Current Contact Sheets

Too further expand upon the idea of photographers and their cameras in front of the camera, I asked 3 different people to sit for me, all friends whilst within the studio, allowing for ‘banter’ and personality to show through in the photographs as the others in the studio are distracting from my task at hand, capturing the photographer for who they are.

Contact Sheet Own Photographs
Contact Sheet
Own Photographs

As a result of this, many of the photographs are varied and comical while some of the end results are extremely smiley and happy which can be perceived to be more commercial and less about the portrait of who the person truly is. The first contact sheet portrays portraits which are awkward in being unable to create a natural and approachable portrait where the approach to the photographs was unprepared. As the shoot changed sitter, I became more comfortable in the situation with the left contact sheet showing a more relaxed sitter over the energetic photographes produced in the right contact sheet. In some of the images, I purposefully made the sitters laugh as to create a lighter feeling to the photographs however this has produced portraits which have become more stereotypical advertising photographs of still life.

Contact Sheet Own Photographs
Contact Sheet
Own Photographs
Contact Sheet Own Photographs
Contact Sheet
Own Photographs
Take a Picture VIII Own Photograph
Take a Picture VIII
Own Photograph
Take a Picture VII Own Photograph
Take a Picture VII
Own Photograph
Take a Picture VI Own Photograph
Take a Picture VI
Own Photograph
One with a Camera II Own Photograph
One with a Camera II
Own Photograph

There is a clear use of inspiration from Martin Schoeller and his Close Up photographs while taking a step back to see more of the person and more of a clinical surrounding that is off-balance that is reminiscent of the work by Bettina von Zwehl. More experimentations with different people create different atmospheres within the photograph as to really get under the skin of a person in a portrait, more time may be needed in order to scratch away the initial appearance.

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Bettina von Zwehl 2

While previous research explored the profile photographs, the work of her early morning routine is which intrigues me most while has a great significance upon the movement in which my project is developing.

The series of work features her friends and acquaintances, captured at 5 in the morning with a sudden flash of light at a random moment of time (Zwehl, B, 2007, pg 70) Her subjects are placed in front of a white wall whilst wearing white clothing (Cotton, C, 2014, pg 31). Zwehl has developed a style of photography focused upon on exact conditions while allowing for the myriad of expressions in the unexpected flash (Zwehl, B, 2007, pg 10) She has been inspired in her recent works by being the Artist in Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum for 6 months. (Purdy Hicks, 2014)

Alina Bettina von Zwehl
#2 Bettina von Zwehl http://www.bettinavonzwehl.com/untitled-1.html
Alina Bettina von Zwehl
Alina
Bettina von Zwehl http://www.bettinavonzwehl.com/alina.html

Using this technique, Zwehl has created several similar series of works where the sitter has been awoken at the unruly hour of 5am, to be photographed against a white wall whilst wearing white clothes when the subjects look red-faced, tired, hung-over, pale and vulnerable (Zwehl, B, 2007, pg 70). There are two similar projects, one where the sitters are perched on a stall while the other features the sitter at a table, smaller in the frame with their arms folded on the table. Each series is unnerving in the clinical aspects of white and exacting minimal conditions for each photograph, capturing those moments that people wish not to be seen. Each is uneasy in the whiteout appearance of the photograph, with facial expressions blank with underlying annoyance and sleepiness, expressing the unseen characteristics of the sitter which would not be achieved during full consciousness and complete knowledge of the camera and actions occurring around them. Distraction and lack of communication is a key theme as it is hard to fully read the portrait of the distracted subjects where reasons are not fully disclosed (Zwehl, B, 2007, pg 10) destroying any possibility of intimacy with the close subjects in the frame, depicting the subject as a specimen of a portrait, clarifying the clean uneasiness evoked. The subjects do not connect with the audience nor photographer as a result, creating unique portraits that define the aesthetics or concept of other portrait photography (Zwehl, 2007, pg 71)

Using the systematic approach to this series (Langford, M, 2008, pg 62), the work is able to be interlinked smoothly with the only changing aspect in the sitter to create a series that allows for the sitter to become the prime focus of the portrait as the background is washed out and has removed the distraction of props, colour and texture other than that found upon the sitter which is an interesting thought to portray the portrait that I wish to be able to convey.

Work has been published in many books whilst also having been exhibited globally from London to New York.

 

Cotton, C, 2014, The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Third Edition, London, Thames & Hudson

Zwehl, B, 2007, Bettina von Zwehl, Gottingen, Steidl

Langford, M, 2008, controlling the subject: Bettina von Zwehl, Source, Issue 54, pg 62-64

Smith, R, 2000, Bettina Von Zwehl, New York Times, 15 Sept. 2000: E33. [Online] [Accessed 25/04/2015] Academic OneFile

Purdy Hicks Gallery, 2014, Bettina von Zwehl, [Online] [Accessed 25/04/2015] http://www.purdyhicks.com/display.php?aID=17

Zwehl, B, 2015, Bettina von Zwehl, [online] [Accessed 25/04/2015] http://www.bettinavonzwehl.com/

 

 

 

Bettina von Zwell

Bettina Von Zwehl is most known for her series of works that feature her friends, captured at 3 in the morning with a sudden flash of light at a random moment of time. Her subjects are placed in front of a white wall while also being told to wear white items of clothing. Zwehl was born in Munich 1971 and has developed a style of photography where the series focuses on exact conditions. She has been inspired in her recent works by being the Artist in Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum for 6 months. (Purdy Hicks, 2014)

Made Up Love Song Bettina von Zwehl http://www.bettinavonzwehl.com/made-up-love-song.html
Made Up Love Song
Bettina von Zwehl
http://www.bettinavonzwehl.com/made-up-love-song.html

 

This particular series has been captured using natural lighting which is soft and has created delicate highlights upon the skin, while being captured in profile. The dark background creates a dulled atmosphere that is no overwhelming but thoughtful and yet there is an uneasy presence within the images as inspired by the small images found in old lockets that hold photographs of loved ones. The change in background light is something to note as the lightness is shown behind the sitter which could lead to questions as to why the light is seen behind the sitter but in technically this allows the light on the face to be contrasted while the shadow behind the head is also contrasted for full range across the portrait. The portraits produced allow for the viewer to have the ability to contemplate the image and the deeper representation of the portrait alongside the clinical nature that produces sleek photographs. Each image created has an air of Renaissance reference, focusing on textures and the composition of the photograph which simulates classic paintings of the Renaissance period. (Zwehl, B, 2007)

Work has been published in many books whilst also having been exhibited globally from London to New York.

 

Zwehl, B, 2007, Bettina von Zwehl, Gottingen, Steidl

Zwehl, B, 2015, Bettina von Zwehl, [online] [Accessed 28/02/2015] http://www.bettinavonzwehl.com/

Purdy Hicks Gallery, 2014, Bettina von Zwehl, [Online] [Accessed 28/02/2015] http://www.purdyhicks.com/display.php?aID=17

Smith, R, 2000, Bettina Von Zwehl, New York Times, 15 Sept. 2000: E33. [Online] [Accessed 02/03/2015] Academic OneFile