Reflection: PHO702: Week 6: A Sea of Images

Published on the 8th March 2020

This whole week has been a little bit of a challenge trying to fit the MA around the work and daily life world, I have had to play catch up. The week has made me think a lot about recycled imagery and the ethics of the photographer.

Do we just recreate images that have already been created? There is a little of this within all photography. For my work, My main influences at this moment come from photographers Tom Hunter and Greg Crewson and director Wes Anderson. I can see sections from each of these and within my work. The use of light the positioning of the subjects the use of colour. I don’t feel that I am recreating their work though, I may be using similar ideology they have behind the pieces of work they produce. The context and story of the subject change this element and the way that I have set the shot up and the direction of the subject helps make the images mine and different from my influencers.

This also comes across in my ethics of why I am creating this body of work, and who I am directing it towards. Grunberg mentions in ‘PHOTOGRAPHY VIEW; A Quintessentially American View of the World’

“No longer are photographic images regarded as mirrors with a memory’ merely reflecting the world back at us in a simple one-to-one translation. Rather they construct the world for us, helping to create the comfortable illusion by which we live”

(Grundberg 1999:216).

This article was written about the National Geographic, I feel it fits well with today’s outlook and most photography we see on a daily basis. With my work, I am trying to show the viewer the realism/surrealism of the situation behind that closed door, the situation of how people are affected by being confined to one space for long periods of time. I want the viewer to be uncomfortable looking at my work. With my work, I am trying to break these illusions that everything is okay in this world and there is a stark reality that life is not always perfect.

For this very thing, I feel that my work could be seen as intrusive and possibly unfeeling towards my subjects, This is not what I am trying to get across with the imagery. It is about understanding that person is as normal as me or you. But I do realize this has a lot do to with the images that I decide to us.

For example, the two images below are shot a few seconds apart but the context in them will be seen very differently.

It is very much going to be how I portray these people, I am trying to get their message across without making them seem inhuman. As previously mentioned I feel there is a power in the discomfort of some of the images. I am having a slight quandary with this at this moment in time.

Practice progression

I feel that I am progressing within my current photographic practice, having changed lighting ideas and move to natural light away from tungsten, after having numerous tutorials and one to ones actually realizing that tungsten adds a lay of surrealness to my work which works with the context of being housebound and looking into a world that most people will not see or even care about.

I have been looking for a layout of the text and image, which will help with getting the context of my work across to the viewer.

This is a mockup, for now, I’m unsure of page colours and text and image layout. I am waiting on the three 120 films back which will hopefully give me more images to choose between in the final zine.


GRUNDBERG, A.  1999. Crisis of the Real. New York: Aperture.

(fig 1) Hopes, J, 2020, Louise, Uploaded by author

(fig 2) Hopes, J, 2020, Jen-layout, Uploaded by author