bechers

Photo of police in riot gear arresting protester in a dress strikes chord on social media

“A protester is grabbed by police officers in riot gear after she refused to leave the motor way in front of the the Baton Rouge Police Department Headquarters in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, July 9, 2016.

Image: Max Becherer/AP”

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Image: JONATHAN BACHMAN/REUTERS

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A blog post on typologies.

Typologies were an important, if not one of the most important changes in approaches to photography. Photography, just like the vast majority of art strives to show you the artists perspective or views through a select medium. Typology changed this. The Bechers although not the first to make typologies, definitely made typologies with the biggest impact, in such a way that the art world were made to pay attention. The Becher’s typology created a new, clean, minimalist aesthetic, the images were bare, nothing was hidden inside and there was very little to analyse as everything was documented in a way that was easy to read for the viewer.

Today a lot of photographers fall into the trap of using typologies to hide a lack of well constructed concept, luckily that’s not something I ideally have to worry about for this project.

The Becher’s concepts were simple but striking, there wasn’t anything hidden in the image, the documentation itself bore the concept in mind, the concept of portraying something that was created for a purpose, that would eventually be superseded by another of it’s kind that serves the purpose more efficiently than the current subject does. In a way I find this ironic, the typologies bore a purpose just as strongly as the subjects did, and as time has passed the typology has began to become less relevant as a style of photography, just as photography has become less relevant as a style of documentation, superseded by moving imagery. 

More recently Martina Mullaney has done a group of typologies, not originally in a grid format, but still a quite obvious typology. They approach social issues, the two series, which I am referring to, “Turn In” and “Dinner For One” which both tackle themes of loneliness and isolation, how ever “Turn In”’s theme of homelessness through photographs of hostel and shelter beds, is a lot more harsh, and it’s aesthetically closer to that of a traditional typology.

Which shows that even though I said the typology as a style is becoming less relevant, it’s still something that still can have a lot of impact even in a more modern context.

Photographer Research: The Bechers

I have researched the Bechers a number of times for previous projects, they create typologies of industrial buildings using film. However I would like to use them as research as I feel they show a style of photography which I am interested in using for this project. 

I feel that by using simple rules similar to The Bechers I can create images that highlight the buildings and their form. From looking at their work I have chosen to photograph only on dull days with little sunlight. I feel that this will highlight the straight and curved lines of the dark concrete, creating a good contrast between its shape and a plain white or grey sky.

From looking at their work I have also chosen to photograph in black and white. I have a strong image in my head of what these buildings may look like in picture, and feel that black and white will be able to enhance the mood from these buildings. A mood which suggests that these buildings are now dull and “past it” in our modern world. I have also thought tonally about why I should use black and white for these post war buildings. I feel that the viewer will have a greater understanding of three dimensional shape and form whilst looking in black and white. I aim to take photographs that show different tones of shape, which come together in a minimalist style to show the overall form of a building. I believe I have found a similar photographers which photograph architecture in this style called Helene Binet and Simona Panzironi.