Week 11

Week 11 Positions and practice. Introducing Proposal & Audience

This week we looked at proposal and who is our audience?

I’ve had a little experience in writing proposals but this was a long time ago, so this weeks topic is very much needed to remind me about proposal writing.

Writing proposals help to concrete the work which i’m about to undertake, enabling me to seriously think about what my intentions are and to whom i want to show the work to, the time frame of the project and outlining the costs as best as i can.

By re addressing and re writing the proposal over periods of the course will keep me focused by helping me reflect on the previous proposal and then up dating the current one. I know myself that keeping focus is very important as i can tend to go of piste and go to broad in my projects, this will help to keep me in line with what i’m doing.

I’ve learnt over the years to read, re read and read again briefs and assignments, as i have missed vital bits of information by rushing. I highlight key points and areas and answers those points as best i can. Giving myself plenty of time to let the work settle then go over it again and again, checking a few times that you have answered the briefs areas you’ve highlighted.

Week 10

My work is about the connection and direct response I have to the nature world. I study it scientifically and meditate within it. Slowing down physically and mentally enables better observation my sight, sound and smell become more detailed, a sensory absorption into the environment.
I want people viewing my images to connect and gain a better understanding and interest in the natural world.

Understanding the natural world is understanding evolution in oneself.

As photographers we instinctively react to the moment. A fleeting moment in time that can’t be replicated or re worked. Nature photography encompasses this perfectly with nature changing seasonally and evolving within itself.
I’m experimenting with double exposure which i feel create a sense of layers within the image replicating the layers within the landscape.
Double exposure is allowing me to take different parts of nature together to make up one image. I can take a close up image of the fruit then another part of the tree from where it comes from. The most prominent fauna or flora within the landscape will catch my eye and be photographed. It’s the survival of the fittest, displaying of the most colourful and beautiful, the endurance throughout the season of the most strongest will ensure its success in the final selection of what i choose to photograph.
Showing them to the wider audience in the hope to inspire their own connection and response to the natural world around us.

 

 

 

Posted on February 1, 2018

Week 9

Critical thinking

This weeks work has been about critical theory, a new area for me. The examination of the body of work you view. This can be explained in many different ways. It can be an esoteric language, which, i personally think can be very over the top at times.
Depending on where the photography is being viewed the language explaining the piece should reflect that environment and the general people viewing it, enabling them to understand it, otherwise it could be classed as being elitist in its deliverance to the viewing audience.

Critical theory gives a body of work grounding, anchoring it to the land from which it was produced, giving it structure and a deeper meaning, which could otherwise be left floating about in the feelings of an emotional response, which in itself is not a bad thing but theory allows us to get an understanding of those emotional feelings.

This has made me look at images differently. I’ve started to look for more information within the image, in doing so i’m questioning what others can get from my images, thus making me think about my images, before, during and after. This is a new approach to me. I have probably always thought about my images but in a more unconscious way without any structure to it as a body of work. I can remember thinking, as i had no output for the images i took, in regard to a final piece of work, so what’s the point thinking about it deeper? I feel as if i’m starting to understand the thoughts in my head and it’s becoming a bit clearer. I’m starting to sort through the jumble and starting to formulate my thoughts and ideas a bit clearer and structurally.

I’ve personally never really thought about or deconstructed why I’m taking images. I only briefly considered this during my time with Rhubarb-Rhubarb image festival. During that time when I exhibited, i had to write a piece about my work, explaining my work. I found this very hard as i hadn’t had a reason for taking the image i just took them, and the story came afterwards. I found articulating the piece very confusing due to the language being spoken as i didn’t have any understanding or knowledge about that language.

My current work is about connecting to nature for health benefits. Do i go dark and moody to show the effect of mental health issues or more aesthetic approach that could represent with the lighter tone of healing and coming through to a newer brighter day.

As my work is semi auto biographical maybe the body of work should contain both, which would then depend on my mood and the images will show the story of my mental health, but I’m not sure i want the work to be about me, but more about the benefit that nature can provide and images to inspire that connection.

Critical theory is relevant in my work to give an understanding to the images. The style of the images i’ve recently produced could be looked upon as images to be admired aesthetically without any story to give it further information. The theory behind the work gives the image its substance and then creates an awareness around the issue involved.

It is hard to show science research in an image on its own, it needs something to give it context. Nature documentary images can show the specific species or environment. For example; This seal pup tangled in fishing wire.

 

Instantly the viewer can connect with the image in front of it, knowing that isn’t a healthy situation, critical theory gives the work more context.

I don’t want to make this body of work too much about me and my feelings but more about how Nature can be used in this research field. My experience in this area and how I coped is the starting point but I don’t want it to be an autobiographical story about me just the starting point.

I’m still working through what the project is about as there are many different area to this. I need to think it threw more and consider what I want it to be about.

A last-minute thought, I have always had an interest in the seasons and what they bring, changes. I found by looking at my images and reflecting upon them, I noticed they have a strong autumn connection to them. Documenting how I view the seasons from the different areas that I travel too. Doing different activities and visiting different destinations during those seasons.

The webinar with Gary and fellow peers was very interesting and brought up many questions, ideas and confusion. So whilst peeling some apple for apple puree for my boss i thought about my image and what they portray. It got onto thinking about how one singular image can say one thing but would it speak of another story if part of a bigger collection? Would where its viewed make a contribution to the overall viewing experience and how does the medium its printed onto have an effect?

The images are multi layered like me, i’m not just one story or image but made up of many stories, layers, moments. When thinking about my work and the project, i keep moving forward to the end project and how to display it. This is something which i’ve been working on since my last degree. In my BA degree i made a patchwork quilted wall hanging using images that i printed onto fabric. The images were abstract in style, but told the story of water participation from the top of mountains in Snowdonia Wales to the beaches in Cornwall and water sources in between. It had mixed reviews.

As a textile artist and craft maker I love the process of working with my hands, a physical connection. I was a chef in my previous career, again a physical connection to the food produce being created. So i feel that the end project will be something to do in this area. So that’s something else for me to explore. I suppose i need to flip forward to this part of the journey every now and again to help me construct the work that will come before it. Sometimes when i get all confuse i need to bullet point my thoughts.

me
nature
photography
the benefits of being connected to nature
research in this area
art
textile
fabric
patchwork

 

Patchwork is another area where there are layers. Layers of fabric and construction.

So this could be my journey of when i visit places for my pleasure and enjoyment, the health benefits i receive from connecting to nature in my free time when not working or studying. Subject matter nature, landscapes and wildlife , made up of single and multi imaged, using film and digital processes, then constructed into a patchwork/textile item.

Here’s a few more image i’ve been working on.

Previous examples of textile art work using fabric with photos printed onto it.

Week 8

Deadline week is upon us and it’s time to hand in my first assignment.

I found this oral presentation hard going at first, getting to understand the technical software first and then working out what to put in the oral presentation.

I had a break-threw in my photography work last week whilst working on the project set my Nigel.  This helped with my presentation a lot as i now know what direction i want to my work to go.

Here is a link to my oral presentation about my work to date and current practice.

youtube link to oral presentation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on November 18, 2017

Week 7

I partnered up with Nigel Ready. This is his brief to me.

Looking at your CRJ, I am very taken with your abstract images — e.g., boat in motion, leaf patterns etc. How about an abstract image combining water and autumnal colours. The image should perhaps be impressionistic rather than purely representational (if that makes sense)!

Since having the brief i’ve been doing my usual approach to my photography of looking around the landscape, looking for a body of water which had a tree near by it to reflect the autumn colours. In a orchard nearby, there’s a pond but not a autumn reflection. I noticed next to the pond on the floor a carpet of leaves from the tree. As the reflection in the pond didn’t incorporate the autumn leaves I got thinking about how i can combine the two, so close, but yet so far away from the image i need. I want to merge the two, double exposure came to mind.
I looked on my camera for the function in the menu and couldn’t work it out so took some pictures anyway, thinking i’ll have to adapt the brief due to circumstances, or maybe i can photoshop them together. I’m about as good in photoshop as i am in the menu workings of my camera.
I liked one image from that day, so thought i’d go back out to the same spot and continue with developing more from this area. I know from experience of shooting a lot of water that, with water every day can bring a different look. The wind, cloud cover, temperature and other objects falling into the water can make ripples in the water, creating different patterns which are forever changing. I thought I can explore a little more, expand on the shoot form previous.
My mind again went back to double exposure, i had the two elements there, the water and the autumn leaves and i know photography can do double exposure. So just needed to dig deeper, get thinking, look harder, work it out. So i looked on camera function and found multi image function, had a play and hey presto, double exposure. I took the leaf carpet and water image then moved onto other subjects. This got me really excited, i haven’t had that feeling from photography for a long while.
It made me think about how I can incorporate this style of image making into my major project. I liked the idea of taking two elements and placing them together to show the natural world.
For example: The apple on a tree and then the tree itself, or one fruit bush in nature next to the other bush, duos in natures.
I like the creative aspect this style of photography offers, different from my usual documentary style approach i do in the natural world. This is a more an aesthetic fine art approach to my natural history photography.
This can be done in the tourism location i go to and produced them on the postcard as discussed in my project proposal.

So this weeks project from my peer has been extremely helpful to me, it guided me into an area that i may not have discovered. This brings to mind my travels i undertake on my own, i try to follow the flow of life and the serendipity of life’s flow, to guide me to areas that i may not others wise venture into if not letting myself be open to other ideas. Sometimes what we don’t always want to do, know and learn about can actually direct us to another outcome which can actually be to our liking.

This image was took in Betws- y-Coed last year, it came to mind when Nigel set the brief.

Below are a few images from the first double exposure shoot i did.

Week 6

I wasn’t able to make my presentation due to work commitments but heres my presentation.

I found this hard to do as i’m still gathering my thoughts on my work, the topics we are covering are making me work hard reflecting about my work. I have a slow processing ability too which makes it longer to get threw, but i’m getting there. Everyone seems to have clear ideas of projects and work and i don’t. I’ve always had to many ideas in my head and find it hard to process them and stick to one.

presentation pdf

I hope that link works, i’m still working my way around this site too.

I haven’t been out taking many photos as i didn’t know what on as i haven’t composed a project yet, but i thought i need to get out and do some shooting, so i thought just do what you usually do, so i did.

I visited a couple of tourist areas last weekend with some friends, i thought about how i did this a lot usually on my own. We visited Cheddar Gorge, Watchet, Berrow sands and Weston Super Mare. So i got my camera out, dslr and iPhone and started. I found i look for natural history in amongst the tourism of the seaside town, there were a lot of things i saw that i didn’t shoot as i was with friends this tends to hinder progress. Going out on my own allows me the freedom to sit and wait and wait and wait. If i like a location then i can absorb myself in it, when i’m with others not so much as they aren’t experiencing it the way i am, or their for the same reason.

I’ve put together a un edited contact sheets of my images, i didn’t take many.  Thought it was about time i started putting image up some where, i am doing a photography degree after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on November 5, 2017

Week 5

I shoot predominately natural history and this has a certain amount of responsibility to it, listed below are a few examples.

Document the natural world correctly and truthfully
If shooting a staged set up of a particular species and/or an environment due to it not being safe for the photographer to be in, or for the safety and well being of the species, then this needs to be stated clearly so as not to mislead the viewer
Safety of the environment, habitats, myself, camera gear and the wildlife themselves
To the landowner-gain permission to access the land, so as not to break laws by trespassing
To create images that engage the audience, keep their interest, evoke dialogue
To capture the natural world accurately and preserve it for future investigation
The audience viewing images of conservation issues are answerable to their own conscious. The photographer intends their images to trigger your conscious to the issue being portrayed, to tell a story and get a reaction.

There was a discussion in 2001 regarding Frozen Planet a natural history document made by the BBC natural history department.

Has ‘fake’ polar bear footage ruined Frozen Planet?

 

An article from The guardian debates the issue of fake filming.

I think if the production company had stated that they had staged it for what ever reasons they did it for then the public would have been more understanding, because they didn’t they got annoyed. I believe you should state if you have had to stage an environment , it still shows the life of mother and cubs when first born to the best of their understanding and experience of this subject it just wasn’t shot in the wild. It’s just the lying that didn’t sit well with the audience, it make the viewer question ‘what else is staged’.

 

 

 

 

Posted on November 5, 2017

Week 4

Time waits for noone final

Collaboration week 4

Week 4 is all about collaboration and i’m interested in this side of photography. I’m a very sociable and interactive person, i’ve always worked part of a team in my previous professional roles. As photography is predominately a singular activity i do find it lonely at times, yet, i also enjoy the freedom photography and being alone brings., and it’s best to go it alone when out in the field as it can be long days and unless your into nature and photography in a big way i’ve found companions get bored.

I have worked collaboratively before with a marine biologist in Cornwall after i completed my degree.
We worked with a primary school as part of their school curriculum based work. The theme was ‘Coastal aspirations’. We worked on marine surveys of a coastal environment and looked at coastal erosion. Environmental waste and participated in a beach clean calculating the finding to see where the waste was coming from and we did a bio blast. I taught them how to use photography to record their findings, help demonstrate their work and generally how to create better images. We also worked along side a drama coach who played out coastal life stories and experiences. I really enjoyed this project. During university we also engaged with another local primary school and created nature watch programs.

I haven’t worked with other designers who use other mediums but as a textile artist and painter i would like to work with other artist in the future, especially textile work as I have created my own pieces and will be going back to this at a later date when i have completed my degree, or i might incorporate it into my work, you never know.

I’ve enjoyed the collaboration this week, they were good gentlemen to work with, we all put an idea in the box but formulated one out of a majority vote. Craig did all the editing work, this just happened. I think he must enjoy this side and probably had more of an ideas of how to make an image. I don’t so i was more than happy to give it over to someone else. He also took the idea and put more of his own personal thought about the project /style to the end production of the image. I didn’t mind this as someone had to do it, and it was in keeping with the brief, it was his input into the group and it was approved by all. I contributed my image and that was my work done.

I’ve worked with other photographers producing exhibitions in the past and from that experience i’ve found everyone has a role to fill, sometimes they fall in happily, sometimes not so well. We were lucky this time, we took up positions easily. I like the end product as it was a image which was made rather, than my usually approach which is a quick reaction to a long wait in the natural world. I can’t make an images up in the natural world as i want it to depict wild behaviour. So this thinking about a image and what we wanted to say in the image was a new way of thinking for me. I learned from my peers. The image resembled a ‘Still life’ piece of work which is not something i do. So happy and learnt something new from being part of this collective collaboration.

Week 3

I had a good webinar with Gary my tutor and Allen a fellow student. I expressed my fear and worry about the course and how i’m struggling with the academic language.

I can remember when i first started my BA that i was fearful at first about the reading and written work, being dyslexic i have a slow processing speed and find the reading hard going, but i will preserver and work on the brain muscle to improve my reading.

Regarding what we covered this week.

Citizen journalism and the use of smart phones as a photography tool.

I’m happy to use my phone for image taking, i think it has it purposes in certain situations. The ability to record events as they happen. giving everyone the freedom to be a photographer. This does lead to photo journalist being put out of a certain amount of work. The constant changing and advancement in social media and the technologies that are becoming available with our phones are making photography open to everyone.

This does lead to everyone thinking they are a photographer, i’ve had it said to me regarding wedding photography. They think they can get their family and friends to use their phones to document the day and yes, they will, but will the end result be the quality and aesthetically pleasing images the couple want to look at, to remember the occasion in years to come when they are looking back and reminiscing? I also find people question the cost of photography more now with the availability of the smart phone camera, again thinking they can take the image themselves.

In Wildlife photography it can be used as a quick reaction to something fleeting that has just occurred. A a smaller piece of equipment it causes less disturbance in the environment, getting a Dslr out of a bag or even just up to your eye can lead to flight action of the species. It depends on what your trying to shoot. The general public can become a wildlife photographer by grabbing that shot of the elusive cat that prowls the countryside, like the Black Panther of Wiltshire. Sending the image into the news for their 5 minutes of fame and recognition.

I’ve starting looking into the history of photography and science, the role photography has played in the recording of the natural world. Science and photography.

I’ve looked at The Natural History Museum and the work the are doing.www.nhm.ac.uk

I’m looking into cyanotype photography too, as it think it could be a part of my project. It was the way they recorded flora species in the first instant when photography was first created. I could use that to identify and record some of the species i find in the environment, like they originally did back then.

“If it lets light through
it will turn blue.
If it blocks out light
it will stay white.”

blueprint-to-cyanotypes.html

A poem i found which helps to remember what it does.

https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/cyanotypes-of-british-algae-by-anna-atkins-1843/

Week 2

The first few weeks on this course have been a bit of a roller coaster ride, i also included moving to a new place and starting a new job at the same time. Not the best idea i’ve had.

I think i’m settling in now and starting to get my head around studying again. I find the reading hard, its all new terminology and a academic way of speaking. I’d forgotten from my BA degree. I study a lot of science to do with the environment and nature so this new theoretical approach takes bit to get my head around. I’m reading some things and to be honest, i don’t have a clue….

Getting used to all the new online software and studying is mind numbing frustrating too. I’ve had a few head aches over the past few weeks, but i think i’m slowly getting caught up with where i should be on the course. Like this CRJ only 2 weeks late.

I’ve had a few moments of ‘What am i doing this for’ WHY? To be honest i think i still think that but i’ll push on and it and i will evolve one way or another..

I’d say it’s been a stressful first 3 weeks.

 

Posted on October 12, 2017