Monday, 26 March 2012

The Commission - My Research: Alex Soth

"I fell in love with the process of taking pictures, with wandering around finding things. To me it feels like a kind of performance. The picture is a document of that performance".

Alex Soth expresses the need to tell a story through his photography and express the narrative but admits he struggles to do so. "Photographs often leave me feeling like something is missing". This is almost like what I wanted to do with my photographs - tell a personal story.

It is an opinion that the best photographs inspire curiosity rather than satisfy it and I believe I may have achieved this is my series with the simplistic framing and the subtle use of money that will make people wonder what the significance of it is. Hopefully people will look at my series and want to know what the significance of the people in their locations are too and their link with them, and in turn, understand the context. I think this is also a similar element in Soth's work. For example, his photograph below, of an older male next to what looks like a cabin holding a model aeroplane in each hand.

Soth talks about how the house caught his eye. He went and enquired and met the man's wife who told him that he had in fact build the house. She also explained how Charles and his daughter built model planes in the room he called his 'cockpit' on the 4th floor entered via a ladder. The room was small and lined with windows; too small to photograph in. The photograph is taken on the roof.

 'Charles, Vasa, Minnesota 2002'

This image provokes my interest (just as Alec Soth talks about this house and the people provoking his) and there also seems to be some juxtaposition between the apparent age of the man and the fact that his hobby is often also shared by children.

The isolation of the subject relates to how I have chosen to frame my subjects with a shallow depth of field. Although the second hand items are important in my series and to my concept, the concentration on the subjects is to give it context and I chose to do this to make it personal.


This image of Soth's would have been a perfect visual reference for my concept had I pursued my first idea about photographing a constructed set in a random location.


Two visual references of Alec Soth's which I found inspired my photographic choices are the portraits below of the women in what seems like their homes. They seem to suit the colour tones in the rooms. It is their posture and their relationship to the camera which I have recreated in my own series as well as their natural expressions and contexts within the photographs.


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