This week on my MA Photography course we were asked to present our oral presentation. As in the last module, I prefer to do this closer to the end of the module as I can better grasp the ideas and direction of my work in a more focused way, this worked well in my last module so I will stick to this way of working. It’s interesting to note also in my previous module I never showed my draft or final oral presentation to any of my peers and teachers, so once again this worked well for me in the last module, so if it ain’t broke, you get the idea.

I guess this works better for me because I am more critical of my photographic work than my peers, and also people are just polite and make general comments. This is not particularly useful, so perhaps in the next final 30-week module, I will find other ways to critique my work with people who are not part of the University as this works much better. Having said that there are one or two people who are more honest in the evaluation of my work, so I have those at least.

So this week I was looking further into how my project work could be used in some other commercial environment. I was thinking about my interest in music from the 60-90’s, and beyond and how this may be linked to my type of photography.

I remembered here in Hong Kong and the UK how popular vinyl records are again (Staff Reporter SCMP, 2017), and in fact vinyl sales topped three million last year, the highest UK total in 25 years(Savage, 2017) , so I was thinking about Album Covers and I think my type of creative work is well suited for this type of work. (Billboard Staff, 2015)

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Photography by Pennie Smith (1979)

The story about this album cover is written by Anna Klos

“It all began on the 20th September 1979. On that day, in Palladium club in New York took place the concert of a British rock group, The Clash. During the concert, the upset bassist wrecked his guitar on the scene, and the moment was captured on photography by Pennie Smith. Thanks to this photo, one of the most famous CD covers in the history of rock came into existence. 

The final version of the cover was designed by Ray Lowry. Pennie Smith at first didn’t want to allow the use of her photo, arguing that it’s blurry. Lowry convinced her that the lack of focus was, in this case, a good thing, as it made it more authentic and spontaneous. London Calling cover quickly became famous all over the world. It was a pastiche, meaning a conscious reference to another piece. Lowry used composition and lettering similar to Elvis Presley’s earlier album. It was a bit provocative, as Elvis was acclaimed back then as the king of rock and the less famous band The Clash was only about to begin another revolution in rock music, but in a way more hardcore version.

The photo of bassist crashing his guitar became a pop culture icon, a symbol of young rebels. In 2002 Q magazine acclaimed it as the best ‘rock’n’roll’ photo ever, saying that the image perfectly depicts the turning point in the history of rock’n’roll, a total loss of control. The bass guitar itself was later put in a museum.” (Kłos, 2016)

 

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 Photograph by Paul Peach – Supporting Band Drummer at the Temple of Groom event 2017

 

Perhaps album covers will not be as vintage and historic as the Clash Album cover London calling, but this is something I would be interested in pursuing.

Of course many Album covers now days also have graphics as well (Pinterest, 2017), but perhaps there is some market for this type of work there for me later as I develop further.

 

References

Billboard Staff, B. (2015). The 50 Greatest Album Covers of All Time. [online] Billboard. Available at: https://www.billboard.com/photos/6715351/best-album-covers-of-all-time [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].

Jarvis, C. (2017). How To Shoot & Design an Award Winning Album Cover [Featuring !!! -Chk Chk Chk] | Chase Jarvis Photography. [online] Chase Jarvis Blog. Available at: http://www.chasejarvis.com/blog/for-photographers-musicians-how-to-shoot-design-award-winning-album-cover-art/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

Kłos, A. (2016). The story behind the ‘London Calling’ cover – Retroavangarda. [online] Retroavangarda. Available at: http://retroavangarda.com/story-behind-the-london-calling-cover/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].

Pinterest, P. (2017). Pinterest. [online] Pinterest. Available at: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=best Album covers artwork&rs=guide&term_meta[]=artwork|guide|word|1&term_meta[]=pictures|guide|word|11&add_refine=best|guide|word|10 [Accessed 20 Oct. 2017].

Savage, M. (2017). UK vinyl sales reach the 25-year high. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38487837 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].

Staff Reporter SCMP, S. (2017). Hong Kong’s ten best record shops: it’s a vinyl countdown. [online] South China Morning Post. Available at: http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/music/article/1935221/hong-kongs-10-best-record-shops-its-vinyl-countdown [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

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