On Friday 13 September, Year 11 Photography students travelled to London as part of their coursework project ‘Expressing Movement through Photography’.
We caught up with Year 11 pupil Verity Roxburgh who explained what the day involved,
“We travelled down to London, taking the tube at Brent Cross station to Leicester Square and walked to Trafalgar Square from there. Our coursework project is all about ways of ‘Expressing Movement through Photography’ so I decided to take photos of my friends jumping in front of the lion statues, inspired by photographer Philippe Halsman who we are studying in class.
It was the last day of the Cindy Sherman exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Her work consisted of many self-portraits in different styles; family portraits, films and imagery from popular culture inspired her. I didn’t know what to expect going into the exhibition and I was surprised as it was very odd. Some of her photos were quite scary as she dressed up in strange costumes, prosthetics and lots of makeup. In my opinion, Sherman was modelling in all the different ways as a form of escapism. She is choose to be different people, controlling the way the audience saw her and you would therefore never know what her true identity is.
One series of photos, which I found most interesting, were images relating to how society and men objectify women. She used life-size dolls and prosthetics in the work. I didn’t initially understand the meaning but later I learnt that she was stripping away any of the beauty of the female form and showing it in its crudest way. She wanted to pose questions about sex, gender and disease through this work.
The BP Portrait Award exhibition was on at the same time in the same building and it is said to be the most prestigious painting competition in the world. I really enjoyed this exhibition, as there was lots of different painting techniques and themes in there, and I found some that correlated to my movement project.
After we left the NPG, we headed back to Trafalgar Square where we were lucky enough to catch a street performer mid-act. I took photos of him doing tricks on his bike; again taking inspiration from another artist I have studied Eadweard Muybridge. We took a short break for some snacks and experimented with ICM (intentional camera movement) techniques while we waited for everyone to be ready to go. This involves rotating or moving the camera in a linear or zig-zag fashion while using a slow shutter speed.
We then walked over the Jubilee Bridge to the Southbank, to the under croft where there is a skate park. At the skate park, we were fortunate enough to see many skaters who we were able to take great photos of, varying our shutter speed between either fast or slow. The effect was to freeze moments of action or to capture the effect of motion through blur. I initially found it quite difficult to get the shots as the light conditions were difficult inside. We spent quite a long time here, as it was interesting to see all the skaters doing tricks – this was probably my favourite part of our trip!
We then started our long walk back to the tube station. On Blackfriars Bridge we stopped to take blur and panning shots of the cars, bikes and buses that passed at high speed. I wanted to create images where the car and background was blurred as well as somewhere the car was in focus but the background was blurred. After this, we headed home, it was a long day but the exhibition was good and the photo ops even better, thanks to the fab weather.”