Technical and visual skills
Part 3 of this course, has helped to improve my visual skills. I have became more consciously aware of ‘looking’. I realised, while considering my ‘selfie takers’ in the Lake District, that I was looking at the world as if it existed only to be photographed. This assignment encouraged me to notice how the light changes and how it affects the colours and shapes of a subject. The focus on shutter priority has improved my understanding and use of my camera. Further, I have attempted to use photoshop to merge two images, and my camera app to use double exposure techniques. Whilst I decided in the end not to pursue these techniques for this assignment, the learning was invaluable.
I have taken my tutor’s advice about taking images over a period of several shoots. This assignment took me to various places and it would not have been possible to take them all in one shoot. I relied also on taking advantage of days with good light. I feel that taking my time has encouraged reflection and has influenced the outcome. That said, I feel that I still need to stop and think more about each image. I am looking forward to the next part of the course and practicing ‘working into’ my images more.
Quality of outcome
I tried to select a range of viewpoints and focal lengths. I considered the order in which I wanted to present my images and decided to ‘frame’ my sequence with my ‘sea’ images and then arrange the others in a symmetrical pattern that alternated the viewpoint. I also experimented in using a photo-book to present my assignment so that I could include text.
The result is a set of photographs that makes sense because of its strong theme. I am pleased also that the final selection is the result of a thorough and clearly demonstrated intention and application of learning that reflects my development on this part of the course. I am happy also that I have communicated my ideas clearly, and have successfully incorporated my personal interests into the project.
I am disappointed with some of my images and I feel that I am guilty of forgetting some of the learning I did on the earlier parts of the course in terms of composition and the use of lines to give depth. The ‘Colour Purple’ image is uninspiring and I confess to ‘making do’ because it furthered my theme, and opportunities to photograph purple in nature at this time of year were limited. I think this particular image would have been better if I had taken a wider view to show the colour as a smaller part of the whole image, therefore emphasising it as special. I have failed also, with the exception of ‘waves’ to use lines and depth to create interesting images. My favourite image, however, is the ‘Lady Chatterley’ woodland scene. This, I think has atmosphere and feeling.
I like the idea of using a photo-book though I confess to being a bit disappointed initially since it was considerable smaller, at A5, than I had expected. However, I think the quality is nice and it acts as a supplement to the A4 prints that I have also submitted.
I feel that if the brief were just to submit images (ie without supporting text) then my assignment would be considerably less successful. I am mindful of my tutor’s feedback from my ‘Square Mile’ that images should be able to stand alone. I am again guilty of relying on the written word even though I may be able to justify it because of the specific literary link. However, with the text, I feel that I have produced a coherent set of decisive moment images with a theme that shows my understanding of the genre.
Demonstration of creativity
I have certainly experimented, in fact, in my initial work for this assignment, I went to considerable lengths and through a steep learning curve specifically to experiment. I tried layer masks in photoshop and double exposure via my camera application, experimenting with combining two images into one. My preliminary work for this assignment involved shooting images from our vehicle window, and my final choice has involved merging my photography and literary interests, something that I imagined I may be able to do in the future if not quite so soon.
This assignment has pushed me considerably in terms of creativity and I found that my initial thoughts led to others, and despite the fact that my first ideas did not culminate in related images, I can feel a sense of development of creative ideas. I can also feel a sense of wanting to incorporate my voice – to take images that mean something to me, to combine my love of literature with my love of photography.
I realise that my combining literature and photography is not new but, it is new to me, and I am quite pleased that I am beginning to want to express something rather than just take a photograph. Cartier Bresson said that images should say something, and perhaps this is the start of my saying something with my photography.
My tutor advised that I should thoroughly research before doing this assignment. I feel that I have taken on board the work of a number of artists and have reflected on their contribution and engaged with their ideas. I have considered the decisive moment debate and incorporated my views into my assignment.
How the project may be developed in the future
I should probably like to attempt this exercise again using a traditional decisive moment approach to further my experience in capturing fragments of time involving the movement and gestures of people. I am aware that, contrary to Bresson’s approach, I have, in focussing on landscape, avoided photographing people. This is an area that I should like to develop.
I feel I am again guilty of rushing. In a perfect world, I would have more time to consider my images, and I look forward to being able to do that. Some of these images, the sunset for example, would have been impossible had I stopped to set up my tripod, and I therefore relied on editing in Photoshop.
I thought I would check my learning against the points I took from Bresson’s ‘Lamour’ films : I feel that I have succeeded in increasing my awareness of ‘looking’ in that I am consciously aware of looking at the world differently; I have incorporated my personal experiences; taken from and respected the work of others, and have begun to show a sense of ‘saying something’. In terms of showing empathy, my choice to consider landscape rather than people gave me no real opportunity to consider this, but overall I am pleased with what I achieved.