Insight Into Assignment 2 – Documentary – Ephemerality of the Image

I have received feedback from my tutor regarding Assignment 2 – Documentary – Ephemerality of the Image, which I found very helpful. Some points my tutor picked up on in my assignment were the fact I appeared to be gripping on to the picture frame in the final shot as well as the photos inside the frame being attached quite strongly.

I would like to have said I was intentionally holding onto the photo frame very firmly so as to symbolise my subconscious wish to hang on to the photograph in its conventional printed form. Practically, I was holding onto the frame firmly because it was quite heavy and I had to maintain a firm grip in order to keep it upright! Also the photographs were printed and hung firmly onto the frame so that they wouldn’t easily fall off and to make the grid structure of 4×2 obvious. It could also be said symbolically the printed photograph is ‘hanging on’ to its existence in the ephemeral world of today and so they were clinging on to their place in the frame.

So although I must admit I wasn’t aware how firmly I’d attached the photos to the frame or my gripping onto the frame with my hand, these points observed by my tutor which I now see in my work, pointed to powerful and pertinent questions surrounding the printed photograph and its place in today’s society. Questions like: are photographs even printed that much nowadays and if so do we cling onto them in the more traditional sense (in a picture frame)? Whether my frame with the 4×2 grid of prints inside worked best rephotographed on a blog or simply to be seen in the flesh hanging up somewhere is another point of consideration. On reflection I would suggest it would work hung up in a dark environment in reality as well as displayed on the blog because the dark surroundings in both cases symbolise effectively the highly transient environment the photograph now finds itself in. However, I would be inclined to say rephotographing it for the blog format worked slightly better as it was more in keeping with how my intended target audience would be likely to view the image(s).

'The Nature of Photographs' - Stephen Shore (2007) - Front Cover
‘The Nature of Photographs’ – Stephen Shore (2007) – Front Cover

One other observation my tutor made was asking whether I had been influenced by the front cover of Stephen Shore’s (2007) ‘The Nature of Photographs’ primer in creating my project – ‘Ephemerality of the Image’? I had in fact seen the cover for Stephen Shore’s (2007) ‘The Nature of Photographs’ before but had since forgotten about it! However I think it has a very similar aesthetic and message to my assignment. Coincidentally Shore himself seemed to be gripping onto the photograph quite firmly, perhaps to signify the same message as me; that the photograph is quite frail in its physical form. This is all the more true in the even more ephemeral world of the image today than back in 2007.

References:

Shore, S. (2007). The Nature of Photographs. 2nd ed. London: Phaidon.

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