Intent: I knew this was going to be the final shot of my project. We were due a super moon and I had the visual in my head that there would be a breakthrough image – The super moon reflecting onto the sea. It would be representative of the light at the end of the tunnel.
Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro, Tripod, iPhone
Methodology: I spent a good few weeks studying the timings of the super moon, along with fitting this around my work schedule, and also the weather reports. The full affect of the super moon was to be the 19th February, but the weather was not looking to be working with me so I decided to go and get the test shots so I could make sure my equipment and set up was correct. As it turned out, although my lens was the right one for the whole of the project – every single image taken with the same set up – it was not the right one for the night time shoot – I needed to have had a wider angle. That was one lesson learnt! So I took out my trusty iPhone, and took some shots so that I could see the basic set up. So that if the shot worked I can come back the next day with the correct set up for the real event.
Research: For this shoot I did reading around night time shooting as I knew that this was something that I had never done before so it would be a new challenge to me.
Reflection on the shoot: This was always destined to be the shoot that I struggled the most with. As I had no prior experience of night time shooting. I am really glad that I carried out the research into the moon, and how to shoot at night, although I didn’t get my initial set up right. The saving grace is that I did check the weather and take my iPhone as on the 19th the weather clouded over and we saw nothing of the actual super moon, and I learnt a very valuable lesson of doing your research. What did make me happy though is in my test shot and I do understand that some won’t be happy that I have an iPhone image in my final collection, but I got the shot that I wanted the one I had envisaged and it did feel that on the computer screen, my collection of images for this project was now complete. I did have a level of anxiety as I didn’t predict how spooky the beach is in the pitch black!!! Although I did take a assistant to help me. On a personal level also, I was starting to feel better in myself, which means that my mindful photography journey had helped me, it had been therapeutic, and I was starting to enjoy it again.
Intent: I felt my project was missing some shots – it just didn’t feel like I had the right number nor did it feel complete. This shoot was to try and fill the gaps, make it complete and also to continue with the mindful techniques.
Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro
Methodology: As I didn’t take the tripod I had to be very focused on my breathing which assisted in the mindful techniques. I just wanted to get out with the camera and capture what I saw.
Reflection on the Shoot: I didn’t start this shoot with a definitive list of shots I wanted to complete – but I think this helped me to complete the mindful side more fully. I was more aware of my surroundings and I paid more attention because of this. This enabled me to notice water patterns so defined and also to capture then with amazing detail. It also made the surface of the sea glitter in a way that I have never seen before and I also got some shots which actually showed this. I did get a little distracted by the seals sunbathing on the rocks as this is something else that I hadn’t seen before. I can definitely feel that the techniques of mindful photography is showing me how to look again, and this is allowing me to make beautiful discoveries along this journey.
Intent: I wanted to achieve some better quality seascape images. I had tried out some better vantage points and hoped this would give me a more solid grounding for this part of the project.
Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro, Tripod and Gobe ND Filters.
Methodology: I set up my equipment on top of the Blyth Battery, built in 1916 which is a visitor attraction from World War I. The Battery has an artillery house, and this was the perfect place to provide shelter from the snowy conditions and give the perfect vantage point. I wanted to use some long exposure techniques for some of the calmer images of the project, as this was my first time using ND filters I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.
I used the same mindful techniques – on this occasion because I was introducing the filters I did check some of the images to make sure I managed to capture something.
Research: I researched Paul Sanders this week as his history is really quite interesting but can easily be linked to my own on an mental health basis.
Reflection on the Shoot: This was very much an exploration that in a lot of ways cannot be deemed that much of a success and I should have done more research into the technique of long exposure and how to make it a success.
Intent: After yesterday’s disappointing shoot, I was just looking on this shoot to obtain more imagery and this could be a combination of the macro pattern shots or a seascape. I also wanted to restore more confidence in the techniques that I was intending to use throughout my project.
Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro, Tripod
Methodology: I wanted to get a good mixture of images. Luckily it was a lovely weather day on the North East coast, which made the process very enjoyable. Again I used the steps of stop, look, use the breathing techniques and capture the image.
Mainly on shoots I don’t use tripods, but due to my arthritis this was not possible today. However it did mean that I could get the horizon perfectly straight today, which is something that I hadn’t achieved without editing prior to this.
Research: My main focus is still on Hiroshi Sugimoto and Roni Horn.
Reflection on the shoot: This was much improved on yesterdays efforts and I got some images that I am really happy with, it restored my faith in the process a little. Although I do tend to get a little sidetracked. I have started thinking about the emotions when I shoot, as today I was somewhat limited at what I could achieve due to the difficulty in movement.
Reviewing the images: I am beginning to consider the final appearance – as I feel the subject of my work is quite dark and I have been very lucky on most of the days I have chosen to shoot on, they are really quite bright which I don’t think is a true feel of the project I have chosen to consider. I think I need to think about this carefully.
Intent: Further to discussions with tutors and my research, I want to try some seascapes to assist the viewer see the scale of my project.
Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro
Methodology: I wanted to ensure that the water was represented in more than just detailed shots, I had to carefully pick the point I stood carefully as the North East Coast is a hub for wind turbines! I continued to use the mindful techniques that I had learnt and this is becoming pivotal to my work.
Research: Hiroshi Sugimoto was recommended to me by Wendy. My first thoughts of the initial images I have seen is that the are too perfect for what I am looking for. As I delve deeper into exploring mental illness from my own perspective, I feel the clouds are essential as they feel like the thoughts good or bad that go in and out of a persons mind
” Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security “
Reflection on the Shoot: I think this was a good introduction to seascapes – However due to the time of year I lost light really quickly and this was a good reminder that I really need to think about how I want my images to look and consider when I plan my shoots to think about the time of day and the light at that time of day, along with checking the weather forecast.
Intent: I wanted to try out the techniques that I had been learning reading around the subject of mindful and contemplative photography.
I was not to look at the images until I had returned home from the shoot and had a break.
I also wanted to practice some of the breathing techniques that I had learnt as I was struggling with quite a high degree of anxiety. Which was another reason that I wanted to see if photography really could be a therapy like it had been explained in the books that I was reading.
Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro
Methodology: I wanted to focus on water primarily but if other subjects caught my eye I didn’t want to rule them out. At first I thought I would simply be looking for water reflections. However once I started shooting I had the feeling that the reflections was not what I was drawn to and in fact it was the water patterns that I was finding intriguing.
I did not look at the images in camera as per the lessons that I had learnt. I also worked with the concept that I should stop, look at what I was taking an image of, take a moment to use the breathing techniques and then take the image, and then move along on my journey, my meanderings through the forest and take the time to enjoy my surroundings.
Whilst these are unedited, I’m not sure that this is how I want to present them and I edited some of them.
Research: I started to research some photographers and came across Fleeting Reflections by Mike Curry. He also included some water pattern images but his was quite focused on the reflections that the world had as a whole on the water and I think it really was just the water itself that I was interested in.
Reflection on the shoot: I felt that this shoot not only held the therapeutic benefits that I was searching for but also the process was very enjoyable and I think the images that I achieved really speak to me. This is very much something that I want to take forward with me.
After reading and researching Mindful photography I decided to give it a go. I took my partner to a local country park and we just went for a walk, I took a small bridge camera to just see what happened.
It took me back to last year, and I had gotten injured training for the London Marathon, what was expected to be a small easily fixed injury, was really quite major, but part of my physiotherapy was to go for walks in an attempt to remobilise my joint after being in a moon boot. It helped so I feel it should help again.
We came to a lake and just watched the swans and ducks and I decided to take a photo, I didn’t look at what I had taken (I guess this is what it would feel like when shooting on film!), we just continued on our walk stopping every now and then taking in our surroundings. When we finished the route we went home and then I decided to have a look and see what I had taken.
I felt relaxed and happy, and this was made even happier by my favourite image of the day.
I have decided to keep trying this technique, as there may not only be some value to it for my FMP but I feel this will also be good for me personally. Combined with the walking it can only do me good.