In Aperture photography journal, I came across this article by Joanna Lehan about a photojournalist called Thomas Dworzak who hitchhiked around Chechnya to cover the conflict there, explored New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and lived with US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, he created these nine scrapbooks from the safety of his own home. Each scrapbook is dedicated to a particular Instagram hashtag and each is made up of screenshots from Instagram.
Given the discussion on the class forum about if Instagram has ruined photography as an art form, I found the work by Thomas Dworzak very interesting and think that it lends a different perspective to my opinion about Instagram. I still think that Instagram has increased people’s appreciation for good photography and that it has inspired people to take pictures. However, I hadn’t considered that professional photographers would utilise it in order to make work and that this work would be featured in Aperture journal. I think that using Instagram in order to make work connects the photographer with a younger audience and perhaps helps people find him using Instagram.
After seeing some of his photographs in Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now I decided to research into him a bit. He is a Nigerian photographer who started out photographing his native country, and its rapid urban development. When his work became more well known his practice started to branch out more. and he began to photograph more of a variety of subjects that explored subjects such as migration, sexuality and football.
He has also been fortunate enough to complete a number of artistic residencies including a 5 month residency in Paris and a 3 month residency in South Korea.
One of things that struck me about his work as I was looking through his website http://www.andrewesiebo.com/index.htm was how cleverly he uses light to enhance colours and textures in the photographs that he takes. Africa is a stereotypically sunny and hot country but this could make taking photographs quite difficult because of the lack of shadows sometimes.
Ocean City Amusement Park in Ocean City, Maryland, 2011
Cars parked at a Nascar Event in Richmond, Virginia, 2005
What else do pilots do when they’re flying a plane, other than concentrate on not crashing? Why? Take photographs of course! I found these photographs by Alex McClean who is a photographer and qualified pilot when I was just browsing the internet looking for some interesting photographs that I hadn’t seen before. I found them on this website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/11/alex-maclean_n_5126883.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592 I really like these photographs because they make us think about just what pilots see when they’re flying. Obviously, they need to concentrate on flying the plane safely but they have time to look out of the window, or in his case, stick his camera out of the cockpit window and press the shutter button. These photographs look almost unreal and like constructed photographs because of the order and structure that they contain but they were just what he could see.
Surfers behind breaking waves at Sunset Beach in Oahu, Hawaii,
Loaded coal train cars in Norfolk, Virginia, 2011
These photographs, as far I could find out, have never been shown in any exhibitions and have only been published online. However, if they were to be exhibited I would imagine that they would be very large prints because of the patterns and dimension within each photograph.
I found this blog post gave me more insight into how Thomas Joshua Cooper works and how much effort goes into making each photograph. The way that this post was written makes me feel as though I’m there with Mark McGowan, as do the photographs that he took throughout the day.
After seeing Ship to Shore at the Hansard Gallery I did some research into Thomas Joshua Cooper as I had really enjoyed looking at his work in the exhibition.
He is an American landscape photographer who is based mostly in Scotland and helped to found the Glasgow School of Art. He spends a lot of his time travelling the world to take his photographs and they can take a long time to capture because he wants to get every single element of them right.
He uses a 1898 Agfa camera, with special plastic sheets made especially for him by Kodak instead of the original plates and prints all of his work by hand. When he is shooting, his camera and the rest of his kit weighs about 16kg, according to an article in The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2001/oct/02/artsfeatures)
I found this article very interesting to read and I feel that I learnt a lot about Thomas Joshua Cooper as a person and not just as a photographer.
I really enjoy looking at his work because it has such a peaceful, calm feeling to it and makes me feel as though I am standing on a cliff looking over the ocean, instead of standing in a gallery surrounded by a crowd of people. I really admire the texture that he manages to incorporate into his work and I think it’s amazing that he still uses an old camera instead of a digital one. To me, this indicates that he produces photographs because he loves doing so, and doesn’t feel that he needs the help of technology.