Mark Power – Hinckley College Visit

Today we attended a talk hosted by Mark Power, a British photographer who works for Magnum Photos and has also produced a large volume of personal work. (Can be found here: http://www.markpower.co.uk/Welcome-to-Mark-Power ) The talk was held at the Hinckley college, but before it began we were first tasked to produce a few images inspired by Mark Power’s work. I had previously done some research on Power’s work, and had found that a lot of his images show the mundane in an interesting way, rather like the research I did for the Brand New Topographics task (which can be found here: https://stevehirdphotography.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/brand-new-topographics/ ). While walking around the town centre and outer parks, I took some interesting photos and below are my favourites:

    

         

 A lot of Mark Power’s work was taken on a large format camera. This is a type of camera that typically captures a lot of detail, due to the size of the film that the light is let on to. This means that large landscape images can be created without losing the detail in the foreground or the background. This is also what I attempted to capture when walking around the town. I ensured the aperture settings were on the smallest size possible without having the shutter speed too slow. This was because the slower shutter speed would have picked up camera shake and the images wouldn’t have been very sharp. However this was difficult to do because it wasn’t a very bright day thanks to the weather, and so the aperture had to be larger to compensate for this. I like these pictures because I think they capture a lot of detail, and there’s many things to observe in the image, however I believe they could be improved by using a tripod, which would mean that I could use a higher f-stop without having to worry about camera shake and blur that comes from slower shutter speeds.

We then attended the talk by Mark Power’s, which was held in the theatre hall in Hinckley College. After some technical difficulties with the equipment the talk began, and Mark talked through some of his work and how he came about doing it. For example his series titled “The Shipping Forecast” was his first project that he created personally, and involved capturing images at all the different locations in the shipping forecast. This is because listening to the shipping forecast was a large part of his life, and so he thought that he could create a good-looking project by connecting with this topic.

To create this project he travelled to each of the locations on the shipping forecast, and took a photograph. Some of them were mundane and others were very visually pleasing especially when he demonstrated how different sections of the images connected with each other. The images were then captioned with whatever report was given for that area on that day. This put the images in a different context, and in some cases made them feel almost sinister, especially when a voice recording of the forecast was played over the top with an eerie sonar noise in the background. A very interesting piece of work.

He then continued to show some of his other projects such as “Sound of Two Songs”, a project about Poland joining the EU and how that affected the country, “26 Different Endings” which is my personal favourite of his projects, which showed images of areas that have been cut off the border of London according to the London A-Z map, and a very interesting project with friend and poet Daniel Cockrill titled “Destroying The Laboratory For The Sake of The Experiment”. This project involved a series of images taken of different places around England and each image is overdubbed with a poem written and spoken by Daniel, which is inspired by the same area.

Overall I enjoyed the presentation and I believe I have been well inspired to create my own images. I will begin to work with larger format film to produce more detailed and experiment with diptych and triptych images.

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