William James’ seminal theory of self defines the social self of an individual as
“the recognition which he gets from his mates. [...] Properly speaking, a man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their mind. [...] But as the individuals who carry the images fall naturally into classes, we may practically say that he has as many different social selves as there are distinct groups of persons about whose opinion he cares. He generally shows a different side of himself to each of these different groups. Many a youth who is demure enough before his parents and teachers, swears and swaggers like a pirate among his ‘tough’ young friends”. (James, 1950: 294–295)
This book, The Selfies: Social Identities in the Digital Age, is out lining that a person has many self that they perform to certain audiences. For example, one might act different with there friends compared to there Grandma.
Canyon Country, California
This photo by Sternfeld has warm lighting. The man is lightly holding his cigar but tightly grips his child. I am fascinated by their gazes. The man looks into the camera making a direct connection with the viewers. This gives him confidence. meanwhile the child, who could be arguably male or female, looks off-frame. Their subtly gaze takes them somewhere else and gives the photo an element to uncertainty.
This is a photograph I took of my friend Isaac when we were doing our laundry. The character I’m portraying is a normal, but gives a true representation of that person in that moment. There is normal glamorous about doing your washing. However, its something everyone has to do, and something no one would ever think was worth photographing. I like these images because of the moody lighting and the mundane, boring setting. I think these images really work as a series.
I think I could have taken a few more images in this moment to get a crisper image. Maybe the use of a flash gun would have improved it too. Overall I’m really happy with the way I have presented this portrait and the mood I’ve created.
Our task for week 4 is find an object in the world, that no longer belongs to anybody and is not able to be stolen or borrowed. Finding an object that might seem worthless to everyone and putting it in the stoplight by photographing it, gives a whole new meaning to the object and gives it a important purpose that it never had before.
A great example of this is Irving Penn’s Still Life Photography. In 1972, he produced a series of photographs of cigarette butts. These had been smoked down to the end then discarded. He placed one, two or three of these on a white background and photographed them using a large-format camera. The prints were made in the platinum-palladium process that provides a rich tonal range, showing clearly the dirt, wrinkles, mud and dust that disfigured them.
My found object was a small red bucket I found on the high street in Lincoln. It was surprisingly clean and seemed brand new. Could someone have bought it and dropped it on there way home? Has it somehow found its way out of a shop?
This shoot was heavily inspired by Sian Bonnell. I wanted to recreate her jelly mould photograph with my found bucket. I had amazing lighting for the shoot, as it was late afternoon and the sun was just going down. It was warm and orange. This light casted a strong shine on the bucket and created some rich shadows. I have also cropped my image a little to incorporate more features of Sian Bonnell’s work.
Final Edited Image
Overall I’m really happy with my Found Object project. I feel because it’s not the stereotypical still life in a studio, I have expanded my knowledge of what still life is all about and the different ways you can interpret it.