trap’. As I’m aware the model is Travi$ Scott I feel that that Nick Knight has tried to portray in a mischievous light, this was made apparent by his smile. The stiffness of his arms make it feel as though the model is trying to break free, the image may suggest that he is being incarcerated but the smile makes it looks as though his sure he is going to break free. The lighting also adds a mysterious undertone partially the shadows around his eyes.

Tristan Grierson
L1 Photography, University of the West England


A Photograph that made me think – ‘The Napalm Girl, Nick Ut

‘A Photograph that made me think’

I remember seeing this photograph for the very first time, I reacted immediately to this because to know my family were apart of this makes it more personal to me and makes me wonder how they had felt to have experienced this situation.

The photograph shows a story, without everything that’s included in this picture it may not make sense to some people. The fact that there is a smoky thick mist at the back tells a lot about the photo, also the reactions of the people in the photo. You have children crying and running away, whereas you also have little kids that are running but you can tell from their facial expressions that they don’t really know what is happening. As the girl is undressed and the kids are not wearing any shoes it shows that it was unexpected and they were just living normally until they had to run.

It also makes me curious of where their parents are, it makes me wonder what happened to them and if they are in tears because they’re not with them. The fact the picture is in black and white shows how old this photograph is however it gives it a more emotional feel to the photograph. This is because black and white gives it a more of a dull atmosphere in these kind of photos and it sets a more sadder atmosphere.

Marcus Tu

L1 Photography, University of the West of England


A photograph that made me think – 1975a – Todd Hido

I have chosen one image out of a set of many named Homes at Night. This image was part of the houses section titled 1975a. This is the seventh image within the set. You can see the reoccurring theme throughout the style in which he shoots his photographs. The majority of his images has this hazy, blurred effect to them, Hido keeps to the natural surroundings for his photographs which makes me question how he mastered such a specific and recognizable style but yet he’s so dependent on something that isn’t in his control.

This particular image stood out to me as it captures so many possible feelings and situations. This is at a point in the set where it takes a much darker outlook. This image has a lonesome, desperate sense. Appreciating the imperfections of the image and recognising them, the broken rusted fence, the dirty wooden paneling of the exterior of the house, the dingey and tired lighting which all coincides with the detatched sense from the photographer and his subject.

The composition in which this was shot and the effect it has on the image it instantly isolates the house from what is a busy, built up landscape.

Bethany Morris


A photograph that made me think – Struggling Girl, 1993, Kevin Carter

I remember the heated discussions that followed the first time I and a small group viewed this photo; and every time since, those same arguments float into my head. A small child, alone, starving. A vulture, hungry also, waiting for death to creep in and take the child’s last breath.

The composition of this photo, with the vulture so close to the small child, left alone in the dry, African landscape, with no family member in sight, causes the viewer to question the photographer’s motives regarding the child’s life. The scenario is made worst by the condition of the child, whose feeble body is bent over, in what looks like exhaustion and hunger.

Kevin Carter has cleverly used leading lines and the rule of thirds within the photo, to add interest and appeal to the eye of the viewer, both in the way that the vulture is positioned away from the child and each critical element lies on a third of the image.

I feel that the main purpose of the photo, is for the viewer to experience, through the expected emotional bond to the child, just how harrowing the circumstances of poverty are in Africa, hopefully leading to much needed change.

Alex Ereny

L1 Photography, University of the West of England