Thursday, 5 July 2012

A2 Contextual Studies - Brief Analysis's

On the V&A website, photographs had been organised into eight different categories. I chose one photograph from each category and wrote a short analysis for each of the images.


Caswell Bay -1853 - Waves Breaking

The sepia coloured effect, whether it was intentional or has aged over time, gives a lovely, ‘old’ feel to the photograph. The angle at which the photograph was taken gives great perspective to the size of the cliffs that line right side of the image and almost fade into the background of the image. The size of the cliffs is also shown by comparing it to the person in the foreground, standing at the edge of the waves on the pebbles. By looking at the waves in the photograph, it suggests that it was rather windy the day the image was taken as the water can be seen crashing against the cliffs. This could suggest that John Dillwyn Llewellyn wanted the emotion of sadness and destruction to come through the image and or the loneliness felt by the individual standing on the beach.


Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire, from the North East, 1852-54

I think this is beautiful, as not only has the image turned a sepia colour over time, but the building itself has been captured when half of it had already crumbled away. Even though only half of the building is still standing in this photograph, you can still see the lovely arches where the windows would have been and the general outline of where the rest of the building used to stand. Due to the background looking like hills, it is likely that the building itself was built on a hill, and would the only abbey in the area and a marking point for those who lost possibly.


Spring/Summer Prada Campaign 1997
I really like this photograph as the ‘softness’ of the woman’s legs seem to radiate from her. There seems to be mist towards the top of the image which might have been how they made the light ‘softer’ if it is not natural light. The woman is laying on grass which ties in with the title of the image, ‘Spring / Summer Prada Campaign’. Also, from the title, it can suggest that this photograph was taken to show case off the bottom of her dress or skirt which is a dark, silky blue and her golden / orange shoes. 


Hoddy and John Munro Fishing at Flaipool, 1847

The blue at the top of the image adds a lovely effect and helps suggest the colour of the sky. Whether this effect was purposely done or has evolved over time due to the chemicals used to produce this photograph, it certainly adds an effect to the image – an everyday pass time in the summer. The way the water has been captured is beautiful in itself as it looks almost smudged, suggestion that the water was flowing rather fast at the time, and also that the photographer exposed the light onto the paper for quite some time. The man to the left, holding the fishing rod is standing quite stiffly which could suggest he is not very used to fishing opposed to the man to the right of him who is standing back in a more relaxed position.


Kenneth Terroade in a Flat in Putney, London, July 1971
I really like this photograph as the natural light streaming through the window has been used to illuminate the musician and the saxophone in his hand. The light has also lit the smoke flowing out of his mouth and nostrils. You can see him putting out a cigarette or cigar in an ashtray, which could suggest this man is one of addictions; an addiction to smoking, but more importantly, an addiction to creating and playing music through the saxophone. Around the edges of the room, books can be seen on shelves. As the titles cannot be seen, it is hard to say what they are but they could be music related. If so, it would seem that Val Wilmer was trying to portray the importance of music in Kenneth Terroade’s life and how he surrounds himself in it.


Shell Shocked Soldier, Hue, 1968
Don McCullin is well known for his photographs of capturing images of war. I think this photograph is very emotive as you can see the soldier grasping his gun in front of him, almost like a shield. This demonstrates the relationship this soldier, and the others of his regiment at the time, had with their rifles. It was what kept them alive. It was their lifeline and it is seen through this photograph. The soldier is wearing his helmet in the photograph that suggests that at the time this image was taken, the soldiers were about to intercept the enemy as a sense of nervousness can be seen through the expression on his face. Also, the grip on his riffle could suggest his nervousness and preparation for battle again.


Fashion by Capucci, American Vogue, April, 1960

I think this image was planned well in order to achieve the sharp white and black stripe theme that is clearly portrayed in this photograph. The woman in the center of the image is the focus of the photograph as even the woman to the left of her in the white dress has turned her head to look at her. The stripes in the background, after looking closely at them, look like a ‘zebra crossing’ which would explain the motorcycle that is behind the woman in the black dress. Just by looking at this image, I cannot work a direct meaning as to my eyes it just looks like ‘fashion photography’ and I have never been able to place meanings behind the images.

Figure Studies

Nothing to Loose XII ('Bodies of Experience'), 1989
Dye destruction print

I love the way the lighting has been used to highlight parts of the body to show that position of the person. The black backdrop adds to this effect so that all focus is on the person. As far as I can see, no clothes are being worn and on their stomach it looks like fruit has been placed on them. The person almost looks like they are sitting in a sit up position; perhaps the fruit on their stomach represents the healthiness of exercising. There is a very warm feeling that comes from the photograph due to the soft lighting used, no harsh lines between shadow and light, just gentle fading between the two.

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