Informing Contexts: Week 3. Independent Reflection W/C 09/02/2018

With my practise I do construct my images, but not in the ways that other artists covered this week do. Jeff Wall constructs large-scale theatrical pieces, I focus on mainly one object. I do however feel inspired to try to obtain more dramatic images as looking at the work of others this week. How I plan to do this is through trying to have my items suspended in a way to make my images more exciting so that all of my work is not flat lay.

From this weeks work and the reading of a photographic ‘truth’ I feel could well be a symbolic construction in itself – who decides what is the truth?

If you are constructing or re-constructing something that has happened, the image will still be showing an event that happened, so there is partial truth to an image. My work is abstract everyday images. I choose not to tell people what they are, does this affect the truth of my work – or does it make me a trickster?

From my research an artist that I have enjoyed this week is Lorna Freytag’s photography it inspired me in the same way as the magical realism reading did this week.


The juxtaposition of the children with the giant animals/plants etc, they are still real things. They are clearly constructed and I think it wants to show the power of imagination. I find this quite interesting and it really makes me think about the scale of my own work. Freytag’s work makes objects so much larger than reality and I am focusing on the tiny  It is something that I could look at in my work, making my tiny objects look huge in scale within their frame.

In relation to my own work the idea of getting up close to the  objects it also alters the scale of what I am shooting, it is also my desire to have my viewers use the imaginations and this is what I took from Lorna Freytag’s work.

In other parts of this weeks work I did enjoy the concept of Jeff Wall’s Hunter/Farmer nature of photographers when constructing images. Using the way Charlotte Cotton breaks down the concept I can identify myself clearly as a farmer. The objects I shoot I nurture and ‘cultivate’ until I get the image I am looking for and capture it. I often build upon the images and return to them over time. I feel that this description of Farmer is also the right description from my photographer personality.

During this week I have also continued to investigate the way that I use light. In the most recent images I focused on reflecting daylight to experiment and attempt to find my direction.

Whilst this was an enjoyable process it did show me some flaws in my practice that I will need the rectify in order to improve my images.

During this experimentation I don’t feel that my images of the mechanical parts of the vintage cameras is really working, but the images of the natural/flowers is working better. I’m still not sure if I am heading in the right direction, or if this is the direction that I want to be headed in.


Informing Contexts: Week 2. Independent Reflection W/C 02/02/2018

Did any ideas particularly interest you:

  • The close connection between photography and ‘physical reality’
  • How the photographer is part of the situation that they depict.
  • I think authenticity depends on why the photograph was taken – What was the intent of the photographer
  • I read about the Cottingley Fairy Hoax  of 1917 ( This links to the intent – these photographs were produced to mislead no matter if you believe in Fairies or not!
  • I didn’t agree with the description that photography lacks expressive freedom – expressiveness is something that I aim to achieve with all of my images.

What Challenged you and have your ideas changed:

  • I think my main challenges this week was weighing up whether any photography can be trusted any more than any other type of image.
  • This process of evaluation has also changed the thoughts that I had at the start of the week. These days with the easily available digital editing platforms it is almost second nature to edit and make changes to any image. I used to think that photographs were the most truthful form of art, but now I am swayed to think otherwise.
  • As with painting it is down to the choices of the photographer as to how trustworthy a piece of work is and unless information is given out with each image we would never know what the choices made were.

How might your work be (or not be) considered as a peculiar practice:

  • I think my work would be seen as a peculiar practice by many! My project currently focuses on Macro photography – relying on abstraction using an iPhone. In many circles this method will not be understood along with the fact that I take images of the mundane/the everyday.

Think about how the context affects how people view your work:

  • Context plays a major role in how people view my work, without the context of challenging perceptions and advising people that I want to know what they can see, without them need to be correct my project would be a confusing concept for many.

Reflect on your practice in the context of other visual practices and theoretical points:

  • I think I can continue to research artists in genres such as abstract, expressionists, surrealists, modernists to give context to my work. Like Scruton said “the viewer often looks through the photograph to the object it depicts” this is what I personally want the viewer to do.
  • I was interested also in another section of Roger Scruton’s article Photography & Representation. “the medium of photography has lost all importance: it can present us with what we see, but cannot tell us how to see it” pg 590
  • This quote seems to encapsulate what I want to do with my project. Whilst I don’t agree that photography has lost its importance. I want to present an image and the viewer to tell me what they see – I don’t want them to be told how I want them to see or what society wants them to see. I want them to explore and express themselves.
  • I agree with Scruton that if I start telling people what I see in my images, I would then be required to describe the image and tell others what they should be seeing (pg 586) – this is not what I want to achieve with my project.


This week I have also explored the work of John Humphrey. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

I chose to look at this work as he is a tutor on a course I have been taking to improve my skills and learn the technique of stacking.

His image Cactus 1 is the type of image I want to create – it made me wonder what it was as I couldn’t tell and it encouraged me to explore the frame. This is one of the things that motivates me with my project – encouraging the viewer to really look and spend time gazing and wondering.

Cactus 1 -John Humphrey 2017

At the same time I think Cactus 2 is a little too far into the abstraction for what I want to achieve and it makes me realise what a fine line it is to tread.

Cactus 2 – John Humphrey 2017

I really enjoyed paper curl. The aesthetics of the image I can relate to as it is an object similar to what I want to shoot for my project. I get great satisfaction from the way it makes you wonder where it goes as it disappears into nothing, as if it were melting into the background.

Paper Curl – John Humphrey 2017

With the image Torn Paper I can also apply elements to my project work. It is important that I learn these lessons on composition to enhance the work that I produce for my project.

Torn Paper – John Humphrey 2017



Informing Contexts: Week 1. Independent Reflection W/C 26/01/2018

The nature and intent of my own practice:

  • I want to challenge the way people see things, explore if they can still identify something if it is photographed in a more abstract way.
  • I take my images using a square format, on an iPhone, using macro photography using an olloclip, I apply black and white/silvered filter.
  • I am in some ways struggling with my narrative, I know I want to look at perceptions of how people see, but am still looking at the means in which I do this.

Where am I now?:

  • The place I am right now is pulling together my style and deciding where my work belongs. I want to find a theme to my work to provide continuity perhaps the various different items I have previously used is not what I need for my project.
  • I am still also trying to narrow down my audience and then this in turn should help me with everything else.

What contexts your work could be consumed in:

  • My work would probably be consumed as fine art/abstract. In a photobook or perhaps a small exhibition.
  • The idea of a small exhibition really excites me and I am looking at hosting a small event at Newcastle City Library.
  • I do however enjoy blogging and perhaps to keep on building my website is still a good way to go.

Your practice in the context of other visual practices and critical ideas:

  • You could look at it along the lines of abstract or surrealist art.
  • Perhaps some aspects could be related to Frida Kahlo’s still life work in the way that I look for textures in my work.
  • Or maybe the hyperrealism art of Giacchino Passini like his flower image in the following link:  This painting shows so much detail and gives me ideas and inspiration of how to present my objects to the viewer.
  • Or the work of Dennis J Wojtkiewicz – http://www.wojtkiewiczart.comRosette Series #32.jpg
  • The abstracts gallery of Wojtkiewicz is of particular interest to me and I can relate to it so much . Although I have all of my work in black and white and much closer I can really relate to these pieces of art. Wojtkiewicz’s work in particular appeals to me stylistically, although it is a painting the up-close textures and angles show what it is possible to achieve, but also how I could start setting up images in terms of composition.

This weeks Presentation:

During this weeks presentation the work of Uta Barth really drew me in

I particularly enjoyed the project Field 1995 – 1998 especially Field#9 and Field#6. In these images I like the bokeh, this is something that I have captured in a couple of pieces of my own work and I like the aesthetic that it gives. I have found that I am being drawn to a more abstract style of photography in a sense that I am enjoying creating images where there is absolutely no way of telling what the image is.

Kirsty Logan Photography
Through the viewfinder of another camera

They above is an images that I have created this week and I think this can be shown as similarities of Barth’s work where focus or lack of focus is not necessarily on the area it would have been conventionally in a photograph. This is something that really intrigues me and I would like to explore further.

With the work from this week I applied some of the readings/presentations to my practice – I agree that photography is an art form of its own, I also agree with the statement that “the human eyes sees differently from the camera lens” – Uta Barth. There is a perceptual relationship which goes hand in hand with what/how we see.

A point that really got me thinking was regarding constructed reality. In my practice whilst the items I photograph are real – they are not always in their natural setting, therefore it is a constructed reality but I am not necessarily capture reality as in events etc.

With Shore’s visual grammar – Flatness, Frame, Time & Focus. I understand that an image is 2D but this does not necessarily mean flat. I try to create depth and texture within my images to make them more interesting to the viewer and excite them with what they are seeing. I did agree with the point that the image creates its own world.

With my practice I relate most to Szarkowski – the thing itself being key to my work as it is of ‘things’. In some ways it is like a record keeping process of an item. The detail is also relevant especially when described as fragmented/discreet details. This is exactly what I am doing when capturing the world with my macro viewpoint. In my work the frame is also important as I want to have a limit to what the viewer sees to make them more inquisitive. Being involved in still life the time part of the analysis is possibly the least relevant, although when attempting to use natural light time is also of the essence. Vantage point to others may well have a different meaning to what it does for my practice I look for a different vantage point of a small object rather than a large vista for instance.

My favourite quote from this weeks work was from Alec Sloth

“The best photographs inspire curiosity”

This is something that I strive to achieve within all of my images.


John Szarkowski (1966) The Photographers Eye, New York: Museum of Modern Art

Stephen Shore (1998) The Nature of Photographs, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press

Aaron Schuman (2004) ‘The Mississippi: An Interview with Alec Soth’ In Seesaw Magazine –


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.