First Things


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  • Title: First Things: Reflections on Single-lens Reflex Digital Photography with a Wide-angle Lens
  • Author(s): Ruth Skilbeck
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Image
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Image
  • Keywords: Digital Single Lens Reflex Photography, Reflective Practice, the Mother in Art and Theory, Subjectivity, Digital Media Art, Digital Aesthetics
  • Volume: 3
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2013
  • ISSN: 2154-8560 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8579 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Skilbeck, Ruth . 2013. "First Things: Reflections on Single-lens Reflex Digital Photography with a Wide-angle Lens." The International Journal of the Image 3 (4): 55-67. doi:10.18848/2154-8560/CGP/v03i04/44099.
  • Extent: 13 pages


This reflective practice essay discusses the psychology of perception and the proposition of processing trauma and loss through digital photography focusing on “Last Things” series of photographic images by the author. The paper reflexively explores the proposition of Art making as means of processing Traumatic experience, of loss, and shock of the unknown, in this case literally as well as symbolically, in images that go beyond words. The room was “empty” but needed clearing of the last things. She entered the room with camera held to her face as shield and mask and took photographs of objects that she found there. The author learned from her own response, that she turned to the visual, to images, before words; she used her digital single-lens reflex camera, with wide-angle lens. This experience shifted her focus, as arts journalist, to reflectively writing of her own experience, and the images made in those moments. Here, she also refers to other artists and critics including urban Aboriginal artists, Mary Kelly, Barthes in his “Camera Lucida”, and to further published and exhibited photographic works that she has made.