This week has been a little discombobulated! Due to illness I have not been able to focus on my work.
The preliminary results for the Positions and Practice module came through which was a relief in many ways. Although they still need to be externally verified, it means that I have cleared the first hurdle of the journey.
I have begun to question the choice of major project subject. Although the feedback received has been really useful and I should perhaps give this all time to sink in before making any major decisions.
I am looking to do a journey covering food to see what kind of macro shots I can get from this it will also give me the opportunity to work with some of the new equipment that I have purchased to see what effects can be achieved.
I am also feeling a little creatively lost at the moment. I have also planned to increase my academic basis particularly in terms of Critical Thinking before getting to the Informing Contexts module – I have an introductory book to read and hope this will assist me in bringing more academic grounding to my work. This should also help me in my major project work.
I read an article on the Craftsy website by a photographer called Ashley Rodriguez called “Get Up Close with Food with Macro Food Photography Tips” I think this is a good start to the beginning of the Food photography journey. The photographs that Ashley used captured some really nice colours and textures. My favourite was of some garlic cloves where it was not immediately identifiable as such – which makes sense when thinking about my project subject matter.
This week has been an interesting week and an enjoyable one at the same time.
I attended my local nature reserve and spent a few hours with a group of very experienced Wildlife Photographers. This was a really interesting exercise and more importantly very beneficial. Not only was I able to shadow and watch what they were doing and how they did it, but it was really helpful talking through techniques and tips and listening to the advice that they were giving me.
Whilst this is not the genre of what I am preparing to do for my major project it was really great to get out of my comfort zone and have an experience different to what i have been so heavily focused on in the last few months. It also reminded me that not every shot is going to be the shot and it may take some time to assimilate all of the images that I deem of a high enough standard.
I did take a couple of images staying true to my photographic style.
I have been carrying out google searches as I’d like to include some images of the natural world in one of my journeys, bearing in mind it was made clear to me on the last module to make sure there is a meaning and a thread tying my images together. With this I tried to keep in mind the type of images that could be made into collections.
This week I have also caught up with the reading from Week 12 – Professional Photography; the global landscape explained (The Power of the Personal Project) by Grant Scott.
This was a really great read and I took so much from it, things that I have never considered before, particularly on the section regarding publishing and exhibiting as the areas covered were what i had in mind for my project.
So close to handing in the assignment the welcome to the next module was both exciting and nerve-wracking.
I worked through the pieces from this week and was even more excited by watching the video.
This week I contacted a photographer I have been following for a while (19/08/2017) who has inspired me for a number of years. He is also a teacher holding workshops and offers a mentoring service. I thought that this would be a really good route, I am waiting to hear back, but hope to have an update in the coming weeks.
I have also brainstormed some other photographers that I have contact with on Instagram and will consider contacting them for assistant work and using the social media route to see if it is any more effective. I find Instagram to be a useful tool for looking at the photographs of other people. Not only do I find it inspiring but I also makes you feel like you are part of a community through the use of hashtags
This week I have also been considering the journeys that I have been wanting to try out for my final major project:
My Office – My Work Day
Inside the Flowers
I was considering looking at food, as we all eat! I thought the textures of different food might be interesting to explore. Perhaps as this is the case food should be included as part of my say and shouldn’t just be limited to my work day.
This week has been consumed with my Research Project Proposal.
After spending time in the Newcastle University Library – I felt much more prepared and focissed on what my actual goal is.
Following on from this my 1:1 tutorial with Gary really settled the nerves that I am actually heading in the right direction after being seemingly lost for quite some time.
This week has really given me the opportunity to plan where I see myself going on the course. The forums also for good and bad reasons – I think have pointed out my weakness in Critical Thinking. I have put a plan in place to try and rectify these issues and try and clarify what or where I am going wrong in my understanding.
During the production of my Work in Progress Portfolio, I felt that there were a couple of pieces missing, so I took the opportunity to take some more.
Guitar Fret Board
This week with handing in my work has felt quite a positive week overall.
Looking at the proposals has been a good activity to carry out. It gave me a real insight into what is expected from me.
During my research I have seen many different formats from table layouts to long pieces of prose.
I think what is going to work for my is a simple layout with subheadings, this will make it straightforward to deal with and to read and also to edit throughout the stages of the writing/editing process.
I was able to identify audiences that I may have through my social media followers an also my family.
With regards to my personal progress I thought I had made a break through, but now I am maybe not so sure. I took my work to webinar, there had been previous concerns that I had been taking images of things rather than about things – which was addresses and I was really pleased to have put together the small collection of images that had a story behind them. This had led me to coming up with the idea of having a series of images of journeys in macro and these were ideas that I feel I could have actually taken forward and this felt really positive. I had finally taken some steps forward….there was progression. I felt a little deflated coming out of the webinar, the feedback is always constructive which I appreciate but now I’m just left a little confused! The progress I had made could be seen and suggestions were made to how I could move forward, the only problem is I haven’t figured out how it is possible to execute these!
Moving forward the plan is to figure this out! I am setting myself another mini project on the outcome of the feedback, I see this as the way I am able to achieve the objectives.
I also now have access to Newcastle University Libraries and have planned in a weekend to obtain research to add to my project proposal.
I’m continuing to struggle with the relevance of theory to my practice – if this is the case where am I going wrong?
I think 1 major aspect of this is my understanding and it is my plan to really work on this as I believe it is becoming very detrimental to my development on this course/module.
The most important aspects of communicating and contextualising photography is to be clear whether this in in spoken, visual and/or written forms. My feeling is that if you try to over complicate your language or the meanings of the work, your initial aims stand the threat of being lost in translation.
I was not able to attend the assessment peer review due to other commitments this week (and I am also running a little behind). Whilst I feel this is a set back I will try to get some feedback from the forums/webinar next week. After my results of the oral presentation (which left me a little disappointed) I feel I really need to find the time to add extra work in to allow me to continually develop and improve.
During this weeks work I came across a quote
“Photography for me is not looking, its feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures”
– Don McCullin – British Photojournalist.
This quote resonated with me as we have been looking at the importance of looking but equally the feeling part of photography is essential if we want to stir up some form of emotion or reaction, I think this has somewhat be bypassed by some of the critical theorists we have covered. I like this more balanced approach it is something that I can relate to.
I think I have made a breakthrough with the aims of my work making them about my life. A series of images in macros of journeys through my daily comings and goings – I will still be able to show things from a different point of view but they will now be about something. I think previously this is the part I was missing – I will try this idea out on my peers or in my 1:1 tutorial is the coming week.
A little bit of a turbulent week but I feel a tiny bit of progress has been made.