Assignment 4 – Image and Text

Part Three: Fictional Texts

Assignment 4 – Image and Text

For this assignment I was required to create a series of images where text is introduced to the image. In the assignment brief it said that the text didn’t have to accompany the finished images, but for me the text is just as important as the image itself; so I early on that I would be including the text with the images.

I started by writing down ideas for this assignment; I found it very open for interpretation, which allows freedom as to the subject. I wanted to explore the notion of identity in places. In particular, I decided to pick a theme of lost identity. Identity is everywhere; it is not just associated with people. I decided to use the text to explain what the place once was. I was inspired on the wording for my text, from the Nikon adverts; “I am a Nikon”. For my text, it becomes “I am a…” and then what the site was to begin with.

I wanted to create atmospheric images, which I would achieve by using filters, such as the Lee Natural Density. I used manual mode on my camera. The brief said aim for a set of 7 to 10 images, I took this as a guide as I ended up with 15 images.

As I would be photographing buildings and landscapes, I looked into architectural photographers. One was Nicolas Grospierre. Grospierre is a Swiss photograph born in 1975. His images concentrate on angles; he uses architectural plans as his inspiration for his compositions. He describes his work as “On one hand documentary…and on the other conceptual”. I partically like his images of the sides of building, showing the windows, as the windows can show a lot about a building. Another was Daniel Hewitt. Hewitt wasn’t always a photographer; he started off studying architecture, philosophy and law. His background in architecture has influenced his images. I like the way many of his images combine nature and the buildings that have invaded that space. He concentrates on the urban cityscape, primarily in England. For example his image combines the modern architecture with the trees. When I first looked at this image, I thought that the tree were a huge distraction but the longer I looked I realized that this combination of architecture and nature works, as it shows the two cohabiting together.

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Grospierre, N. About. [Online]. <http://www.grospierre.art.pl/about/&gt; [Accessed: February 2017].

Hewitt, D. Profile. [Online]. <http://danielhewitt.com/Profile/&gt; [Accessed: February 2017].


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I am a Florist
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I am a Council Yard
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I am a Nursery
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I am a Butchers
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I am a Wood Yard
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I am a Post Office
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I am a Brewery
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I am a Station House
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I am a Pub
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I am a Soliciters Office
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I am a Field
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I am a Park
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I am a Chapel
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I am a Truck Stop
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I am a School 

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Exercise 4.5

Project 2: Memories and Speech

Exercise 4.5

Find words that have been written or spoken by someone else. You can gather these words from a variety of means – interviews, journlas, archives, eavesdropping. Your subject may be a friend, stranger, alive or dead. Select your five favourite examples and create five images that do justice to the essence of those words. You may choose to present your images with or without the original words. Either way, make sure that the images are working hard to tell a story. If you decide to include the words, ensure that they add to the meaning rather that describing the image or shutting it fown. Try to keep your image-and-text combination consistent – perhaps they are all overhead coniversations on abus or all come from an old newspaper report. Keep them part of a sory. Consider different ways of presenting the wods. Audio or video might lend itself well to this kind of work, or a projection of images using voice over. Experiment.

For this exercise, I decided to use facebook posts from my friends as a base for my images. I spent a while trawling through facebook, choosing various posts people had made. I made a list, which I’ll admit was very long. I narrowed it down to my five favourite, and then recreated them throught photography. Here are my results.

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What a horrible part of the world
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Why would anybody go to Wales…It’s full of sheep!
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My taste in music goes from hardcore punk rock al the way down to the Disney soundtracks
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It’s the same every year after Christmas…Full of cold!
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I’m surprisingly nice for someone who hates 99% of the human race 

 

Exercise 4.4

Project 1: Captions and Titles

Exercise 4.4

Over the space of a few weeks gather newspapers that you can cut up, preferably including a mixture of different political points of view. Have a look through and cut out some images without their captions. You could choose advertising images or news. For each image, write three or four different captions that enable you to bend the image to different and conflicting points of view. What does this tell you about the power of text and image combinations? Now write some text that re-contextualise these images and opens them up to alternative interpretations. Write some notes in your learning log about this exercise. How might you use what you’ve learnt to add a news dimension to your own work?

Text has the power to change the narrative of an image and create a new narrative for it.

I choose several newspaper articles and here are the headlines that I re-contextualized.

Here are the articles that I have chosen.

The first articles real headline is ‘Government facing Brexit defeat in Lords over EU nationals’. Other captions could be, ‘Lose for Brexit’, ‘Win for EU Nationals’, or ‘Victory for EU Nationals’. Re-contextualized captions would include, ‘Brexit Victorious’ ‘Brexit In: EU Nationals Out’, ‘Brexit historic win’ or ‘No rights for EU Nationals’.

The second article is, ‘Most European doctors considering leaving UK due to Brexit, GMC reveals’. Other captions could be, ‘Mass Walkout?’, ‘Numbers of Doctors will drop’, ‘The crisis of the NHS’, and ‘The Brexit Effect’. Headlines that change the meaning of the image are, ‘British Doctors Shortage’, ‘Surge in EU Doctors’, ‘EU Doctors saves lives’ or ‘EU Doctors worth weight in Gold’.

The third article is ‘We need veto on Trump trade deal, senior Labour figure demands’. Other headlines could include, ‘Parliament to Veto Trump deal’, ‘Trump Deal’, ‘Top Trumps Deal’, and ‘In the Spotlight – American Trade Deal’. De-contextualized headlines include, ‘Voters vote against Trumps deal’, ‘Demonstrations against Trumps deal’, ‘NO to Trumps trade deal’ or ‘No Deal America’.

The fourth headline is, ‘Nigel Farage Hints He Does want a knighthood Amid Bitter Row with Douglas Carswell’. Other headlines could be, ‘Arise, Sir Farage’, ‘Sir Nigel?’, ‘Farage discusses Knighthood possibility’, or ‘Sir Nigel, for your service to Britain’. Recontextualized headlines could include. ‘Farage debunks knighthood rumours’, ‘Sir Nigel’, and ‘Knighthood hopes dashed for Farage’.

The last headline is ‘Wink and You Miss It. Coca cola sparks OUTRAGE by making a subtle change to its traditional Christmas advert’. Other headlines could include, ‘Advert change causes OUTRAGE’, ‘Change to the tradition’, and ‘Thirst knows no season – A Change to Tradition’. Recontextualised headlines are, ‘Coca Cola to stop its traditional advert’, ‘People Boycott Coca Cola amist Advert Change’, ‘Christmas cheer…except for coca cola’, or ‘Most Iconic Advert’.


 

Exercise 4.3

Project 1: Captions and Titles

Exercise 4.3

Create a storyboard where the image does not depend on the text and the text adds something new to the narrative. This exercise is a light hearted look at the role of image and text. Aim for it to be around 10 frames long. Draw the picture storyboard first and then add the text. Note how the story is affected when the text is added. 

Before the text is added, you can see a clear development through the images but when the text is added the development turns into a story. The text adds dimension to an otherwise 2D image. This would also work if you ere photographing a pregnant woman’s bump, you could add text which would add depth. You could even take portraits of people, and in the text you could state what profession they are, this would add and state something that is not in the image.

For this exercise, I used the pregnancy of my dog as the development for a story. I used images week by week to show development and added text that informs the image, not just describes what’s going on.

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1 week before birth – Pups have developed their fur
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Birth – Born with eyes and ears closed
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1 Week – Begin learning simple social skills
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Week 2 – Open their eyes
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Week 3 – Brain and Nervous system begin to develop
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Week 4 – Emotional growth is flourishing
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Week 5 – Can recognize people
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Week 6 – Established a pecking order
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Week 7 – Fully emotionally developed
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Week 8 – Go their separate ways

Cesars Way. The stages of puppy growth and development. [Online]. <https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/puppies/the-stages-of-puppy-growth-and-development/&gt; [Accessed: February 2017].

Dog Breed Info. Stages of puppy development. [Online]. <www.dogbreedinfo.com/breedingdogs/stagespuppydevelopment.htm> [Accessed: February 2017].

Love to know. Canine Gestation. [Online]. <dogs.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Canine_Gestation/>   [Accessed: February 2017].


 

Research Point 1

Project 1: Captions and Titles

Research Point 1

Read ‘Rhetoric of the image’ and write a reflection in your learning log. 

  • How does Barthes define anchorage and relay? 
  • Can you come up with some examples of each? 
  • How might this help your own creative approaches to working with text and image? 

The chapter, ‘Rhetoric of the image’ was very interesting. It began by talking about the meaning of the word image and how it should be linked to the root work imitari. Which in turn, is possible to form a ‘true systems of signs’. Barthes states that there are three messages, which can be found when analyzing images. In this chapter he uses a Panzani advertisement for his examples.

The first message is the linguistic message, which deals with the text present in the image. The denoted image, which is a coded message has three levels to it. The first, “reproduce an object or a scene in a drawing requires a set of rule-grounded transpositions; there is no essential nature of the pictional copy and the copies of transposition are historical”. The second, “the operation of the drawing (the coding) immediately necessitates a certain division between the significant and the insignificant”. Thirdly, “The drawing demands and apprenticeship (Saussure attributed a great importance to this semiological fact)”. The deonted image provides the structure of the message which then allows for definition. Barthes states that, “The denoted image naturalizes the symbolic message, it innocents the semantic artifice of connotation, which is extremely dense, especially in advertising”. The rhetoric of the image is the connotation. The signifiers of connotations are specified according to a specific substance. Connotators are the signifiers; a group is known as a rhetoric.

Anchorage is found mainly in advertisement imaging, and also in press images. Anchorage is more readily found as against Relay, which is rarer, and is seen in comic books. The relationship between the text and the image are complementary. (Barthes, 1977).


 

Exercise 4.2

Project 1: Captions and Titles

Exercise 4.2

Choose a day that you can spend out and about looking with no particular agenda. Be conscious of how images and texts are presented to you in the real world – on billboards, in magazines and newspapers, and online, for example, make notes in your learning log on some specific examples and reflect upon what impact the text has on how you read the overall message.
Consider:
– Does the text close the image down (i.e. inform or direct your readings) or open it up (i.e. allow for your personal interpretation to play a part in creating the final meaning)? 

What do you think was the intention of the creator in each instances? 

Whilst out one day I saw an advert for ‘The All-New Ford Transit’. The image was someone pushing a cargo ship into the back of the Transit. The subtext of the advert is, ‘With our best-ever payload and volume’. The image provides a humourous effect as realistically there is no way it could happen, but is instead used to promote the volume that the Transit can hold, obviously not as much as a cargo ship but you get the point. The colours are bright and eye-catching but it does seem a bit cluttered for an advert. It combines the cargo industrusty with a van that transports ‘cargo’ usually as a part of a business, so it combines two industries together to appeal to the next businessman. I think the creator’s intention was to showcase the amount of space that a Transit can hold by showing it ‘holding’ something very big.

Another image I saw on a billboard was that of a woman with facial injuries from a beating. The text accompanying this image was “Look at me. We can stop it!” This advert really stood out to me. It was plain but straight to the point, and it raised awareness of an issue that is prevelant but not many people do something about it. I think the creator wanted people to be shocked by the image and notice it, as if they notice something like this they should report it and do something about it, as they could stop it.

Nokia was advertising a new phone. Their catchphrase was ‘Nokia Connecting People’. The advert is very colourful and bold. The use of bold colours catches the viewer’s attention. The creator wanted to catch the viewer’s attention and uses the guise of Nokia being able to connect people better than any other company, to sell their product. But it doesn’t make me want to go out and buy a Nokia.

The next advert was for Subway. The text states, “Train Hard. Eat Fresh”. The image is of the boxer Anthony OGood. It states, ‘Anthony OGood’s Personal best’, accompanied by an image of a sub from Subway. This advert doesn’t really make me want to buy a Subway. I can understand that they are trying to promote that their food is fresh and can provide substance even to a boxer, but it doesn’t create an appealing advert. The creators seem to have jumped on the Olympic/sport bandwagon; I personally don’t think it works.

The last advert I am going to look at is a 3D Billboard. It features a car crashing in the back of a lorry, where the crash happened the billboard is crumpled. It really does catch your attention. The text accompanying states “Tailgating isn’t worth it”. This image really hits home with drivers, as it could be you in tat picture if you tailgate. I found this the most effect advert that I saw.


Exercise 4.1

Part Four – Image and Text

Introduction

Exercise 4.1

OCA Tutor Dawn Woolley writes a regular blog on Link 10 called ‘Looking at Advertisements’. 

Read one of Dawn’s articles and write a blog post or make a comment on the site in response. 

I looked at Dawn Woolley’s blog for this exercise and found around a dozen entries for analysing adverts. I choose to look at her post about the Lurpak advertising campaign. She starts by introducing the brand, which is a Danish Butter Brand. Woolley believes that the adverts that the brand creates, deal with the negative associations that you get with butter in an effective way. Butter has a negative press, as people believe that it can cause high cholesterol, and is high in saturated fats. She also states that due to the fact that the brand is Danish, this may have an effect on the ‘euro-skeptics’ out there.

In the images she was analyzing, they bring together ‘nostalgia, home comfort and national pride’, together these create an image that puts the viewer at ease and makes them feel good about baking and themselves. It is a good advertisement for comfort foods, and sets up a comparison between comfort foods and an alternative such as ready meals. Woolley suggests that the aim is to show that it is ‘Everyday food for everyday people’.

The text they use also contributes to the effectiveness of this advert. Woolley’s example is the use of the word ‘Empire’. It creates a unity between a family and the nation. The phase is also used to humourous effect, they state that an Empire wasn’t built on Museli bars. Again we can see a contrast between something important, the Empire and the Museli bar, which is unimportant. Other terms they use are strength, and night, which provides masculinity to the image.

Woolley not only looks at the printed adverts but she also explores the TV adverts. “Mankind wasn’t built on just baby leaf salad…Stomachs full, we march forward on meals forged with our own two hands”. This voice over seems to be aimed at the male consumers, as it hints at manual labour. Woolley states that this might distract woman, as they tend to be more conscious about their health.

“Pride, family, strength, and Empire”, are all terms used in Lurpak’s adverts, Woolley believes that they promote the notion of home cooked meals.

I believed she could have gone further into the adverts, for example the colours evoke a sense of warmth and comfort, which can come from the food they are promoting. Comfort and hearty food attracts people, as it provides warmth and a nostalgic feeling. One of the adverts shows an image of an egg with some solider to dip in. A point Woolley could have made would be the comparison between the ‘Soldiers’ and the uses of the word ‘Empire’ in the advert. She also could have looked at the format of the adverts, for example why was it printed, where was it printed, why was it shown on television, what was it trying to convey through these mediums.


OCA. ‘Looking at adverts 3’. [Online]. <https://weareoca.com/Photography/looking-at-adverts-3/> [Accessed: January 2017].


Assignment Three – Mirror

Assignment Three

Choose one of the following:

a. ‘Mirror’

  • Choose a community that you’re already a part of. Something that takes up a substantial amount go your interest and time. Create a photographic response to how this group informs who you are as a person. What aspects of this group or community reflect on you? What do you share? How does it function as a mirror reflection of who you are? 

b. ‘Window’

  • Use this opportunity to find out about a community that you don’t know much about and tell their story. Get to know them and talk to them; learn by listening and understanding. Your aim here is to become an insider. You’re beginning as an outsider so it is important to choose a group that you can spend a lot of time with. Negotiation skills and respect are intrinsic to working well with our subjects and are invaluable skills for your development as a photographer. Be clear about you intentions and involve your subjects in the process in order to obtain the best results. What wind into this world can you access through your role as photographer? 

In either case you can create as many pictures as you like but, in your reflective commentary, explain how you arrived at the final edit. The set should be concise and not include repetitive or unnecessary images. Be attentive to this aspect of production. Spend some time researching how other photographers seem to edit series of works. 

When I first looked at this assignment, I made a list of communities that I belonged to and those of which I didn’t. I then narrowed down the list by looking at each and thinking of the possible images I could capture to represent that community. Some I found would be difficult to represent but then this is the sort of challenge I wanted to overcome.

The problem I found with the majority of communities was the availability and diversity of the images, for example if I were to photograph a gym community there are only so many images that can be shown, I found this was a problem with the majority of communities.

I got my list down to three possible communities. The first being a baking club that I am apart of, and also a poker club. Another idea was to photograph a monastic community near where I live, as the community I am not apart of. I decided to visit the monastic community first, and I was disappointed with the images I got. The monks were not around in the public areas much, there mainly stayed in the private areas, and photography was not allowed there or in any of the buildings. Which I felt was fair as it respects their privacy but did represent a huge challenge for photographing this community. So I decided to choose another community, I choose the baking club.

I photographed the club over a couple of weeks to get a diversity of images. I took hundreds of images and then had to narrow them down. The problem I found with my images was the cramped spaces. Being in a kitchen environment, meant I couldn’t get wider shots with a lot of people in it. Whilst I believe my images do represent the baking club community, the images I found are more individual portraits or images with a few people in.

I wanted to show the people working and actively participating to show the workings of the community. I believe this represents me as a person as it shows a sense of community made up of family and friends. We all share an interest in baking and we are all more like family than friends. It represents me as it shows my interests and my community.

I used manual mode, on my Olympus EM-1 and my Nikon D610. I wanted the shutter speed higher than I would usually have it, in order to capture minuscule moments showing emotions and actions, so I raised the ISO to compensate. I used natural lighting from windows, overhead lighting and also a flash to provide enough lighting. I did have problems with the flash images, which I corrected in post-production.

Nikki S. Lee inspired me, for this assignment as she immersed herself in various communities and got to know the people and adopted their traditions in order to photograph them successfully. I was also inspired by Josef Koudelka and his work ‘Gypsies’, where he lived with a gypsies community in order to become one of them, he stated how he got images that an outsider couldn’t have got but as he lived with them and became one of them he was able to capture certain images.

In post-production, I changed the images to black and white. I did this as I find black and white images convey emotion better and I wanted to show the actions and emotions and interactions of the people.

I used various angles to capture the people, but also reflections, which can be seen in the images with the mixer, you can see the reflection of the people in the bowl. I wanted to try this to be creative.

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Exercise 3.4

Project 2: Windows: Memory and the gaze

Exercise 3.4: The Gaze

This exercise gives you the opportunity to explore the image as a window with which to trigger memory. The objective here is to produce a series of five portraits that use some of the types of gaze defined below. The specifics of how you achieve this are down to you; you choose which types of gaze you wish to address and who your subject might be in relation to this decision. What you’re trying to achieve through these portraits is a sense of implied narrative, which you can explain through a short supporting statement. Don’t try and be too literal here; the viewer must be able to interact with the portraits and begin to make their own connection to the work, aided by the type of gaze you’ve employed. Write down any thoughts or reflections you might have regarding this exercise and include this in your learning log or blog. 

Different Types of gazes and views:

  • The Spectator’s gaze – the look of the viewer at a person in the image
  • The internal gaze – the gaze of one depicted person at another wishing the same image
  • The direct address – the gaze of a person depicted in the image looking out directly, as if at the viewer (through the camera lens) 
  • The look of the camera – the way the camera itself appears to look at people depicted in the image (the gaze of the photographer) 
  • The bystander’s gaze – the viewer being observed in the act of viewing
  • The averted gaze – the viewer being observed in the act of viewing – the subject in the image deliberately looking away from the lens
  • The audience gaze – an image depicting the audience watching the subject within the image
  • The editorial gaze – the role ‘institutional’ process by which a proportion of the photographer’s gaze is chosen and emphasised. 

I choose five types of gazes from the above list and tried to create images suitable for the gaze.

I choose the Audience gaze, the look of the camera gaze, the bystander’s gaze, the averted gaze and the direct address.

The Audience Gaze

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The Look Of The Camera Gaze 

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The Bystander’s Gaze

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The Averted Gaze 

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The Direct Address Gaze 

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Exercise 3.3

Project 1: Mirrors

Exercise 3.3

Write a reflection in your learning log about some of the ways in which marginalised or under-represented people or groups could be badly or unhelpfully portrayed. How might being an insider help combat this? 

Portraying any group as an outsider may incur some problems. Without even realizing the outsider may start to judge the people, which in turn can lead to the misinterpretation or misunderstanding of them. Personal opinions could start to show through the outsides work. Being an outsider also means that it is possible that you can or will never fully understand the group. On the other hand there can be some advantages to being an outsider. For example, it is easier as an outsider to be objective. An outsider may see things that an insider is oblivious too. Often an outsider is in a better position to interact and connect with the group. Being an insider may help combat this as an insider has a better understanding and acceptance of the group they are already apart of. They can represent the emotions of the group easier and provide a fairer representation of the group. But as with being an outsider, being an insider has it’s disadvantages. Their views can be limited and one sided and even cause more damage than good.

One photographer called Josef Koudelka spent nine years photographing Gypsies. Gypsies are an under-represented group of people which outsiders have formed opinions on. Koudelka started out as an outsider but from 1962 to 1971 he lived and travelled with a group of gypsies around France, Spain, Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia. Koudelka stated that he decided to photograph and travel with the gypsies because, “I loved the music and culture. They were like me in many ways”. So whilst being an outsiders he felt he has a connection with them. Koudelka has shown emotion in his photographs. The whole book has a narrative. I believe that he has successfully represented the gypsies; he shows that they are not tricksters or swindlers; instead his photographs show them as a group of people who are happy and have a strong sense of community. I wasn’t able to buy a copy of Koudelka’s book as it is very expensive, but I was able to see a copy at a library. Even though Koudelka was an outsider that effectively became an insider his photographs portray the true gypsies. It doesn’t really matter whether you are an insider or an outsider, what is important is how you approach the subject.


Koudelka, J & W. Guy. Koudelka Gypsies. Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2nd edition, 2011.

Kim, E. Book Review: “Gypsies” by Josef Koudelka. [Online] <erickimphotography.com/blog/2014/01/20/street-photography-book-review-gypsies-by-josef-koudelka/> [Accessed: 29th of March 2016].