Re-Worked Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology

Thank you so much for all of the helpful comments on my original. I have taken them on board, and I think the most important learning for me was in relation to the curtain tie back. I felt an attraction to that photo, I liked the neutral tones which emphasised the thread of the tie, and I also liked the contrast between the straight drape and the curve of the nylon/silk of the tie. However this series is about rope. Its so easy to choose a photo based on preference without realising that it doesnt fit with the theme.

I took on board the comment in relation to having the lobster pot in the middle, however with replacing the tie back I chose to use a second lobster pot, so have placed them on the left and right of the middle row, and the purple chord and rope in the middle. This means the tope row is predominantly beighe rope, the middle row is colour, and the bottom row includes rope and metal. The border is now smaller, as is the gap between the photos.


The brief asks us to record peoples comments, so here they are.

12 thoughts on “Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology”

  1. A really impressive set of photographs Richard. Worth the effort in assembling and post processing. The variety of rope is enormous and the range of colours surprising. The boat is different, but it does not disrupt. To my eye it causes pause for thought. On the other hand the far left shot in the middle row looks like a rope tie back on a curtain rather than rope on the shore. I think the size of the border is a matter of personal taste. I like your wide one. Your mid grey is bocming your signature perhaps? Lovely. Well done.

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  2. Really like the idea and also the variety of rope you have found.
    Just hope you were not trying to “string” us along – sorry could not resist a pun.
    Great piece of work non the less

    Liked by you

  3. Good set of pictures again Richard. I love the first crab/lobster pot one with the geometric pattern coming from just off centre, almost like a Spirograph. I think I might be tempted to put this in the centre? I agree with Sarah the 4th picture does oddly look like a curtain tie back. I think the 8th one also has some nice textures and colour. Well done and I look forward to seeing your final arrangement

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Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology

Brief:- Decide on a specific subject and work on making a series of photographs over several days. It’s best to choose a subject you have daily access to – your workplace, your home, a friend or a particular activity, for example – but you must be clear at the outset what your subject is. You have two important pieces of information before you’ve even begun to take pictures: you have your subject and you have your method of presentation. Now think about how you’ll approach the subject itself. For example, making wide shots from a distance would be very different from getting close into the action. When you’ve made the final selection of photographs, print them and place them in a grid or linear series. Invite people you know to comment on them and note down their responses.

This series is not my planned version, which I am still working on, however when opportunity beckoned I took it. During my recent holiday on Lindisfarne I was aware of how much rope was lying around. All of which had some connection to fishing, some of which was coloured and bright, others not so. I figured that I could make use of the rope for a typology.


My Favourite things by Michael Wolf is colourful and very pleasing upon my eye and I am glad the coursework asked us to review his series (here). I had this in mind whilst I was photographing the rope.

Presenting the different photos in a grid has not been easy. Differing colours, textures and other items has made the layout challenging.  Yet again I find that the midtone grey is a very suitable background, and it allows the images to stand out so that the focus is upon them. Perhaps I need to reduce the size of the border and spaces between the photos? I’m not sure.

What I like about this kind of series is the consistency. Even though there are background objects (boat, anchor, chain) the ropes with their different texture, colours and uses, are all prominent.

To add to the consitency I tried to get a similar white balance, exposure and contrast in Lightroom, and then took the photos into Photoshop, set the crop ratio to 3:2, and turned some of the photos around so that they are all in portrait. I cropped closer to the rope in all of the photos, but the boat doesnt match the others. However, I like the photo and it highlights a different use of the rope.

It has been a fun exercise to complete whilst I am still developing a much larger typography which is coming soon.

I would be grateful for any critique, feedback and suggestions. Have a fab day.

Review – Michael Wolf – My Favourite Things

Hong-Kong-Break-1--5-pieces-2015Fig. 1. Hong Kong Break #1 (5 pieces) (2015)

Initial thoughts – Similar verticles create ease on the eye and link the photographs together. Similar tones. I like the fact that the workers taking their breaks are only partially visible. The apparent poses follow the theme of suggesting a person taking a break. The lines, tone and glimpses of the subjects create a series that has consistency and flow.

Hong-Kong-Flora-1-2014Fig. 2. Hong Kong Flora #1 (2014)

Initial thoughts – Although the photos have different colour schemes they also have a similar tone. The grid format of presentation works well here and emphasis the shapes of the windows and pipes. I believe that this works well because it highlights that the flora is not the main subject per say. These are not biological photos of flowers and plants, but they represent the hardiness and gentleness of nature in over coming the harshness of man made structures. However, I also find there is a beauty in the combination of structure and nature, and I think its the balance that is provided between the hard lines and gentle flora.

The emphasis on part three of the courseowrk is communication and narrative. A story is told in both of these examples of Wolf’s photography, and an individual photo would not have the strength that his series convey. Presentation as a series reinforces the visual alliterative, and the lateral and logical processes required to deconstruct photography and discover a personal interpretation.



Figure 1; Wolf, M; 2015; Hong Kong Break #1 (5 pieces); Online AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 2; Wolf, M; Hong Kong Flora #1; Online AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)


Gallery Fifty One; 2018; Michael Wolf : Blind walls and night trees – My favourite things: Online AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Michael Wolf (photographer); Online AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Review – Gerhard Richter – Atlas

Brief:- Take a look at Gerhard Richter’s Atlas. You’ll see that Richter has placed together multiple images of a similar subject – a particular colour in the sky, similar types of buildings, trees and types of portrait. Its called a typology.

Gerhard Richter, 1932, Dresden. Studied fine art, influenced by Lucio Fontana, Jackson Pollock (McCarthy, T; 2011)

Volker Bradke 1966 Atlas sheet 26Fig. 1. Volker Bradke (1966)

Initial thoughts – Two photos of the same person. Possibly a young armed forces recruit, national service, the hair cut and the shirt suggest this to me. The blurred image is symbolic of the person left behind. The personality change from the boy and innocence that was, becoming the man that is, the clear head shot of the new recruit. A very simple typology of two photos that create a narrative. My analysis may be in-correct but this typology does create a story for the viewer to interpret.

Fur 48 portraits 1971 Atlas sheet 30Fig. 2. Für 48 Portraits (1971)

Initial Thoughts – Mahatma Gandhi and Moa Tse Tung are immediately obvious. The other men look like they are men of importance, their dress and the formality of many of the portraits suggest this. Most have a serious and studious expression. These men are considered to be great thinkers, philosophers, scientists and leaders of their time. The photos are displayed in grid format, and there are a further 10 sheets, one of which contains a biography and two are representations for an installation. This typography appears to be documentary and representative in style.

Further reading highlights that Richter found these images in books, and are of prominent people whose portraits were taken in between 1824 and 1904. The men are all white, no women at all. Richter then painted 48 of these people for the German pavilion of the 1972 Venice Biennale. I find it interesting that although the photos in the 8 sheets include politicians and artists, Richter chose not to include these in his final 48. (2018a; Casella, A) Casella quotes Richter’s reflections upon this series “I am interested in the speechless language of these pictures. Heads, even if they are full of literature and philosophy, become quite unliterary. Literature is invalidated; the personalities become anonymous. That’s what is important to me here.” (2018b; Casella, A)

Mountain Ranges 1968 Atlas sheet 129Fig. 3. Mountain Ranges (1968)

Initial Thoughts:- Rather dull monochrome images of mountain ranges. Banal, sterile and the only obvious context is they are a representation of mountains. Does exactly what it says on the tin, with no meaning beyond the representation. However, these photos, as with many of the typologies from Richter’s Atlas, are props for his drawing and painting. The Mountain Range series becomes a tool so that Richter can create both literal and abstract works of art. Richter seems uncertain of what his art represents. He has stated that painting is about discovering the known, a literal representation, and then in the same interview he states that painting is about the unknown and incomprehensible (abstract) (McCarthy, T; 2011). My impression is that different aspects of Richter’s work have different meanings, and ask different questions of the viewer.

Gebirge 1968Fig. 4. Gebirge (1968)

Richter is both an artist and photographer, and he uses these skills in their own right, and also combines them together and overpaints photography (see Overpainted Photographs here).


Figure 1; Richter, G; 1966; Volker Bradke Atlas sheet 26; AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 2; Richter, G; 1971; Für 48 Portraits Atlas sheet 30; AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 3; Richter, G; 1968; Mountain Ranges Atlas sheet 129; AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 4; Richter, G; 1968; Gebirge (amphibolin on canvas); AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)


Casella, A; 2018a; Notes; Online AT: (accessed on 20/12/2018)

Casella, A; 2018b; Notes; Online AT: (accessed on 20/12/2018)

Richter, G; 2018; Overpainted Photographs; Online AT: (accessed on 20/12/2018)

McCarthy, T; 2011; Blurred visionary: Gerhard Richter’s photo-paintings; Online AT: (accessed on 20/02/2018)

A Time Of Mixed Motivation

Today has been a very positive and engaging day for me. The project that I am planning for exercise 3.2 – Typology using street art and grafitti is developing. As well as producing the photomontage, I intend to create an HD video, and have specific music that I would like to accompany the photos. Great music that requires me to seek license consent. The emails have been sent, and it has not been easy to find contact details for the record labels, but I have got there in the end.

Exercise 3.9 – A familiar place. Having originally said that I don’t have a significant place, reflection has helped me to realise that I have a few. The industrial North East of England, where I like to explore traditional heavy industrial architecture (Blade runner esk and very familiar to Port Talbot), and then of course there is Redcar. I love Redcar. Yay to the paradox of traditional green-house gas producing industry alongside the wind-farm that I love and adore.

Although I have been out with my camera, exploring and having fun, the weather is putting me off from visiting Durham or possible Leeds/Bradford  for exercise 3.1 – Searching. Thats the small lack of motivation.

Sociology is important to me, and I feel strongly about gun crime and culture. I wrote a short essay called Gun Control Versus Mental Health which has been published by The Sociological Mail and can be seen here (thank you Shaneka). This essay has not been a photographic like my others, however it is important for my development and creativity. Photography, research and writing are all important to me.

My goal for tomorrow:- to create the background for my photomontage in Photoshop, create the 3D style writing that I will lay the images over, and begin to arrange the photography. The final piece will be 240cm by 135cm, and this will mean research into using a large enough scratch disk for Photoshop to be able to save the PSD’s as I go along.

Time for a nap.

Types of Portrait Photography

I have been exploring the uses of publicly displayed portraits. The photos for this edition of my digital sketchbook have been taken with my camera phone. The terminology is my own and may not be appropriate academic terminology.

I am aware that this post doesn’t demonstrate all of the reasons for the making and use of portrait photography, just what I have considered over the past few days.

Going from top left across.

1 – Targeted advertising, brand promotion (young female with financial means (select body size))

2 – Health promotion, discussion, with text relay (bold typeset, bottom right)

3 – Authorship, status

4 – Targeted advertising (family, social)

5 – Promotional, targeted  (young adult, friendship, joy)

6 – Emotional, photojournalism, documentary, relay

7 – Descriptive, relay, photojournalism

8 – Attraction, targeted advertising (male, tradesmen – this was my assumption. However I looked into the demographics of sun readers. 60% of readers are male, readers come almost equally across the NHS social grades. See reference below)

9 – Branding, group identity (reinforces belonging to a social group)

10 – Generic advertising (I have included this to highlight the difference between a portrait as targeted advertising, and generic advertising which doesn’t require a portrait.

11 – Descriptive, promotion

12 – Targeted advertising, leading, relay

13 – Targeted advertising

14 – Promotional, documentary, branding , group identity

15 – Health information, targeted advertising  (employment), statement of brand values (equality/diversity)

16 – Nostalgia, group identity

17 – Targeted advertising

18 – Branding

19 – Promotional, group identity

20 – Branding, targeted advertising  (activity specific)

21 – Branding, targeted advertising

22 – Branding, targeted advertising