Influences for My First Assignment for Body of Work

My two main influences for the main bulk of Assignment 1 – the ‘straight’ photography side of it were Chris Dorley-Brown and Zed Nelson.

Chris Dorley-Brown is based in East London and documents places like Hackney famous for its gentrification, which was the intended theme for my first assignment. I have looked at his large collection of photographs from that area before and looked again over at his website: https://modrex.com/photoworks. I like the way he captures an overall essence of Hackney while at the same time telling a story within a single image. A lot of his photographs are landscapes which fits into my style and I noticed he chooses to use morning light quite often to give the photographs a dreamy feel. He manages to capture defining moments of gentrification like demolishing of buildings and the landscapes range from eye level to higher viewpoints. People feature in his photographs but they tend to complement the landscape around them to tell a potential narrative rather than the other way round.

Zed Nelson on the other hand uses people much more frequently in his A Portrait of Hackney (2014) in environmental portraits. These portraits really add character to the series although I personally don’t see myself approaching strangers to ask to take their photograph. I would say though with these environmental portraits the person/people and the landscape they are encompassed in complement each other nicely, with possibly the person/people photographed taking slightly more prominence. I was more interested in Nelson’s detail shots of the landscape and how they differ from Dorley-Brown’s. Nelson’s landscapes in this series tend to focus on details that are somewhat surreal or stick out from the rest of the scene. I like the colours of Nelson’s series which I feel are more pronounced (but not garish) than Dorley-Brown’s more muted palette.

I think I have learnt from studying these two artists and there are already traits evident in my work produced for Assignment 1 that my photographs share similarities. One element I could take from Chris Dorley-Brown going forwards is to shoot in early morning when the light is more ethereal.

References:

Dorley-Brown, C. (n.d.). Chris Dorley Brown. [Online] Available at: https://modrex.com/photoworks [Accessed 8 Apr. 2019].

Nelson, Z. (2014). A Portrait of Hackney. 3rd ed. London: Hoxton Mini Press.

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