Layers of Reality (Part 1)

‘Layers of Reality’ is our theme for this week. Which, initially, I thought was going to be very similar to last week. As last week we were using different layers to combine borrowed items with images to create a new piece of work. However, this week is different in the fact that its more focused on capturing realities. This could be something that the eye can’t physically see, or it could be photographing things from our eye that other people might not see with their eyes. Which is actually very interesting.

Photography has often been described as a resource in which we can capture realities. But really, how true is this? The photographer will always have control over what is being photograph. By just a shift in the camera some element could not be included within the frame, which, if it were to be, would alter the meaning in the photograph entirely. Everyone sees things in different ways. So the idea of the photograph being an accurate representation of a reality is only true to an extent. But how far can that be pushed until it is not a reality at all? Philip Lorca DiCorcia was once asked “Why do you think people are so preoccupied with getting the truth from photographers rather than, say, politics or the media at large?” to which he responded: “I think it’s a sense of disappointment after realising that most of the time they’re being lied to – and what medium has a stronger relationship to people’s idea of the truth than one that is supposed to be an accurate representation of reality? Photography is often mediated by the photographer but it has the capacity to be completely unmediated: whether through security camera footage or a monkey with a camera. ”

Photography is used in a variety of different subject areas, including maths and science and a variety of others as a way of documenting, observing and understanding the world around us. We see the work of Ori Gersht’s ‘Big Bang,’ 2006. Harold Eugene Edgerton’s ‘Bullet through an apple’ and Eadward Muybridge’s ‘The horse in motion’ all these pieces of work show us something that we literally cannot see with our own eye. Which makes this medium of photography even more amazing. No matter who you are, everyone will have been effected or informed by some form of photography in their lives.

Looking at all three of these images reminds me of a Youtube channel that I have watched for many years called ‘The Slow Mo Guys’ and it never ceases to amaze me the things that we can see through the eye of a camera when slowed down immensely. What I like about these video is that they show you what they eye can see first and it normally looks pretty rubbish and you think ‘Thats not going to make a good video’ But when slowed down to about 2500fps its amazing the results that you can see.

Link to one of their videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK8dsAeMmPk

That is using extremely fast shutter speeds to capture things that the eye cannot see. But the same effect can also be achieved when having an extremely long shutter speed, allowing movement within one single frame. I have tried to do just this when capturing a time lapse of the stars movement in a star trail image. (Mine isn’t the best but it displays what Im talking about)

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Kirstie Wilkinson, ‘Star Trail’

These are just some ways in which you capture ‘layers of reality.’ When joining as a group later on in the day me and the other members of our group discussed ways in how we could interpret this theme. Although finding the work discussed earlier in the day really interesting, we want to try something a little different. We decided that we would all take one image a day from today (Monday) until next Sunday. So that when we join back together we can see the different ways in which we all capture our own realities. In the hope that when we do so and join back together we can see comparisons, and then we can collage our images together to create a group piece (or pieces) that will hopefully be very interesting!

Singer, O. (2014) ‘The unseen America of Philip-Lorca diCorcia’, Dazed. Available at: http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/18892/1/philip-lorca-dicorcias-unseen-america (Accessed: 26 February 2015).

© Kirstie Wilkinson

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