Photography Framing

Series of Seemingly Banal Spaces that have a Common Abstract Quality

Through the discussion of how we see cities, we have looked at the way many photographers depict their work of cities through different strategies or techniques. One of these techniques; of which the artist I chose has used; is a series of seemingly banal and quotidian spaces that have some common abstract quality, this is displayed through the works of Thomas Struth, through there choice of medium, framing, composition and other photography techniques.

Image 1 (Left): Crosby Street, New York. Image 2 (Right): Photo by Thomas Struth

Struth commonly uses black and white images which accentuates the angles, rather than the colours. Further accentuating angles; and at times symmetry; they take photos from within the middle of streets, allowing the perspectives of the images to draw the eye to the end of the road, which also helps to emphasis that each building is built within the context of the city, and that they all help create the atmosphere together, rather than individually. They also rarely have people in the images, which creates that empty and banal quality, again allowing us to focus on the architecture of the streets, but also maybe telling a story of loneliness, that someone could feel even within a loud city. These techniques I used in my photography of the city of Sydney, in particular Redfern and Surry Hills.

Image 3 (Left): Redfern, Sydney. Image 4 (Right): Redfern Station, Sydney. Photos by Matthew Peate

These are 2 process images that I began with, I believe image 3 displays the perspective angles that Struth uses, yet creates a liveliness through incorporating colour and trees, whilst image 4 displays the banal quality of Struth, by lacks the emphasis of architectural qualities of the city. Therefore I took more photos that focused on covering all techniques.

Image 5 (Left): Refern, Sydney. Image 6 (Right): Surry Hills, Sydney.

Image 5 and 6 I chose as my final images. I chose these because i believe they express the city’s structure within the atmosphere similiar to Struth’s photography.

To summarise, through researching photographers and applying their techniques, it has given me an appreciation of being creative in a way that has purpose and design. I will finish with a quote from Thomas Struth summarising his main interests of his time shooting in New York.

“I was interested in the possibility of the photographic image revealing the different character or the ‘sound’ of the place. I learned that certain areas of the city have an emblematic character; they express the city’s structure. How can the atmosphere of one place be so different from another, and why? This question has always been important to me. Who has the responsibility for the way a city is? The urban structure is an accretion of so many decisions.” (Struth, as cited in Martin Zellerhoff)


Image 1:, Martin Zellerhoff, Berlin. Date visted 5/07/2017.