Exposure – Exercise 4.1

Part 1

Set your camera to any of the auto or semi-auto modes. Photograph a dark tone (such as a black jacket), a mid-tone (the inside of a cereal packet traditionally makes a useful ‘grey card’) and a light tone (such as a sheet of white paper), making sure that the tone fills the viewfinder frame (it’s not necessary to focus). Add the shots to your learning log with quick sketches of the histograms and your observations.

You might be surprised to see that the histograms for each of the frames – black, grey and white – are the same. If there’s not much tonal variation within the frame you’ll see a narrow spike at the mid-tone; if there is tonal variation (such as detail) you’ll see a more gentle curve. If you find the tone curve isn’t centered on the mid-tone, make sure that you have your exposure compensation set to zero. You may see an unpleasant colour cast if you’re shooting under artificial light, in which case you can repeat the exercise using your monochrome setting (a light meter is sensitive to brightness, not to colour).

This simple exercise exposes the obvious flaw in calibrating the camera’s light meter to the mid-tone. The meter can’t know that a night scene is dark or a snow scene is light so it averages each exposure around the mid-tone and hopes for the best. But why can’t the camera just measure the light as it is? The reason is that a camera measures reflected light – the light reflected from the subject, not incident light – the light falling on the subject. To measure the incident light you’d have to walk over to the subject and hold an incident light meter (a hand-held meter) pointing back towards the camera, which isn’t always practical. If you did that each of the tones would be exposed correctly because the auto or semi-auto modes wouldn’t try to compensate for the specific brightness of the subject.

I took two pieces of mount card and my 18% Grey Card; placed them into daylight just outside my front door against a wall and used the auto setting (P Mode) and added the results of each histogram to my learning log.

Part 2

Set your camera to manual mode. Now you can see your light meter! The mid- tone exposure is indicated by the ‘0’ on the meter scale with darker or lighter exposures as – or + on either side. Repeat the exercise in manual mode, this time adjusting either your aperture or shutter to place the dark, mid and light tones at their correct positions on the histogram. The light and dark tones shouldn’t fall off either the left or right side of the graph. Add the shots to your learning log with sketches of their histograms and your observations.

I placed the same mount board in the same location as the previous exercise and using manual setting keeping the aperture at f8 and ISO 400 I was able to control the light meter by adjusting the shutter speed. The screenshots of the histograms have been added to the learning log.

I noticed far more control using manual mode.


Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 16


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 For the first time in its history the National Portrait Gallery’s annual competition the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is to permit digital entries for its first round of judging, it was announced today, Friday 28 April 2017. (News Release: NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY ANNOUNCES TENTH ANNIVERSARY TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE CALL FOR ENTRIES… DIGITAL SUBMISSIONS WELCOMED FOR FIRST TIME – National Portrait Gallery, no date)

The Beaney Museum, Canterbury is currently holding the

exhibition until the 29th October. https://canterburymuseums.co.uk/beaney/explore/

The exhibition is located on the first floor in a large room which was fairly well lit with spot lights over the hung mounted portraits with a few darker areas; where it enhanced the work on display in particular Angela (photogravure) February 2016 by Peter MOSELEY.

Moseley’s portrait in monochrome and using a printing technique that took me back to a time when I left school and started work in the print industry; a very evocative portrait not only for the print process but the subject reflected myself with every minute detail emphasised in the skin and atrophy.

The overall layout of the exhibition was displayed in two sections parted by a small divide with a total of 61 portraits.

In the corner of the small divide was a section ‘In Focus’ by l. The De Middel exhibition comprised of four large inkjet prints from the series ‘The Gentleman’s Club 2016’. De Middel was born in 1975 and has Spanish and Belgian parents. She studied at the Polytechnic University of Valencia gained her MA in Fine Arts but photography was to great an opportunity and was side-tracked by the

camera. ‘That’s when I fell in love with the darkroom process. I soon realised the possibilities the medium had to explain the world we live in and I wanted to try to understand the world through the lens.’ (Bloomfield and National Portrait Gallery (Great Britain), 2016)

 Working clockwise around the exhibition the prints varied in size, colour and medium with the exception of De Middel’s work. The prints had a feel of a seedy nature, solitary males in dimly lit rooms casually dressed. One male looks high on drugs with a vacant expression on his face. The narrative sitting slightly to one side of the portraits and under each a short explanation about the subject and why they use brothels.

 I progressed along the walls and immediately struck by two portraits of nurses on a bright crimson background against which the bright white uniforms leapt out of the photograph. Larger than life in size and posture. I felt quite intimidated by the pair staring at me.

The overall winning image a schoolboy in uniform seemed rather bland and boring it could have been taken at any school anywhere in the world. I did not find it in anyway stimulating or leaving me asking Who? What? Where? When and Why? I found it (Similar uniforms we refuse to compare) disappointing, however, well lit, sharp and technically correct a classic portrait. Claudio Rasano’s work does not appear to differ from any other work he has previously produced; clean backgrounds, natural lighting and without manipulating the image. (correspondent, 2016)

The second prize awarded to Joni Sternbach a tintype was outstanding! The incredible, tangible feel and look of the surfer and his girlfriend was almost three dimensional with an aged quality that you could not have achieved easily digitally. Tintypes were popular at seaside resorts in the nineteenth century, as they were cheaper and easier to produce than daguerrotypes. Sternbach processed her work using a mobile darkroom on location. (correspondent, 2016)

Sternbach made a connection with the subject and it is translated in the expression of both surfer and girlfriend the relaxed pose and intimacy between them clear. If it weren’t for the reversed lettering on the t-shirt you could be fooled into thinking it had been enhanced in photoshop.

Overall, I felt some of the aspects of the exhibition very positive others I felt indifferent and in particular the overall winners work. I think the highlight the exhibition had to be poignant picture by Ebony Fink of her late grandfather who at the time was a resident at a Melbourne palliative care facility.

The natural daylight streaming in from the window and the clean linen create the impression of a sterile environment. Yet at the same time I feel the despair and fragility of Fink’s grandfather. I cannot decide if he is sitting on the edge of the bed or about to try and get up onto his feet. The watch echoes that time is fleeting and life is ebbing away given the state of his body, again the light creating shadow and detail.

I found this a sad portrait and thought about my own plight and that of my grandfather and the last few days he spent in hospital before he passed away. This inspired me to go back home and revisit my current assignment three, the decisive moment or as suggested by my tutor the un-decisive moment.

There seemed to be a consistent theme as a source of reference of old masters, pre-Raphaelite dra

wings and Dutch masters in many of the portraits. The use of Chiaroscuro lighting was evident by Karsten Thormaehlen, Paul Stuart, Peter Moseley and Josh Redman.

Chiaroscuro lighting means light (Chiaro)and dark (Scuro). The greater the subject is separated the more three dimensional they become; and detail becomes prominent.

I would go and see this exhibition again but concentrate of those of interest to me. I would have like to have seen more documentary portrait photography but felt that this made only a small portion of the exhibition; particularly given recent world events of mass migration (Greece) and the refugee crisis. The focus seemed around age both old and young or health and death with a very specific narrative; whereas Judy Gelles work left me wanting to see more of her work and far more thought provoking. (Fourth Grade Stories – Judy Gelles, no date)


I think this is a really import part for me to share as I am coming across more and more obstacles in my pursuit of my degree. If I had known that it was going to be such a battle to get into this exhibition I may not have gone.

The exhibition was quite a challenge for me to access; this seems par for the course with most buildings one way or another and particularly in Canterbury. The disabled access lift from th

e street was temperamental and staff had to assist me. Once I had managed to get to the first floor and into the exhibition everything was easy to view and without restriction, apart from the obvious no photography allowed. Sadly, the lift failed when I wanted to leave and I was escorted out through one of the fire exit doors to the adjacent car park. 

Before the entrance to the exhibition on display are early examples of photographic equipment modern and old with family portraits and slides. A fascinating display!


Bloomfield, K. and National Portrait Gallery (Great Britain) (2016) Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 16.

correspondent, M. B. A. (2016) ‘Shortlist announced for Taylor Wessing portrait prize’, The Guardian, 12 September. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/sep/12/shortlist-announced-for-taylor-wessing-portrait-prize (Accessed: 9 October 2017).

correspondent, M. B. A. (2016) ‘Taylor Wessing portrait prize won by photo of boy in school uniform’, The Guardian, 15 November. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/nov/15/taylor-wessing-portrait-prize-won-photo-boy-school-uniform-claudio-rasano (Accessed: 9 October 2017).

correspondent, M. B. A. (2017) ‘Photo of girl fleeing Isis shortlisted for Taylor Wessing portrait prize’, The Guardian, 5 September. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/sep/05/photo-girl-fleeing-isis-shortlisted-taylor-wessing-portrait-prize-2017 (Accessed: 9 October 2017).

Fourth Grade Stories – Judy Gelles (no date). Available at: http://www.judygees.com/fourth-grade-word-portraits (Accessed: 9 October 2017).

News Release: NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY ANNOUNCES TENTH ANNIVERSARY TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE CALL FOR ENTRIES… DIGITAL SUBMISSIONS WELCOMED FOR FIRST TIME – National Portrait Gallery (no date). Available at: https://www.npg.org.uk/about/press/tenth-anniversary-taylor-wessing (Accessed: 9 October 2017).





The Routine of Daily Life – Assignment 3


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Assignment 3

Initial Thoughts

I have struggled to kick off this assignment not through laziness or cannot be bothered with my studies but the sheer battle of my disease and the routines that I cannot escape. I am bound to my home, which has had a massive impact on my mental and physical health over the last few months.

To live with a life-long condition and all that entails is bad enough but when it is compounded with a world of isolation and routine, which relies on others to help you wash, get up out bed or do the simpliest of tasks is really depressing.

My road to being independance has taken almost 11 months of my life, that’s one fifth of my diagnosis waiting for a specially adapted wheelchair accessible vehicle. Motabilty awarded me with a £20,000 grant to not only help with my daily life but my BA Photography degree and studies. However, it has been a long, long road and something I could never of foreseen.

It is fair to say I lost my way with the course and Expressing Your Vision when it came to Assignment 3. The never ending battle to research and getting access to a library has been huge and this may sound like a moan but I have found through the journey of the course I am a book person. I do not absorb information from the internet. Perhaps, the fact that my brain is suffering because of my disease has something to do with it. Who knows? I am not a neurologist but merely living with it.

After a call and chat to the OCA office my imagination was sparked and with a new vigor I started work on Assignement 3. My life is mudane, boring and monotonous so why could this not be my ‘Decisive Moment’?

I began with a Mind Map and my thoughts, ideas and research and added to it as I progressed with the assignment.

Decisive Moment Mind Map


Henri Cartier-Bresson and others

Henri-Cartier Bresson, was renowned for his Street Photography and the phrase of the ‘Decisive Moment’. So where has the phrase the Decisive Moment come from?

It (the Decisive Moment) is probably the most mentioned and discussed phrase in photography. His work shows glimpses of reality and in an geometric patterns. He was obsessed with form, composition and aesthetics of photography. He began in ernest to photograph seriously in the 1930s influenced by the Surrealists. Cartier-Bresson was also an accomplished painter. Cartier-Bresson’s book published in 1947 ‘The Decisive Moment’ the book is divided into two chronological and geographical sections. The first years 1932 to 1947 and comprises of photographs in the west; the second from 1947 to 1952 and mainly in the east.

In Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Brussels, 1932, using a small-format Leica created intrigue and air of mystery with two males facing a cloth barrier one of whom appears to be peeping through, while the other acts as a look out and he gazes uneasily. Why does there appear to be such a look of guilt? There seems to be a respect for authority. Isn’t it the case that whenever a police car follows you and although you have done nothing wrong and committed no offence you feel guily and you behaviour changes. Yet the police have no interest in your activity, unless you are doing something illegal. I wonder how the facial expressions would look like? Would it be the same as the two gents in 1932?

© Henri Cartier-Bresson

The decisive moment, which was at the core of photography for over a century, has been whittled away by technology. Now, on your DLSR you can roll video and (while editing) pluck out a perfectly good quality frame – this makes me push my work further.’ (Bonita Evans, 2016)

In essence Nick Brandt makes a statement that the decisive moment no longer exists because technology no longer allows that to take place. Surely a decisive moment still dictates when to capture that moment although editing removes that whereas with film you cannot simply delete and move on. Brandt says in his article that ‘There’s a part of me that wants to go through the stress, neurosis and paranoia of using film. You don’t have the luxury and temptation (or distraction) to check what you just shot with analogue, so you have to stay utterly focused and in the moment with your subject matter.’ (Bonita Evans, 2016)

Meyerowitz, began his photographic career in 1962 inspired by the work of Robert Frank. A street photographer, however, unlike Frank, Walker Evans and HCB he favoured colour prints. That’s not to say he did not produce black and white photographs.

I found a video on his website where he discusses his Leica and why he favoured this camera. Interesting that his early work was an 8×10 as he talks about how the viewfinder is offset as opposed to a DSLR, which means you still have one eye in the frame yet can still see the opportunities with the other that would otherwise be missed.

HCB also talks about framing, composition and geometry but I cannot agree with Meyerowitz entirely in his statement that you are somehow missing part of the story with a DLSR because the other eye is covered by the body.

If I rotate the body to portrait rather than landscape orientation I still have 50% of my view left. While it’s not ideal and restricts my use of a DSLR this tactic could be used in Street Photography.

Provincetown, USA, struck me as a colour version of Evans work but would not have had the same impact if it were not in colour. The vivid hues of the sunset and the clouds lit up by the sunset and the half-light left on the front of the building still able to illuminate the signage. Time here is captured so well with the visual clues and the change in light as the bright fluorescent tubes light up yet we can read clearly the words DAIRY LAND and FOOD in black lettering against the weather boards. That fleeting moment captured.

© Joel Meyerowitz

Eddie Adams, photojournalist photographed the Siagon Chief of Police mercilessly shoot in the head a suspected Vietcong. At that precise moment the trigger was pulled he pressed the shutter. This one act was recorded on camera and was a perfect example of the decisive moment. Adam’s photograph froze a micro-second and monumentalized it, turning it instantly into an iconic moment of great import. (Badger, 2013)

© Eddie Adams

Adams, was in the right place at the right time a moment either way and the scene would have looked different; equally if the framing had changed and it was halfed we would have been

As I searched the internet for other photographers’ who have documented their own lives rather than the conventional Street photography I found an article about Graham MacIndoe. Graham a Scottish photographer living in New York pursuing a professional career but with the pressure of work his life spiralled out of control. He started to use drugs and ended up doing a spell behind bars. https://www.nationalgalleries.org/exhibition/graham-macindoe-coming-clean

What I found most interesting that he began to photograph what was happening to him. In his interview he said, I looked at myself and thought ‘Wow – this is how bad I look’. I realised that photographing myself was more relevant than photographing other people. (Fraser, 2017). I have often caught myself looking at my body in the mirror, sitting in a chair or laying in bed and thinking I don’t recognise myself.


In part my inspiration for this assignment came from Neil Platt’s story and blog ‘Plattitude’.

Neil Platt, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in his early thirties when he began to lose the use of his legs. This once professional architect was being reduced to nothing more than a withered body and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop it. Motor Neurone Disease was depriving him of his life, his son, his wife. I similarly have watched my life, career and family be devoured by this disease.

In Neil Platt’s documentary, “I am breathing”, which is heartbreaking to watch, but I can relate to. Almost at the beginning it starts with Neil’s Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) breathing machine sounding and the day begins with his wife opening the curtains as it does it mine! I would encourage anyone to watch “I am Breathing” to gain an understanding of what life is really like with MND.

Today in the news Neil Conway, who also has Motor Neurone Disease is challenging the right to die. Of course this issue is a contentious one and I have my own thoughts on this particularly living with a variant of MND. I watched the BBC interview and I thought how it may come across that Neil’s life is challenging he seemed to cope all be it with his wife caring for him. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40615778

It doesn’t show the low points or the as I call it ‘Sod’s Law Sunday’, when it always goes wrong on a Sunday and all the medical professionals you can call in the week are off work.

Unable to do the conventional Street Photography project or any other traditional decisive moments. I decided that to record my day; and at crucial points that are repeated each day but with a change in the light, scenery and time of day from one of my semi-permanent places during the day e.g. my riser recliner armchair, office desk or bed.

I have approached this with a week’s worth of photography and photograph one significant part of my day.

Hopefully, my assignment will explore this and give a glimpse of my daily life.

I look at the same view everyday but the weather changes, the seasons change but still I am looking at the the same view and position each morning, afternoon and evening. I will need to add to the blog as the week progresses so it will be both narrative and pictorial review of my thoughts, feelings and reflect my mood.


My veil to a world beyond.

Day 1

Today, I started this assignment with my morning bathroom routine. I am sure that millions of us do this activity everday and without thought or regard and move onto to the next task. However, for me this is a reminder that I am not quite right and I catch a glimpse, a fleeting moment that my muscles are wasting.

My intial thoughts were how would I overcome being on my own and photograph myself doing a sequence of routine and mudane tasks. The answer was quite simple and use time lapse photography. I was able to record each part of my routine.

I pre-focused the lens at the mirror and mounted the camera to a tripod. I used the natural light from the window to illumate the scene. In Lightroom I edited the images converting them to black and white and increasing the contrast.

I have included the contact sheet at the end of the assignment.

Day 2

Today, I am totally shattered a night of pain. The impact is a lethargic body and mind that feels full of brain fog. The easiest tasks are becoming so hard it’s like I am climbing Mount Everest and I haven’t even left base camp.

The bin men came today. Thank god for assisted collections. I heard them, the dogs barked as usual and the gate slammed I know my bins are empty. The same cycle of washing, dressing and eating have all taken place.

Breakfast followed the same as yesterday scrammbled egg for breakfast, lunch swiftly followed pasta again and then I came down with a bump!

The result I MUST stop and rest after lunch and go back to using my NIV. I am now part man, part machine. I’m all topped up with the mornings medication and feel a bit like a drug addict dependent on a cocktail of drugs to get me through another 24 hours.

Day 3

One size fits all?

We are supposed to live an age where disability rights and access have no barriers. Well the reality is somewhat different where access can be a real headache. I have to think to myself before I head out and ask myself a set of questions; Where are the toilets? Does the building have ramped access? Can I park?

My own home is not entirely wheelchair friendly even though I spent a whopping £48,000 on my disabled living extension. The original set of double doors into the rear of my home and not wide enough for a wheelchair. Ramps are essential to getting in and out along with fingerless cycling gloves. I found very quickly that using a wheelchair is can be unforgiving on your knuckles!

Today, I ventured out of my home a rare occurrence these days to visit the GP’s. A simple task for most but my GP’s surgery has only two disabled spaces for the entire surgery and 99% of the time they are occupied by those who are to lazy to walk the extra 10 yards to the front doors or the commuters into London making parking nigh on impossible. Mentally, I asked myself a million and one questions before leaving home as I do each time I leave to go anywhere.

During my research I discovered David Hevey. Hevey, himself suffered from Epilepsy as a child. He is a successful photographer and directed three films for the BBC documentary series Modern Times. The Disabled Century was directed and produced by Hevey.

I watched the three series including an episode ‘Suicidal’. The powerful and moving stories told showed how society perceived disability after post-world war I. The most shocking episode personally was the final and third listening to disabled rights activists, who chained themselves to buses and delayed trains but were challenged by members of the public who asked them why they couldn’t get the bus! Thankfully such behaviour is not tolerated today but I can empathise with the plight. I still have to request assisted travel on trains and notify 24 hours in advance of my travel into London. http://davidhevey.com/viewing/

We held the Para-Olympics in London yet you cannot access South Kensington, High Street Kensington, London Bridge, Stockwell to name but a few. We haven’t moved that far on in my opinion and have a long way to go to remove all the barriers.


Day 4

It feels like a scene out of Oliver and the phrase “Can I have more please?”. The start of another day and with little difference to any other morning this week. Breakfast is always the same with a smoothie but I have to drink it through a straw. This makes me feel like a child.

I cannot tip my head back otherwise it will cause a laryngospasm; this can be quite unsettling when it first happens. It has the sensation of dry drowning; waking from a deep sleep and gasping for air tends to send you into blind panic. When I had my first attack my neurologist didn’t belive me and told me that it was too early in my diagnosis. He was wrong and later conceded that I was suffering from dry drowing.

Then came the referrals to other clinical outpatient appointments to the SLT (Speech and Language Therapist), Dietician and lots of others. The appointments are relentless each week I can attend up to six in a week others I have one or two. It all takes my energy and I am exhausted or in pain, hence up and awake again at some ungodly hour typing my blog. Oramorph is my friend.

This morning my personal assistant Tara made a magnificent breakfast from the MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association) cook book. The smoothie was quickly followed by a cup of tea with added thickener and scrammbled egg and salmon. No toast, no cornflakes, weetabix or anything really, really tasty as long as it resembles baby food I can eat it almost. I never feel like saying, “Can I have more please?” Unless it’s me and the camera for a few hours where I can lose myself in another world.

The post arrives and I sink in the chair as I recognise the postmark and style of typeface as yet another NHS letter. I wasn’t surprised when I opened it; another Outpatient Appointment to see my Speech Therapist. This makes the 5th appointment in 3 days. My heart really does sink when will this ever stop!


Day 5

Saturday is usually one of the busiest days of the week. Today was no exception and my good friend Rod came around to help with the weekly bee inspections and his weekly tuition in Beekeeping.

I would be totally lost without his help and had to give up beekeeping a couple of years ago. My friend and I marvel at the growth of the hives; although in my case the lack of Queen in one of the hives has mean it has descended into chaos!

I find beekeeping such a relaxing hobby and distraction from the normality of daily life. I look forward to seeing how my hives have progressed, what has changed, what is to change and how they will fair from one season to the next.

The orchards are rich and full of apples and pears and a heavy crop to come. The hedgerows are full of blackberries and the seasons seem to be ahead. The bees are storing like mad a sure sign that winter will come early. Nature is far better at predicting the future than we are! Shame that medical science is not as good at prediction.

For reasons of safety I used my iphone to take the photographs of the bees.

Day 6 

Awake half the night in pain not great to almost see every hour from 11pm to 4am. Exhausted I feel asleep after two large doses of Oramorph and I look forward to my appointment on Tuesday for a steroid injection into my hip (bursitis).

The rest of the day is a very quite day with little energy to do anything. I welcome going back to bed at 10pm.

Day 7 

I wake to bright morning and as I open the bedroom patio doors the breeze gently wafts the voile. I glimpse on the world and what could be the next chapter in my life.

The long awaited day has arrived. After months of wrangling from one consultant to another and one hospital to another I am off to discuss a feeding tube or PEG as it is referred to. This will be a decisive moment in my journey and a pivotal turning point. It will release me from the risk of choking and daily grind of eating and drinking orally unless I desire to.

Post Processing

I used Lightroom CC to edit my workflow making slight global adjustments to exposure, contrast, noise reduction etc., I rated each image from one to five and then coloured the final selection of images.

My screen is calibrated using a ColourMunki Photo, which I also produce ICC profiles for my Canon Pro10 for each photo paper. For the final seven printed photographs I used Permajet Oyster A4, which is lustre paper and I feel suited the final images. That is not say that I would not use one should I need to on other assignments.

I have not considered using an external printing company e.g. DS Colour Labs because I previously worked in the Printing Industry as a pre-press originator and have sufficient knowledge to produce high quality prints.

If I were to display this assignment I would have preferred this to be displayed in book format.

Final Images 

Contact Sheets


Badger, G. (2013) The genius of photography: how photography has changed our lives. London: Quadrille.
Bonita Evans, A. (2016) ‘Hearing Nature’s Cry’, Black+White Photography, September 2016, p. 96.
Fraser, G. (2017) ‘Photographer Graham MacIndoe captures his life on drugs’, BBC News, 7 April. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-39531545 (Accessed: 16 July 2017).

Joel Meyerowitz | Contemporary Color Photography | Author of Cape Light (no date) Joel Meyerowitz Photography. Available at: http://www.joelmeyerowitz.com/ (Accessed: 4 July 2017).


Exercise 3.3

I am unfortuate in that I cannot get to my upstairs as I have no way of accessing it. I am unable to use the stairs now due to the muscle weakness in my lower limbs and therefore unable to gain any view or elevation as directed in part two of the exercise.

I am also somewhat housebound because I have no transportation to get me out at the moment so I cannot adapt the exercise. Once I am in a position to do so I may well revisit this exercise.

I do not have a manual camera so the first part is unable to be completed either. I feel that I failed miserably with Exercise 3.3. I wonder if this has been considered when writing the course material? Those of us disadvantaged by mobility or disability and those of us who just simply do not own a manual camera?

Radical Eye:Modernist Photography Tate Modern


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Radical Eye:Modernist Photography Tate Modern 10 Nov 16 – 7 May 2017

Sir Elton John Collection

Curated by Shoair Mavlian with Simon Baker and Newell Harbin, Director of The Sir Elton John Photography Collection.

The exhibition of Sir Elton John’s private collection of over 8,000 prints, which he has been collecting for just over 25 years. The collection ranges from the early twentieth century to the present day.

The exhibition is contained within seven rooms each with a theme and all the photographs on display are displayed in the homes of both Sir Elton John and David Furnish.

The radical eye begins with a narrative on the wall and a photograph View from the Berlin Tower 1928, leading into Portraits, Experiments, Bodies into Documents and finally Objects, Perspectives and Abstractions.

The rooms are filled some literally with photographs’ in frames and document the artistic approach and the photographic processes involved. The colour of the walls painted in a metallic grey echo the silver halide in film and the lighting is bright throughout the exhibition.

The Portraits, which I have a keen interest in, where most intriguing in the portrayal of well- known figure, artists, and actors. In particular, the poses and the objects that surrounded them Salvador Dali, 1944 I felt was a typical example with his gaze and long pointed moustache, which I am sure most would describe or remember if his features were described. I could also see how portraiture could have been pivotal in the public’s perception and how this shaped their career; after all this was the modern equivalent of painting a monarch and distributing to the masses.

Experiments, was exactly that how we as photographers are fixed to rules be that rules of thirds, the golden ratio or inverse law of light. The rules are there to be broken and this demonstrated that precisely. The accidental mistakes were embraced and use of double exposures with image manipulation today performed with the click of a mouse. It made me appreciate my days of working in a darkroom and galley cameras in the printing industry spending hours over a light box and bottle of opaque masking areas of the negative.

Bodies, revealed that with better and faster film motion could be frozen, capturing dance with such clarity and detail previously impossible to do. The photographs on display focused the eye on body parts or their tight crops. The catalogue quotes, ‘The camera should be used for a recording of life, rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh.’ Edward Weston 1924

Documents expose the viewer to an era where portable cameras and new technology could show spontaneous events and moments in the everyday world. The 1930’s, was an era where photographers such as Walker Evans, Robert Capa and Dorothea Lange documented the abject poverty, historical evidence uniting artistic control and a form of propoganda. The style of street photography that these pioneers employed influenced social attitudes as much as a visual impact. One image particularly stood out for both my brother and I was Migrant Mother, Lange 1936. The small baby being held in the mother’s arm almost obscured and the two children with their backs to the wall and mother’s facial expression are haunting.

In 1936, at age 32, Florence Owens Thompson was living in a tent with seven children during the height of the Great Depression. Thompson looks on, determined but weary, while her children turn their faces away. Lange’s composition may utilize the composition and emotion shown in many Virgin and Child scenes. Although we do not know if this resemblance is intentional or not, it does trigger a similar moral sentimentality. Copyright MoMA Dorothea Lange. Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California

Objects, Perspectives, Abstractions a collection of photographs from extreme close-up to the worm’s eye. Everyday objects became unrecognisable and angles made them surreal. The combination of weird, macro and different perspectives made me look at my own work in a different light and that macro does not mean that I must obey the rules of convention.

I found the most valuable part of the exhibition was Objects, Perspectives and Abstractions it really made me think about how and why I photograph an everyday object or where I stand and what angle to take a photograph from. What message or do I even need to convey a message in my photography and that breaking all the rules is acceptable. I could apply that to my portrait work and focus on a body part rather than the what is expected or acceptable as a portrait.


‘A-Z of Modernist Photography’ (no date). Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/radical-eye-modernist-photography-sir-elton-john-collection/a-z (Accessed: 3 July 2017).
MoMA | Dorothea Lange. Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California. 1936 (no date). Available at: https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/dorothea-lange-migrant-mother-nipomo-california-1936 (Accessed: 3 July 2017).







EMA – Submission


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My final 10 images after 9 weeks of the course, which covered light, exposure, shutter speeds and basic composition and colour. Each week I submitted 10 images based on the module and some free work for peer assessment.

Some of the final images were drawn from the 9 weeks, others were revised and some new images added.

I concentrated on the top row in black and white and using structure, shape and form as the basis of the theme.

The second row focused on colour and various types of photography from creative, portraiture, macro and landscape.

As part of the EMA I provided a 200 word narrative on two images.

Image 6 – Explosion of Colour

I had great fun taking this photograph. I am limited at times with my photography due to my terminal illness. My intention was to freeze the colours of holi powder in an abstract cloud.

This required precise direction and position of studio lighting and which direction I threw the powder into the air. I positioned two studio flash heads fitted with snoots at forty-five degrees in front of the camera. To assist with focusing I placed an object in the centre of scene and used the modelling lights to check the direction and power of incident light with a sekonic light meter.

Selecting manual mode ISO200, f8 and the fastest shutter speed I could possibly using of 1/200 due to the synchronisation speed. Using a short focal length gave a better opportunity to capture the entire scene. I manually focused as I needed to remotely trigger the camera at the same time throwing the powder into the air. I chose three harmonious coloured powders, green, yellow and blue to create a Triad-split. By placing the camera with sufficient distance between the focal point and background, with an aperture of f8 creating a well-lit subject and an almost black background. Post-process in Lightroom I cropped to a 1:1 ratio making global basic adjustments and enhanced the vibrancy and saturation.

Image 10 – Stained Glass

This photograph of the stained glass window was quite a challenge to capture because of it’s height, direction of light (back lit) and low light levels inside the church.

I used a tripod to mount the camera to minimise camera shake and because of the height would not have allowed to me to create the overall finished image. I used a prime lens in this case a 50mm. To reduce camera shake further I used a remote trigger and manually focused to ensure sharpness.

To create a correctly exposed photograph I spot metered both bright and dark areas of the scene. I took one reading for the reflection on the stonework and one for the glass. I then took two exposures setting my camera to manual and settings at ISO800, f4. The first for the exposure for the glass at 1/160 and reflection at 1/40.

I edited the two exposures in Photoshop and Lightroom. I used layer masks to combine both images to produce a correctly exposed photograph. I made my final adjustments in Lightroom where I reduced the noise and sharpened it slightly. I also used the transform panel to adjust the vertical distortion.


Project 3 – What matters is to look


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Project 3 ‘What matters is to look’

Watch the Henri Cartier-Bresson documentary ‘L’amour de court’ (‘Just plain love’, 2001) available in five parts onYouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL707C8F898605E0BF

‘L’amour tout court’ is also available on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/106009378 (accessed 26/09/2016).

Write a personal response to the film in the contextual section of your learning log, taking care to reference properly any quotations you use (300–500 words).


I think that it’s fair to say that the phrase ‘the Decisive Moment’ has been used over and over again or perhaps misused. After all, the title of the book was in French, Images a la Sauvette, translated may be better read as images on the sly. Cartier-Bresson was convinced that given the right set of parameters; all the right ingredients of geometry, framing, proportion and rhythm come together in perfect balance to create the perfect photograph. The paramount and key point he makes is observation. He questions do we really look before we press the shutter? Do we indeed? In part four Cartier-Bresson is asked, “Can one learn to look?” He replied, “Can one learn to have sex?” (‘Just plain love’, 2001)

It is a basic instinct humans are programmed genetically to have sex, therefore, we look at each other intimately. We pick up on facial clues, body language and gestures when we fall in love. We must then look but do we know or even realise it?

Photography is in the most part instinctive and intuitive without it we are lost and just resort to taking pretty pictures that have no real value or meaning. I think we are all guilty of setting the camera to take hundreds of shots in a matter of seconds and hope that we have that winning image. The truth is we’ve probably missed it between the split seconds of each exposure. Is it better to take one good image than a hundred?

In that one perfect image, which encapsulates the decisive moment there needs to be an exchange of views about a photograph; although editing adding contrast and dynamic range seems permissible to create the final image. Cartier-Bresson took a break from the pressure of producing good photography and took up drawing; this gave pleasure and meaning when he returned to his photography. He owned a Lecia with the shiny parts painted black to enable it to be discreet and an extension of himself. Cartier-Bresson sums up how he is that extension in the boy performing a handstand. What he could not do was stop as none of us can is the aging process. “I am the young man who’s done all the things that took risks, knowing I could not do these things as I grew older.” (‘Just plain love’, 2001) So, Bresson participates in the image almost as if he is the subject despite being an old man.

In Africa he recorded his life, his residence but it was not about recording his life. He was living in the moment; as we do with today’s social media. He captured everyday occurrences including death. However, Bresson would have to wait weeks to see his results from the laboratory.  Why did photograph death? Because we are staring death in the face every day just as am I with my terminal condition and in my eyes mundane events become quite special, unique and there for a split second then gone.


‘L’amour de court’ (‘Just plain love’, 2001) (2001). ARTE France. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL707C8F898605E0BF (Accessed: 14 February 2017).

Exercise 3.2


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I began researching Francesca Woodman as part of the Durational Space project and immediately struck by the similarity of her mental health to my own. I have struggled for months with various aspects of my care and disease. Sadly, Woodman at the age of 22 committed suicide after jumping off a building. “We read such a lot.” In the past, Woodman’s suicide – she jumped off a building in lower Manhattan – has been linked to a funding application that had been turned down. Berne disputes this. “She had an illness: depression. That’s all there is to it.” (Cooke, 2014).

It is sad to think that Woodman’s work did not achieve any status until after her death. Woodman’s suicide seems to be the focus of her autobiographical work and it should not be the case.Yes in someway she gained the recognition she deserved but her death is not why she was a success if you read the photographs. Woodman’s parents both with a creative background gave her a camera a Yashica 2¼ x 2¼ when she was just 13. In a lifetime she would produce over 800 pieces culminating in an exhibition entitled zigzag. Her images were of self-portraits and using either arms, legs, or other parts of the limbs but excluding her face and intertwining a collection of angles.

Untitled 1975-80 Francesca Woodman 1958-1981 ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/AR00358

Untitled 1975-80 Francesca Woodman 1958-1981 ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/AR00358

This gave me the inspiration for this exercise. Woodman, employs the use of slow shutter speed and composition with light and shadow, contrast and use of monochrome to convey a sense of drama as in the ‘untitled image’ of Woodman bare footed bending forwards and out of the frame but with a blurred action of a flimsy material. The skirting is sloping downwards.

Like Woodman I am restricted in the use of models and my mobility further restricts locations where I can access. So just why did she put herself in the images?

Francesca once said that it was just a matter of “convenience”: she was always available, whereas finding a model would take time. “I do think that was it,” says Betty. “Though telling yourself what to do is also much easier than telling someone else to smile, or to look this way or that.” (Cooke, 2014). I don’t think that she was being narcissistic being her own model Kirsty Mitchell also took self-portraits in similar surroundings of dilapidated buildings shortly after her mother’s death.

I imagine that she was also controlled by her mental health and probably withdrew at times from the world immersing herself in photography. I say this because I use my own photography as a form of expression and escape.

In 2014, under immense pressure from work to take early ill-health retirement and living with a deteriorating terminal neurological condition I tried to commit suicide. I didn’t plan it but one cold, bleak april morning I woke up and left everything behind and drove to Beachy Head. Everyday mental health is a constant battle for me. On reflection the past few months have been a struggle with this course and I found myself thinking why am I putting myself through this?

But today, I woke and the sun was shining; with a positive attitude I picked up my coursework for the first time this year.

How do I portray what it is like for me to look in the mirror and see before your very eyes your body wasting? How do I express my fears, anxieties and depression?

I think that John Coplan had the answer. He was a British artist, art writer, curator and museum director who at the end of World War II emigrated to the United States. He became a director of the Akron Art Museum in Ohio.

In the 1960s, he began taking photographs of his own body and documented the ageing process. The photographs recorded what was once familiar had now become unfamiliar. I can compare this to my own body at the age of 48 and with the disease progression of only five years I no longer recognise my own feet. They have become distorted and contorted with the toes curling under and atrophy across the top of my feet as the nerves waste away sending signals to the muscles eventually causing atrophy.

I have carers to help me daily with showering, dressing, drying and making meals. The routine is laborious at times. It’s great to have help but I want to be independent for as long as possible. My activities are somewhat restricted; however, this gave me the idea to combine Coplan and Woodman’s style and be able to use a slow shutter speeds. Adopting Woodman’s composition but showing my deteriorating body as Coplan had done became quite an obvious choice. I thought about showering and how my naked body is exposed to the world and plain to see that my lower limbs are weak, disfigured and aged. What indeed was familar is now unfamiliar to me.

This exercise though posed several difficulties and challenges. The first being alone and no one to operate the camera and how would I get changed, unchanged and dried unaided; and be the model. So, in order to do this, I placed the items I required e.g. shower chair before I took the photographs. I used a tripod and manually focused the lens with a self-timer. To increase the exposure the naturally lit room I used a 6-stop Lee filter thus increasing the exposure from 1/8th of a second to 8-10 seconds.

I deliberately positioned the wide angle lens downwards to only capture the lower half of my body. I wanted to tell the story of not only a daily activity but how I cope. How I have to transfer from my electric powered chair into a plastic shower seat and leave my clothes within reach. There is no such thing as an ‘easy task’. I deliberately framed it so that my head was not visible but leaving my legs and arms in as the frame as much as possible. I couldn’t guarantee that of course my head would not appear! The angles of the tiles, flooring are reminiscent of Woodman’s photographs.

Unlike both Coplan and Woodman whose work is predominately in black and white I wanted to retain the colour in my photographs’. I converted them to black and white but it seemed the context and narrative was lost.

The first frame depicts the atrophy, clawed toes and the deformed ankles and lack of muscle in the upper legs but you cannot see the neuropathy that I have. I now wonder how do I portray that sensation? Short of sticking needles in I am at loss how to photograph neuropathy. Perhaps I shall give this some consideration.

I think this exercise was a success and overall I am pleased with the results.


Contact Sheet


Cooke, R. (2014) ‘Searching for the real Francesca Woodman’, The Guardian, 31 August. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/aug/31/searching-for-the-real-francesca-woodman (Accessed: 13 February 2017).

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/john-coplans-2353 (Accessed: 13 February 2017).

Hiroshi Sugimoto


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Hiroshi Sugimoto

We have been asked to research several photographers as part of Project 2. I chose to look at three photographers’ one of them being Hiroshi Sugimoto. I wanted to examine his work because he uses a style of long exposure rather than a more conventional route using either an automatic mode e.g., Shutter priority, Aperture or Program

Hiroshi Sugimoto for over 30 years has used a large format 8×10 camera

I watched the link provided, which comprised of two short video clips. In his theatre series, he opens the shutter using bulb mode for several hours starting at the beginning of the film and at the end finishes the exposure. This leaves a blank white screen in the cinema and all the people disappear. He explains that this is a blank space within a blank space.

Michael Freeman in his book ‘Photographer’s Vision’ looks at movies and films in a way that he explains a movie splits time into sections and to specific sequences. A famous photographer Eddie Adams, captured an image of a Saigon police officer executing a prisoner in the street in 1968 his view: “a still photographer has to show the whole fracking movie in one picture. A still picture is going to be there forever.” Freeman, The Photographer’s Vision.

In light of this quote Adams makes the point, which refers to a solitary image telling the whole story whereas a movie tells the story over several sections and has a definitive beginning and end. Comparing this to Sugimoto’s style of photography he takes one picture shown a film from beginning to end but does not literally show each frame of the film and considers he three-hour image one photograph. I question what is the point of this?

He explains that depending on the movie the screen can vary from being bright at the end if the film was optimistic and dull if that story was sad.

Sugimoto went onto photograph seascapes something I particularly enjoy photographing and using long exposures. He uses a very spiritual and natural way to express colour in photography and almost be at one with the world.

His latest four yearlong project ‘The Lightning Field Series’ involves no camera only striking metal with high voltage electricity and then processing the film in varying amount of salt solution to create a natural phenomenon. His philosophy is that the final photograph is representative of the wind and gods.  The exhibition was called ‘The Day After.’ Nakamura, Memories of Origin.

I recently met up with an old work colleague and we discussed my current university work and he told about Nobuyuki Kobayashi. Kobayashi is a captivating photographer producing platinum palladium prints on washi paper using ancient techniques that date over 300 years. I watched the short 30 minute video and was totally gripped by his composition of the landscapes but the art of producing wonderful prints that only emerge months later in the darkroom. He describes  ‘Yubi’ quite literally translated as ‘Yu’ meaning “gentle” and ‘bi’ meaning “beautiful.” His work echoes that of Sugimoto and this is why I wanted to mention him in my research.


I do not want to stray away from Sugimoto but I came across the phrase ‘Wabi Sabi’ whilst researching Capa. “Wabi” refers to an austere, natural state. “Sabi” refers to a lonely, melancholic sense of impermanence in life. So, the fact that everything in life is in a constant change and that nothing lasts forever. The fact that nothing in photography is complete or perfect and constantly evolving fits both these photographers’ work.

I found several websites describing Wabi Sabi, which I have included below for anyone who maybe interested in fiuther reading.

http://www.discoverdigitalphotography.com/2016/wabi-sabi-photography-the-art-of-the-imperfect/ (Accessed 13/02/17)

http://www.wabi-sabijapan.com/photos/gallery/index.html (Accessed 13/02/17)


Freeman, M. (2011) The photographer’s vision: understanding and appreciating great photography. Lewes: Ilex.  (Accessed: 13 February 2017).

Nakamura, Y. (no date) Memories of Origin. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhZJF4IPXcw (Accessed: 13 February 2017).

Endre Freidmann – ‘Robert Capa’


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Robert Cappa

As part of the exercises to the frozen moment we are asked to research a durational space. Most photographers at some point try to freeze time or at least the sense of movement within the frame. I chose Cappa firstly because of his connection to conflict and documenting war having served in the Armed Forces I wanted to see exactly how he recorded it and how I had done so with overseas tours of Iraq and Kuwait.

Robert Cappa an adopted American sounding name but was born Endre Freidmann in Hungary 1913. His parents worked in Pest,Hungary running businesses and father although not clear where he served in the first world war he returned to Hungary.

I find it ironic that Cappa hated war yet came directly in the line of fire and that I willing signed on the dotted line to serve my country and put myself in conflict.

He studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik in Berlin during the rise of the Nazi party. At a time of over four million unemployed in Germany, a banking crisis and collaboration of political parties.

He worked as a photographer in Berlin and in 1933 moved from Germany to Paris.

Prior to leaving in 1933 he met with others at the SDSE, Schutzeverband Deutscher Schrifstellar im Exil the (protective association of german writers in exile) run by communist leaders where he made friends with Gisele Freund, who managed to escape Germany with little notice that she would be arrested the same evening. She went on herself to become a distinguished photographer in France and would later become associated with the Magnum, the photo agency of which Capa would become one of the founder members along with Herni Catrier-Bresson, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour. The four were a collaboration of photographers that each played part in documenting wars formed Magnum.

David Szymin, who was known by his friends as “Chimm”, was born in Warsaw in 1911. Chim was a talented pianist in his youth and even considered pursuing music as a career. His father, however, had other ideas for his son. His father was a publisher of Hebrew and Yiddish books. He wanted him to study publishing with a view that he would join the family business. In 1929, “Chim” studied in Leipzig and commenced a three-year course covering printing techniques, graphic arts, and photography.

By 1932, he had moved to Paris and intended to study chemistry and prepare to research printing inks and lithography. He too found himself in the same position of Cappa had experienced in Berlin and found himself unable to fund his studies because his family had suffered during the economic crisis. His family had a family friend who ran a photo agency in Paris and he began work as a photojournalist.

Chim was friends with Cartier-Bresson. Henri Cartier-Bresson was born in 1908, the son of a wealthy Norman family in the textile business. He was a scholar at Lycee Condorcet and went on to study at Cambridge in 1928 reading literature, during this time he met the Cubist Andre Lhote.

As a child he had an interest in photography and this came back into his life when he found himself recuperating from an infection conracted in Africa. He was drawn to Surreralism and due to his wealth unlike Chim and Capa he had the luxury to travel to France, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Germany during 1932-33 in pursuit of his passion for the subject.

Capa, had several transient jobs during 1934, as a darkroom technician as he had little technical knowledge about photography. However, a newly formed photographic agency was looking for photographers as they could not afford established photographers’ to cover the newly fashionable Riviera of St. Tropez. He was advanced a camera and film along with expenses. Unfortunately, his lack of experience and bad luck meant he failed to deliver any useable photographs and the Plaubel Makina camera he was supplied with was pawned to cover the unforeseen costs he’d encountered. The agency realised that something had happened when they received strips of 35mm film he sent were not the same format of the medium format single plates they had supplied. He returned to his employers with feeble excuses, who went on to rent their darkroom to other photographers whilst Capa moved onto other darkroom work.

During 1934 he met Ruth Gerf, who he wanted her to pose for him. Gerf did not want to meet Capa alone and took her friend Gerta Pohorylles along. Gerta eventually changed her name Gerda Taro and the two became friends. (O’Hagan, 2012)

Capa and Taro invented the American sounding photographer ‘Robert Capa’ as a marketing ploy selling their work under the pseudonym.

In early September 1936, both were covering the Spanish War and by far one of the most controversial images ‘Death of a loyalist militiaman’ a Spanish Republican soldier falling backwards, who appeared to have been shot falling to his death. However, it appears that there is a certain amount of curiosity as to whether the soldier was indeed posing for Capa and been shot or it was a staged shot, which he was known to have done.

SPAIN. Córdoba front. Early September, 1936. Death of a loyalist militiaman.

SPAIN. Córdoba front. Early September, 1936. Death of a loyalist militiaman. Copyright Magnum Photos

For the first time he had documented the conflict in a rather personal, up and close way that had not been achieved before. Photographs that showed families and children such as crowds running for an air-raid shelter as the alarm sounds.

In 1937, Capa returned to France, Taro remained in Spain continuing to photograph the Spanish conflict. Sadly, on 25th July 1937, Taro was travelling in a car which was struck by a tank of the Republican army. A day later she died from her injuries. In December that year Capa covered the battle of Teruel.

From here on Capa moved to the invasion of China by the Japanese and ahead of the 1939 German invasion he had left France for America. Upon leaving France three boxes of 126 rolls 35mm film containing 4,500 negatives of the Spanish Civil War by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and Chim. The ‘Mexican Suitcase’ thought to have been lost since 1939 had been re-discovered in 1995 by a Mexican family, descendants of a Mexican General. (The Mexican Suitcase, 2016)

Capa’s greatest achievement was by far the coverage of the D-Day landings. He covered wartime London and at the beginning of 1943 had a romance with Elaine Justin, which lasted two years. He spent a year covering the Italian campaign, including the liberation of Naples.

On 6th June 1944, he landed with US troops on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. I can only imagine the fear and anxiety he must have felt has he was shoved out of the carrier onto the beaches clinging to his camera. He had learnt from his earlier mistake in 1934 and immersing his camera in water. It was only when his film reached the darkroom that most of his film was ruined and only a few images were useable.

Again, it seems unclear if this was a mistake made by a clumsy lab assistant at Life magazine or that he had caused the accident.

The blur of some images is understandable but with some of Capa’s work the blur almost seems deliberate rather than accidental. Who am I to argue either way. I consider the tension and scene he was presented with I am pretty sure that he would have had little time to consider his settings more a case of point and shot, hope for the best and the law of averages that if you use enough film you will have something useful. He didn’t bargain for the aftermath of most ending up in the bin!

FRANCE. Normandy. June 6th, 1944. US troops assault Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings.

FRANCE. Normandy. June 6th, 1944. US troops assault Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings.

He followed the invasion and liberation of France and covered the Battle of the Bulge. In 1946, he became a US citizen and co-founded Magnum Photos. He took a break from his photography until he began to travel once again in 1948 where he travelled to Israel.

Once again he returned to Paris and from 1950 to 1953 he was the director at Magnum Photo’s.

His final photographic assignment in 1954 of the Vietnam War resulted in his death. On 25th May, 1954, he was travelling with a convey when the convey stopped. He followed the patrol into a field and took at least one photo, when he stood on a land mine and was fatally wounded.

Portraits of Capa portray him as a sophisticated man almost plucked out of a film from the 1950’s or a war hero with a cigarette in his hand dressed in uniform.


The Art of Photography (no date) The Mexican Suitcase. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KympSgVknO4 (Accessed: 26 September 2016).

O’Hagan, S. (2012) ‘Robert Capa and Gerda Taro: love in a time of war’, The Guardian, 13 May. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/may/13/robert-capa-gerda-taro-relationship (Accessed: 26 September 2016).

Pro Magnum Photos (no date). Available at: https://pro.magnumphotos.com/ (Accessed: 26 September 2016)

The Mexican Suitcase (2016) International Center of Photography. Available at: https://www.icp.org/browse/archive/collections/the-mexican-suitcase (Accessed: 26 September 2016).