While studying for a Diploma in Photographic Media, during the analog film based semester one of our first exercises was to choose a photographer who we admire or who inspires us and to mimic their style. We were to shoot this on film and develop and print the image ourselves in the darkroom.
For most of us this was a new and exciting experience. For me I had never taken photo’s on anything beyond a small compact digital Canon IXUS, so to jump into using an SLR, loading film and processing, developing and printing myself was quite a challenge but one I enjoyed immensely.
I chose to mimic Bill Brandt’s style and used Janina, my girlfriend at the time, as my model.
Using a bedroom side lamp in a small apartment on a winters evening I did not have the benefit of natural window light or a spacious classically decorated Georgian style room like Brandt used for many of his nude studies. Also because it was one of the first rolls I ever shot I was only getting used to the camera and how to control depth of field never mind what the darkroom had in store for me in the enlarging and printing stage.
The first of my attempts at Brandt’s style was in mimicking his image 'Untitled (Feet Abstraction), 1952'.
I would like to revisit this project and continue to attempt to produce images in the style of other photographers who I admire. Watch this space for a continuation of this project tagged ‘Mimicry’.
'Untitled (Feet Abstraction), 1952. By Bill Brandt (Bill Brandt Archive ©) & ‘Janina, Feet. Mimicry Project, 2009’ (Graham Martin Photography ©)