Phonar// Assignment Five// Carlo Van De Roer



Having never heard of Carlo before, a quick look at his work and I’m super excited to start looking at him and his assignment!

Task One- Tweets 

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Task Two- A Portrait of Carlo Van De Roer

Who is Carlo Van De Roer?

-Originally Kiwi, now lives in New York

-Currently involved with New Museum’s Inc program

-Graduated in photography

-Now owns his own studio

-Originally a landscape photographer

-Now focusing on Orbs on Auras

‘The Portrait Machine’

-Main project and first book

-A series of lectures, talks and book signings on the work

-Made Polaroid’s of his friends and family using an aura camera

-Bio feeds information about his subject’s characters

-All about the way we depict a person

-Wanted the project to show his interests with scientific invention

-Questions if the camera really does see more than the photographer does

-Used a Aura Cam 6000

‘All Alone’

-A series where he basically people watches a group and see’s how they interact with each other and the environment

-He also focuses on Orbs

-From all around the world, having a very light, floaty and fresh yet clinical feel to them

-Rather than the orbs found on paranormal imagery, he uses the circles to show pollen, dust or water

-He could the orbs afterwards, emphasising them and the fact the were manipulated, creating controversy between this project and paranormal work

– “The dots have an anonymous quality, as does the 27th letter. By partially obscuring the surface of the photograph, these dots draw attention to the absent, to the possibility of discovery.”



Instagram Post:

Carlo Van De Roer is immersed in light and the technical, scientific aspects. He has won awards, had publications and has been featured in many articles. He works extremely hard doing various talks, book signings and exhibitions. The two main projects Carlo is known for is ‘The Portrait Machine’ and ‘All Alone’, which are very technical and have a practical feel to them; he is set out with intentions, a purposeful brief that Carlo wants to experiment with.

His recent Instagram posts show a fascination with monochrome. Carlo has recently moved into his studio in American, Brooklyn and is sad to be continuing to make more work based on more theoretically and has complex concepts.

To see more work by Carlo or to check out his awesome Instagram click below:

#PhotographersPlaybook #Phonar2016 #CarloVanDeRoer

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Task Three- Working in the style of Carlo Van De Roer

Joseph copy

Joe body











Instagram Post:

Working in the style of Carlo Van De Roer

‘The Portrait Machine’ is Carlo’s most known work and it’s highly fascinating. Carlo took portraits of his friends and family using an aura camera showing different colours that are said to represent a quality.

It’s fascinating to see another way of how a portrait can show a person without directly and clearly showing their face in a traditional way. He has a very scientific and investigator way about him and his work style.

There are two parts to his work, firstly the portrait. This creates controversy in how much the artist is getting involved as the sitter makes most of the decisions like their position or whether they try and effect the machine by running for example. Secondly, Carlo has created a sheet explaining the colours. This is a great way to develop his image’s message and narrative.

#carlovanderoer #phonar2016 #photographersplaybook

Task Four- Completing the Assignment

Initial Ideas:

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Task Four- Completing the assignment


The audience is very broad and ranges incredibly due to how open my different narrative to interpretations are:

-If photographers are viewing the images they would notice the fact its an exposed disposable camera, they would know that this is the accident and may find beauty/ curiosity from it

-Mental awareness posters

-People interested fictional story/ descriptive pieces

-People who appreciate 1920’s style writing

-More theoretical people who are interested in the mind

-We can all relate to having a sleepless night and the way our mind over thinks things

-People who are interested with design and typography

-Someone who is sparked by a particular memory

-Other photographers/ artists, particularly ones who like self-portraiture/ non-traditional pieces


What do I want my audience to know?

This is a tricky question, purely because of how open I have left my different narratives and audiences.

-The unexpected little things are what make up our lives

-There will always be something positive amongst all the darkness

-Something about the mind, how it never sleeps, we are always thinking as humans

-To think about where all these thoughts go that we get so worked up about when we cannot sleep


What do I want my audience to feel?

-Lost in the words

-The typography to resemble the unsettled working of the mind

-Perhaps unease

-I want there mind to know start to questioning things- perhaps questioning the concepts of my work


This was without a doubt the hardest task I have done during Phonar. Carlo made the task so open and broad, you could literally choose anything, yet it made you think seriously and deeply.

The instructions that I understood from the task was to produce two images on one subject that work together, yet when separate they don’t convey the same subject. The subject could literally be anything you are interested in, and by doing this you hopefully ‘include the viewer in the creation of meaning’. So what did I do? Well, I picked writing as my subject as this is what I really love about photography and I think it’s my strongest feature within my work. However, my mind was going crazy when thinking of what to do to take it further than that and what to photograph. In the end I explored a few ideas but then during a sleepless night I began to think about that and the mind. I wanted to make sure I left room for interpretations from my viewer as I think that’s what Carlo intended and it means there can be an array of ways my work can be taken. For this, I reflected back to our class workshops to help me use multiple possible concepts instead of one main narrative.

I’ve used a scanner for my self-portrait after being inspired by Jenny Saville and the focus of the body. I really like how the dark aspects have turned out as I think it’s made the overall image a lot stronger. For this image, the writing is more about physicality. The woman cannot sleep, therefore her mind wont stop working and thinking, she is waiting for the sun to come up and calm her thoughts. The second image is from the end of the roll of disposable film. It is an accident that happens when it’s exposed slightly. They are beautiful accidences that I am personally interested by. This image is more about positivity and the mental state. We may be in a dark place, perhaps unhappy, but we need to remember all the little things we encounter that are unexpected. Together these images work separately, yet they work together as well. I used my interests in writing to overlay the images, as my main subject was writing. But I didn’t just want to have writing in an image, I wanted there to be a photograph; some substance. So I chose two conceptual images to help emphasise my writing, along with the way I have design the sizing of words, which helps to set the pace for my piece.

My two final images.

Chloe Parker- T5 S4Chloe Parker- T5 S4 (1)



-One scanned image

-One accidental disposable film camera exposure


-Typography overlaid



-One image is a scanned self-portrait

-Another image is an image you get from exposing the disposable film, not taken on purpose

-A series of two different pieces of writing, layered over each image



(Images together could show)

-Depression/ mental issues/ mental state

-Could be based on my mother, for she has sleepless nights and worries

-Could show pessimism vs. optimism

-The things we don’t intend on happening in life

-Insight into the mind

-Reflection of memories

(Image one- scanned self-portrait could show)

-The deep thoughts you go through during a sleepless night

-The mind

-A fictional story about a woman and the troubles she goes through

-Something inspiring her, meaning that her mind wont let the thoughts and ideas go

-A mental issue and the fact she cannot escape

-Perhaps death/ suicide as she sees the ray of light

(Image two- Disposable camera)


-Perhaps a ghost or orb from the use of lighting in the image

-Maybe we want to know what the unexpected thing is

-Beauty from the accidental image

Doing this, particularly the concept section though out the whole of my creation of work, helped me to develop my narrative and understand how by using a broad range of narratives, it can attract different audience members in which they can interpretive the work and the meaning for themselves.

Main inspirations

-‘Closed Contact’ Collaboration by Jenny Saville and Glen Luchford. The methods she uses with placing herself on a piece of glass and photographing underneath. I used a scanner to replicate this process; it’s a way of getting highly close to the fact, very intimate and personal/ slightly intrusive. This could help to create and uncomfortable and unease feel.

-The Great Gatsby film, 2013. Specifically with the aspects that I personally admire Nick Caraway and when he’s talking about Gatsby, the letters on the page bounce around him. I used this in the way I overlaid my writing over my images and the way I used different sizes. Also, the way F. Scott Fitzgerald uses writing is very influential to me and my own writing style.

Step Six- Communicating to Carlo Van De Roer

The way I chose to communicate to my author was to write a letter and overlay it on top of my image in the style of his. I edited it a little so the colours were more overpowering than the model. But I chose this because it’s the thing that really stands out in his work, he seems to be really attracted to light and to colour, so I wanted this to be the interest and focal point in my letter. I then printed the two layers on to acetate, with the intentions of holding it against a wall and projecting light on to it. This will allow all the colours to hit and bounce around, almost like a projection and help to reflect his work. This is really exciting, effective and I think it’s definitely appropriate to my author and to see what he thinks.



-Brown, E. (2014) CARLO VAN DE ROER’S PARAPHOTOGRAPHY. Available at []

-Gasoian Gallery. (2002) Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford. Available at–jenny-saville–glen-luchford

-The Great Gatsby (2013) Directed by Baz Luhrmann [Film]. USA: Australia: Warner Bros. Pictures Roadshow Entertainment.

-Roer, C.-V.-D. (2014-2016) CARLO VAN DE ROER. Available at []

– Roer, C.-V.-D. (2016) The Portrait Machine Project. Available at []

-Quinn, B. (2012) Carlo Van de Roer has a portrait machine that can see your spirit, no less! Available at []


-New Inc. (2014) CARLO VAN DE ROER. Available at []




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