Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

David Hockney & ‘higgledy piggledy’ viewing

with 5 comments

David Hockney's 'Pearblossom Hwy', photographic collage of a Californian highway from 1986 max colson

David Hockney's 'Pearblossom Hwy', photographic collage of a Californian highway from 1986

As I got a couple of books of David Hockney’s work for Christmas I’ve had the chance to dig his work even more than usual. In particular I’ve very much enjoyed reading through the conversations in the newly released book A Bigger Message: his thoughts on photography have been a good companion on my (nebulous, goddamn never ending) trip to working out what it is that I want to do and achieve with the camera. I’ve also found it really refreshing to read someone who’s less concerned with discussing photography as an obstacle to objective seeing and is instead more interested in the tenuous relationship that it has with the fragmented, higgledy piggledy way in which we actually comprehend what’s in front of us with our eyes:

“A photograph sees [The Grand Canyon] all at once, in one click of the lens from a single point of view, but we don’t. And it’s the fact that it takes us time to see it that makes the space.” p.143

“We think the photograph is the ultimate reality, but it isn’t because the camera sees geometrically. We don’t. We see partly geometrically but also psychologically. If I glance at the picture…on the wall over there , the moment I do it becomes larger than the door. So measuring the world in a geometrical way is not that true.” p.53

It’s hard not to be influenced with his work after seeing it. This is a photo collage of my girlfriend’s room that I made a few days ago for her birthday card. Click on the image for a bigger version of the design. It’s nice to play!

Max Colson photo collage david hockney documentary photography

Birthday card design

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5 Responses

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  1. Hi Max, how interesting! I like your card and motivation to play. Why don’t you try to do more pictures in such a way? I think it is refreshing and maybe it can lead you to shoot pictures differently. I would like to see more.

    Christina Vazou

    January 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

  2. that’s right! i like the image with your girlfriend. i have been trying to get this idea of a “psychological vs objective” reality that surrounds us for a while, employing various techniques. i always think – wait a minute, if i look at something, i see it very differently than a camera – i have two eyes and they like to focus on particular thing and the rest falls off…so then i try to photograph it as i see it – and that leads to these fragmented impressions. looking forward seeing how you are going to progress with this freeing departure from a dictatorship of a camera!

    Veronika Lukasova

    January 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm

  3. yeah, the psychological vs objective dichotomy is certainly interesting…I haven’t quite worked out to do it in my own way however though. As always, more experimentation is needed…i need more play in my life!

    Thanks guys

    Max Colson

    January 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

  4. Hey Matt really like this post although it makes me feel old, again…

    I was taking pictures around the time David Hockney was showing his ‘joiners’ for the first time and I could not resist giving it a go. It is very interesting as it moves beyond the contraints of the frame we are presented with. I’ve recently rethunk (is that a word) ,my rethink and while I’m not making joiners I am trying to move beyond the frame and 2d. Time will tell if this little less radical idea will work out ;0) Thanks for highlighting Hockney. Cheers G

    Graham Miller

    January 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm


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