Life after MA

After getting my results in May I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’d hoped to get a better grade that I did and whilst it wasn’t that far off I kept questioning if I could have done anything better.

This led to me not picking up my camera and not having the motivation to make any new work.

Then I had the Graduation Day which was incredibly emotional, and I was incredibly proud to have even gotten this far, but somehow I still felt like I didn’t belong, I had a serious case of imposter syndrome. That everyone else that was on the course with me somehow had more right to be there than I did as they got a better grade than I had.

The fact that I had gotten a new job on the back of gaining my Masters, which in fact does have the need for photography and also videography and retouching and editing would be a very important part of my role – I still don’t think it made me feel any less of a fake.

So I decided to go back to basics, I started completing the camera school tasks in the monthly magazine I get, but in an even bigger statement I decided to go back to basics and go back to BTEC HNC Photography and relearn my craft.

I still have the desire to apply for PhD to investigate the links between mental health and creative outlets such as photography. I feel like this is something that I really need to explore further.

Final Major Project: Reflection, 29th April 2019

I guess we are now at the time of the course to reflect upon how far I have come as a practitioner. Whilst it feels like the time has flown, it has not been without the peaks and troughs I described in my FMP.

I couldn’t have imagined when I got accepted onto the course that I would have created the type of FMP that I did. My projects up until FMP were with images of somethings, that I had made become something and it wasn’t until FMP that my work truly became about something, and to me it was a very import something at that.

Since my injury and subsequent Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis, mental and physical health has become very important to me, and I think that once I found the strength to talk about it really drove me to do something which could potentially help others.

This is the type of work I want to carry on with. Whilst I know I am not the best academic writer when it comes to this level of study, I have been in touch with the University of Sunderland about their PhD programme in photography and am busy starting to put together a proposal for exploring photography as a therapy.

I have also looked into Art Therapy and other Medical photography careers, which could be routes that I can explore further.

This course has led me to want to help others, who might be struggling to feel better, to use it as a complimentary therapy alongside more traditional methods, this is a huge step from when I started the course and just wanted to take visually pleasing images.

So thank you Falmouth for showing me the way, for showing me what is possible and letting me see that if I work hard enough nothing is out of my reach.

Final Major Project – 1:2:1 Tutorial with Wendy McMurdo – 9th April 2019

Summary:I brought my FMP using InDesign as I wasn’t sure of some elements

What I need to do:

  • DON’T PANIC!!!
  • Just select some of my comments and link the rest in a WordPress post.
  • Expand on my diary entries
  • Expand more on how I got to this point.
  • Bring more of what is inside me.

Whats next:

Hand in my documents

Final Major Project – 1:2:1 Tutorial with Wendy McMurdo – 26th March 2019

Summary: We went over the first public outcome of my final major project we also went back over my artist statement.

What I need to do:

  • I need to re-emphasise the benefits of the walk on my work.
  • I also need to mention some of the Ethics that are important to this type of work.
  • Contact some professionals.
  • Make it clearer that this is my personal journey
  • Use links rather than actual video in my work.

Research to Follow up:

Next Tutorial: April 5th 2019

Final Major Project: Critical Review Day, Falmouth F2F, 8th March 2019

On the final day of activities before the Symposium, we all come together for critical review day. I went all out and booked in for 4 mainly with tutors I had already worked with either on FMP or any other the other modules.

Wendy and Stella:

It was this review where one of the images that I wasn’t sure of where it fit was removed from the selection and I carried this decision on through the rest of the day.

Whilst I really like this image as it feels to me exactly how both my mental illness and my physical disease have affected me socially, I understand that it does not fit with the rest of my images. It also means I have an even number of 16 in my final project after its removal.

Isolation, Kirsty Logan, 2019

It was also suggested that I remove the titles and also the boarders and if I can change my mount board to black.

In terms of my diary entries I could consider a handout or a zine.

Jesse and Cemre:

Again they agreed that the titles are not needed.

I need to consider how I use my diary entries – I should perhaps try the Sophie Calle – Hotel Room layout.

Watch Velvet Buzzsaw on Netflox

I should perhaps shorten some of my diary entries and simplify them.

I also did a google search on walking artists and will research these also


I will also research:
http://www.walkingartistsnetwork.org/

Read the book: The Synthesis of Photography and Text in Contemporary Art

Consider printing on Aluminium or Selenium prints.

Paul and Karen:

Agreed with many on the comments above.

Consider Audio at my exhibition – me reading out my diary entries.

Open Skies – Don McCullin

Steph and Michelle:

Look at Sam Taylor-Johnson – 5 revolutionary seconds

Observance – Nicola Dove.
http://www.nicoladove.com/projects/observance/

The links of these are to show movement with imagery and also Dove uses audio in this project.

Final Major Project: Project Development, 22nd February 2019

I’m preparing to get my images professionally printed a digital lab, I really am getting the feel for them. I can see where the images are expressing themselves and also me, I can feel the different feelings in the water and where it is trying to show my glimmers of hope and where the light is trying to show me the way.

It is also very interesting to see how the images are fitting with my diary entries. I haven’t finalised how I am going to show them just yet.

I’m not sure if it is just my subject matter but getting myself outdoors to obtain the images is helping to improve my mood and it is starting to give me purpose again.

I have been carefully researching what I need to advise people in terms of holding my workshop. I want to make it very clear that it is not a medically endorsed workshop I cannot give professional advice and what we will be doing and talking about is not a miracle cure and professional advice should be thought if you are contemplating suicide or have low mood.

When looking at some of the images as I’m preparing for print I am brought back to Mark Rothko especially on the seascape images where there are blocks of colour. The water pattern work also reminds me of Man Ray’s patterns in the dust that were featured in the David Campney Exhibition – A Handful of Dust.

I am keen that my audience understand how the water reflects my emotions and feel this can only be supported from opening a dialogue with me and reading my diary entries.

Final Major Project: Development Photo shoot, 18th February 2019

Location: Blyth Beach

Intent: I knew this was going to be the final shot of my project. We were due a super moon and I had the visual in my head that there would be a breakthrough image – The super moon reflecting onto the sea. It would be representative of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro, Tripod, iPhone

Methodology: I spent a good few weeks studying the timings of the super moon, along with fitting this around my work schedule, and also the weather reports. The full affect of the super moon was to be the 19th February, but the weather was not looking to be working with me so I decided to go and get the test shots so I could make sure my equipment and set up was correct. As it turned out, although my lens was the right one for the whole of the project – every single image taken with the same set up – it was not the right one for the night time shoot – I needed to have had a wider angle. That was one lesson learnt! So I took out my trusty iPhone, and took some shots so that I could see the basic set up. So that if the shot worked I can come back the next day with the correct set up for the real event.

Images:

Research: For this shoot I did reading around night time shooting as I knew that this was something that I had never done before so it would be a new challenge to me.

Reflection on the shoot: This was always destined to be the shoot that I struggled the most with. As I had no prior experience of night time shooting. I am really glad that I carried out the research into the moon, and how to shoot at night, although I didn’t get my initial set up right. The saving grace is that I did check the weather and take my iPhone as on the 19th the weather clouded over and we saw nothing of the actual super moon, and I learnt a very valuable lesson of doing your research. What did make me happy though is in my test shot and I do understand that some won’t be happy that I have an iPhone image in my final collection, but I got the shot that I wanted the one I had envisaged and it did feel that on the computer screen, my collection of images for this project was now complete. I did have a level of anxiety as I didn’t predict how spooky the beach is in the pitch black!!! Although I did take a assistant to help me. On a personal level also, I was starting to feel better in myself, which means that my mindful photography journey had helped me, it had been therapeutic, and I was starting to enjoy it again.

References: Teach Yourself Astro Photography magazine