Documenting Change

“Everything changes, weathers, grows or otherwise shows signs of transformation.”

The brief for this exercise was to make a sequence of photographs that shows the same subject, but in different states.

Any subject can be chosen but it needs to be clearly identified and the conditions of change that are to be shown need to be noted.

The end result of the exercise is to produce at least three images in the sequence that show the subjects different states and communicates the changes you’ve identified.

This exercise came up just a few days and weeks to late for me to make full use of some changes that were going on near where I live. There has been a lot of roadworks going on recently which has resulted in some major amounts of change.

One of the changes was the removal of a large amount of trees and grass opposite the entrance to a local superstore. By the time I reached this exercise all of the trees and grass had been removed. However, the intention is for further work to be done and so even missing the start of the changes documenting the rest of the work is entirely possible.

Another major change that was going on was the addition of traffic lights at a roundabout near to where I work. The work has caused a lot of problems because of narrowed lanes reducing the flow of traffic. Again the work had already started by the time this exercise came up but documenting the rest of the changes was again possible.

The final thing that I’m considering for this exercise is to photograph one of the trees outside the church I attend. Last year I took some photos of the tree when it was full of blossoms. Documenting the change that the tree goes through, from bare branches, through it full of blossoms until it is full of leaves would be an interesting activity.

All of the options above reflect growth and transformation.

By documenting all four I’m fulfilling one of the pieces of feedback I received for assignment 2, to shoot a range of options for each project and exercise.

One of the things that this exercise has highlighted for me, is the need to be aware of what is going on in the area you live and any changes that may be happening, because you never know when taking you camera out and photographing what is happening might be useful.

Final Images

The photos I decided upon for the final set of images were taken across the road from the church. The focus of the images is one of the trees whose branches were bare at the time I started the exercise. Over time buds appeared on the branches which were then followed by blossoms.

Exercise 3.4 - St James Church-6108Exercise 3.4 - St James Church-6842Exercise 3.4 - St James Church-7157

I’ve also included some close ups of the tree showing the changes is has undergone.



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Contact Sheets



Photographs from Text

The brief for this exercise was to choose a text that has meaning for you, anything from a poem, newspaper report, biblical passage or scene from a novel.

Once the text has been decided upon then several things need to happen:

  • Generate visual ideas that communicate the text.
  • Discuss the text with other people and find out what ideas spring to mind for them, jot the ideas down.

At this point, how to turn the text into an image or series of images can be considered.

  • Start with thinking about a literal translation of the text.
  • Next think about ways to illustrate the text metaphorically or symbolically.

As part of the activity the relationship between image and text should be researched by looking at Barbara Kruger’s montages of photography and text, plus Gillian Wearing’s Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say.


Gillian Wearing

Wearing’s Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say is a series of 600 photographs, taken during 1992 and 1993.

For the series, Wearing approached people in the street and asked them to write what they were thinking on a piece of A3 paper. She then photographed them holding the paper up in front of them.

Looking at the series of images you are struck by the candor of some of the people. The business man holding a sign saying “I’m desperate”, the young woman leaning against some railings with a sign saying “My grip on life is rather loose!”

Viewing the images in The New Yorker article, Bonhacker (2013), each of the individuals seems to be smiling for the camera. Not obvious grins in most cases, but discrete smiles that almost suggest that the individual is glad to have been able to share with someone what they are thinking at the time.

The idea of getting people to hold up a piece of card with something written on it is a simple one. However, to actually go up to people in the street and pursuade them to allow you to photograph them holding up that card with your thought for all to see, is challenging. How many people turned her down? How many images must have been taken in order to get 600 that you are happy to use?

We are all familiar with scenes from movies, music videos, or the many Facebook videos where someone is holding up a sign or a series of signs that give a message to the viewer. Wearing’s project is the fore-runner for all of these and is an important example of how a photographers work can be influential and have far reaching effects, across more than the media they worked in.

Barbara Kruger

Kruger’s work involves overlaying a image with a slogan. The slogans usually juxtapose with the image. Text is usually written in one colour on a contrasting block background. Usually white text on a red block. A quick image search in Google reveals lots of images that have a similar feel to them, not all of which I feel are down to Barbara Kruger, but as one image states “Plagiarism is the sincerest form of imitation”.

One of Kruger’s more famous images is titled “Your body is a battleground” and has the text ovelaying a persons face, one half of which is a normal print/exposure, the other half being a negative print/exposure. Scanning the result of the image search there are several examples of people having produced similar images.

In a similar way to Gillian Wearing, Barbara Kruger has influenced a generation.

Selected Text

Don’t Stop Dad. 26.2 miles today, all smiles tomorrow

Visual Ideas

The text is from a large card that hangs on the wall above my desk at home. The word Dad is in my son’s handwriting and was done when I completed the London marathon for the second time. I’m not sure at what point he wrote it before the race but I think it was between being admitted to St Thomas Hospital, the evening before, and me seeing him stood waving it by Big Ben, after they’d allowed him out for a couple of hours.

There are two aspects to this text. The 26.2 miles and the smiles.

To me the 26.2 miles denotes effort, determination, pain, undertaking or completing a hard task.

Smiles denotes, relief, pleasure, enjoyment, achievement.

Visually I see this as a mix of images involving effort and pain, happiness and relief.

Results of discussions with other people

When it came to discussing what people thought about the text I made use of social media and posted the question my Facebook page. I find that is a useful way to start some discussions because it can give you access to more people than you might be able to reach face to face.

Some of the responses I received were:

Motivation, determination through struggle, and optimism, looking forward to success and a rest

“Hell on Earth”

and the following image. Which I find particularly powerful because of the person it came from.

Which step

And for anyone who has ever completed a marathon, the bottom step is exactly how you feel for the first few days after you’ve crossed the finish line and people ask you if you’re going to another marathon. The top  step is you a few days after that when you’ve submitted that entry for another marathon.

Literal Translation

My initial idea for this was to take a small digital camera and use it to photograph people before then start of the 2018 London Marathon, possibly during the race; including the supporters at Teenage Cancer Trust charity points around the course, at the end of the race and if possible the morning after. In the end this idea didn’t pan out due to my digital camera falling out of the pouch of my running belt, which had come unzipped, sometime early on in the race.

I did manage to capture some photos during the event using the camera on my phone, which probably should have been what I opted to do from the start, rather than take a camera. These images are the basis for the work submitted for this exercise.

Metaphorical / Symbolical Illustration

If I was to interpret this text metaphorically or symbolically then I’d either look at photographing each of the steps in the image above, with a possible sporting influence. Alternatively, I would capture images that showed people struggling and maybe feeling somewhat disheartened, people striving towards achieving something and then images of people looking satisfied that they have reached an end. Or maybe photograph people going on journeys, the start of the journey, along the way, and when they finally reach their destination.


Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-143747Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-144006Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-155825Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-124226Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-100131Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-132929Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-161739Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-161940Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-162222Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-162604Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-164026Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-165610Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-171519Exercise 3.5 - Photographs from Text-120202


The deadline for my next assignment is the 18th May and I still have a number of exercises to complete before that becomes due. As a result I’m not able to spend a lot more time on this exercise. What I’ve produced fits the brief for the exercise. I’ve taken a piece of text and produced a series of images based around that text. The resultant images aren’t my best work, and don’t reflect what I had in mind when planning what to take, with more time I’d have ended up with something different.

When I sat down to select the images I was going to use I decided that I’d use Barbara Kruger’s as an influence and add text to each of the images, apart from one, and that one didn’t really need anything else adding to it. Admittedly in some cases the text is repeating what you can already see in the image, but if you had not idea of the distance involved in a marathon then the text does have meaning.

I’d like to redo this exercise either next time I do London, or at a different marathon, perhaps one that I’m not taking part in.  In addition I’d like to explore the metaphorical/symbolical way of illustrating the text, which is something that I hopefully will be able to do in parallel with the exercises and assignments in the rest of the course.

Contact Sheets


  1. Bohnacker, S (2013) Picture Desk: Gillian Wearing [Accessed: 15th April 2018] Available at:



The purpose of this exercise is to shoot a series of photographs based on a specific subject.

Once the subject has been decide upon then a suitable visual strategy needs to be chosen and the series of photographs taken using this same strategy.

Once the final selection of images have been made they should be printed in a grid or linear series and then people should be asked to comment on them and their responses noted down.


My Favourite Things

As part of the research this exercise we were asked to look at Michael Wolf’s My Favourite Things.

In his project My Favourite Things Michael Wolf has captured a number of photographic series that each revolve around a single item. For instance mops, chairs, people, cats, plants, rubber gloves and many more.

Wolf’s work shows that if you just open your eyes to the world around you it is possible to find things to photograph. When you begin to look around, you soon begin to notice things. It’s like when you buy a car, you soon begin to spot other cars like it on the road as you drive about.

The series of images that Wolf groups together also highlights that when you do look at the world around you, it becomes obvious that people put things in the most unusual of places.

Having looked at Michael Wolf’s My Favourite Things (Wolf) I decided that I would combine this exercise with another interest of mine. Something I’ve not done for a few years, geocaching. However, before I could set about doing that, and also in keeping with the idea that I have to shoot a variety of options, I had the opportunity to take some photos at a workshop I was doing. I’ve therefore ended up with two series – Geocaching and Fire, the latter you can find after the contact sheets for Geocaching.



One of the country parks near where I live set up a ring of geocaches several years ago for people to try and find as a summer activity. The caches were there about 5 years ago when my son and I got into geocaching. We explored the area and found several of the caches but never finished searching for them.

Finding and photographing the entire series of caches seems like an ideal subject for this exercise.

There are two approaches that could be taken with regards to the visual strategy. The first would be to photograph the location of the cache from a distance. This has the advantage that you wouldn’t be giving away the location of the cache to anyone that happened to be passing by and would be able to find the cache and ensure it was hidden again discretely.

However, the end result would be a series of image of landscape images which would not have an obvious theme.

The second approach would be to photograph the cache up close. This runs the risk of people noticing what you are doing and something happening to the cache after you’d moved on. Also by using a close up approach there is the danger that you don’t have any background to lend any additional context.

The best solution would be to take a variety of photographs (close up and more distant) and then select the best visual strategy when deciding on the final selection.

Below are both the close-up and distance versions of the geocache series.

As caches are, by their nature, designed to be difficult to see. The idea is to make them easy enought to find if you know where to look but difficult enough that they are not going to be found by someone passing by, who may then decided to move the cache or even throw it away completely. As a result some of the distant shots need to be looked at carefully in order to spot the cache, one I don’t think you can actually see the cache, but hey, that’s what I saw when looking for the cache; hint – it’s the one of the ivy covered tree stump. The actual cache is in the close up series.

The cache in the fence post lying on the ground used to be easier; relatively, to find as the post has fallen down since I visited it last. Back then the cache was a piece of paper hidden in a crack in the wood. Now you have to turn to post over to discover it.

Most of the caches here are just big enough to hold a piece of paper for you to write the date and some form of identification on; name, initials, geocaching ID. Others are big enough to contain small items; sharpeners, rubbers, small badges. If you find one of these caches then protocol dictates that if you take something from it, then you replace it with something else.

Final Series

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Distance Cache

Cache Up Close

Contact Sheets




I recently had the opportunity to do a fire eating workshop run by Ryan Darling. At the start of the workshop I felt a bit nervous, even when it came to just running the lit fire stick up along the palm of my hand and up and down the length of my forearm. The heat from the stick was too uncomfortable and so I moved it down the arm, a few millimetres above it.

Once we were happy with that, we moved on to fire eating. Starting off with unlit fire sticks we practiced getting the stick into our moves and even “teething”, which is where you bite on the wick of the on the stick. Confident we could do that, the sticks were again lit and we repeated the activity, this time trying to avoid burning our mouths, nose hairs, and anything else that got in the way of the flames.

Since I was taking photos, I couldn’t take any of me, but I do have some taken by someone else that prove that I did the same as everyone else.

After we’d finished that, we had a go at fire transfers, which is where you have two fire sticks, one lit, the other not. You grab the wick of the lit stick in order to get some of the lit fuel on your hand or fingers and quickly grab the unlit stick. If you are quick enough then the stick lights.

The workshop ended with us having a go with a variety of items, fire staffs, fire pois and, my favourite, fire fans.

Final Series

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Contact Sheets

Fire Eating Workshop-1Fire Eating Workshop-2Fire Eating Workshop-3Fire Eating Workshop-4


  1. Wolf, M My Favourite Things. Available at: [Accessed 19th February 2018]


The brief for this exercise was to make a sequence of photographs.

We were encouraged to place images together either in Photoshop (other photo editing software is available) or as prints. Once we had done this we were asked to notice how one image resonates with another image and how the two combine to produce a new meaning.

If the sequence works better as a slideshow, the use of Powerpoint or something similar was encouraged.

For the exercise I took the brief literally and took a sequence of photographs while performing a task I undertake nearly every morning. The initial photographs are not truly representative but more of a once a month thing, although in this case a combination of not needing to go anywhere over the weekend and also being ill on the Monday pushed things to a bit of an extreme.

In total I took 114 images. The initial edit removed the obviously out of focus images and ones where movement blurred parts of the images. Playing around with the images, I converted them to black and white in order to see what they looked like. Some of the earlier images worked well in black and white, however, the latter ones weren’t as good so I decided that the sequence had to use the colour versions.

Final Sequence

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Contact Sheets

Selected Photos-1Selected Photos-2Selected Photos-3Selected Photos-4Selected Photos-5




The brief for this exercise was to:

Take a couple of hours or more to wander around. Don’t be shy; you wont be arrested, you’re not breaking the law. Your doing exactly what most photographers do every day. Be intuitive. What do you look at? Photograph that.


In the middle of March I was in Cyprus at a week long triathlon training camp. Although training was due to start on the Monday, I flew into the airport outside Paphos on the Saturday evening. Arriving with a day to spare gave me the oportunity to wander around a place I’d never been before with my camera.

I’d been told by the security guard at work that I should pay a visit to the Archaeological Park in order to see the ruins and the Roman mosaics.

The holiday village I was based at was a nice, gentle stroll along the sea front from Paphos harbour and my destination. At a reasonably paced run, it was about 20 minutes door to door. My stroll took me about an hour in conditions far hotter than we’ve experienced in the UK recently.

The walk to and from my accomodation and around the Park took me the bulk of the day and resulted in a lovely sunburn as a souvenir. Note to self. Learn to use suntan lotion. Really learn to use it.

In total I took around 430 photos, certainly enough to work with for this exercise. Loading them into Lightroom the first task was to reduce this to a more manageable number. The first pass through reduced the total to 212.

Going through the resulting photos there are a number of themes that leap out, several of which I’d noted at the time and so deliberately followed through with.

Cyprus has a large population of cats and during the day I came across a number of them on the sea shore and in the Archaeological Park.

Within the Park there was quite a lot of wildlife, birds, two cats, some snails and a lot of lizards.



Walking along the sea shore I noticed a lot of flotsam and jetsam, wood, pieces of rusted metal, a wheel and a lot of plastic bottles. Nearing the end of my walk through the Park I spotted a large number of, what appeared to be, plastic refuse sacks dumped in the grass.



Each of these themes, as well as the walk into Paphos and around the Archaeological Park provide several possible narratives.



One thing I never expected to find was a human/alien hybrid refugee from the film Aliens Resurrection.

Exercise 3.1 - Searching-6548

The full images from each of the narratives are below, including several images that I’ve not included in the grids because WordPress cropped the image.




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Paphos Wildlife




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Man’s Impact




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Walk around Paphos




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Circles, Curves and Spirals




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Other images

The contact sheets for all of the photo taken for the narrative are below:

Paphos Walk-1Paphos Walk-2Paphos Walk-3Paphos Walk-4Paphos Walk-5Paphos Wildlife-1Paphos Wildlife-2Man's Impact-1Man's Impact-2


Having completed the exercise, edited the photos and written everything up, I find myself in an interesting position. What should have been one of the simplest of exercises, go for a wander and take a bunch of photographs, has, for me, been so much more.

Part of the feedback from assignment 2 was that I needed to keep experimenting creatively and shooting a range of options for eaach project/exercise. I feel that with this exercise I’ve achieved that aim. However, having done what was suggested I now find myself wondering how much of what results from that I should be including within my learning log.

By including the three different narratives I’ve ended up including 45 photographs, admittedly some overlap different narratives. The Paphos Walk doesn’t include any of the wildlife images or the images about man’s impact on the environment but it could have as including some of those images would have added to the narrative.

So do I include everything so that my tutor can see that I have taken on board that feedback or do I include part of the work but contact sheets for all of the photographs for all the narratives.

I suppose to answer that I’ll have to see how things pan out during future exercises.



First proper day in Paphos, Cyprus.

Walked to and from the archaeological park. Between that and wandering around the place I’ve managed 15476 steps according to my Garmin.

Wandered in along the sea shore. Cyprus is beautiful. And warm, particularly having come from the UK and the weather we’ve had recently. Temperature was 18 degrees this morning and climbed into the 20s.

Managed to take 430 photos which I’ll need to cut down hugely when I get home.

I’ve already noticed 3 themes in the images I’ve captured. Cats, wildlife and man’s impact on his environment.

The camera will probably be left behind during the rest of the week, don’t think there will be a lot of chances to take more photos.

Not sure what the rest of my schedule is going to be like but I know I have an early morning run and a swim session tomorrow.

Did get chatting to a retired photographer who suggested I look up an American photographers and lecturer Eileen Rafferty. Her talks are apparently very interesting and informative.

Research Point – Sequence

The purpose of this research point was to go online and look at the work of Eadweard Muybridge, Duane Michals, Keith Arnatt Self Burial (1909), John Hilliard and Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on Sunset Strip.

For each of the artists the task was to identify how each was using sequence differently and try and find inspiration within their work.

Eadweard Muybridge

Wikipedia (2018) indicates that Eadweard Muybridge was born on the 9th April 1830 and died 8th May 1904. Throughout his life he changed his name a number of times. His birth name was Edward James Muggeridge.

Although he was initially a bookseller, it was following a stagecoach crash in 1860 that he took up photography.

In 1874, Muybridge shot and killed his wife’s lover Major Harry Larkyns. His subsequent trial led to him being acquitted.

Muybridge is best known for his work on animal motion.

Hacking (2014 pp 144-145) contains an analysis of a collodion positive on glass called “Leland Stanford, Jr on his pony ‘Gypsy'” that was taken at Palo Alto Stock Farm, the site of the modern day Stanford University.

The image shows the son of Leland Stanford, a Californian governor, the horse Gypsy and the horse’s trainer and was captured using up to 12 camera’s which were triggered by wires connected to them by the horse as it moved through the area covered by the cameras. A technique that most photographers now would not be able to replicate easily.

Muybridge used the same technique to capture greyhounds running.

Time 100 Photos “The Horse in Motion” shows the piece of work that Muybridge is probably best known for. The project was undertaken at the request of Stanford in order to answer the question, when galloping did all four of a horses hoofs leave the ground at the same time. The resulting 12 images proved that while galloping, a horse is completely off the ground for a brief moment. These individual images when played shown rapidly one after the other are an example of the earliest form of stop motion animation.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica in their entry for Eadweard Muybridge provide another example of his motion work, which shows that his interest wasn’t just limited to the movement of animals but also that of people.

The images captured by Muybridge using this technique can be replicated a lot easily using the technology availalbe to us in the 21st century. Modern, digital cameras are capable of capturing multiple images in fractions of a second.

Muybridge’s work uses sequences of images in order to better understand how a person or animal moves. Something that is of use to scientists and artists.

Duane Michals

Born in Pennsylvania in 1932, Duane Michals is a self-taugh photographer who defines himself as a narrator.

Hacking (2014 pp 340-341) provides an analysis of Michals’ work Things Are Queer from 1973. This sequence of 9 images starts and ends with the same image, a depiction of a bathroom suite. From the second image in the sequence onwards the camera pulls back further and further, revealing more of the scene. As it does we find ourselves questioning what we are looking at. Is it a miniature bathroom with a normal sized person stood in it, or is it a photograph in a book. Where is the person standing reading the book. Is that person themselves part of something else, like a framed photograph or a mirror. Image by image we find ourselves faced with an infinite regression but Michals stops that regression by ending the sequence without the original image. Or has he, are we just about to start over?

Fundación MAPFRE (2017) shows a second work by Michals “Dr Heisenberg’s Magic Mirror of Uncertainty”. This sequence has a woman looking at her image in a mirror while Michals captures photographs her. In our modern day world where people take selfies, this is almost the equivalent of someone taking a selfie of themselves taking a selfie of themselves taking a …

Keith Arnatt Self Burial

Keith Arnatt was born in 1930 and died in 2008, he was a conceptial artist. The course text dates “Self Burial” as 1909, in fact it is 1969.

Tate (2009) contains a copy of the 9 images that make up “Self Burial”. The sequence of images, which was shown on German television over the course of 9 nights with no explaination, show a landscape with a patch of ground into which a figure, because of the title Arnatt themself, disappears image by image into the ground, leaving just a patch of bare earth.

Arnatt is quoted as writing “The continual reference to the disappearance of the art object suggested to me the eventual disappearance of the artist himself” and this sequence reflects that.

John Hilliard

John Hilliard is a photographer from Lancaster in England. He was born in 1945.

Hacking (2014 pp 414-415) shows provides an analysis of Hilliard’s “Cause of Death?”. This sequence of images provides different views of what appears to be a shrouded body.  In each image the body is presented subtly differently. The image having been cropped in ways that allow the viewer to interpret it differently. Each image is also captioned in a way that influences that interpretation; crushed, drowned, burned and fell.

“Cause of Death?” shows that it is possible by framing an image in different ways to affect how it is seen, and so highlighting that photography can be used to tell the story you want rather than the actual situation depending on how you frame things.

Tate (2016) is another example of a sequence by Hlliard. Here we have a camera taking photographs, via mirrors, of itself. The images within the sequence change as aperture and speed change but the central image, the camera, remains the same. From this sequence we can see that even if we don’t change how we frame a subject, by changing how we capture it, we affect what is seen.

Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on Sunset Strip

This work by Ruscha presents “Every Building on Sunset Strip” as a sequence of images in a 25 foot long, accordion fold book; with one sequence of images at the top of the pages and a second set, upside down, at the bottom. Although, without a doubt, every building within the sequence would have been photographed at some point, it is the presentation format that makes this different.

Including all of the buildings must have made the project easier to some degree. The decision as to which buildings to include and which to leave out, had already been made; include all of them.

That decision, however, must also have made the project more difficult as there would have been a need to capture images of each building that Ruscha felt were suitable for inclusion in the end result.

Hacking (2014 pp 408-409) describes how Ruscha achieved this.

“To photograph Every Building on the Sunset Strip Ed Ruscha loaded a continous strip of black-and-white 35mm film into his morotr-driven Nikon F2 mounted on a tripod in the bed of a pick-up truck. He then snapped photographs at regular intervals as he drove down Sunset Strip”.

Hacking doesn’t say whether this drive was a one off or whether Ruscha had to repeat the activity a number of times.

With the technology available to us today, whether a project like this would be done has to be considered. When phones, cameras and camcorders provide the capability to drive down a street and record what you see, then replay the recording, why go to the effort of capturing something and then presenting it in a book format?

If you wanted to present a series of images in a book format then modern video editing software provides the ability to capture stills from a recording, reduces a project like this one to a technical exercise.


Muybridge’s work relates to photography as a source of documentary or fact. Michals’ work is more to do with the metaphysical aspects of life. The specific piece of Arnatt’s work highlighted here shows art as metaphor for something else. Hilliard’s work highlights how we can influence what people see by the way as a result of how we capture it. Rucscha’s work demonstrates how when capturing a sequence of images, we also have to think outside the box sometimes when it comes to presenting them.

There are many ways that we can make use of a sequences of images. How we do that will be influenced by lots of different factors. What are we trying to achieve? Do we want the person viewing them to think in any particular way when they see them? Is there a particular format that we want to use to display the end result? Are we reflecting fact or some more nebulous idea?


  1. Wikipedia, 2018. Eadweard Muybridge. Available at: [Accessed 19th February 2018]
  2. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. Eadweard Muybridge. Available at: [Accessed: 19th February 2018]
  3. Time 100 Photos. The Horse in Motion. Available at: [Accessed 19th February 2018]
  4. Hacking J. (2014) Photography: The Whole Story. 2nd edition pp 144-145, 340-341, 414-415 and 408-409. London: Thames and Hudson.
  5. Fundación MAPFRE, 2017. Duane Michals. Available at: [Accessed 19th February 2018]
  6. Tate (2009) Self-Burial (Television Interference Project). Available at: [Accessed: 19th February 2018]
  7. Tate (2016) Camera Recording its Own Condition (7 Apertures, 10 Speeds, 2 Mirrors)  Available at: [Accessed 19th February 2018]

Research Point – Typologies

This research point asked that we take a look at Gerhard Richter’s Atlas and to note how he has placed together multiple images of a similar subject. These may be building, trees, portraits or even the colour of the sky. This is called a typology.

Richter’s Atlas “is a collection of photographs, newspaper cuttings and sketches that the artist has been assembling since the mid 1960s” and which are arranged on loose pieces of paper (Richter, 2018).

Atlas provides an insight into how the artist creates imagery.

To examine very single piece of paper with the photos and clippings attached to them would take a while, there are over 800 sheets of paper. However, skimming the images on the website shows the wide variety of ways the material is presented.

There are sheets with dozens of photos arrayed on them, almost like a collage, others have maybe a half dozen images. Some have small groups of two or three items but with multiple groups on the sheet, and then there are sheets with just a single photo on them.

Images vary from black and white, through sepia to colour.

What each sheet has in common is that the content follows a theme. For instance “48 Portraits”, “Magazine Cuttings”, “Newspaper Cuttings”, “Cities”, “Hitler”, “Mountain Ranges”, “Trees” or “Forest”.

A lot of the sheets have the same theme which would lend to the tendency if displayed together for the viewer to gloss over individual ones. Which makes it all the more powerful when one of them doesn’t fit, and especially when the theme for that one leaps out at you. Did any of the list above leap out at you?

Looking at the range of themes in Richter’s Atlas it is obvious that it is possible to make a series from anything and that as artists, and not just photographers, we can use other sources as well as our own photographs to make our own artistic works that little bit more interesting.


  1. Richter, Gerhard, 2018. Atlas. Available at: [Accessed: 4th February 2018]