All sorts of people appear in photographic portraits. Often we are given clues to the identity of the subject. Backgrounds can indicate character traits, give clues to profession or status. Sometimes we can see that the photograph is conceptual and the person we see is representing something we need to think about through their gestures, portrayal or stance. Perhaps identity has been stripped of its specific individuality and somehow conceptualized, prescribed to direct our thoughts to what the photographer is visually ‘up to’.
Choose an image from the portfolio, they said. And so I trawled, imagining I might be a client, a commissioner, challenging the drop-down menus to find me a photographer I might write about.
That single thumbnail has to do so much. The viewer needs to be curious enough to click through to the portfolio and then, hopefully, onto a website or Flickr page.
For this month's Meet a Redeye Member we catch up with Jan Fyfe.
How did you get into photography?
I have been interested in photography since my teenage years and dabbled in a number of short photographic courses in my early 20s. Photography then took a back seat until 10 years ago when I went back to college to do a basic photo course and became hooked once more. I followed this with an A Level, a BA and then an MA in 2011. I am presently studying for a practice-led PhD at MMU.
Portfolio image review of the month by Stephen Clarke: Geoff Crossley ‘My Father's House Christmas Past’
The act of photographing the same place at different points in time is referred to as rephotography. It is particularly associated with the Rephotographic Survey project that was conceived by the American photographer Mark Klett. Klett’s project was ambitious as he and a team of photographers retraced the steps of the nineteenth century government survey team that had photographed the grand landscapes of the American West. Time was sandwiched between two images, one taken in the past and one in the present.
The M6 motorway is a major artery of England running along the west of the country from the Midlands through to the Scottish border. At its northern tip it bypasses Carlisle, a small city in a rural county. Journeying up the motorway the passenger is surrounded by an impressive landscape: one that envelopes a photographer who chooses to live there and one that inevitably sets an agenda for discussion.
In her second personal reflection on this year's Arles Rencontres, Rebecca Dearden reflects on scale and size, focusing on the Manchester-based Roast Beef collective.