WATER - a series of photographs by Louise Grayson

Grayson, Louise (2013) WATER - a series of photographs by Louise Grayson. [Visual Artwork]


This body of photographic work has been created to firstly, explore a new approach to practice-led research that uses an “action genre” approach to reflective practice (Lemke) and secondly, to visually explore human interaction with the fundamental item in life - water.

The first of these is based on the contention that to understand the meanings inherent in photographs we cannot look merely at the end result. It is essential to keep looking at the actions of practitioners, and the influences upon them, to determine how external influences affect the meaning potential of editorial photographs (Grayson, 2012). WATER therefore, provides an ideal platform to reflect upon the actions and influences involved in creating work within the photographic genre of photojournalism. It enables this practitioner to reflect on each stage of production to gain a better understanding of how external influences impact the narrative potential within images created. There are multi-faceted influences experienced by photographers who are creating images that, in turn, are part of constructing and presenting the narrative potential of editorial photographs. There is an important relationship between professional photographers and the technical, cultural, economic and institutional forces that impinge upon all stages of production and publication.

What results is a greater understanding of technical, cultural, economic and institutional forces that impinge upon all stages of production and publication. Therefore, to understand the meanings inherent in photographs within WATER, I do not look merely at the end result. It provides a case study looking at my actions in the filed, and the influences upon me, to determine how external influences affect the meaning potential of these photographs (Grayson, 2012). As a result, this project adds to the body of scholarship around the definition of Photojournalism, how it has adapted to the current media environment and provides scope for further research into emerging new genres within editorial photography, such as citizen photojournalism.

Concurrently, the photographs themselves were created to visually explore how there remains a humanistic desire to interact with the natural form of water even while living a modern cosmopolitan life around it. Taking a photojournalistic approach to exploring this phenomenon, the images were created by “capturing moments as they happened” with no posing or setting up of images. This serendipitous approach to the photographic medium provides the practitioner with at least an attempt to direct the subjectivity contained explicitly in photographs. What results is a series of images that extend the visual dialogue around the role of water within modern humanistic lifestyles and how it remains an integral part of our society’s behaviors. It captures important moments that document this relationship at this time of modern development.

The resulting works were exhibited and published as part of the Head On Photo Festival, Australia's largest photo festival and the world's second largest festival in Sydney 20-24 May 2013. The WATER series of images were curated by three Magnum members; Ian Berry, Eli Reed and Chris Steele-Perkins. Magnum is a highly regarded international photographic co-operative with editorial offices in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. There was a projection of the works as part of the official festival programme, presented to both members of the public and Sydney’s photography professionals. In addition, a sample of images from the WATER series was chosen for inclusion in the Magnum-published hardcover book.

References Grayson, Louise. 2012. “Editorial photographs and patterns of practice.” Journalism Practice. Accessed: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17512786.2012.726836#.UbZN-L--1RQ

Lemke, Jay. 1995. Textual Politics: Discourse and Social Dynamics. London: Taylor & Francis.

Impact and interest:

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36 since deposited on 31 Jan 2014
12 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 66791
Item Type: Creative Work (Visual Artwork)
Refereed: No
Material: Photographs
Number of Pieces: 23
Published Source: Festival presentation and book
Publisher: Magnum and Head On Photo Festival
Location: From date: To date:
Sydney 2013-05-20 2013-05-24
Keywords: Photojournalism, Photography, Action genre, Reflective practice, Practice-led research
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Louise Grayson
Deposited On: 31 Jan 2014 01:52
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2014 23:07

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