Considering Presentation

I want to present my images in a way that gives them context and creates more of an experience for the viewer. From all the research that I have done about the portrait, as well as issues surrounding student motivation and the state of university education, it is important that this research is compressed into a presentation style that gives the context efficiently.

From researching the work of Sophie Calle it is given me inspiration how to present my work. Calle takes photos of what blind people describe as beauty, she notes their conversation and presents the text of it next to the images. The text gives the image a purpose, but it was the conversation that made the image happen, so the presentation is a documentation of the process.

Martin Parr also uses text in his ‘Signs of The Times’ series. Martin Parr photographs the mundane nature of life, and this project takes the setting of peoples houses. Martin uses quotes from people to describe their houses and make them into a story.

‘Each of the titles he and Barker gave the photographs are quotes from the people shown in the photographs. Whilst some of them inadvertently send themselves up, the series offers a poignant as well as amusing window on British taste in the decade that fashion forgot.’


The text adds identity to the objects and the settings in the photographs. It also adds an irony in the quotes like ‘she has definitely given the bathroom the feminine touch’.

I want to use quotes that the lecturers said while we were shooting to emphasise the collaboration. How they want to be posed, where they wanted to stand and what light they wanted.

I’d also like to use quotes from when they said which objects were important for their course. This will provide more context on why they selected the images and sometimes add similar irony like Martin Parr’s images.


I also want to incorporate sound into the presentation of my images as well.

I was inspired by the work of Janet Cardiff who gets participants to engage with video and sound of a location in that same location. They listen to the instructions and follow the footsteps that the camera operator made. They become so engrossed into the digital media that it questions whether they experienced the past or the present.

I also attended a phonar lecturer where students documented a journey. One without hearing, taking photos. The other without seeing, recording audio. The images and the audio provided a nice soundscape which created more of an experience for the viewer.

I want to create audio of lecturers and muffle them out, so you get the essence of a learning environment while looking at the photos. I like the idea of creating more of an experience for the view, so they can be become engrossed in the work like the participants of Janet Cardiff’s work.

Image Layout

The way books are read is from left to right. Still life paintings were lit from left to right and typical photojournalist photo-stories have a narrative from left to right.

When considering diptych images, the most important image is usually presented on the right because its where the eyes are lead to finish.

Looking a photobook’s they have the portraits on the right and the context for that portrait on the left, like Harvey Benge’s ‘How Human’s Made God’ and Lorenzo Vitturi’s ‘Dalston Anatomy’. Its a recognised narrative that the reader reads from left to right, and thats universal in so many different media.

Understanding this, I think that my project can become disjointed from that narrative because it introduces the double reading. I want to position the portraits first because they give the context for the object photograph, but once the viewer has seen the object photograph, they will then refer back to the other to see how it links. Therefore, by wanting the viewer to refer back, placing the portrait later only gives less context and doesn’t offer much more effect than other readings. Furthermore, surely by placing the object photographs on right, it leaves the viewer to make connections with how the objects can be used to the students advantage.

At the risk of being formulaic, I want to place the portrait first and the object photograph second because it will give the reader more context and a better reading. Perhaps in the later stage of editing I can incorporate a change of the narrative, but that is yet to be seen.


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