Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

Archive for March 2011

Lift – A 24 min Doc Movie

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Taryn Simon’s latest work Contraband, because I feel that not only is this a great work because of its actual content but because of the perception of the photographer in working out a particular point in space and time to focus on in order to make her point.

I discovered this amazing 24 minute documentary film called Lift recently, which uses the same technique although for a completely different end. In 2001 the film maker Marc Issacs set himself up in the elevator of a council estate (the phrase for project housing in England) in East London for 3 months and filmed whoever stepped in the space. As the time went on the residents became more familiar with him and started to reveal things about themselves which they wouldn’t have otherwise.

This 24 minutes is packed with characters and is an absolutely fascinating piece of social documentary. Highly recommended.

For those that are interested there’s a quick interview with the director which sheds some light on how he set this project up – here

Written by Max Colson

March 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

5 more portraits

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Boxer for Oxford University Varsity Team, Oxford vs Cambridge, 18.03.11

I’ve been shooting over the weekend at a couple of boxing fights and a modelling convention (as in minature models, not fashion ones). During the course of the shoots I tried some more portraits. I found I still need a bit more balls to direct the subjects, particularly in angling of the face against the light, but nonetheless I do like these.


Boxer for the Cambridge University Varsity Team, Oxford vs Cambridge, 18.03.11

Boxer for the Cambridge University Varsity Team, Oxford vs Cambridge, 18.03.11

Exhibition Attendent, Southern Expo Festival, 20.03.11

YouTube and new types of music video

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There was (and still is) the radio single, but now there is the long-form online music video. No longer do directors and artists need to adhere to MTV guidelines.

It’s great to see that the effect that online media is having on established forms of expression. I am particularly impressed with the way that YouTube is allowing the music video to evolve because of new watching occasions. This new 10 minute music/film by the much lauded NY rapper Pharaohe Monch is a great example of why independent artists no longer have to do things by the book anymore.

I’m sure the music industry is watching hard at fantastic bits of work like this. Successful experiments like the below stand by themselves:

I would also recommend watching Romain Gavras’s video for MIA’s song Born Free as another example of this new type of music video, although that said the content is not something that I’m in favour of at all: it’s pretty cynical, particularly in its use of violence.

<p><a href=”″>M.I.A, Born Free</a> from <a href=”″>ROMAIN-GAVRAS</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Written by Max Colson

March 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Not to be Reproduced

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Post portrait assignment I thought that this painting Not to be Reproduced by René Magritte was rather witty:

Not to be Reproduced, René Magritte, 1937

Written by Max Colson

March 20, 2011 at 11:23 pm

5 more portraits

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The Costume Maker

As I had never really done any portrait shoots before I was a bit stressed about this assignment, particularly after realising how important lighting is to giving an appearance of complexity to the face (that insanely amazing photographer Stephan vanFleteren does this exceptionally well). However although I did use lighting in these shoots (via a reflector & available light), my main tactic with this series was to choose subjects who were in visual locations; the thought being that hopefully these would say something about them too.

Portraits are really something that I want to nail, so there will definitely be more experiments on this front from me in the future.

Here are the rest of mine:

The Barman


The Rapper

The Fish & Chip Shop Man


The Waiter (with his tummy partly chopped off unfortunately)

Written by Max Colson

March 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm

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Japan Earthquake: Before and After Interactive Images

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The devastation of the Japan earthquake is brought to life by ABC news with interactive ‘before/after’ aerial photographs. No captions needed.

Click on the screengrab to go to the site.

Written by Max Colson

March 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm

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Minature Soldier Collectors

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Although I started initially with just the model railway society, another hobby network has now come to my attention. On Friday evening I went to my first meeting of a minature soldier collecting society in west London. Fascinating stuff. I feel like it’s all going somewhere very gradually…


Man, woman, and dog from a bar scene

Two soldiers in Napoleonic uniform

Written by Max Colson

March 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm