Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Critical Theory

Everyday we look at the world around us. We observe and recognise things. Our brains make sense of what we see and give it both a context and meaning.

Our society is increasingly filled with visual images. Each image has a purpose and has been published for a purpose. The images can produce a multitude of response and emotions dependent on the content and on the viewer and their life experiences. A single image can be interpreted in many ways by different audiences.

My understanding of critical theory is how a photograph is interpreted and understood.  The first step to seeing a photograph clearly is to think clearly about it.  We can do this by critically analysing a photograph for context and meaning in terms of a range of perspectives:- philosophical,  cultural, economic, social, technological, historical etc.

Each person interprets a photograph differently based on their own experiences and how these experiences have shaped their lives.  They also interpret images in terms of the perspectives that matter most to them.  This interpretation may not be what the photographer intended and may adversely affect how the viewer perceives the photographer and their work.

Critical theory matters because reading constructive criticism about images can increase our knowledge and appreciation of the work.  By considering a range of perspectives and answering descriptive, interpretive and evaluative questions about photographs, we can expand our awareness of and alter our perception of the work.  This in turn helps us to improve our own practice. We consider our photographs in terms of different perspectives and can work to ensure interpretation of our images is clearer and not ambiguous where possible.

In The End of Art Theory, Victor Burgin stated that ‘although photography is a ‘visual medium’, it is not a ‘purely visual’ medium. I am not alluding simply to the fact that we rarely see a photograph in use which is not accompanied by writing (albeit this is a highly significant fact), even the uncaptioned ‘art’ photograph, framed and isolated on the gallery wall, is invaded by language in the very moment it is looked at: in memory, in association, snatched of words and images continually intermingle and exchange one for the other. It will be objected that this is indistinct and insignificant background noise to our primary act of seeing.’ [1]

I think that this is a good example of effective theory in practice because critical theory is about considering how a photograph is interpreted and understood. We experience images in many ways and we often do not have a choice on how the image affects us. I had the chance to test out this aspect of critical theory recently when I asked a diverse group of people what a selection of my images were about.  The answers were very surprising and in many cases, not what I had anticipated at all.  The age and life experience of the viewer played a part in how they reacted to the images. I will consider this in another blog post this week.

To reinforce his point further, Burgin goes on to say ‘we cannot choose what we know, and neither can we chose what part of our dormant knowledge will be awakened by the stimulus of an image, reciprocally reactivated and reinforced by it.  Regardless of how much we may strain to maintain a ‘disinterested’ aesthetic mode of apprehension, an appreciation of the ‘purely visual’, when we look at an image it is instantly and irreversibly integrated and collated with the intricate psychic network of our knowledge.  It is the component meanings of this network that an image must represent, there is no choice in this.’ [1]

 

REFERENCE

[1] Burgin, Victor (1980)  The End of Art Theory – Criticism and Postmodernity. [online] Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan Distribution Ltd.  Available from http://www.sichtbarkeit-sichtbarmachung.de/data/user/WiSe_2012_13/Sonstiges/internationale_Tagung/BURGIN__Seeing_Sense__1980_.pdf (Links to an external site.)[Accessed 19 November 2016]

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Peer Commissioned Micro Project

This week I was commissioned by a peer, Simon Fremont:-

“Jo your brief should you choose to accept it is…

It is Autumn in New England which is famous for it’s rich colours. Show an alternative view of Autumn in the Olde World.

This message will over expose in 30 seconds. Good Luck Jo.”

 

Initial Thoughts

After receiving the brief, my first thoughts were to photograph an old cottage surrounded that I have passed many times on my travels.  I considered adding a fairy or two to the scene to represent the olde world.  However, on reflection I decided this would be quite an obvious interpretation for me.

The micro project happened to coincide with a recent group shoot and my editing of the images from that.  So to fulfil the brief in an alternative way, I decided to tell the story of summer fighting with autumn for control of nature, with autumn being victorious.  I was reminded of the poem below, particularly the part where the poet says that ‘her fighting spirit gives way’.

 

Dying wish
The end of summer has finally come
the lily lies lonely in the torturous sun
a last wish before life her leaves
to multiply again after winter’s release.

Gently she lays down her lily white head
this hard earth, her final bed.
Bright white color slowly draining away
Breathing labored, she fades to grey.

Her fighting spirit gives way to death
her seconds are numbered, short in length
A wish is whispered to the deity of blooms
to once again blossom with the summer moon…

The Rambler On The Go 

 

In Greek mythology, the Horae were the goddesses of the seasons.  They first appeared in the Iliad and there were three of them – Spring, Summer and Autumn.  In the mythology, they work together in harmony with no conflict between them.  This is where my story differs.

The Story Behind the Images

On a gloriously sunny day in late October, Summer and Autumn meet by a beautiful pool.  The leaves on the trees are yet to change colour.  Summer is dressed in the white of the lilies; Autumn is dressed in the colour of darkness.  Autumn has come to challenge Summer for control of nature.  Summer refuses and so a battle ensues.  After a prolonged period of time, Summer’s fighting spirit gives way and she relinquishes control to Autumn.

The Editing Process

The first three images of Summer and Autumn battling it out were shot at ISO 400, f4 and 1/5000. To get close enough and to get the angle I wanted, I was stood knee deep in freezing cold water!

The final image of a triumphant Autumn was shot at ISO 400 f4 and 1/400.  Light balance for all images was set to cloudy, even though the shoot time was very sunny and bright.  This added warm tones to the images.

The images were loaded into Lightroom for cropping only.  No other adjustments were made to the images.  The cropped images were placed into polaroid type frames in Photoshop to help the olde world aesthetic.  These images were transferred back to Lightroom, where I applied an Instagram type filter (called Gingham) to enhance the olde world look further.  The filter applied has muted the tones a little and adds to the aged effect.  The whole editing process (including image selection) took around 90 minutes.

peer-commissioned-micro-project-1
Figure 1: Sutherst. Summer and Autumn meet.  Summer considers Autumn’s request to hand over the control of nature. 2016
peer-commissioned-micro-project-2
Figure 2: Sutherst. When Summer refuses to relinquish control, a fierce battle takes place between the goddesses. 2016
peer-commissioned-micro-project-3
Figure 3: Sutherst. After some time, Autumn proves the stronger one and seizes victory.  Summer offers control of nature to her. 2016
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Figure 4: Sutherst. Autumn stands victorious and nature is set off down the path towards Winter. 2016

Reflection

I have really enjoyed working with Simon’s brief for this project.  It was fun to tell a story with a few images.

I have enjoyed experimenting with different Instagram type filters to give an aged look.  I am pleased with the outcome and hope that my client is too.

 

REFERENCE

Poem from Hello Poetry. 2016. Dying wish by Rambler On The Go – Hello Poetry. [ONLINE] Available at:http://hellopoetry.com/poem/391405/dying-wish/. [Accessed 05 November 2016 ].

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Draft Oral Presentation Reflection

This last week presented me with the opportunity to present my draft oral presentation to our tutor and my peers.

In the run up to the session on Thursday, the task overwhelmed me.  As a teacher, preparing and presenting my work didn’t bother me, but making sure that I pitched my work at the correct level did.  Time for my perfectionist tendency to rear its ugly head!

perfectionism
Figure 1: Steve Seay

I know where my practice has come from and how it has been shaped.  I understand the development I have been through and where I am going.  I am able to objectively critic my practice.

So why the concern over the presentation?  The issue comes with letting others see what could be unfinished work!  Crazy, I know.  The whole point of the exercise is to get feedback so that it will be easier to finalise and record the oral presentation.

The cause of my perfectionism? I am very passionate about improving and giving my best to everything I do, particularly this course. I want to take the opportunities given to me and to do my absolute best with it, without compromise or excuse. Not a bad reason to be a perfectionist.

This week was good for me as whilst I ended up presenting a near finished version of my presentation, there were errors and a ‘missing link’. I knew this before I presented.  In order to develop further and benefit more from the feedback of others, I am having to learn to work through my issues and try to dial down my perfectionist tendencies, particularly the negative aspects.

Like my project, I am a work in progress.

 

REFERENCE

Figure 1: From Steven J. Seay, Ph.D.. 2016. OCD Perfectionism: Perfectionist or OCD Sufferer? | Steven J. Seay, Ph.D.. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.steveseay.com/perfectionism-ocd-symptoms-perfectionist/. [Accessed 30 October 2016].

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Week 5 Reflection

The topic of ethical use of photographs has really got me thinking this week. We all know the age-old saying ‘a photo is worth a thousand words’.  This week has shown me that in a world where news images shape our understanding of the world, we are now unable to trust the images we see before us.  We have been and are exposed to manipulated and misrepresented images.

Reading around the subject lead me to Steve McCurry.  Steve McCurry is one of the most iconic photographers in the world.  He is best known for the photograph of the Afghan Girl, which was featured on the cover of National Geographic’s June 1985 issue.  He started his career around 40 years ago as a photojournalist, working in an environment where image manipulation or alteration is a career ender. However, more recently he has been accused of photoshopping and manipulating some of his images.  Over the past few months since the accusations came to light, McCurry’s work has been analysed and scrutinised. With the discovery of images that have been manipulated beyond the standard colour processing, McCurry has been forced to redefine himself.  He told TIME magazine in May 2016 “I’ve always let my pictures do the talking, but now I understand that people want me to describe the category into which I would put myself, and so I would say that today I am a visual storyteller. The years of covering conflict zones are in the distant past.”[1]

steve-mccurry-01
Figure 1: Steve McCurry 

By distancing himself from the photojournalism photography of his past, Steve McCurry is working hard to justify his use of digital manipulation to tell his story.

When this news first came onto my radar, I was shocked.  I had always believed that McCurry had produced beautiful, unaltered ethical images.  I began to realise that even the most respected photojournalists could have, at some time, manipulated any of their images.  This has been quite a revelation to me.  I always knew that the media used images to tell the story they wanted us to hear, but I hadn’t associated any alterations of images with some of the very people we are asked to trust.

Do I manipulate my images? Yes, but I do not claim to portray real life situations in those images.  I produce fantasy images that are presented as art, not reality.

This week has taught me to look beneath the surface at the images I am being presented with.  I will be certainly taking less things on face value now.

 

REFERENCES

[1]  Laurent, Olivier (2016) Steve McCurry: I’m a Visual Storyteller Not a Photojournalist. [online] Tampa, Florida: TIME. Available from http://Time.com/4351725/steve-mccurry-not-photojournalist/ [Accessed 22 October 2016]

Figure 1: McCurry, S. From Anon 2016 [online] Available at: http://do66bvi7upr8e.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Steve-McCurry-01.jpg. [Accessed 22 October 2016]

 

 

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Ethical use of images?

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/jun/22/jeff-mitchells-best-shot-the-column-of-marching-refugees-used-in-ukips-brexit-campaign

After reading the above article about how an image taken by photojournalist Jeff Mitchell of refugees crossing from Croatia to Slovenia in October 2015  was used controversially by UKIP during the 2016 referendum campaign to leave the European Union, my thoughts are…

Jeff Mitchell took a legitimate image of the crisis faced by refugees fleeing conflict in their own countries. As it was taken on behalf of Getty Images, he could not be held responsible for how it was ultimately used. If he hadn’t taken this image, we would be unaware of the scale of the problem.

Getty Images should have asked how UKIP were intending to use the image before issuing a licence. After all UKIP is a political party and so Getty Images could have determined that the image may be misrepresented to suit political arguments.

When it comes to UKIP, they were totally unethical in how they used this image. They presented the image as being on the UK borders; there was no geographical context given to the image. UKIP used this in a way that would incite racial hatred. The mainly male refugees appear to be non-white individuals. I have compared the original image and the UKIP use of it. In the original image there is a prominent white male (bottom right hand side) who has been placed behind one of the text boxes on the UKIP poster. This is not a coincidence. This is, in my opinion, a deliberate act to further support UKIP’s message.

slide1
Figure 1 and 2: Jeff Mitchell. Refugees. 2015

 

REFERENCES

Figure 1: Mitchell, J. From The Guardian. 2016. Jeff Mitchell’s best photograph: ‘These people have been betrayed by Ukip’ | Art and design | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/jun/22/jeff-mitchells-best-shot-the-column-of-marching-refugees-used-in-ukips-brexit-campaign. [20 October 2016].

Figure 2:  Mitchell, J. From Google.co.uk. (2016). Redirect Notice. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjX_Ort27vTAhXBbxQKHTMgDvQQjhwIBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fe-know.info%2F82297-economic-security-symbol.acw&psig=AFQjCNEOuF7eK_lA6dR4ic_k9IGTRBhSGQ&ust=1493076047739498 [Accessed 20 October 2016].

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Photo-artist or photographer

This week I came across the term ‘photo-artist’ for the first time when a fellow student used the term in one of our discussions.  But what is a photo-artist?  In my opinion this is a photographer that uses photographic equipment and their vision/aesthetic to produce a photograph that is considered artwork.

I consider myself a photo-artist as well as a photographer.  I don’t produce photographs that show the viewer the events of the world.  I produce images that are unique and creative.   I like to experiment and see how far I can push a creative idea. My work is intended to be viewed as art, and not as simply a record of an event.  I have my own voice and I like using it.

These days I have a wide range of tools and equipment at my disposal which enable me to create my images.  I currently use a Holga, a 35mm Nikon F3 film camera, a Mamiyaflex C2 TLR, a mirrorless Sony camera, my iPhone as well as several Nikon DSLRs.  Any of these can produce a beautiful piece of artwork.  Each has a place.  And not forgetting that there is the option to post-process with Photoshop (among others).

My practice has been developing along the artwork route in recent months.  I am constantly looking for ideas as to how I can embellish or manipulate an image to create something unique.  Does this make me less of a photographer?  Of course not.  It just means I have a different viewpoint to more traditional photographers.

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Hipstamatic and Journalism

As Damon Winter explains to Steve Myers in the interview about his award winning photographic series ‘A Grunt’s Life’, “We are storytellers. We observe, we chose moments, we frame little slices of our world with our viewfinders”.[1] This is exactly what the images Winter took did. They tell the story of the soldiers, framed in a way that would speak to the viewer.

Since the dawn of the photographic process, photographers have been able to frame a photograph to tell the story that they want to tell and they have been able to develop the photograph exactly as they want. In the days of analogue photograph, dodging and burning an image in the darkroom was common place. In today’s digital world, a few clicks on Photoshop allow us to manipulate the image. Hipstamatic offers everyday users of iPhones the chance to add filters to give their photograph a different aesthetic to the actual scene in front of them. We have always been able to manipulate images; iPhone apps just make this quicker for us and this has to be a good thing if used in the correct way.

Reading around the subject it has become clear to me that society’s current fascination with nostalgia and retro has led to a rise in the popularity of the use of these types of apps. In my opinion, Hipstamatic is often used to try and make boring and poorly composed images appear more interesting. But underneath the filters there is still a boring and poorly composed image. Adding the filter layers makes the photograph appear old and that somehow translates into a more interesting image for some people. This is a misconception that I find hard to understand; after all a poor image will always be a poor image whether a filter is applied or not. Composition and framing are key elements of a good photograph. They are fundamental to an image’s success or failure. These elements are unconnected to the equipment you use, whether it is an iPhone or a DSLR.

img_0013
Figure 1: Expert Photography 2016

 

The content of the image does not change in Hipstamatic; nothing is added and nothing is removed. So why the controversy and fuss over Winter’s images being shot using Hipstamatic? Winter did not add or remove any content from his images. Through Hipstamatic he applied a filter that gave the images an aged aesthetic. Did this change the message of the image? No, of course not. He was able to take informal and candid photographs of the soldiers he was with. The use of a phone is less intimidating than a large camera. After all, everyone takes selfies and photographs on their phones these days. He would never have been able to get close enough with his SLR to get the shots. Without his iPhone, we would never have seen these images. Even purists must surely accept that this is a positive use of the iPhone camera.

Is the fuss because the Hipstamatic app is perceived to do all do the work for the photographer? Or is there an element of snobbishness amongst ‘traditional’ photojournalists against news stories being captured on an iPhone? In my opinion, purists feel threatened by the technological advances in smartphone cameras. The ease of use and discreet nature of the phone make it an attractive proposition to reporters; they can take their own photographs of events. Traditional photographers fear that they are no longer required when each reporter could have a mobile phone. My mobile is always in my pocket to capture images when I do not have a camera to hand.

Dan Chung used his iPhone to shoot images at the London Olympics for the Guardian newspaper. The images show his skill and experience as a photographer and are not a statement of the equipment he used. When viewing the images I do not find myself thinking that they were taken with an iPhone, instead I enjoy them for the content . Reflecting on his use of the iPhone at the Olympics, Chung said “I found shooting on the iPhone quite enjoyable and quite liberating. Surely, part of photography is also about that: Did the photographer have a good time, or not? And actually, I did.” [2] Chung explains further on that the iPhone does not produce images of the same quality as the DSLR, but allow us to explore our creativity. Chung was able to provide us with a different perspective on the Olympics that we would not have otherwise seen. Traditional photojournalists seem to have forgotten that photography is about telling the story in the way that they, the photographer, sees fit. Photography is about having fun. Maybe if the purists embrace this, they will see iPhones for the useful tool they are.

 

REFERENCES

[1] Myers, S. (2011) Damon Winter explains process, philosophy behind award-winning Hipstamatic photos. [online] St. Petersburg, Florida: The Poynter Institute. Available from http://www.poynter.org/2011/damon-winter-explains-process-philosophy-behind-award-winning-hipstamatic-photos/119117/ [Accessed 09 October 2016]

[2] Lodi, Erin (2012) Photojournalist Dan Chung reflects on shooting the Olympics with an iPhone. [online] Seattle: Digital Photography Review. Available for https://www.dpreview.com/articles/6618756953/photojournalist-dan-chung-reflects-shooting-olympics-with-iphone [Accessed 09 October 2016]

 

Figure 1:     From Expert Photography. 2016. Instagram, Hipstamatic and Reasons Photography Is Starting To Suck » Expert Photography. [ONLINE] Available at: https://expertphotography.com/photography-is-starting-to-suck/. [Accessed 09 October 2016].

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Re-thinking Photographers

“When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.”

— Anonymous

 

When photographing events and portraits, I have come across several groups of non-photographers. The first type always look at the images I have taken and then say ‘oh, you must have a good camera’. As if having a good camera is the only thing that is going to enable anyone to take the best pictures. They assume that the equipment will somehow turn a mediocre image into a masterpiece. It always makes me think of the quote by Peter Adams at these moments.

“Photography is not about cameras, gadgets and gismos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn’t make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel.”

– Peter Adams – Sydney 1978

 

Another type of non-photographers are those who believe that you are over-charging for jobs because ‘anyone could do that’. Everybody wants something for nothing, or as close to it as they can get. Unfortunately, in a society where anyone can market themselves as a photographer and then offer their services for a fraction of the costs I quote to clients, there will always be the occasion where I will be questioned over my ‘over-pricing’. What the client fails to realise is that in my prices there is an element of post-processing involved in all images. They don’t see the hours that go into that side of the work. Clients do not realise that the hobbyist photographer who happens to take a few wedding photographs, may not have the skills to capture the day as they wanted. They may have the gear, but no idea.

There are also the non-photographers who believe that they can screenshot your copyrighted images and share them all over social media. These people would never go into a shop and take whatever they wanted without paying, but feel that because you took a picture of them, then they have ‘rights’ to the image.

The final group I have come across is the non-photographer who wants to learn how to take photos. They believe that you know everything about photography and different cameras. They feel that by following your tips and advice that they will be able to do exactly what you do and get the same results. Whenever I train anyone, I first get them to look at a scene and explain what they see and what they want to see. I challenge them to explain the impact of the scene in front of them and to break down the elements in what they are looking at. I get them to note down the emotion they are feeling at that point. A key point of my training is getting non-photographers to understand that they need to make sure that they portray the same emotion in the photograph as they were feeling at the time the photograph was taken. Only once they understand this, can I go on to teach them how to take the photograph. After all, as Ansel Adams said

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

― Ansel Adams

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Adams, A. From Ansel Adams Quotes (Author of The Camera) . 2016. Ansel Adams Quotes (Author of The Camera) . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/12115.Ansel_Adams. [Accessed 10 October 2016].

Adams, P. From Hakon Agustsson – hakon@PhotoQuotes.com – http://www.PhotoQuotes.com – info@PhotoQuotes.com. 2016. Photography Quotes by Peter Adams . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.photoquotes.com/showquotes.aspx?id=456. [Accessed 10 October 2016].

Anonymous From PetaPixel. 2016. 70 Inspirational Quotes for Photographers. [ONLINE] Available at: http://petapixel.com/2014/05/29/70-inspirational-quotes-photographers/. [Accessed 10 October 2016].

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – Week 3 – Collaboration

Another interesting and challenging week!

Our task this week was to post a comment, sentence, headline or photograph of our choosing. From that, we were to choose a group to work with to produce a collaborative piece of work.

My posting was a quote by Robert Moss –

“If you have fairy blood, even in the tiniest degree, you must live close to Fairy Land, and eat a little fairy food, or else you will always be hungry.”

I expected this to be a bit of a ‘curve ball’ for some of my peers, so was interested to see who might be interested in joining me on a slightly crazy journey!

I was joined by Philip who posted a line from John Keats poem – ‘To Autumn’

“Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness”

The group was also joined by Kevin who posted a photograph he had taken of three blue fish at Bradford Abbas, Dorset on 28th September 2016. It is attractive to me due to the vibrancy of the blue and thought that autumn colours could be part of our theme.

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Figure 1: Kevin Darling-Finan 2016

Our group of 3 was complete!

Early on we agreed that our collaboration should draw on the strengths and interests of each of us. These were all based around autumn – Natures Bounty (Kevin), Autumn Recipes (Philip) and Fairies (me).  After considering the various forms of outcome we could produce, we decided to produce a magazine.  A quick discussion and planning session and we had a format.

Plan.jpg
Figure 2: Sutherst 2016

It was agreed that I would put my Photoshop skills to good use and compile the pages.  Each team member then went off and worked on their areas.  Within 72 hours of starting the project, it was complete!  We had 8 pages!  We were so pleased and proud of the team effort.  We had spent many hours communicating and bouncing ideas off each other that we have developed a working relationship that will, I am sure, go on to collaborate again in the future.

The magazine allowed me to present some of my fairy images for the first time, which was exciting.  The magazine has a feeling of fun and humour about it, which I was able to seize upon and add into the page on Feasts for Fairies.  I was able to use my imagination to create back stories for the images to fit with the autumn theme.

Collaboration ran though the whole magazine.  Images and text from each of us appeared on various pages. We had so much fun and didn’t really notice the short timeframe given to us as much as some of the other groups reported.  We achieved our objectives of producing an outcome that demonstrated our common theme whilst allowing each of us to maintain some of our individual identity.

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Feedback from our peers included that we were motivated and enthusiastic, which was contagious.  Out tutor commented that we had used the vehicle of a magazine that allowed us to express ourselves and our team work.  He suggested that ‘we had all got on the bus for the journey’.  It very much felt that way – we were in this together and we had the most amazing time doing this project.  I feel as though I landed on my feet with Kevin and Philip on board the ‘bus’ with me and I am very grateful to them for sharing this journey.

The other interesting aspect of this week was the opportunity to view the outcomes of the other groups.

The other group who presented in the same webinar as us, took images each of them had taken separately and created 3 triptychs.  The outcomes were really interesting as each group member had a different take on the aesthetics and form of the triptych they were responsible for.  There was a cohesive feel to the 3 versions in the colour palette that was dominant in the resulting images, however the forms presented reflected the individual styles of each group member.  I was keen to know whether any individual felt they had more ownership over the triptych they had created, as they had put more of their creative self into this image.  The group were very clear that ownership belonged to all 3 of them, as the triptychs would not have existed without the collaboration of each person.  I was intrigued whether any of them had any concerns or feelings about other people editing their images.  It was apparent that this was a positive effect of the group work.  Each group member needed to accept this was going to happen and move away from any feelings of possession and protection of their images and trust that their colleagues would produce worthy triptychs. It was interesting to note that this group felt more pressured by the timeframe and I wonder if this is due partly to the fact that the group members were located in different time zones across the world.

In the second webinar, one group presented a project that captured portraits of strangers and their wishes.  The concept was as interesting one with everyone having something that they wish for in their lives. The faces shown and their wishes, brought a real sense of who the people were and how complicated their lives could be.  It reminded me that appearances can be deceptive.  This project was presented as 3 separate sections which prompted me to ask a question about ownership of the images.  There was a clear delineation of which group member had produced which image.  Each person presented their images separately.  The group felt that as they were all working on a common theme, ownership was shared.

The next group produced digitally manipulated and combined images that looked at the effectiveness of natural remedies.  The images produced were both interesting and at times disturbing, especially when enlarged on the screen.  I found the approach informative and thought provoking.  The base images used were of one individual.  I wonder if the results would have been more or less successful if images from different individuals were used.  This was a team of 2, which in my opinion worked very well.  I feel that if a third person had been involved, the overall outcome would have been different and may not have had the same impact as these images did.

The third group in the second webinar presented the theme of public spaces.  The group was spread across the world and were able to record this theme well in my opinion.  The group presented the images as a collage with no delineation of images.  The work was presented as a whole and was very effective in demonstrating the commonalities and differences in people around the world and how they use their public spaces.  The group chose to present their images initially in black and white and then in colour as a contrast.  This clearly demonstrated how much colour detracted from the intended outcome.

So, again another week where I have been challenged and excited about my practice. I now need to give more thought to the vehicle that I am going to use for my project and what the final destination is.

 

REFERENCES

Keats, J. From To Autumn. 2016. To Autumn by John Keats – Poems | Academy of American Poets. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/autumn. [Accessed 09 October 2016].

Moss,R. From Goodreads. 2016. Quote by Robert Moss: If you have fairy blood, even in the tiniest de…€ . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1311202-if-you-have-fairy-blood-even-in-the-tiniest-degree. [Accessed 09 October 2016].

 

Coursework, Positions and Practice

Positions and Practice – T Junction

Well that was an interesting and thought provoking week.

Considering photography and it’s relationship to other disciplines has really got me thinking which direction to take my final project in.  I have 3 ideas, any of which would be fulfilling and fruitful projects.

My latest ideas (a secret for now) were received well in my weekly webinar.  I have had comments that have described my project as different, refreshing and ‘off the wall’.  So there is much to consider moving forwards.

One thing is certain though, the MA course at Falmouth is fantastic.  It has really, in just 2 weeks, opened my eyes to possibilities I hadn’t really considered before.  I can’t wait to see where this week takes me.