Studium and Punctum

Today we had our contextual studies lesson and in was mentioned Studium and Punctum . I am extremely excited about coming up with some great ideas for punctums in my future shots

Anyway , i will try and reflect on the lesson and do a short write up on what these two ideas are .

1. Studium .

This is the overall sense of what the image is about . It is what draws your attention in the image e.g. the lighting , aesthetics , composition , positive / negative areas , form etc and so on .

2 . The Punctum

This is the idea of the image which made you want to take the shot , and causes the viewer to see the photo in a different way . It is the eye catching tiny detail that stands out in the picture .

So i have set my self 2 tasks :

1 . Of doing some new images , and to add a random punctum and a purposeful punctum .  Then i will compare and contrast ideas beteen the two , to see what i come up with and how its affects each image .

2 . I will look at friends or famous peoples images , then critique them and spot the punctum in each .


Our first critical studies lecture mentioned semiotics so i thought it would be wise to do a bit of research . I will do a short write up now and maybe add to it at a later date . I know that semiotics is the study of signs but i started thinking that surely there is a lot more to it than that .

Semiotics is a field of study of anything that is concerned with everything taken as a sign , words , images , sounds , gestures and objects . The philosophical theory of signs and symbols .

It is used in many different mediums like television , magazines , advertisements , radio , newspapers , books , photographs etc .

I have been trying to think of some signs that i know , but havent previously paid attention to , that would give me an insight into a persons way of life or hint at something that would be advantageous to me on a daily basis . e.g . when i was a child i would instinctively know by the way certain sounds sounded or by the weight or timing between footsteps who was coming up the stairs and by recognising these patterns you adjust your reaction accordingly . Is this a sign so therefore an example of semiotics ? I think so , but i have never previously thought it as such .

Diana Arbus .

1 . Diana Arbus 1923 – 1971 Suicide .

Diana Arbus one of my Favourite Photographers , worked a successful career in fashion with her husband . She started to pursue her own line of photography in the late 1950s where she would visit parks , seedy areas , morgues and graveyards to photograph people and going to great lengths to get the shots she required . Diane Arbus is a photographer best known for her photographs of marginalized people in society — including transgender people, dwarfs, nudists and circus people.

Key Works for me : The grenade Kid . The Twins . Tattoed man at a carnival .

My favourite work . The grenade kid . 

The grenade kid

  As soon as I saw this shot by Diana Arbus it became my personal favourite . I love the fact that it’s a young child holding a hand grenade ( I like the way the other hand is clawed as it really gives the image even more appropriate feeling ) with a psychotic and crazed expression and the photo was taken in 1962 when the world was on the brink of nuclear destruction with the Cuban missile crisis ( Coincidence ? Probably . Or subconscious reflection ? ) . I also like the image because I personally think different aspects of our own personality , lives and environment show up in each persons work wether they realise it or not .

  This photo gives the viewer a totally different perspective as to what was really going on when she took the photo . When in reality she was just annoying the hell out of him trying to get a better angle for the shot ( or was she ? ) . Purposeful or not , we can never know what was going through her mind , although I would love to .

Thinking and Making . Worksheet one .Practice in context .

I have to make a list of at least 5 creative artists related to my area of study , but not confined to .
I was thinking of well known nature photography influences like Andy Rouse , jim Brandenburg ( white wolves ) , and famous street photographers like Bruce Gilden , Henri Cartier Bresson and Diana Arbus .
I have not fully made my mind up yet but i am sure this wont be far off my final list . I am also going to throw in a painter who i think is an influence on my work and others , maybe Matisse or Picasso . We have to include three key works for each artist and then write a 150 word essay on our favourite peice of work from each artist, saying what it is that i enjoy and find appealing . I am really looking forward to this . So i think its time to get my thinking cap on and and give it my best shot . Does anyone else have any great artist they feel would definately be worth a mention if it was their list  ?

First day of Photography Degree course .

Well everything went well today and i enjoyed it . Its been a long time since i sat in classroom but im sure ill get used to it ( i fond it slightly harder to concentrate because i cant seem to relax as easily as i did when i was younger lol  . Dave  gregory and all the teachers seem like great people and all the other pupils are too So hopefully it should only get better . Today we learnt about different types of files eg jpeg , raw and tiff . I had heard of all of them apart from the tiff which was unfamiliar . This was one of the first things i learnt when i started getting into photography myself so it was familiar ground . Ii also learnt quite a few new things about each type of file and their pros and cons , which was good .