Positions and Practice Week 8 Reflection w/c 14/07/2017

The various different people that we have covered this week have been interesting. The article by John A Walker was particularly relevant to the work that I am planning to do with my Final Project piece.

Looking at the different types of curating images especially Atlas by Gerhard Richter (1962-2013) was particularly interesting, I think I learnt a great deal in terms of how I attempted to put together my gallery.

I looked at the work of Jo Spence and how she had presented or had her work curated by others. A great deal of it felt documentary/reportage to me and I think this was because she was trying to convey certain messages with her photographs perhaps more so in Work (Part II) and Part (III) “The History Lesson” and Beyond the Perfect Image.

The kinds of photography that I admire are the areas that cover nature and wildlife. I like when online galleries are unfussy. I like a gallery where you can look through images without having to click around too much or any thing that can cause confusion. I think that I admire this type of work because having tried it a little I know how difficult it really must have been to obtain the beautiful shots that have been achieved.

I also have a keen interest in Macro Photography and the photographers that carry out this type of work amaze me. It also means it is really important to keep your gallery uncluttered as the nature of the  type of photography encapsulates so much details you want as little around the images as possible.

I have put some details of some photographers that have inspired me below:

http://www.heatherangel.co.uk

http://www.jackyparker.com/

http://macrophotography.com/

https://www.leonsavagephotography.co.uk/wildlife

This Week

I felt a little deflated this week overall and I feel in certain ways I had taken steps backward instead of forwards.

I pulled together my gallery in a way that I felt happy with but I think that perhaps my vision was a little way off what was wanted or was felt suitable.

I fully take on board all of the criticism and I took it and reproduced my whole gallery, hopefully getting somewhat closer to what is wanted. It is however weeks like this that make me heavily question my abilities, so many of my peers have worked as professionals and have a real insight to who they are as practitioners. I feel a little bit lost as I don’t really know who I am yet as a practitioner but it all certainly gives me something to work with and somewhere to take my photographic journey.

One disappointment of the week was my first foray into film photography! It failed! The film that I had taken was blank so this gives me another area to work on to 1) find out what went wrong and 2) find out if it was me and not the camera. I also need to discover whether the camera is able to take pictures, this means another learning curve.

There was the added stress with the oral presentation deadline looming, mine is very much still in development and having never done this type of work before I am finding it utterly terrifying .

This week has been a bit challenging for me personally. I did get to take a nice image this week and this gives me something to keep working on.

Wylam Brewery

Positions and Practice Week 7 Reflection: w/c 7th July

This week felt like a bit of a struggle.

I understand the concept of chance and how some people would carefully plan their work.

I found the faux pas activity interesting and have actually grown to like my faux pas image. Especially after some of the feedback from the forums which made me look at it in a different way.

From the presentation I feel I can relate more to Adams over Cartier-Bresson. I really enjoyed the work of Sophie Calle and Boris Mikhailov and feel that this might be something that I would like to try in the future.

I felt challenges by the peer commissioned Micro Project the brief set required me to do a bit of research and it is this that I enjoyed. I think some of my images could maybe have been better and I think this is possibly an area that I need to work on – completing a brief in a timeframe.

With regards to my major project I had a pretty big failure. I worked with film for the first time and when I took it for development it was completely blank. I now need to try and figure out what I have done wrong, and how I might fix this. I also need to decide if this is now something that I would definitely carry on moving forward with.

I found this weeks readings quite difficult especially the Rebecca Solnit extract. I struggled to find the relevance of the reading and perhaps need to revisit this in the future.

Here is hoping for a better week 8!!

Positions and Practice Week 7: Peer Commissioned Micro Project

In this weeks work our activity was to complete a Peer commissioned Micro Project, we were to partner up and set each other briefs to fulfil taking inspiration from the content we had covered throughout the week. All the while keeping track of our creative thought process.

I paired up with Alexandra and this is the brief that I was set:

“Your brief is to produce up to 6 shots demonstrating the Yin and Yang of an object or subject or scene or something else.

The idea is to see the bright and the dark side or the good and the bad connected to your subject.”

My first steps was to research Yin and Yang, I then started to brainstorm what would be achievable in the couple of hours time frame that was suggested for this task.

I though of:

  • Caterpillars vs Butterflies
  • Medicine vs Drugs
  • Love vs War

The idea I thought was achievable however went with the title “Every rose has its thorn”

Luckily I have a rose-bush in my garden and a very good florist locally. I was thinking about the softness of the flower and the sharpness of the thorns. The birth of a flower bud and the then the decay of the flower dying. Roses are stereotypically as sign of love given at weddings but also used at funerals. The beauty of the flower yet they can draw blood from you if your catch a thorn.

I then went exploring taking some preliminary pictures, some that I wasn’t particularly happy with so I tried again the next day and managed to get some I was more pleased with.

I decided to put together my work using both black and white and also colour so that there is a difference that can be looked upon.

Whilst the timeframe was quite small I did enjoy this project and hope I have fulfilled the brief somewhat.

Positions and Practice Week 6 Reflection w/c 30 June

We didn’t have to write a reflection this week, but since I am finding them to be a really useful tool I thought I would write one anyway.

Last week we briefly went through our Oral Presentations with our peers to gain initial feedback. This week our presentations were to our course tutors to get another set of feedback.

I discovered a few things and also made some decisions.

  • I’m going to need a title for my presentation.
    • We are telling our photographic stories, so this should explain like a short narrative.
  • I am also going to need a little bit more text.
    • It’s a little bit sparse in that area.
  • On a plus point:
    • my layout is good and got positive feedback
    • the  balance was good – I have chosen an unobtrusive texture.
  • What I need to do:
    • Keep asking questions of what I would like to achieve.
    • Make my images bigger – In particular on my research page.
    • Expand my research – tell a story that will link the people that I have chosen to look at.
    • Show in the slide the equipment that I use.
      • What is an olloclip
      • how does the kit change your work
      • what else can i experiment with
      • talk about my images in more depth
      • Don’t worry about including images that we were proud of but we have now moved on from.
      • be a reflective photographer
    • Criticality
      • What more can we explore
      • using light/shadow how will this develop my work.
    • Research
      • Karl Blosfeld – Plant Specimens
      • Think about looking into perception
        • How a human processes images
        • Ernst Gomblich
          • Art and Illusion
          • Art Perception and reality
          • the story of art
        • Psychology and marketing on perception

This all means that I have quite a lot to do in the coming week, but I have set up my vimeo account and a big challenge will be the recording my video. I had technical problems during my presentation and so this has me worried.

On a photographic front, I have taken some film images. I don’t have the skills or equipment for self-development of the film so I have to play the waiting game to see how they turn out. Oh my!

this will be a major development in my project work when I see how they are coming out.

Positions and Practice Week 5 Reflection w/c 23rd June

This week has been a tough week trying to get the work study balance as well as get my thoughts together to show what I would like to achieve with my presentation.

I sometimes wonder if I am asking too much of myself, but then I also surprise myself with my resolve to get things done.

This week I have also set about sourcing the equipment that I would like to use in my major project. I am now the proud owner of a Canon AE-1 with lenses including a macro lens and also extension tubes, I now just need to find the film that is going to best fit my needs. I feel that this is going to be a really exciting journey for me as in essence I learn a new skill.

I have also learned what I feel my ethics and responsibilities are. I always thought that because I didn’t take photographs of people the rules that apply to that type of photography were not really relevant to me, but now I realise that nature can also be exploited and I have a responsibility towards conservation and how I look after the nature that I so enjoy photographing. It is not that I didn’t know that I should look after my environment I think I just had not thought deeply about it in this context.

I think the realisation from this week will improve and enhance my ethical practice.

I have also enjoyed creating some images and making them black and white in preparation for my project work and I realised just how distracting colour can be to a viewer. I also learnt some skills on Lightroom which I have not tried before and this was very useful.

I was challenged by writing the script for my presentation and the ASK section of the study skills on the University website proved helpful. However I still think that are areas for improvement in my script and will continue to tweak it until do our presentation next week.

Having our group get together as a presentation trial run was really helpful and proved to me again that group work can be beneficial.

Positions and Practice Week 4 Reflection w/c 16th June

I have found this week very interesting. I take a lot of my own photographs using an Iphone. So it was an area that was of particular interest to me.

What I have found in the attitudes of people towards this type of photography has made me quite sad. Just because of the tool I use it shouldn’t automatically cast a judgement on my image. What I should be judged upon is the quality of my work.

It has been said to me before that “any idiot with an iphone can be a photographer” and I think that this really is the kind of attitude that is shared by more people than I feel happy with.

I can see how non-photographers can think this as they don’t see the work that goes on behind the scenes to get the perfect shot, or understand the skills that a photographer works hard to hone. These skills seem to be a little bit diminished by the adverts by the likes of Apple. Perhaps this is why I am so passionate about it, because I want to change the views of people to educate them.

I do think that there are a lot of people  who don’t see photography as a profession and I think that some of these people may even be known to me. They feel I should maintain a ‘proper’ job and photography is just for fun. I wish I could help educate and change their opinions of this. Coming from an area that is hugely working class and where hard work is manual I think I may have a big challenge on my hands. I think that also these opinions make me want to work harder to achieve my dreams and prove that it is possible.

This week when looking at possible subjects for my final project not only am I going to be embracing Iphone photography with the assistance of an olloclip, but I am also going to be looking at combining this work with going back in technological time and comparing this type of photography with film photography. I want to see if we can find real quality difference. I think that not only with this answer a few questions but it might also prove some points. It will most certainly test my skills as a photographer as I do not have any significant experience with film.

This weeks webinar was also extremely useful in reassuring me that I had not lost my marbles and that there was some merit in my ideas for the major project.

In brief I have a little outline for my project. I particularly want to do the following:

  • Use Macro Photography
    • research this area.
  • Use Camera-phone (in my case Iphone) Photography
    • research this area.
  • Compare camera-phone photography with film/slide film and also perhaps DSLR
    • Quality
    • Skill
    • Perhaps compare colour or the detail of black and white
    • Depth of the images produced
  • Ideas of scale – the world from a different point of view – what you wouldn’t normally see
    • Flowers for example or Lichen
      • Perhaps natural vs genetically modified
      • Monochrome – testing form and structure
  • Research
    • WIlson Bentley
    • William Henry Fox-Talbot
    • Danny Perez (US)
    • Jacky Parker (UK)
  • How close should you actually get?

From these points I have purchased a film camera to do some experimenting. I am really excited to start getting some results

I was inspired by Fox-Talbot and the microscopic images. Working with camera-phones and special lenses built for them to see how successful a genre it could be.

These are some images that put a little bit of my idea together.

The following images show my experimentation into colour vs monochrome

I have no intention of trying to make my work a scientific research piece about the anatomy of things but I would like to challenge the brain to see if things can be recognised.

The two articles in this weeks work have been very interesting – I also like the unobtrusive nature of the camera-phone.

 

Positions and Practice Week 3 Reflection w/c 9th June

I didn’t enjoy this week so much. It has proved quite stressful. I at times wish I had the luxury of not working whilst studying, however I don’t. 40+ hour weeks and a Masters Degree what was I thinking???

I was really quite behind with the weeks work and so on Wednesday Lunchtime (14th June) after panicking about the project from my discovery on Tuesday that collaboration was required I managed to find a group that had space.

The only webinar that I can make in a normal week is a Thursday night. This meant I had to achieve the 3 images that had been agreed upon via an email trail on the Wednesday night! No pressure there then!!!

I had been supplied with an update of what had previously been agreed before my late arrival to the group:

  • Time to think/Contemplation
  • Coffee is the theme to give the group continuity
  • Cups of coffee, low viewpoint, shallow DoF, slow shutter speed – to give the impression of the coffee being in a quiet place in a busy world.

This was a great start I suggested using Bokeh in the background and trying to give feelings of tranquility in this world, these however appear to have gone overlooked.

So out I went……. taking my Mam with me (my attempt at looking less suspicious!) One photo I think could have done with some improvement but time was tight, two photos I was really pleased with (cheeky post to instagram with this one!! ( coffee cup photo ). I emailed photographs over and received one feedback. I was quite limited as I had not been added or provided with the group OneDrive information where everything had been previously shared, but never mind we had the email trail.

I gave feedback to the group after I had been to Thursdays webinar so that the others in the group could be prepared. I wish I had been supplied with the images so that I could have done part of the presentation too, but I understand not everyone may have had all of their images or been able to have done a blitz like I had done.

I would have liked my feelings of tranquility and using the bokeh blur to suggest movement included into the presentation, have more said about my images rather than “these are Kirsty’s she emailed them over” However when you don’t have control and don’t know people these things are bound to happen.. survival of the fittest and all that.

In the webinar I did attend I was very impressed with what the groups had managed to pull together. Particularly the family/memories group – Ali and Andy. I can relate to this and found this insightful. Creating links through photographs.

I also liked how we were guided through the poetry and photographs with Stanislav’s presentation – showing not only collaboration of this weeks work but also interdisciplinary examples from last week. I also enjoyed how we applied to the mix the connotation of the Sherpa/Guide to the journey or photographs and also memories.

We discussed participation vs collaboration – this was perhaps my role worked out it the end I contributed but was perhaps on this occasion unable to have collaboration.

I have learnt a lot this week and will be taking these lessons forward with me.