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.

References:

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.

Strategy

  • 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.

http://wlpapers.com/pretty-macro-flowers.html

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.

References:

Sustainable Prospects: Week 2 Reflection W/C 29th September

A little bit of a disappointing week in some ways but it also had some highlights.

The photographer who I had scheduled a telephone appointment with got called out on a job, but also did not return either of my calls or emails. this was really quite disappointing but it also seems to be becoming a trend which is a little difficult to take. it seemed that this change in attitude came along as soon as I mentioned I was an MA Photography student looking to improve.

I entered a photography competition this week and treated the process like I had been handed a brief.

We-Love-Monuments-2017-photography-competition-rules[957]

The process of researching what I was going to take photographs of and also planning the shoot was hugely exciting and enjoyable. I think I got some really lovely shots too, which made it hugely satisfying.

I was extremely proud of the final shot that I entered into the competition.

Railway Bridge
Railway Arch South West of Black Gate

The whole process and the subject of the competition made me wonder if I was actually going down the right route with my Final Major Project.

It made me think about the possibility of looking at the heritage of the North East and perhaps including some re-photography.

The reason I am considering the change is that it seems that the topic I have chosen is just so broad and I don’t feel very much like I have a definitive focus this is quite worrying. It was also discussed over the last module that there is nothing really that links my images together, other than they are challenging to test the viewer.

I feel like I need to have a brainstorming session to clarify what it is that I want to achieve with my work.

With regards to the module materials I think it was important to carry out the Let’s Talk Business activity as I used this as part of trying to clarify what I want to do.

This is the response to my challenge below.

Kirsty Logan Photography.

Mission Statement

The aim of my photography is to represent myself ethically and responsibly. Showing respect to the subjects that I am working with but also to anyone else I am working with.

I would like to explore the different ways that individuals can see the same image and what effects this such as the abstraction of using black and white filters can have on the way an image is seen. The plan is to do this using macro/micro photography.

The Product

The product will be a series of images put together in a small exhibition and/or photobook.

It will also include summaries of the different responses of what the images were thought to be, also a revelation of what the image is.

The images will explore the effects of macro/micro photography and the use of a black and white filter can influence the identification of an object.

The Market

The Market for my work would be those interested in micro/macro photography but also those who are interested in either black and white or abstract images.

My audience will begin with social media and then attempt to reach out into a more physical audience.

I read The Optimist article by Olivier Laurent this week – I was inspired by this article and it did remind me that there are choices outside of photography but also while it is a highly competitive occupation there is also compassion.

This week I also signed up for a macro photography course recommended by the RPS and carried out by Amersham Studios. I hope that this will help my should I carry on with this route.

Whilst on the RPS website I looked through the galleries focussing on macro and I was really inspired by the images and have included some links/images below:

http://www.rps.org/technical/gallery/photo-detail?a={C0A864D6-0E24-489E-91DD-62F80E959B38} 

http://www.rps.org/technical/gallery/photo-detail?a={F8F70D07-0ABD-45C0-AA1D-75140634423B}

Sustainable Prospects: Week 1 Reflection W/C 22nd September 2017

This week was a really interesting week. I attended the Side Photographic Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Gallery Brochure
Side Photographic Gallery Brochure

I really enjoyed the black and white images by Bruce Rae, they captured feeling and emotion in them. Some of the images showed lovely textures left on the metal by the metal workers. Along with the stills there was a film featuring more stills and there was one that was described as a bulbous bow of a ship and it really appealed to be as the shape and texture in the image will also be hugely important in my project too. Sadly this image is only on the film and not available in other formats yet.

This was not only a really interesting experience through looking at the work of professional photographers and appreciating their talent but it also allowed me to meet a lady called Gailen.

Gailen is a Teacher of Photography and also a volunteer at the gallery. I was able to discuss with her the possibility of having my final major project exhibition at the gallery, but she also gave me the contact details of the Head Curator at the gallery. I was also pointed in the direction of the Bridge Project, who loan out dark room facilities ans also the possibility of being able to use the facilities at Newcastle College. I spent approximately half an hour with Gailen but it was extremely beneficial.

This was also the start of the new module, this was not only hugely exciting but also enlightening and inspiring. The chapter from Beyond the Lens I found extremely useful. Encouraging to make the most of the opportunities that we have as students. It was also really positive to have our first tutorial with Krishna. There were some extremely valuable experiences discussed in the session and it was interesting to see what everyone had been doing over the break.

I also made contact with a photographer who seemed really interested in doing a session with me , working on product photography which I feel will be beneficial in helping me to set up my macro shots. I have set up and appointment to speak with them next week, this could be a really interesting and valuable experience.

I still feel that I need to become organised in the way that I work. I have 3 weeks of working away coming up, which will prove a little but challenging especially trying to combine this with my project work.

Reflection W/C 15th September

This week has been the eager anticipation of the new module release!

I have put some serious work into getting organised and putting time into planning some photo shoots and some editing time to enable me to improve on the last module.

One of the points that came up in my feedback is the interdisciplinary aspects of photography and this is something that I have been considering this week.

Interdisciplinary:

“relating to more than one branch of knowledge”

Interdisciplinarity:

“the quality or fact of involving or drawing on two or more branches of knowledge”

This means that the sources or research should perhaps be extended out

  • Colour/Art/Seeing
  • Ways of seeing/Art/Science/Psychology
  • Light (as this will affect colour and how things are seen)/Art/Science

All of the above points fit in with the books that I have been reading my Ernst Gombrich. One of the points that I have pulled out from The Image and The Eye was “the artist ‘teaches us to see'” (Gombrich, Pg.27, 1994). This entwines the art and the science but it also brought to the attention that it was relevant to my project work. I don’t want to teach a person what to see, but I do want to know what they can see and then to tell them what they are seeing.

I have also read a book called Vision and Art: the Biology of Seeing by Margaret Livingstone. This book explained how colour can be seen by individuals differently – (In my WIP on the last module I included colour images). If colour is seen differently I wonder whether I should give every one a level playing field and stick with only the black and white images from my selection.

Having a broader breadth of information to work from can only be beneficial in some ways but I also want to be clear about my aims.

The feedback was also beneficial in having me think about how I want to display my work and I have been planning in the time to work on my photography website and looking at how I can develop it to be more fruitful.

Reflection W/C 8th September

This week I am on holiday – I took the decision not to bring my camera to see if it would reinvigorate me creatively.

I did have my camera-phone with me just in case I was inspired, which was lucky as I was although not project related way. I think I got a little bit of love back for the craft and I am now really looking forward to the start of the next module, and the grades have now been confirmed so I have passed and can move on.

I also  heard back from the photographer who offers mentoring services – I responded with examples of my work and a brief description of what I would be looking for, and I have put in the diary to chase this up in another couple of weeks to see if I hear anything back.

So far it doesn’t feel like I am being very successful on the gaining experience/knowledge front. I think I may need to try a different approach and see what happens from there.

Reflection W/C 1st September

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.

Purple Flowers

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.

IMG_9964
Image by Ashley Rodriguez

 

References:

Reflection W/C 25th August

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.

Dandelion colour (1 of 1)

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.

Positions and Practice Week 13 Reflection W/C 18th August

Lens Reflection

Welcome to Sustainable Prospects!

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:

  1. My Office – My Work Day
  2. Inside the Flowers
  3. Chris’s Day.

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.