The Look Of A Professional – David Hockney

Born in 1937 in Bradford, England, David Hockney attended an art school in London. He studied at the College of Art in Bradford from 1953 to 1957 and finished his studies at the Royal College of Art in 1962. In the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles. Here, he had access to many swimming pools, which he painted, eventually garnering attention. Most of his early works were filled with Expressionist elements, before moving on to pop art. After that, Hockney taught in places such as Colorado, Iowa and Berkeley.

Using a Polaroid camera, he captured “Shower Pictures” using his acrylic. Now, I have decided that it does not look suitable at all. However, if you are really curious, you can go and have a look. Moving on, in the 1970s, he also did stage design for performances such as “The Magic Flute” by Mozart in 1978 at the Glyndebourne Opera.

Most of his montages came about in the late 70s, where we combined many Polaroid shots to form “photo joiners”. The work is relatively abstract and looks like one of Picasso’s Cubist works. In the late 80s, he did media work.

Here are a few montages by Hockney and my short response to each of them.


This montage feels like there is a boy exploring the environment around him. The boxes that surround him look very magical, for me, like floating pieces. The tree looks rather mystical with no leaves on it.


This looks really abstract and make what seems like an original photograph very geometrical and complex. It feels like the world is coming to an end, because the blue roof figure on the left looks as if it is crashing down. The whole thing looks weird but works.


(Pearlblossom Highway by David Hockney)

The many stop signs make me wonder if this is a stranded land which no one has gone to. It makes me tempted to go there, and all of the visible lines make it seem as if there is something new there, something fresh and something that will take me by huge surprise.

According to The Guardian, Hockney always remains enthusiastic in his artwork, regardless of his age, constantly challenging viewers to broaden their minds. His art speaks for itself. Although he is in 70s, his enthusiasm is like that of a young boy, and what we should consider when taking on anything.

Useful Links/References:

“David Hockney Biography – Infos – Art Market.” Art Directory. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2015.

Kermode, Mark. “Hockney Review – an Intimate Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man.” The Guardian. The Guardian, 30 Nov. 2014. Web. 09 Apr. 2015.


Another Look At The Butterfly Effect (Photo Montage II)

Earlier on in this journal, I discussed about the butterfly effect. The butterfly effect could apply to photography, but what happens when it comes to the photo montage ? In this post, we will be discussing the question “How can small things change the world ?” through the aspect of the photo montage.

I have mentioned that some scientists predict that if the temperature was to go up by five degrees Celcius, most or all species would become extinct. Juxtaposition is something very interesting, because we get different perspectives into the subject, which is why a montage enhances the message of the original photograph. Some photographers, when composing montages, use different lighting but the same setting and place. Basically, it starts off with a photograph, but using different tones and a rather grid-like artwork could mean a lot. Let’s take a look at one of David Hockney’s montages.

hockney photo montage


If you look carefully at this montage, you can see that the wall uses different tones, while half of the tree is in bright sunlight, while the other half is rather shadowed. From the original photograph, it could mean something about the hustle and bustle of the city, development of the city or tranquility, since there are only two cars. However, with the changes, it could mean something like confrontation due to different tones in juxtaposition, or even something like pollution or vandalization, due to the different colours present in the wall. It could even mean something like a silent fight that no one knows about, whether internal or external, like someone trapped in an apartment above the walls, with risk of death, or someone being kidnapped in the car.

Through small changes, the photograph can change by so much, from a peaceful theme to such a deep and concealed message. Now, how do small things change your world ? Some may never know.

Here is a result of the annotation activity we did in class on our task sheet.

Task Description

Note: Keywords definition is under the “Understanding Photography” page.

A Look At Combination (More Photography Terminology)

Since we’re going into the photo montage next (after finishing up the photo essay), I’ve posted up a few terms over here that are related to the photo montage along with their definitions (of course). They will be uploaded to the page with all of the terminologies as well.

Joiners – A photography technique where several photographs overlap each other. The images are taken separately and are digitally merged to form a larger one.

Photo Montage –  A synthesized form of two or more photographs where more photographs are added to give more meaning and effect to it. It helps define a subject better in a single photograph.

Juxtaposition – A juxtaposition is when we place things “side by side”. They are used for comparison and contrast, as a part of effect and meaning.

Composition – The arrangement of different elements in a piece of work which make it distinct and unique.

Technique – A skill used to give effect to the object, which is in this case photography.

Temporal Clarity – A photograph that expresses time and shows how everything is temporary and will change.

Elements of Time – The time we take a photograph matters the most as that single moment could mean a lot to someone.

Digital Processing (Technology Science context) – A series of various techniques that help improve the digital communication of technology.

MLA References:

“Joiner Photography: Welcome!” Joiner Photography. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.

“Juxtaposition.” The Daily Post. N.p., 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2015

Another Form of Photography (Photo Montage)

I am sure we’ve all heard the word photo montage, right ? Looking at the language aspect, montage means “fitting” in Germany. Therefore, a photo montage is a synthesized form of two or more photographs where more photographs are added to give more meaning and effect to it. It helps define a subject better in a single photograph. For me, photo montages are mini photo essays, because they are all in one.

The difference between the photo montage and a collage is that the photo montage usually has more meaning and compliment each other when selecting photos for it, while the collage is usually a wide spread of photographs that may vary in symbolism.

The origins of photo montage go back to the Berlin Dada Group in Berlin, Germany. After the world wars, this group was desperate to try to find ways to communicate the chaos of the time, and therefore developed montages. At one point of time, they even held their exhibition in the toilet to give off more effect !

Here is an example for you.


We will be talking more about photo montages and photo editing next month, and how it influences a message.

MLA References:

“Photomontage.”, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

“Cut And Paste: A History of Photomontage.” Cut And Paste: A History of Photomontage. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

The above work is a dictionary definition. This is my prior understanding on the photo montage using my own definition and the terminology listed.

“A photo montage is the juxtaposition of several photographs that enhance the overall message of a photograph.”

The True Meaning of Happiness (My Photo Essay)

During the Chinese New Year holiday, I captured a few photographs that for me, showed a little of the dark side about how some people may not be feeling as happy when others are. The places that the photographs were taken include Kuala Lumpur, Kedah and Penang, and have not been edited in anyway.

DSCN6114 (1)

DSCN6140 (2)

DSCN6144 (3)

DSCN6148 (5)

DSCN6156 (4)  DSCN6164 (6)

DSCN6165 (7)

Narration/Artistic Intention

We walk around. We talk, we go on social media, play games, the list continues. Yet, we forget that there are others. People without anything. They are busy washing, while others just have fun. The bell strikes 12, and people like me are woken up by the sounds of fireworks and celebration. Clock hits 11, and we become models as a united family. Yet, we forget that some are quiet, while all others do is crave for more food. What is the true meaning of happiness ? We may never know – some will never experience the development and fairness.


(100 words)