Background Information David Hockney (born: 9th July 1937) is initially a painter and a photographer. He was a contributor to the pop movement of the 1960’s and is one of the most British influential artists of this century. David has specifically worked with a particular type of photography called photo collage which can be compared to cubism (surfaces of geometrical planes) because of the different perspectives and ability to capture time.
Originally Hockney used a Polaroid camera to capture different angles and sizes of the same subject to re-arrange them into one large image. This type of photography allows us to capture the time changes between each photograph; to understand the narrative of the picture and get a sense of the setting, as the pictures are 3d and allow you to be drawn in – whereas one still picture would not allow you to do that. One of David’s first photomontage’s was of his mother where he used photos he had taken from all different angles, formats, and perspectives to patchwork one complete composite of his mother. In his early work the subject moved around the camera but in later work he moved around the subject to obtain different perspectives and angles. Hockney’s joiners were discovered by accident when he noticed that in the late 60’s photographers were using wide-angle lenses to take pictures and this resulted to distorted images. Hockney was working on a painting of a living room by taking Polaroid pictures and gluing them together he noticed they created a narrative; as if you were walking through the room. David gave up painting for a while after his discovery but returned when he realised that photography had its limits and was one-eyed.
This is a photo composition made up of approximately 100 photos that David Hockney has positioned together to complete one composite. In the photo there are two trees which create a frame for the road that goes up hill, with several cars on the roadside and a motorcycle on the corner of the street. The composition looks disjointed and is in the style of a cubism piece which allows us to see a narrative and be drawn into the photo; 3d element creates a realism as if you are in the photo heading up the hill. Although you would expect the photo to be completely jumbled up and cluttered, the accuracy of arrangement has clarified the details and the photo does in fact follow the rules of simplicity. The side of the buildings act as leading lines that draw your eyes up hill and the trees on either side naturally frame the road. The colours are really rustic and naturalistic which are even more inviting. The contrast between the dark leaves and the light buildings are really effective in creating prominent outlines, and adding to the clarity of the composition. The trees are also off-centre which make the photo look more dynamic. The focal point of this picture is the end of the uphill road, as your eyes are drawn to this point by the leading lines which are the row of house on each side. I believe the meaning of this photo is an exploration as the image is supposed to make you feel as if you are in it. I think it is meant to suggest a normal street and the different directions you could take. As viewers we also capture a sense of time, as the photographer has conducted several photo’s that depicted movement through periods of time. I think this image is really effective in demonstrating the rule of composition. The perspectives and arrangement of photo’s are interesting and really absorb you in as the 3d effect creates a virtual and existing setting.
This is a photograph (many photographs put together) which appears to be in a graveyard the title tells us it is in Bolton Abbey. There is a woman in the foreground who is sitting on one of the gravestones, at first glance this is hard to work out because the image is disjointed. The weather looks miserable and this is furthered by the fact that the women is sitting in a raincoat. We can see the photographers feet in at the bottom of the photo; gravestones; the woman and in the background a church-like building with arches. The photograph is fairly cluttered with various different subjects, however the image is still clear because the main focal point and foreground interest of the old woman is clearly apparent. The colours are dull and this works well because the main subject is high-lighted - as the rain coat she is wearing is vibrant (it makes her stand out). The photo is balanced because the focal point is joined with other subjects (gravestones) which even out the ratio. The arches in the background act as a really effective frame for the main subject. This photo is in a portrait format which allows us to focus more on the person and the top of the building in the background. The joiner affect allows us to follow a narrative and makes us feel as if we are looking at our own feet and are there with the woman.
In my opinion I prefer photos that present feelings of happiness and fun, and this photo does the exact opposite. On the other hand, I do think David Hockney has really thought about the way he composed this image and arranged all the separate shots together. I like the fact that in joiner photos you can experience a sense of time and narrative, but personally I wouldn’t want to be stood in a graveyard on a miserable day. I think this image suggests sadness and misery; when I look at the photo it automatically makes me think about cemeteries and death. The living and the dead are being united and the woman sitting on the gravestone suggests to me that, she feels familiar with death.
In this joiner photo there appears to be a family around a table; when you look closer there are only three people, a cat and the person behind the camera who has a scrabble tile holder in front of them. There is a scrabble board in the middle of the table, a plate and a glass (to the side). The colours are really vivacious and typical of the 80’s and they contribute to the attractiveness of the photo. The subjects in the photo balance each other out however I do not think there is one strong focal point so this obstructs the rule of simplicity, within the rules of composition. The rule of thirds however, is illustrated in this joiner as the subjects are in the top intersection, and also act as a frame to the foreground interest (scrabble board). The board is not an evident focal point but as it is framed by the people it is probably the first thing you look at. I think this photo suggests happiness and fun and how easy this can be obtained, and it’s bursting with warmth and homeliness – it reminds me of Christmas. With all the different shots each one of the people proposes a different expression, feeling and emotion and we can sense this through a narrative as if the person behind the camera is watching them change. I think this shows a progression in emotions through time. In my opinion this photo is really skilful because Hockney has instead of overlapping faces, positioned them so we can see the changes of emotion through time. I think the perspective is also interesting because it feels as if we are playing scrabble – the joiner effect makes this possible as there is a 3d feel to the photograph. He has used approximately 100 separate images and his arrangement creates a really quirky style that, adds to its attraction. From this photo we get a sense of warmth and amiability which is also tempting and draws you.
This photograph unlike the others I’ve looked at so far focuses on a bigger-scaled subject. It is joiner photograph of the Grand Canyon (United States). We can see the slopes, the sandy ridges and the plant life growing on the incline. The joiner is approximately made up of 200 separate images. The perspective of this image is really interesting, and this wide-screen view would only work this way initially because the amount of angles the photographer has been able to capture. The top of the canyon frames the centre point; the edges of the plants act as a leading lines because they direct your eyes to the focal point, which is the basin at the bottom. The colours are brassy in contrast to the foreground interest, which is the naturalistic slope with green plants and a white sand-like substance – this creates a good balance. Another element of balance is the evenness of the subjects, there are a lot of different aspects which hinders the idea of simplicity, however the focal point which your eyes are drawn to (the basin) is fairly obvious. The meaning of the photo is not distinguishable as this is a picture of a landscape, and doesn’t have a main subject. I think the photo demonstrates the vastness of the Canyon, and the purpose it to show people the staggering view that the photographer can see, and whom wants to present to others. I believe the viewers are meant to be in awe, and this technique of photography allows us to see this in 3d.. I think this style of photography has been successful to convey the immensity of the setting, however as this is not a subject that moves there is no apparent changes of time. The perspective is interesting and we feel we are drawn into the centre. The photo is appealing because the place is outstanding but, there are no main focal points and if we had one single image of the canyon we wouldn’t get the same affect at all.
Hockney’s joiner is made up of approximately 100 separate shots that have been skilfully positioned together. In the foreground on the floor there are about 50 black birds; behind them a tree which initially looks like one but when we look closely it branches off either side into rows of trees. The birds are on part of the path which surrounds the green patch on the right-hand side and the left-hand side of the rows of trees. Initially the tree is the main focal point because it is the foreground interest and our eyes are instantly drawn to this however, the leading lines lead our eyes to either side of it. The rows are in a straight line and lead our eyes to the end, the edges of the foreground tree are in the shape of a triangle and also lead our eyes to the same point. The naturalistic colours are typical for this park-like scene; the light sky in contrast to the dark greenery, is effective in creating balance. The joiner demonstrates the rule of thirds as the subject is slightly off centre, which makes it more outlandish. The perspective is quite odd as it looks as if there is only one tree with 40 trucks sticking out the bottom, but as we look close we release that it’s the other trees that make the up this triangular shape of one apparent tree. This portrait format allows views to see all the way up the tree and adds to its mystery as we can’t see the full picture and landscape. I think this photo similar to the Grand Canyon, is difficult to distinguish meaning as there are no expressions or apparent time changes. As the photo is quite eerie and represents isolation there is a sense of mystery. This technique allows the viewer to step in the photographer’s shoes and feel as if they are there walking alone amongst the birds. I don't like the depressing tone of this photo and the isolation and eeriness this presents. I do however think that this joiner is very effective by the way in which it has hidden depths that you only notice when you really study it. Hockney has been very successful in positioning the separate images together as this photo is very easily comprehendible and demonstrates the rule of simplicity as there aren’t many subjects – avoiding clutter.