Jonathan Olley – response to group tutorials

Jonathan Olley is a documentary photographer based in the UK. His work is collected and exhibited by many but most notably by the Imperial War Museum. He went to the Chelsea school of Art in London and continued his studies at the University of Wales school of Documentary Photography. Occasionally he will teach there but first and foremost he continues his work as a freelance photographer.

photographers work

This photo was taken at Magilligan Ranges in Northern Ireland. They are army buildings and they form part of the military’s defensive strategy.

He uses tones in his photographs to control where the viewer looks first, the dark building is the main focus and you automatically look there because it is darker than the rest, different. I wouldn’t say this photo falls under sublime or picturesque it’s quite bland and sparse.

It looks like an overcast day so by shooting in black and white it gets rid of having a white sky in a colour photo. Where it is overcast there’s no shadows in the photo which makes it appear flat.

After having our individual project tutorials I was suggested to research Jonathan Olley as his work is relevant to the shoots I did of the WW2 bunkers (see contact sheets). After researching him I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to take my project down this route. Shooting the bunkers I found quite boring, because they aren’t very aesthetically pleasing where an abandoned house would be, but then might not have the history behind it like a WW2 bunker does but in this instance I am aiming for interesting photographs something I don’t think I can achieve by just focusing on bunkers.


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