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Please note: RPS House is closed for our exhibition install. We will be open again from 10am on Friday 9th August 2024.

Irene And Frederic Joilet Curie
CREDIT: A reflection in a Cartier-Bresson image - Tete a Tete Portraits exhibition

On the shoulders of giants

An exercise in seeing stuff

Seeing, rather than just looking is one of my 4 strands of stuff to do over the coming months. Here is a little example of this that came to me after reading the Photopedagogy commentary. I put it into practice at the Cartier-Bresson exhibition earlier this month but with a little imagination it can work with any collection of images. I particularly like it with group portraits or landscapes but the choice is yours.

Study a picture and imagine yourself placed within it. Where would you put yourself? How would it change the message? And how would it change the way in which the photographer would execute the image; for example would it change how you would like it lit?

I studied the Cartier-Bresson portraits for their composition – where would I place myself? Who would I like to be with and what would we discuss? And how would I actually place myself in the picture, perhaps by combining 2 images in software? I am a camera person so I chose to place myself in the frame by reflection in the glass.

First choice was who out of the portraits to join. I chose to join Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie in their contemplation as chemists together; riding on the shoulders of giants. The snapshot was taken with my smartphone and for me not all pictures have to be works of art. This image was taken to illustrate both my reflections on the exercise and to record the reflections of light in this gallery.

Try some Photopedagogy next time you view images, either in your own collection or within the IPE. If you are feeling confined, try it with a landscape and imagine yourself in a better place. And read more of my thoughts on print viewing in President's News