Assignment 1: Thoughts Behind The Final Piece

As the deadline of Assignment 1 draws closer, I begin to gather my thoughts and ideas behind the final product. I have been enormously inspired by Stephen Shore’s broad thinking and practical presentation ideas.

Stephen Shore’s ‘The Nature of Photographs’ has provided some interesting ideas. For example, in his book Shore writes about the importance of context and presentation in Photography:

“The context in which a photography is seen effects the meanings a viewer draws from it”

in another section of the book, Shore described the importance of photographing in a style:

“By consciously adopting a visual style, a photographer can reference this context and bring these meanings to the reading of the image”


But my favourite quote from this book is the introduction to the chapter ‘The Depictive Level’  where Shore writes about the creation of a picture:

” A photographer starts with the messiness of the world and selects a picture”

and for me, that is the most truthful and correct quote to describe my experience and style of photographing. I want to take the world in front of me and transform it with the click of a button.

Shore, S. (2012) The Nature of Photographs: A Primer, United Kingdom: Phaidon Press, Incorporated.

I have also lately searched through Shore’s book ‘Uncommon Places’ to fully ensure I understand and envision his style of practise as I enlarge and present my own photographs. However, despite obviously being influenced by Shore, I have made some fundamental differences between my work and Shore’s. Firstly I am not shooting in colour despite the photographers praising use of using colour film “Colour film is wonderful because it shows not only the intensity but the colour of light” because I am limited to Black and White film, although I do disagree that intensity of light is restricted to colour film and instead believe achieving intensity is more achievable in black&white film. I also believe that Shore’s use of colour in photography can be seen as somewhat pointless as a large portion of his work photographs plain scenes of white or cream objects/architecture.

But despite the odd disagreement with Stephen Shore’s working practises, I still think he is noteworthy photographer. The high praise of Shore’s is best summed up by architect Robert Venturi on the blurb of ‘Uncommon Places’

“In Shore’s photographs we discover the mislaid images that we ignored because of their very familiarity or rejected because of their banality”

Shore, S. (1982) Uncommon Places, United States: Distributed by Viking Penguin


To further understand Shore and Egglestons style of mundane photography, I researched for books that could help me understand the importance of the mundane. I found a book on mundane objects that explains the idea of the importance of artefacts,

“It also aims to explore what role such particular, yet almost mundane, artefacts may play in the stability or mutation of cultural configurations.”

which I interpret mundane objects and structures as a whole, therefor providing an importance to document the photorealism of everyday life.

Another noteworthy quote from this study is the following:

“It is about objects that would not find their way into museum cases and that are uninteresting to most anthropologists, sociologists, and historians, but nonetheless lie at the heart of the systems of thought and practices of their makers and users: they cement the ways people live together and, in several cases, their place in the cosmos and their ultimate fate.”

Lemonnier, P. Critical Cultural Heritage Series : Mundane Objects : Materiality and Non-verbal Communication. Walnut Creek, CA, USA: Left Coast Press, 2012. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 21 November 2014.
Copyright © 2012. Left Coast Press. All rights reserved.



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