Reflection: PHO702: Week 4. Into the Image World

This week has made me look at I view my work and how other people can view my work.

Published on the 21st February 2020

After reading through this week’s forum and taking notes of what people had commented on the image that I had uploaded, I believe my cohorts did not have an understanding of the images in the way I had tried to portray it.


I believe the task was to help my cohorts and myself learn to read images, without the context of the author to affect their judgment on the image. The Death of the Author by Barthes mentions

“The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it, as if it were always in the end, through the more or less transparent allegory of the fiction, the voice of a single person, the author ‘confiding’ in us. ”

(Barthes, 1977, pp. 143).

I feel that the author’s intentions can most of the time be misread by the viewer. If the context or narrative is not strong within the imagery. As with my image of Jen, who was housebound for months with Breast cancer but without the text or my Cohorts knowing the context behind the imagery it can very well be misread. As shown below.


The intent of my work has definitely changed since the start of this project, my work is now looking more into the effects of being housebound on the subject rather than how the outside world has an effect. I’m am starting to look at the psychological effect of this on a much deeper level. Trying to understand how the person feels about not being able to venture outside, whilst what the effects of being confined within one space for a long period of time have on the human psyche. I am trying to make a connection between the viewer and the sitter, a understand if you will. So that the viewer can take the context of the sitter situation, and try to humanize the sitter rather than objectifying them.

Using text within my photography will be very helpful to get this narrative across to the viewer. It will be able to give more of an understanding of what the sitters have been and are going through, I have been looking at photographers who use text within their work and how effective this can be. Having been heavily inspired by Jim Goldberg’s work and how the text and layout of his work bringing a more in-depth understanding of the imagery.

(fig 3)

The technical process of my project has also changed at this moment, which is also allowing me to focus on the narrative of the sitter rather than the projection of the exterior. I may come back to the use of camera obscura within my work in the future but at this moment I feel it draws away from the message my work is trying to convey.

My works message can be much stronger without the dilution of the projection, of the intrusion of the outside world, It is no longer really about this. I feel the simplified imagery can be much more powerful.


(fig1) Hopes, J, 2020, Jen, Uploaded by author

Barthes, R., 1977. Image, Music, Text. London: Fontana Press.

Hughes,T, Bekkie, Cheung, R, (2020). unknown. [accessed Feb,2020] [online] Available at <

(fig3) Goldberg, J, 2015, Gene_07 [accessed February 2020] <>