In this exercise, we were asked to find 6-12 postcards we have brought ourselves or were given and write a brief evaluation on their merits and whether they relate to my experience or views of the places.
When choosing the postcards I wanted to write about, I chose some of the places I have been to and some that I have been sent.
From the postcards of places I have been to, I then picked some that I enjoyed and some that I didn’t or feel that the postcard didn’t represent it very well.
The postcards below are from Carcassonne (France), Aldeburgh (UK), Ocho Rios (Jamaica) and Venice (Italy). These are all places that I have been to and I feel that they all give a good representation of my experiences while I was there. When choosing postcards, I try my best to buy postcards that show places as close as possible to what I have seen. The merits of these images are
- The Jamaica and Venice ones are very simple and sum up the places in a single image. When I think about my trip to Jamaica, I think about how warm it was, the glorious sunshine and the beautiful beaches. With the Venice image, it reminds me of the incredible buildings and the romance of the city however the only thing that it doesn’t show is the true colour of the water and the smell you experience.
- The Carcassonne and Aldeburgh postcards both show a number of different aspects of the places. All of which give a good representation and shows what could be considered each places best assets. The view overlooking Carcassonne is great as it is not something a lot of tourists would be able to see when they are there. However it gives a good overview of why Carcassonne is such a good place to visit. Combined with the close-ups of some of the pivotal buildings really helps to set the atmosphere of the town. With Aldeburgh, the images are not so impressive as with the other postcards however they show Aldeburgh as a the quaint seaside town it is (with the best fish and chip shop as well).
With the image from The Rhine in Germany and Blackpool, I feel that they don’t convey each of the places very well. In The Rhine, there are lots of houses, castles, roads and railway lines dotted along the valleys whereas this image shows it to be quite secluded. With Blackpool, I found the areas which I visited were very run down and dirty with lots of litter. What might seem like a world apart from the image shown in the postcard.
The last postcard I have chosen is one that was sent to me. When I saw it, I thought it looked beautiful, very peaceful and very picturesque. I get the impression that it is quite secluded from the images and that the scenery is Cornwall’s best asset.
Response to Graham Clarke’s comments
For the second part of the exercise, we had to write down our thoughts and feelings about Graham Clarke’s comments
“…the landscape photograph implies the act of looking as a privileged observer so that, in one sense, the photographer of landscapes is always the tourist, and invariably the outsider. Francis Frith’s images of Egypt, for example, for all their concern with foreign lands, retain the perspective of an Englishman looking out over the land. Above all, landscape photography insists on the land as spectacle and involves an element of pleasure”
I think that Graham Clarke’s comments are interesting, however I do not completely agree with them. I agree with Clarke’s comments at the end where he states “landscape photography insists in the land as a spectacle and involves an element of pleasure” because this is exactly why photographers take photos; for pleasure and to share their view of the world. However, when you are a tourist or outsider, it doesn’t necessarily mean you get the best shots as you have to work with what is front of you at that exact moment in time. By having local knowledge of an area, you are aware of the best times of the day and the best angles/views etc thus giving you a better prepared shot. In unfamiliar settings, i suppose you could be seen as more of a tourist or outsider as you would be more inclined to take photos that given the best representation of what you have seen or experienced. In conclusion, I think that when you are in unfamiliar settings; yes you are a tourist or outsider, however local knowledge and research ultimately give the best images.