View from My Window

To kick off the MA Photography at Falmouth, we were tasked with shooting a view from the window of our house. The example given was Lee Friedlander from the series America By Car (2008) (https://fraenkelgallery.com) which beautifully framed the bison on an American plain within the window frame of a car, while ensuring you could also see around the car, taking in the vast open-air and land.

My feelings towards this image and my own were to explore the idea of the frame, of the composition, and while I took the image quickly from the kitchen of our flat in London, I sought also to use the natural environment to present some kind of frame to the subject.

View from Window. Digital. © Tim Stubbs Hughes (2019)

Introducing the Global Image

Course Question: We are all subjects of photography. We are all consumers of the photographic image and we are all part of its discussion. We accept that photography is a global medium, but how did photography become a global medium and how does your own work relate to the global nature of photography?

Photography touches every part of modern life, from the images that are constantly marketed to us, to the social online networks and modern technology. The Electronic Image, its creation and the distribution of that image are at an unprecedented level: with a constant feed for content creation, sharing and “newsworthy” moments within our daily lives. Added to this is the need to engage, discuss and share online with the World Wide Web and be in on “the now”.

Within my own practice at the moment I am exploring more analogue photography than digital, but when developing the photographs, I am then having the negatives scanned rather than spend time in the darkroom. I am sharing the content with the various online platforms that I have.

I find this an interesting observation of my own process.

Over the last 12 months, projects that I have been exploring are about the environment and what I see in front of me. This has raised questions of ethics, my role in photography and what I am seeking when I take a photograph.

London. Analogue. © Tim Stubbs Hughes (2019)

A Worldwide Medium

Course Question: Do you see any parallels between the historic spread of photography and the transmission of digital imagery today? Can you think of any problems associated with the speed at which the photograph moves?

The rise of the digital image and then the development of mobile phones / compact cameras and DSLR’s has only added to the proliferation of images and content. On top of this, the creation of social media platforms, online networks and personal blogs and websites has increased the need and demand for images and content.

Photography no longer seems the provision of an elite or something that seemed to reserve for a special event or moment, such as gathering around the projector to review the holiday snaps. We now take photographs of everything (digitally), as we travel, eat, meet and then share these instantly with our public and fans.

Edinburgh. Analogue. © Tim Stubbs Hughes (2019)

Windows On The World

Course Question: What do you make of the mirror and window analogy? As a practitioner do you identify more closely with one or the other?

From my perspective, photography is very much an observation of the world around me, which also seeks to capture an inner essence or juxtaposition with what the image is examining.

Our first task was about looking ‘outside from within’ and I am thinking that the MA in Photography is very much along those lines. To examine what you know inside, and explore this with what you encounter.

It is about widening our vision of the world, taking in new perspectives and seeing how these fit within our own aesthetics and perceptions. That we need to examine the reasoning behind our actions (the photograph) and seek to deepen our understanding of the result (the reception).

Edinburgh. Analogue. © Tim Stubbs Hughes (2019)

Unity and Change

Course Question: Do you think the power and influence of the photograph is overstated? If so, does this devalue the true extent of the role of the photography in bringing about change or is the power of photography as advocacy in fact understated? What photographs or bodies of work come to mind when you think of those that have inspired unity and change?

Throughout history and time, images have been used to drive home the status quo or to bring a new realisation and perspective.

It could be debatable that an image alone will not do this, as maybe there needs to be some form of textual analysis or explanation.

I always am reminded of the difference between “locution” and “illocutionary”. The words themselves and the meaning behind the words. For example: “the cat sat on the mat” can mean just what it says, but the metaphor of resonance behind it could mean so much more.

A photograph either confirms what you know or shocks you to action and can exist as its own entity or can provide you with a sense of hope, despair or action.