The exercises of part 1 of EYV have been significant in helping me to understand the technical elements of using my camera and in thinking about composition. Part 1 has also introduced me to the work of other photographers and has encouraged me to make new links with the work of artists I had previously come across.
My observation skills have improved as a consequence of considering my first assignment, and for the first time, I have become aware of looking at things differently, and of taking images that I would previously not have considered. I have enjoyed producing images as a set rather than as stand-alone pictures, and the consequent understanding of photography as a means of story telling.
I spent a year, prior to this course, learning the basics of camera techniques and had found that I preferred my longer lenses and the more abstract images they tended to give me. The exercise on techniques using lines to create a sense of depth – exercise 1.3 (1) line – encouraged me to reconsider this approach. My tutor’s comments on two particular images (below) were positive and this helped me to appreciate the sense of space within an image that I had previously overlooked and even avoided:
Following my tutor’s feedback, and my looking at these images in a different way, I find that I now use my longer lenses less and less, preferring the wider angle of a shorter focal length, and the consequent sense of space.
At the end of part 1, I feel a sense of stepping out of my comfort zone, into an unknown but exciting learning curve. Photography is so much more than I thought. Although I have encountered some difficulty from the general public who have either refused or objected to or in some way challenged my photography, and have found some of the exercises challenging, I believe that in terms of my understanding and appreciation of photography things can never be the same again.
My tutor’s comments at the end of part 1 included comments about technical issues – square thumbnails, hyperlinks interrupting the flow of my text, and image size. I addressed these straight away and learned from my mistakes. He also commented on some good reflection, which helped me to understand the importance of self-assessment. It was reassuring that the emphasis on developing creativity was not the most important concern for my tutor, who valued more, my ability to reflect on my work.
I feel that I have addressed my tutor’s concern that my assignment images looked squashed through the use of my longer lens, and I am happy with the changes I made to my photography as a result. His final comment ‘you’re on the way’ acknowledging my reflection that I had taken images that I would not have taken before, and the creative step forward I experienced, was encouraging.
I write this, as an addition to my end-of-part-1 self-assessment, as I arrive at the end of EYV part 4, and I note that it is still the case that I use my shorter lenses in preference to my telephotos. My tutor’s comments on the two images above completely changed my current preferred way of taking pictures. However, I look forward to learning more about the appropriate use of telephoto lenses.
As I re-look at my learning, from the position of having just completed part 4, it is striking to recall my analysis of my Square Mile assignment. Specifically, I said:
‘To develop this project further, I would consider wider creative options. Vitor Schietti takes photographs of his neighbourhood at night. I became acutely aware that, although this may not have been right for my assignment, the learning was that I never even considered it.’
My assignment 4 addresses the brief of capturing ‘the beauty of artificial light’. My images for this assignment were taken locally, at night. On reflection, I think these images could have been used and developed further to make an alternative to my Square Mile assignment, and I find it interesting that on submitting my Square Mile, I reflected that taking images at night was something I never even thought about. I am happy to see this as progress.
Please see my post Assignment 4 – language of light – images
and my initial Square Mile images