Tom Hunter is a contemporary photographer who often depicts people in urban environments. Hunter has exhibited work internationally and is also a professor of Photography Research at the London College of Communication. Following his studies at the London College of Printing in 1994, Hunter has since published four books and won various awards including the Photography Prize in 1996. His series ‘Ghetto’ and ‘Life and Death in Hackney’ series are both famous works of Hunter with both being exhibited in London galleries.
Hunter produces work that highlights cultural issues bringing a focus on suburban homes and on the streets. Hunter is investigative and explores situations as well as story. I admire this and how Hunter gives the impression of ‘what you see is what you get’. His work appears half staged and half documentary as he integrates both in a way that relates the viewer
Italian photographer Massimo Vitali came to London to study photography at the London College of Printing. Following his studies, he became involved in the photojournalist industry during the sixties and in the eighties, worked within the cinematographic field. As changes came about in Italy, Vitali began to interpret culture in a more artistic perspective, practising in projects of observation and so in 1995, Vitali created an on going beach series which captured citizens in one large area.
His images present a very light, clean quality and gives us insight into intriguing groups of people as well as other individuals. With some of his work capturing a vast amount of space, Vitali emphasises on this by spreading his imagery across more than one canvas. Often depicting holiday makers by pools and beaches, Vitali looks at Italian life as a wholesome stereotype. I find there is a continuous sequence where Vitali’s work is almost map like as the viewer is drawn into the image at different distances. The work enables to pick out particular characters of interest and with so many people in one image, we can spy on what different people are doing, accessing all areas (almost like the ‘Where’s Wally’ game). There is a never ending to what the viewer can seek and this makes Vitali’s work somewhat interactive. I find Vitali’s work inspirational as he takes advantage of the spaces he observes and gives his audience something interesting to look at in a huge spoonful. By doing this, Vitali keeps the viewer interested; we can look at one small part of his imagery and go away for a while but there will still be other parts of the image that we may not have noticed before. This creates a diverse relationship between the viewer and the image.
Overall, Vitali is a practitioner who observes lots of people in large environments and although I am currently practicing almost the opposite, I can still relate my own ideas in a similar way. I admire the way Vitali keeps an attention within his work where there does not necessarily need a deep message but just an observation of life as it is. This is something that can also be just as engaging as looking as a portrait of a single person.
Other Pics of the Week: Sydney Tsunami Cloud
This is a recent image of a storm cloud at a beach in Sydney, Australia. I find this shot is very striking and coincidently echoes the work of Massimo Vitali (even though this was perhaps not intentional). I find it uncanny how we see people enjoying their time at the beach while this monstrous looking storm creeps up behind them. There is an effective variety of blue colour in the image as the aqua hue of the sea contrasts with the sky. I admire the sense of space in this image with the long distance display between the foreground and background. I have picked out this particular image as it comes from photojournalist sources and often images in the photojournalist area frequently appear alongside documentary and world photography.
Tom Hunter (2015) Persons Unknown [Online] Availale from: http://www.tomhunter.org/persons-unknown [Accessed on 10/11/2015]
Badger, G. (2007) The Genius of Photography: How photography has changed our lives, London, Quadrille Publishing Limited, Section 4, p.150-154
Massimo Vitali (2015) Massimo Vitali [Online] Available from: http://www.massimovitali.com/about/biography [Accessed 27/11/2015]
The Telegraph (2015) Cloud Tsunami: Powerful Storms sweep across Sydney, Australia, in pictures [Online] Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11979257/Cloud-Tsunami-Powerful-storms-sweep-across-Sydney-Australia-in-pictures.html [Accessed on 12/11/2015]