Other People’s Photos

After talking about the incidental and transient in photos – and also looking at the photos I found from Shoreditch College in the 70s I began looking around for photos and source material. I came across a video that had been left on my camera, it was taken by my younger sister of one of her friends:


I experimented using a new digital drawing tool i wanted to try:

It’s very rough but i like the effect and really enjoyed the new technique.

I began looking around at other photos of the same girls, my sister and her friends. I realized as I researched that these are people who I used to know because I saw them every day but over the last few years, since they left home, I know about their lives indirectly. From photos, from things they put on the internet and from stories passed through friends and family.

I liked this idea of a narrative told from a degree of separation. Looking through photos on their camera and facebook profiles I found a couple that had been taken within minutes of each other. It reminded me of a conversation I’d had about piecing together the elements of a narrative.

Both sets of photos had a ‘posed’ and ‘un-posed’ photo. I wanted to use the rotoscoping technique to try and articulate the moments between.

Again, these are really early attempts for me – but what I enjoy most is the idea of a moving picture rather than an animation. I.e a picture that captures the moment someone readies themselves to be recorded – they consciously put on a face or a pose they wish to present.

I’ve enjoyed making these pictures move and have not found it as time consuming as i thought it would be – as long as it’s well planned. I’d like to incorporate these in-between sort of moments into a narrative. Maybe even push what happens between each photo.

Jon McNaught & Shishi Yamazaki

these are a few of my favourite pieces by Jon McNaught. I really love the humour in the details and how they feel like very delicate passing moments. ‘Adrift’, the comic, is just brilliant!

I’ve also been really enjoying shishi yamazaki’s rotoscopes. I’ve been interested in rotoscoping for years but never tried it – I like how her handling is so loose and simple, it makes the whole film move and bounce in a really fun way.

Journey Photos

here are a selection of the photos I took on our journey. My rule was – semi-temporary things. Of course everything is temporary but i wanted to look at things that might be there for a week or a month and then are gone. I got the idea from a large piece of plastic sheeting caught in the telephone wires near my house – it was stuck there for about 2 months as it became gradually more and more shredded and then disappeared.

I liked the idea of recording things that are incidental, things we interact with or see but don’t really notice, and then they’re gone.

During the walk i really enjoyed taking photos of ‘flat’ surfaces. I had been thinking about Jon McNaught’s work and how he uses small, sometimes ugly sometimes beautiful, details to give a sense of place.

Xiaoyu Weng’s Museum of The False

in relation to the John Smith video I posted I really enjoyed this proposal for a Museum of The False.


I liked the idea that a depiction of something is a fiction we use to understand the world. She writes

“fabrication, falsification, and decontextualisation have constructive potential”

It made me think that when I collect material for a narrative on East London I would like to concentrate on capturing temporary moments. Not necessarily the kind of quick fleeting moments John Smith captures but the semi-permanent sites, objects and occurrences.

London videos

I’ve also really been enjoying narrated videos of London.

this is an extract from Patrick Keiller’s ‘London’

this is John Smith’s really funny and strange ‘Girl Chewing Gum’ – dealing with how recording or putting the world on film adds a layer of falsity – like the false ‘directions’ he shouts. Also how recording can make a narrative or scene from the most basic and fleeting moments.

Finally I found this video ‘Brick Lane O.K’ – the voiceover is pretty odd and really dated – but in it’s way it’s very funny and the sense of the area in it is really strong-



I’ve been thinking about how to present my final prints. I really liked the experience of leafing through old collections of prints and would like to make this part of the work.

I’d like to mount up the various prints on large numbered leaves – hopefully i can find or make a box or file to fit them. This gave me the idea to make frontispieces to the two prints I’ve made. It was partly inspired by the decorative texts and posters I’d seen while researching.

I also thought it might be a good way to incorporate some different textures into the project.

All the lettering is done by hand, and so isn’t perfect at all – but it was fantastic playing around with the design and i like the look of the finished pieces – as an accompanying part to the maps.

I am going to experiment with printing these on tracing paper – I’m not yet sure if it’s possible but i’d be interested to see some of the mottled textures on a semi translucent paper and I love the idea of layering them in a folder and being able to see the maps underneath the frontispiece.

Bear Pit Paper

I also used the print as a square tile and repeated it in a more abstract way.

I really love how the patterns have worked out – i knew there were some strong lines and curves but I couldn’t predict that they’d look so intricate on a large scale. There is something a bit floral about the bear pits themselves and it reminds me of something period like a Morris print.

I’m quite new to photoshop and digital editing and (although it’s taken me a while!) I’m really happy with how i can keep the textures i wanted whilst also making them clean and neat.

Bear Maze

I’ve overlaid the map on the textures used in the bear pit test picture. I then repeated the pattern and inserted the bear and bear pit.

I had the idea of an uneven layout like this – possibly incorporating some red footprints across the whole map – which would add colour and add some interest to the map.

Bear Pit

I wanted to use a story I’d read about two famous bears, Harry Hunks and Sackerson, who’d escaped the bear pit in Lambeth. I found a fantastic elizabethan illustration of a bear tied to a plinth. I like how it looks thin and ferocious, the pose makes it look tired but aggressive. I think it conveys the idea of bear baiting better than a lot of pictures of rounder, softer bears in the wild.

i used it for a template drawing of a bear pit using marbled paper and ink textures.

I was really happy with the look of this and would like to incorporate it into my map pattern. I liked the idea of containing a simple ‘narrative’ in the pattern which can be discovered.

I made my own bear picture, of the escaped bear, based on the above.