Catherine Manthey: CMN150 Task 1 Part B

Photograph 1: Skin Cancer

The Perfect Climate
Dr Shane Carlisle, 52, has been a specialist at Molecare in Caloundra since 2011. He says he has seen a notable increase in Melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer – pictured) diagnoses in the past 10 years, attributing it to the environment he is working in. “South East Queensland has a large population, mostly with older, paler skin types that tend to burn easily. Coupled with beautiful, safe beaches and sunny weather almost year-round, it’s the Mecca of skin cancer,” He says.

Rationale: This picture is all about the story. The Melanoma seen on Shane’s computer screen and the various medical equipment on his desk sets the scene for the viewer. This is a monochromatic photo in terms of colour, although the pattern on his shirt and the pink of the computer screen stand out compared to the beige surroundings, drawing the viewers eyes to the subject and the context of the image (and how it is related to the story). I used the rule of thirds to keep the image balanced and placed the camera at eye level (as if from the perspective of a patient) to keep the feel of the image professional. I also kept the photo rather simple around the edges, with the ‘action’ happening in the middle at the computer. The overhead fluorescent lighting and distinct lack of shadows makes the image feel clinical – which is exactly what I wanted out of photographing in a doctor’s office.

Photograph 2: Environmental Portrait

Small Car, Big Job
Jay Ford, 26, has been a tow truck driver on the Sunshine Coast for 6 years. He says he enjoys the work, especially with his truck designed to go off road. “Its almost every week I pick up small cars like this one, online maps will tell you to go just about anywhere without considering the type of conditions drivers may be facing.” He says, “but that’s the beauty of a truck like this, I can rescue just about anyone.”

Rationale: I wanted to put Jay in the centre of the photo, but also have the large size of the tow truck (and job in general – my car may be small but it still needed a bit of power to be moved). By having the car on the truck tray right in the foreground, it emphasises the size of the job compared to the subject. I didn’t need to have him very close to the camera as his orange uniform stands out from the brown/blue background (in the daylight everything was much clearer too), and the leading lines created by the truck tray, shadow of the car, and dirt track draw the reader’s eye towards the subject. The taller trees in the background balance the photo – there are objects of interest either side of Jay preventing an awkward patch of space, while also putting Jay in the context of his work (off road car rescues).

Photograph 3: Daylight Savings

Business Will Benefit:
Beerwah beekeeper Ken Bannister, 65, thinks that although looking after bees is a delicate job, daylight savings will not negatively impact his business. In fact; Ken suggests the introduction of daylight savings in Queensland would not impact small businesses at all, but would serve to benefit businesses that deal interstate. “The bees don’t care what time of day it is,” he says, “Daylight savings upsets business in a state that doesn’t have it. It is the difference that causes problems… You have to be more aware of the time when contacting suppliers.”

Rationale: Obviously, this photo was less about the daylight savings a more about giving context of who the subject was to the viewer. Since Ken was positive about the potential switch to daylight savings, I didn’t need him looking too concerned. He talked a lot about just being in his own little world – not impacted by daylight savings all that much outside of trading across the state lines- and I wanted to try and catch him in his natural state (further highlighted by the fact that he didn’t put on a suit to look at the bees, saying that he felt perfectly comfortable with them). Having the photo taken in what is obviously someone’s backyard also helped capture the more homely feel (most beekeeping is done in small clusters within people’s backyards). There was a large shed casting a prominent shadow over many potential photos, but in the end the high contrast between light and shadow gave the image depth. I took this photo from a slightly lower angle keep the bees at ‘eye level’. I also used the rule of thirds to put Ken slightly to the side while the bees were centered, and the trees on the opposite side of the photo to Ken balance image. The bright colours feel warm in the natural light, and the contrasting orange on Ken’s shirt against the blue sky draws the viewer’s attention to him – and gives the photo a happier feeling overall.

Catherine Manthey: Analysis of Yasuyoshi Chiba’s ‘Straight Voice’

CMN150, Task 1, Part A

A young man, illuminated by mobile phones, recites protest poetry while demonstrators chant slogans calling for civilian rule, during a blackout in Khartoum, Sudan. Cr Yasuyoshi Chiba

Yasuyoshi Chiba’s photograph, ‘Straight Voice’, depicts a young man reciting protest poetry during civilian unrest in Khartoum, Sudan. He is illuminated by mobile phone flashlights, as there was a blackout at the time the photograph was taken. The striking photograph draws viewers in both with the subject matter it depicts (drawing on elements of action, drama, and human interest), but also with the fact that it does not feel static or staged, with the movement of the picture clear and easy to imagine.

The subject of the photo is very clear, being right in the centre and the most visible person in what is otherwise quite a dark image. The colour pallet of the image is simple, and the most obvious colour isthe pale blue of the main subject’s shirt – further making the subject stand out in the dark image and drawing the viewer’s attention to them.  It is important to note that the colour of the subject’s shirt is not overly saturated, making the subject seem further away from the camera amongst the group of the people.

The viewer’s eyes are also kept in the centre of the photograph (on the subject) by the darkness framing the photo. Since a viewer’s eyes are naturally drawn to the lightest part of a photograph, the light centre – both created by the phone flashlight and the pale colour of the subject’s shirt – contrasts with the darkened background and foreground of the photograph. This essentially puts the subject in the ‘spotlight’ of the photo, making them the centre of the viewer’s attention.

The mobile phone flashlights surrounding the subject of the photograph imitate the look of stadium lights, and further draws the viewer’s attention to the main subject. This also employs the dramatic effect of using back lighting to illuminate the subject, giving the photograph a sense of depth.

On a different note, the knowledge that the light is created by mobile phone flashlights adds a human element to the photograph and makes the image feel more natural. The low (but intense) lighting creates a high-contrast effect on the subject’s face, highlighting the emotion and making it very clear to the viewer. There is also a large contrast between the dark night sky and the phone flashlights, creating a sharp horizon line above the centre of the photograph and further reminding the viewer of the blackout that is occurring during the protest. In turn, that interests the viewer by drawing on the interest element of drama and action. Depth is also given to the photograph by the varying focus on people around the subject; with those closest to the camera (and furthest away) are in soft focus, and the subject in the middle being in sharp focus.

The shift in focus from sharper and brighter (people closest to the subject), to softer and darker (people furthest from the subject) suggests to the viewer that more action is occurring outside of the photograph, and that this was taken in quite a large crowd of people.

Overall, this photographer has effectively captured the emotion and action within the photograph and the protests that were occurring when it was taken.

Bring It Back: The Return of ’80s and ’90s Australian Fashion

The popular phrase “What goes around, comes around”, can not only be applied to one’s action. This is is especially true in the world of fashion, with recurring trends popping up every now and then.

Right now, thrifting in search of a more sustainable style is all the rage, and Australia is bringing back the 1980s and the 1990s in full force.

A Brief Look At Australia’s Fashion History

Australia during the ’80s and ’90s had some of my personal favourite fashion trends. From printed button downs my dad still wears, oversized t-shirts with slogans like ‘FRANKIE SAY RELAX’ and ‘WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GO-GO’, Doc Martens, muted earth tones, big hair, to scrunchies. Australia has seen it all, and is starting to see it again.

I’m particularly fond of print shirts from Queensland designer Olive Ashworth. While News South Wales and Victoria have always been known to be the more populated, more up-with-the-times locations of the great southern land, Queensland’s tropical climate and Great Barrier Reef was a source of inspiration to the designer throughout her career.

As she was crafting the visually iconic landscape; Ashworth also became more stylised in the 1980s, fitting with Australia’s kitsch approach to fashion.

Olive Ashworth / Reef rhythm / 1971 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

I personally love the similarly bright designs, now known as dad shirts, returning in the everyday sense of fashion.

Trends We Are Seeing Again: The Hair Edition

Mullets

Two men wearing mullets.
Double mullets / 2019 / Fred Hooper / ABC News

Now, no one can write a post about recurring fashion trends in Australia and not mention mullets. The ‘business in the front, party in the back’ hairstyle was popular among men in the ’80s is now looked upon as a “protest of conventional beauty” by some, and as a timeless statement by others.

If mullets aren’t your thing, the looser version of the spiral perm has also been making a comeback – though it is slightly more difficult to come by due to the specificity of the process.

Scrunchies

Dinner Scrunchie / mykitsch.com

Speaking of hair, I think it’s important to give scrunchies a shout out. Though scrunchies are not exclusives to Australia; this fairly innocuous accessory was an easy way to compliment an outfit and could be made out of a variety of materials. Luckily for us, it seems to be back in a big way all over the world.

Of course, modern fashion trends are much easier to track with the help of social media, with fashion becoming far less localised to specific countries.

We can now see what people are wearing all over the world almost instantly, and copy our favourite styles. As the boundaries of gender, culture, and style blend, it was inevitable that we would start recreating looks from years passed.

So what trends do want to return? And what are some trends you’d rather forget? Leave a comment below!

This post is part of a series, check out my other posts tagged ‘australiasfashionhistory’ to read more.