As part of Assignment 1 students are asked to view and comment on the images of Dan Holdsworth and Tom Hunter. The following are my thoughts.

Dan Holdsworth

Why do you think he often works at night? Is it because there’s less people and traffic about to clutter the view? Is it because of the effect of light in a long exposure and the sense of artificiality or ‘strangeness’ that brings to the image?

These factors are probably why this artist predominantly works at night. They allow him to create long exposures that generate some unusual effects, without big distractions, which are central to his images. I really enjoyed the bold and unusual elements to his images, they made me stop and think about each image, rather than left through the images quickly.

What happens to your interpretation when the views are distant, wide and the main emphasis is on the forms of the man-made landscape?

It’s clearly intentional and these mechanisms help support a need for greater interpretation, leaving the viewer to create their own narrative.

Is there a sense that these images are both objective (because you are looking out at the world) and subjective (because they seem to deliberately conjure up a mood)?

Yes, deliberately so. The unreal from the real world allows a wide variety of different subjective interpretations from the same image. The point of the images is to ensure you define the narrative more than he does.

Tom Hunter (Life and Death in Hackney and Unheralded Stories)

Do you notice the connection between the people and their surroundings? How does Hunter achieve this?

The body of subjects often has a strong physical connection (arms laying on or whole body lying down) with elements of the foreground part of the image.

What kinds of places are these photographs set in? Are they exotic, special or ordinary, everyday places?

They are very ordinary, but often unpleasant (or made to look so).

There’s something ‘mythical’ and yet also ‘everyday’ about Hunter’s pictures. Look carefully at one or two images and try to pick out the features that suggest these two different qualities.

The image with the body in the water is set in a very ordinary context, but unusual in that the body is floating the pool. Many of the images have this juxtaposition.