Exercise 3.4 – The Gaze

The exercise is to produce a series of 5 portraits that show various types of ‘the gaze’ to tell a narrative.

I have discussed the theory behind ‘the gaze’ in The Gaze

I had two possible thoughts around this:

  1. To use some of images that I have been developing for assignment 3, which are pictures of people at a gaming club.
  2. To talk a completely separate set of images to illustrate the gaze.

I decided to do the latter, as not only would this avoid the risk of duplicating images in an exercise and an assignments, which although possible is not ideal, but this would also allow me to act as ‘the director’ and ask people to do exactly what I wanted.

I asked my husband and son to help with this and took a series of images of my husband modelling (his hobby) with my son helping out and watching the process. The activity needed to be done inside and therefore necessitated the use of flash. They were moderately cooperative – but got involved in what they were doing so didn’t always listed to my directions.

The main protagonist was the modeller, with the watcher playing a secondary role.

Final story:

The Direct Address

The Averted Gaze

The Spectator's Gaze

The Internal Gaze

The Bystander's Gaze

This was a fascinating exercise, initially reading all about the gaze and how that term is used in a wide variety of ways and then trying to actually catch people doing the specific thing I wanted.  It would have been simpler to use a series of already taken images and pick out examples of types of gaze, but I wanted to have the extra control and practice of acting as the director in a shoot. I felt this was moderately successful – but something I want to try again with different people and specifically with people I did not know so well.

Learning Points:

  • Be firm and clear with your directions
  • Family don’t always listen well
  • Be prepared to go back and reshoot the images

Contact Sheets:

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