Positions and Practice Week 12 Reflection: w/c 11th Aug

This week has been consumed with my Research Project Proposal.

After spending time in the Newcastle University Library – I felt much more prepared and focissed on what my actual goal is.

Following on from this my 1:1 tutorial with Gary really settled the nerves that I am actually heading in the right direction after being seemingly lost for quite some time.

This week has really given me the opportunity to plan where I see myself going on the course. The forums also for good and bad reasons – I think have pointed out my weakness in Critical Thinking. I have put a plan in place to try and rectify these issues and try and clarify what or where I am going wrong in my understanding.

During the production of my Work in Progress Portfolio, I felt that there were a couple of pieces missing, so I took the opportunity to take some more.

This week with handing in my work has felt quite a positive week overall.

Work In Progress Portfolio

Journey 1: My Work Day

Journey 2: Inside the Flowers

Journey 3: Chris’s Day

Positions and Practice Week 11 Reflection: w/c 4th August

Looking at the proposals has been  a good activity to carry out. It gave me a real insight into what is expected from me.

During my research I have seen many different formats from table layouts to long pieces of prose.

I think what is going to work for my is a simple layout with subheadings, this will make it straightforward to deal with and to read and also to edit throughout the stages of the writing/editing process.

I was able to identify audiences that I may have through my social media followers an also my family.

With regards to my personal progress I thought I had made a break through, but now I am maybe not so sure. I took my work to webinar, there had been previous concerns that I had been taking images of things rather than about things – which was addresses and I was really pleased to have put together the small collection of images that had a story behind them. This had led me to coming up with the idea of having a series of images of journeys in macro and these were ideas that I feel I could have actually taken forward and this felt really positive. I had finally taken some steps forward….there was progression. I felt a little deflated coming out of the webinar, the feedback is always constructive which I appreciate but now I’m just left a little confused! The progress I had made could be seen and suggestions were made to how I could move forward, the only problem is I haven’t figured out how it is possible to execute these!

Moving forward the plan is to figure this out! I am setting myself another mini project on the outcome of the feedback, I see this as the way I am able to achieve the objectives.

I also now have access to Newcastle University Libraries and have planned in a weekend to obtain research to add to my project proposal.

Positions and Practice Week 10 Reflection w/c 28th July

IMG_7615I’m continuing to struggle with the relevance of theory to my practice – if this is the case where am I going wrong?

I think 1 major aspect of this is my understanding and it is my plan to really work on this as I believe it is becoming very detrimental to my development on this course/module.

The most important aspects of communicating and contextualising photography is to be clear whether this in in spoken, visual and/or written forms. My feeling is that if you try to over complicate your language or the meanings of the work, your initial aims stand the threat of being lost in translation.

I was not able to attend the assessment peer review due to other commitments this week (and I am also running a little behind). Whilst I feel this is a set back I will try to get some feedback from the forums/webinar next week. After my results of the oral presentation  (which left me a little disappointed) I feel I really need to find the time to add extra work in to allow me to continually develop and improve.

During this weeks work I came across a quote

“Photography for me is not looking, its feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures”

– Don McCullin – British Photojournalist.

This quote resonated with me as we have been looking at the importance of looking but equally the feeling part of photography is essential if we want to stir up some form of emotion or reaction, I think this has somewhat be bypassed by some of the critical theorists we have covered. I like this more balanced approach it is something that I can relate to.

I think I have made a breakthrough with the aims of my work making them about my life. A series of images in macros of journeys through my daily comings and goings – I will still be able to show things from a different point of view but they will now be about something. I think previously this is the part I was missing – I will try this idea out on my peers or in my 1:1 tutorial is the coming week.

A little bit of a turbulent week but I feel a tiny bit of progress has been made.

Positions and Practice Week 9 Reflection w/c 21st July 2017

  • Making a Picture vs Taking a Picture
  • Taking an image of something vs Taking a picture about something
  • Finding out what you care about.

The webinar this week brought up a few issues for me. It turns out I do have some ability when reading images and applying what a message could be.

I was particularly happy this week with my analysis of the bird-cage. I feel this was my one success of the week.


This is a bird cage.

One interpretation is that it is ornamental, something to look upon, in the traditional sense of a birdcage, it would symbolise the beauty of looking at a bird, decoration, hopeful, whistful

On the otherhand – this symbolises a prison/entrapment to a point slavery. It would not be a symbol of hope.

In the webinar critical perspectives were described as trying to catch fog in  box – I can completely identify with this analogy – I am really struggling with the theory.

With regards to my own work I think I struggle to apply the theory for a couple of reasons.

  • I don’t take images with the intent of making a statement
  • I don’t have an urge to be controversial with my work

This seems to be a trend in the people that we have come across in this weeks reading and subjects.

I want to make images that are beautiful – from the critical perspectives view this will likely be seen as vacuous.

I would like to perhaps cause debate with my work but not in a Political/Socio-economic or cultural sense. More in a…

  • What do you think this image is?
  • What can you see?
  • Can you see something in the image that you haven’t seen in a picture of this subject before?
  • Do you think it is effective?

We did discuss that my pictures put into the webinar this week were more of something than about something and I can completely see this. We did discuss some techniques that I am going to try – I want to get much closer to the subject and reverse lensing was suggested.

From this I have done some research and reading and ordered the parts required and we will see how this works for my practice.

I was also set a kind of mini project – sourcing inspiration from my administration background – I really enjoyed this and it did give me insight that my photographs were now about part of my story rather than just of something.

My work world

I felt quite frustrated whilst reading this weeks presentations Hodgson to me I did feel came across as a little elitist in the views displayed and this once again made me question my work, along with the worry that my work was vacuous as mentioned earlier.

There are many times that I don’t find it easy to take a photograph and my work would probably not be deemed as quality looking at Hodgson’s views. – Perhaps I should just have faith in my convictions that my work has merit.

I disagree that there should be discrimination in photography – I feel everyone should be able to express themselves without judgement an experience joy in the arts. I agree some will be of a better standard than others…but if you don’t like it don’t look at it!!

Perhaps I do fit in somewhere though in the critical perspectives, in the viewpoint that my photographs are dependant on the reader really looking at my images, or learning how to look at something. This is part of the perspectives wok

Week 9: Critical Perspectives

In my research I looked for the definitions, as I feel this is normally a good place for me to start.

“Critical perspective is a collection of reflective, critical and creative essays exploring art, civic dialogue and reflective critical writing” http://www.animatingdemocracy.org

I didn’t really know where to get started as I’m not sure that I really understand this weeks work.

From my understanding a critical perspective is:

  • the ability to compare and discuss different attitudes and interpretations
    • the attitudes behind this attitude
    • the ideas behind this idea

To express an opinion ‘critically’ you should know the awareness of the different points of view that could be taken on the subject you are writing, and explain why yours is the most compelling  http://ask.fxplus.ac.uk

I’ll be honest I have struggled this week, social sciences are not a strong point of mine. I have struggled to apply the perspectives to my practice for a few reasons:

  • I don’t make images with the intend of making a statement
  • I don’t have an urge to be controversial with my work.

With respects to my work:

  • I want to make images that are beautiful
  • I would maybe like to perhaps cause debate, but not in a political, socio-economic, cultural sense, but what do you think this image is, do you think it is effective, can I see something in the image that I haven’t seen in a picture of this subject before.

In this weeks readings I felt quite frustrated by the views of Hodgson, I did feel it was a little elitist and this once again made me question my work

  • As I focus on beauty it would probably be deemed that my work is vacuous
  • There are times that I don’t find it easy to take a photograph and my work probably would not be deemed as quality looking at Hodgson’s view.
  • I disagree that there should be discrimination in photography I feel everyone should be able express themselves without judgement and experience joy in the arts. I agree some will be of a better standard than others but if you don’t like it don’t look at it!

Perhaps I fit in with the critical perspectives in that my photograph is dependant on the reader really looking at my images. This is part of the perspectives that I can understand, part of my major project is to see how other people see and perhaps this could also be a learning curve.

During the weekly webinar in fitting with this weeks work my images tend to be of  something not about something which was in the readings of this week. It makes me wonder that if because they are not about something is there something missing from my work and there is certainly a need to delve much deeper and add to this post in the future.


Positions and Practice Week 8 Reflection w/c 14/07/2017

The various different people that we have covered this week have been interesting. The article by John A Walker was particularly relevant to the work that I am planning to do with my Final Project piece.

Looking at the different types of curating images especially Atlas by Gerhard Richter (1962-2013) was particularly interesting, I think I learnt a great deal in terms of how I attempted to put together my gallery.

I looked at the work of Jo Spence and how she had presented or had her work curated by others. A great deal of it felt documentary/reportage to me and I think this was because she was trying to convey certain messages with her photographs perhaps more so in Work (Part II) and Part (III) “The History Lesson” and Beyond the Perfect Image.

The kinds of photography that I admire are the areas that cover nature and wildlife. I like when online galleries are unfussy. I like a gallery where you can look through images without having to click around too much or any thing that can cause confusion. I think that I admire this type of work because having tried it a little I know how difficult it really must have been to obtain the beautiful shots that have been achieved.

I also have a keen interest in Macro Photography and the photographers that carry out this type of work amaze me. It also means it is really important to keep your gallery uncluttered as the nature of the  type of photography encapsulates so much details you want as little around the images as possible.

I have put some details of some photographers that have inspired me below:





This Week

I felt a little deflated this week overall and I feel in certain ways I had taken steps backward instead of forwards.

I pulled together my gallery in a way that I felt happy with but I think that perhaps my vision was a little way off what was wanted or was felt suitable.

I fully take on board all of the criticism and I took it and reproduced my whole gallery, hopefully getting somewhat closer to what is wanted. It is however weeks like this that make me heavily question my abilities, so many of my peers have worked as professionals and have a real insight to who they are as practitioners. I feel a little bit lost as I don’t really know who I am yet as a practitioner but it all certainly gives me something to work with and somewhere to take my photographic journey.

One disappointment of the week was my first foray into film photography! It failed! The film that I had taken was blank so this gives me another area to work on to 1) find out what went wrong and 2) find out if it was me and not the camera. I also need to discover whether the camera is able to take pictures, this means another learning curve.

There was the added stress with the oral presentation deadline looming, mine is very much still in development and having never done this type of work before I am finding it utterly terrifying .

This week has been a bit challenging for me personally. I did get to take a nice image this week and this gives me something to keep working on.

Wylam Brewery

Positions and Practice Week 7 Reflection: w/c 7th July

This week felt like a bit of a struggle.

I understand the concept of chance and how some people would carefully plan their work.

I found the faux pas activity interesting and have actually grown to like my faux pas image. Especially after some of the feedback from the forums which made me look at it in a different way.

From the presentation I feel I can relate more to Adams over Cartier-Bresson. I really enjoyed the work of Sophie Calle and Boris Mikhailov and feel that this might be something that I would like to try in the future.

I felt challenges by the peer commissioned Micro Project the brief set required me to do a bit of research and it is this that I enjoyed. I think some of my images could maybe have been better and I think this is possibly an area that I need to work on – completing a brief in a timeframe.

With regards to my major project I had a pretty big failure. I worked with film for the first time and when I took it for development it was completely blank. I now need to try and figure out what I have done wrong, and how I might fix this. I also need to decide if this is now something that I would definitely carry on moving forward with.

I found this weeks readings quite difficult especially the Rebecca Solnit extract. I struggled to find the relevance of the reading and perhaps need to revisit this in the future.

Here is hoping for a better week 8!!

Positions and Practice Week 7: Peer Commissioned Micro Project

In this weeks work our activity was to complete a Peer commissioned Micro Project, we were to partner up and set each other briefs to fulfil taking inspiration from the content we had covered throughout the week. All the while keeping track of our creative thought process.

I paired up with Alexandra and this is the brief that I was set:

“Your brief is to produce up to 6 shots demonstrating the Yin and Yang of an object or subject or scene or something else.

The idea is to see the bright and the dark side or the good and the bad connected to your subject.”

My first steps was to research Yin and Yang, I then started to brainstorm what would be achievable in the couple of hours time frame that was suggested for this task.

I though of:

  • Caterpillars vs Butterflies
  • Medicine vs Drugs
  • Love vs War

The idea I thought was achievable however went with the title “Every rose has its thorn”

Luckily I have a rose-bush in my garden and a very good florist locally. I was thinking about the softness of the flower and the sharpness of the thorns. The birth of a flower bud and the then the decay of the flower dying. Roses are stereotypically as sign of love given at weddings but also used at funerals. The beauty of the flower yet they can draw blood from you if your catch a thorn.

I then went exploring taking some preliminary pictures, some that I wasn’t particularly happy with so I tried again the next day and managed to get some I was more pleased with.

I decided to put together my work using both black and white and also colour so that there is a difference that can be looked upon.

Whilst the timeframe was quite small I did enjoy this project and hope I have fulfilled the brief somewhat.