Friday, April 6, 2012

Photographer Friday

I just had a chance to look through the new British Journal of Photography (Volume 159 Issue 7799) and the new collection "Infra" by Richard Mosse jumped out at me straight away. The shots are all taken of the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the article it says that the situation "is so complex, its accumulative horrors so intangible, photography could not adequately portray or respond." The film Mosse used is called Aerochrome and has recently been discontinued by Kodak. It was developed initially as an infrared film to detect enemies in the Vietnam War. It brings all foliage out in this pink colour and leaves anything else it's normal colour. As expected this has been experimented with by the general public during the psychedelic era and was used on album covers by Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Grateful Dead. After than that, apart from some landscape photographs, it pretty much fell into disuse hence it's removal from the catalogue and production.

It's such an unusual way to photograph the war, but the colours really encourage your eye to look further and see what else is present. Richard originally studied English Literature in Kings College London but returned to study not long after to complete a postgraduate diploma in fine art and then went to the Yale School of Art to study photography MFA. Below are two of the photographs that stood out to me form the Infra collection that I have seen so far.

This is such an alien landscape. The blue river weaving through it really stands out against the grass and bushes. The shapes of the mounds with the tree line on top steps out from the background as well.

The pink highlighting is so surreal when compared with the young man with the rifle. The strange colours really show how strange the whole situation is with him being so young.

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