Sustainable Prospects: Week 11 Reflection W/C 1st December.

Most of the week this week had been spent preparing for the hand in dates.

I have spent a great deal of time this week pondering where I want to see my project go. I always had in the back of my mind that an exhibition would be unachievable, even though I would really love to see my images presented in that way. I did some research this week and found that Newcastle City Library has an exhibition space. As part of my project is looking at how people see differently and how looking and identifying is a learned behaviour it seem like a pretty good combination.

I had a review of my work in progress and there has been a further cull. What I did notice that I hadn’t before is that I am able to group my images into mini collections within my WIP. I found this really interesting, it kind of fit in with the video of Felicity McCabe and how she explained she had started to pair her images together after looking at historical paintings. My fit into trios and I really like how they sit together, it gives the flow of my practical work much more meaning. I also made a new edition which I am pleased with. The WIP is going to received one more review and then it is going in!

Pins and needles

The peer review of our CRJ’s didn’t go too well due to my own technical issues meaning I could only listen to everyone, but I have received some positive and also helpful points on the forum which I am going to take into account and act upon. I want to also spend some time contributing in the forums as this is an area that I have neglected this module due to not feeling I had enough time.

After reading Grant Scott’s Chapter – The Power of the Personal Project I have decided to act upon an idea that has been with me for a while and I think it will ignite the feelings that I had when I first started out in photography. I don’t want to make this an expensive task as it is a really simple idea.

I have worked really hard on my online presence this week. Both my CRJ and website have had a lot done to them. I have attempted to clean them up and make them more relevant to my practice. I think my website is going to be where I put my new personal project. I think some work still needs to be done on the menus, but overall I am very happy with what I have achieved.

Now just to complete the oral presentation.


  • Scott, Grant, 2015, The Power of a Personal Project [IN] Professional photography: the new global landscape explained, Focal Press, Burlington Massachusetts/ Oxfordshire England

Sustainable Prospects: Week 10 Reflection W/C 24th November

I have focused this week on re-shoots and trying out a couple of new ideas.

I have been able to finalise my work in progress portfolio and how I wish to present this.

My most exciting shoot was working on a new idea using pencil shavings. It was interesting experimenting with different types of pencils, using light in different ways and using different levels of macro lens.

These images have now made their way into the final 18 images, it has also meant that I have now been able to remove some of the weaker images without fear. Meaning my curation process has become much easier.

In the process of my re-shoots the Pine Cone just hasn’t been working for me, nor has the babybel.

The image I was most happy with after the re-shoot was the Kiwi Fruit. I really felt that everything that I have learnt from observing Weston, Blossfeldt, Mapplethorpe and Rae has really started to pay off.

Carrying out this activity led me to do some research and I came across a photographer called Felice Frankel who is a science photographer. Whilst her images are of scientific discoveries they all lead me to ask what they are? With this being the topic of my project I find these images fascinating and it shows me that I will be able to get closer to my subjects and some of the effects that will be achievable.

I also started to put together the treatment for Amy Simmons brief as she is coming a week earlier than expected.


Sustainable Prospects: Week 9 Reflection W/C 17th November

During this week I have continued to research Edward Weston. There are new discoveries that I keep making on pieces of his work, some that are more relevant in showing me how I can improve my work. One of the images in particular is Onion Halved (1930) and Artichoke Halved (1930) which I found on the Art Institute Chicago website also Mushroom (1940) which was found in a google search. I have also tried to implement the principles of composition that I learnt from observing Cabbage Leaf (1931) and Peppers (1929-1930). Which can be found on the Edward Weston website.

I have read through the book The Mexico Years – Edward Weston and Tina Modotti. There were several images by Modotti that I was particularly drawn to. Calla Lily (1924-1926), Roses (1924) and Experiment in Related Form or Glasses (1924). In these images I like the way they make the image look beautiful but also show the textures. It shows me how I can fill the whole frame and maintain a beautiful image.

I really enjoyed exploring these images and also those in the books, The Last Years in Carmel and Seventy Photographs. It also led me to look back at my favourite works by Ansel Adams. I feel that my research is leading me to have a much greater appreciation and shows me the way to attempt to turn an OK picture into something better.

I visited the Side Gallery this weekend (Sat 18/11). They have 2 new exhibitions Rock against Racism – Syd Shelton and Gordon Parks: A Choice of Weapons.

Syd’s images showed such a range of emotions, my favourite was of Jimmy Pursey at Brockwell Park. I found the range of light and dark shades drew you into the pained expression on Pursey’s face.

Gordon Parks images were also deeply emotive, one I was most drawn to was a portrait of Mohammed Ali. Up close it was a very beautiful image whilst also being a very iconic image of an iconic individual. The amount of detail that was also included was immense, the beads of sweat, the lighting showing reflection in his eyes that draws you to look directly into his face.

Further to this I tried to find the image of the Bulbous Bow by Bruce Rae that featured in the Side Galleries last exhibition. The textures that were featured in this image were fascinating and a feature if what I would like to see in my own work. Whilst working on this I cam across some of his plant images which use a technique of salt printing which was also used by William Henry Fox Talbot. The images feel vintage and also show how to make a good composition using natural items, which is a skill I have been working in throughout this module.

The lessons I am continuing to learn I have tried to put into practice this week:

I feel like my style is really developing and I particularly enjoyed my image of bubbles. Although I don’t think I will be able to take this image forward into my portfolio as it doesn’t fit in with the project topic – I just like looking at it and I feel that it shows I am making progress in my composition skills.

This weeks tutorial was really helpful this week it also picked out some elements of my work that I had not considered before. Many of my images contain natural materials, they all have a function, this leads to the consideration of what may be the journey that they might go through in the process on manufacturing.

Overall I feel this week has been massively beneficial on many fronts.



Sustainable Prospects: Week 8 Reflection W/C 10th November 2017

I have had a great week of catching up. also have a lot of feedback from the individual webinar with our new tutor for the rest of the module Paul.

Some of the feedback from the last tutorial was to look at the composition of some of the shots I had taken to the tutorial. I also had some new images to share this week to, in which I felt I had used the feedback to good impact.

I also had the results of my research from the week, looking at Edward Weston, Karl Blossfeldt and Robert Mapplethorpe, looking at these individuals this week I have felt has been really informative.

Both Weston and Blossfeldt were really useful for showing me how I could improve from a composition viewpoint. Whilst Mapplethorpe’s work I found inspiring it is the type of photography I like to do for fun and I can also take tips and see where some of my images might not be hitting the mark. What I can learn from Tulip 1985, below is how to correctly light my work to get the most effect from it. This is something I can definitely work on.

Tulip, 1985 - httpprod-images.exhibit-e.comwww_mapplethorpe_org6d0978f9.jpg
Tulip, 1985 – Robert Mapplethorpe

It was Weston that I think made the most impact and decided to look further into him.

Weston’s Pepper from 1930 was one of the first images that really clicked with me and I realised that this is the type of image that I would like to create.

He was able to take everyday food items and turn them into art forms. The cabbage leaf 1931, was a prime example of this. I enjoy the composition of his work and it shows where I would like to try to take my photography. There is also the similarity that we both work in black and white.

Looking further into the family the website is now run by his grandchildren after the death of his son Cole who was also a photographer. Cole’s image of the water tank (1979) had a really nice texture that I was particularly drawn to.

I was also interested to find he was a founding member of the Group f/64 in 1932 and other group members included Ansel Adams who is a photographer I have admired for a very long time, with Rose and Driftwood (1932) and Dogwood Blossoms (1938) being some of my favourite work and also ones which I think have influenced my photography since.


Sustainable Prospects: Week 7 Reflection W/C 3rd November 2017

This week has felt like a really good week.

I have made some more inroads into catching up which is very much a relief.

This week I have had the time to take some images and then to also receive some feedback from the tutorial. I really like this set but understand that I can develop them more.

Whilst there has been some appreciation for the work that I have done I have been asked to look and consider my composition and a list of some photographers to have a look at and report back on after the weekend.

I have finally made progress on obtaining some work experience and also a mentor at the same time I have a meeting next week but overall it is sounding really positive.

The image virus part of my project has slowed down but still getting interaction but I am going to see if I can use it in a more beneficial way perhaps optimise the use of different hashtags and this is going to be a route of my research also. I need to have more images so that I can add more and I think this will also pull in more interaction.

Sustainable Prospects: Week 6 Reflection W/C 27th October 2017

This weeks sole focus was to put together the oral presentation and to share this within the weekly webinar.

I added to the work I had ready for last week adding more slides and more information and began to put my script together. I also built upon the feedback I received last week.

Sadly no one else attended the webinar so whilst it was really useful and helpful having the 1:2:1 time with Krishna it was disappointing not to also have the feedback from my peers. The joys of distance learning.

Krishna however did give me really great feedback and has given me the confidence that I am on the right track and my project is going the right way.

There are some elements of the presentation that needs tweaking and also my presentation style. I have been given some pointers so that I can improve.

I need to add some more images and have a plan in place for this.

I also need to work on the research basis of my work. I want to look closely at individuals such as Nick Knight to give my work better standing. I also need to work on the skills to be able to describe my own work more critically I have also been looking at using analysis that asks the questions Why, What, Where, When, How and then using this to describe my work. I feel that I need to put this into practice more and more often so that it becomes natural.

The social media campaign is also coming along well. It is receiving interation not necessarily the way intended but I think I just need to keep this going and keep reiterating the email address. I have also decided to create a Facebook page, Twitter, Tumblr and perhaps WordPress pages and then use a manager so that I only need to post once, instead of once on every platform.


Sustainable Prospects: Week 5 Reflection W/C 20th October 2017

This week has been a real week of catching up, as it has been the first week in October that I have not been working away. This has made a real difference to my mindset. Whilst I am still quite behind with the readings I have made significant progress.

The Week 3 activity of Image Virus has been somewhat of a breakthrough for me. Whilst I don’t feel comfortable sending it anonymously via email to my address book I decided to take it to social media.

I created an email address and Instagram account specifically for the purpose – I also extended out and created a website. I was also sharing the information through my own social media networks. Whilst many of the responses aren’t currently going to the email as intended at least it is creating interaction. Perhaps I need to extend out to have a specific site on each of the platforms. This will be something to consider over the coming weeks. Carrying out this exercise really gave me a lightbulb moment that the WhatAmI? WhatCanYouSee? project could be the platform to reach new audiences and a way to encourage interaction – with the website also being my online gallery.

This has really motivated me in moving forward with my project.

Having watched the video of Maximus Barnett it pointed out to me that I need to re-edit and continuously do so in preparation for the hand in date of the work in progress portfolio and also be much more selective in what I post online. It also prepared me for putting together a physical printed portfolio (15 images max). I need to hone my curation skills which will also benefit me when trying to put my work in progress work together.

In terms of networking this week I posted regarding some work experience – I had some very positive feedback. There were several photographers who gave really helpful advice which I will use, but also through taking this step I have managed to gain a volunteering opportunity at a Zombie running event this weekend. I have also been offered the invitation of helping at a couple of weddings next year which will both be valuable experience for me.

On LinkedIn I have joined some photography networks including Women In Photography, which I hope will be insightful. I also connected with some female photographers – I intend to carry this on and do the same on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Below are the steps I posted into the forum:

This week for the networking activities I have done the following:

  • Interacted with some photographers on Instagram and Facebook.
  • I have connected with some photographers on LinkedIn
  • I have joined some photographic networks on LinkedIn
  • I had already (at the start of the module) joined the AOP
  • Found out details of some photography workshops
  • I joined a macro photography course online with Amersham Studios as recommended by the RPS
  • I worked on obtaining work experience and had a conversation with a couple of photographers one of which looks promising.
  • I volunteered as a photographers at a local charity event and got to know some of the photographers and this was very beneficial.
  • I joined the RPS North Facebook page.

I also took the step to enter a photography competition – I entered the World Photography Organisation Open Competition so that was quite a step for me.

This weeks webinar was hugely helpful. It really reassured me that I was travelling in the right direction with my work.

The choice I made are:

  • Sticking to simply iPhone photography
    • to research photographers in this field.
  • To stick to my style of black and white.
  • To continue with the Image Virus type activities.

This weeks webinar has also led me to look at the work of Nick Knight.

Knight has done several photo shoots using only an iPhone and mobile apps for the editing of the images.  The article on his website also makes some very valid points to which supports my decision to work the way that I work. He accepts that some would see iPhone photography as not “proper” photography by saying “It’s a new medium, he says “and I feel strongly that we have to embrace it” he also says “You don’t care what paintbrush a painter uses, and you shouldn’t really care what technology a photographer or an image-maker uses. It’s about what you’re trying to say” both of these quotes are from a BJP article by Sarah Raphael in 2015.

Whilst some may not agree, and think that anyone with a cameraphone is now a photographer I hope this viewpoint of Nick Knight can be carried forward to more people and that I can gain support for my work.


Sustainable Prospects: Week 4 Reflection W/C 13th October 2017

I’m really struggling to stay on track, I have had another week of working away. The nature of my job does not allow me to work while I am away.

This week there was not the oppourtunity to capture images.

The travelling time however has given me the opportunity to really consider my final major project. I have made the following assumptions

  • I don’t currently have the time to begin again
  • I am passionate about my style of photography.
  • I need to streamline the way I am approaching the project
    • I need to put my focus on mobile photography as I had originally planned.
    • I think I want to focus on black and white images
    • I need to streamline the research, have more focus, I am making things much more difficult for myself.

I need to make the time to go through the assessment feedback from the last module so that I can develop and improve on this module. I am also going to start preparing the assessment materials for the current module.

Sadly I haven’t heard back from any of the photographers that I have contacted – I think in order to network I am going to have to sign up for some courses just to meet others.

I do have a local photography group but their meetings are on a Thursday night which is the only time that I can attend the Course Webinars, so I find myself in a Catch 22.

Fortunately this week should be the last I am away and I will be able to dedicate myself to my work, which is going to be a huge relief.

One area that is becoming a struggle is that the essential reading documents are not available online therefore I am trying to get ahead and order the books online but this is also contributing to me being further behind.

This weeks activity was to create a marketing plan – the following was some of the thoughts that I had to be able to achieve this:

My objectives

  • To raise my profile in the photography industry in the North East.
  • To enter some photography competitions (at least 6 per year)
  • To develop my skills and knowledge and attend at least 1 workshop
  • To interact regularly with a photography network.
  • To increase interaction on my social media pages and website.


  • To make my online website less cluttered and more appropriate
    • Become better at curating.
  • Edit/Update portfolio and website regularly
  • Prepare a PDF portfolio presentation
  • Write and publish a blog post and send out a mail shot once a week/fortnight
  • Spend 10 minutes everyday on social media

This week I have spent time (since I needed to be mobile) looking through Macro images on Instagram and Google one image I did particularly like was this image, it is along the same lines as where I would like my work to go in the future but I would also like to be able to capture this amount of detail in my current work. I think the composition of this work is really nice too.

Sustainable Prospects: Week 3 Reflection W/C 6th October 2017

I feel completely out of touch and not really up to date with where I should be and this has left me panicking.

My day job has had me working away again for the third week in a row. This means that the time I would normally have to dedicate to my photography practice is now non-existent and I am trying to cram a whole week and more into a weekend. this is not conducive to creativity.

In terms of my major project work I am still in two minds whether to change the subject matter of my project. It seems that my current choice of work is just too confusing. Perhaps I can look at an option to simplify it.

Another area that I feel is stunting me in my development is that I have not been able to attend the webinars due to being away with work.

I have one more week of working away and then I should be in a more stable position to dedicate the time required to my photographic practice.

This weekend I have spent some time attempting to hone some of my macro skills – these were simply taken on an iPhone with my olloclip but it made me feel like I had done something.

I have been trying once again to gain further experience, the photographer who did initially seem keen, as soon as I explained I was a Masters Student looking to develop my skills has refused to take my calls or answer my emails which is hugely disappointing. I am still looking to explore further options.

I spent one evening at an astrophotography talk at an Observatory at the Dark Sky Discovery Site at Battlesteads in Wark, Northumberland. Here I was able to learn about how to photograph the night skies, whilst not linked to my work it was a really great experience to learn from professionals. Sadly the skies were too stormy to take the images ourselves (we have been invited back for another try), we were taken through how to set ourselves up and how it is required to stack images to get more dramatic effects. It was quite different to how I work now. I work really close up to items, whereas they are the experts at capturing objects thousands of miles away. The images that were shown in the presentation were spectacular and I now have an appreciation of the method of photography on the different end of the spectrum to my normal practice.