Assignment Four: Prep


For this assignment I pulled together research from multiple sources including books, websites and interviews on Youtube with the photographer Gregory Crewdson and others reflecting on his work, in relation to the Twilight series but also his work more generally.

As well as reading books relevant to the photographer and the photograph I also picked up a copy of ‘Singular Image: Essays on Remarkable Photographs’ by Sophie Howarth. It was pretty expensive! I read the essays for Jeff Wall, Diane Arbus, Hiroshi Sugmimoto and Bill Brandt in particular but I will finish off reading the other essays as well. This gave me a good feel for constructing an essay and critically reviewing a single photograph.

I re-read ‘Camera Lucida’ by Roland Barthes again, this time accompanied by the Critical Analysis in the book ‘Basic Critical Theory for Photographers’ by Ashley la Grange. Along with the OCA course book for Context and Narrative this helped to explain some of the terminology/language used. I also had a lengthy discussion with my mentor (who has studied languages) about language more generally and some of the terms used academically.

At the start of section four I emailed my tutor some ideas of photographers I was interested in looking at. These included Ansel Adams, Jeff Wall, Sebastiao Salgado, Gregory Crewdson and Simon Marsden. My tutor suggested I steer clear of Ansel Adams unless I was prepared to be critical. I decided to go with Gregory Crewdson as the image I picked fascinates me and I could find some good reference material. He is also more of a contemporary photographer than Ansel Adams for example.

I spent a couple of solid days making notes and researching the photographer and the photograph before starting on my first draft of the essay. In the end I wrote 3 drafts, the one I have submitted being the final draft.

I have seen recently that the Photographers Gallery in London has some of Crewdson’s work on display so I am hoping to get back up to London if I can, it may not be until after I have completed this unit and started the next unit.



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