Maria Short: Context and Narrative

I found this a very easy-read book covering pretty much the same ground as the OCA course notes for this module, except that its tone and careful spelling-out of even the most basic aspects of a project – half a page elaborating on the observation that the “choice of film type, speed and other technical considerations in relation to the intention and final output are important factors in the image-making process”, for example – suggests that it’s written for A-level students or someone with no previous experience of photography. For these reasons I found it surplus to requirements and it didn’t add anything to the considerable changes in my understanding and appreciation of the subject that I’d already gained from the OCA course materials. I did, however, read the book cover to cover in case I was missing anything, and found a few interesting snippets such as the observations of Josef Sudek’s assistant Sonja Bullaty about the lengths Sudek would go to to achieve the lighting conditions he sought:

“His sense of light became crucial, often planning for a year or more to capture the exact lighting situation… We set up the tripod and camera and then sat down on the floor and talked. Suddenly Sudek was up like lightning. A ray of sun had entered the darkness and both of us were waving cloths to raise mountains of dust ‘to see the light’, as Sudek said, Obviously he had known that the sun would reach here perhaps two or three times a year, and he was waiting for it.”

References and resources

Short, M. (2011) Context and Narrative. Lausanne: AVA Publishing SA.