Featured

Notes and Links for Assessors

LYNDA WEARN 514949

MARCH 2021 ASSESSMENT EVENT 

PH5LDS PHOTOGRAPHY 2: LANDSCAPE, PLACE AND ENVIRONMENT

MARCH 2021 ASSESSMENT SUBMISSION

Dear Assessors

Please find my Digital submission for Landscape Place and Environment. 

This has been prepared in line with the guidance from OCA issued in May 2020 and in accordance with the Learning Outcomes (LO) for PH5LDS.  For ease and navigation to the work I have chosen for each LO, I have included a link directly to it.  All work is also uploaded to the Gdrive.

 My Learning Log can be found here: https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/.

Contents

Reflective Evaluation

Self-Evaluation

Part 1 – Learning Outcomes – a selection of Learning Log entries

Part 2 – Tutor Feedback

Reflective Evaluation

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/12/28/landscape-place-and-environment-evaluation/

Self-Evaluation

https://wordpress.com/view/lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com

Learning Outcomes – a selection of Learning Log entries

LO 1- demonstrate detailed knowledge of visual and conceptual strategies in landscape photography, the representation of place be able to explore your own critical photographic projects.

I use concept mind maps, lists, and visual research of other photographers to help my thought processes when approaching an assignment.  The use of OCA Padlets has helped this enormously, where I store all my research now.

Link to Padlets I have made and contributed to.

https://oca.padlet.org/lynda514949

I include visual images of other photographers and artists in my planning.

Assignment 5 – Planning and Research

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/category/exhibitions-books-research/

Exercise 5.6 Context and Meaning

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/exercise-5-6/

Assignment 6 Reflection and Learning.

This was my least successful project and I demonstrate the reasons why it did not work in my reflection post.

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/reflections-and-learning/

LO2 – demonstrate an awareness of the wider social and cultural contexts that surround the representation of place and be able to discuss relevant ethical perspectives in relation to your own practice.

My choice of my own archive photos for Assignment 3, gave me the opportunity to explore the perspective of “Space to Place” in a way which would not have happened if we had not been in Lockdown 1.  I chose some photographs of the Otterburn Military Ranges in Northumberland.  I had visited an area not normally open to the public and with military escort was able to see artillery that was used as target practice and the accommodation in which the soldiers used when on manoeuvres. To enhance what were pretty monochrome shots I edited them after reviewing some old World War 1 enhanced photos.  I was particularly, pleased with the outcome and the experience moved my photography on to a more abstract approach.    In terms of ethics, I consider in my reflection the ethics of military training and the cost of defence to the country when the money could be spent elsewhere.

Assignment 3 – Spaces to Places

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/05/05/assignment-3-spaces-to-places/

This was a re-think of my original ideas of looking at edge lands and structures.  Because of the Pandemic restrictions I was unable to travel and so after discussion with my tutor I used some archive images of a military training area as the starting point.  I then processed them to give them a sense of surrealism and subliminalism, creating a more dramatic effect.

Thumbnail images for Assignment 3 submission.

Padlet

Made with Padlet

Ethical perspectives

Learning Log entry – Thinking about Ethics

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2021/01/06/thinking-about-ethics/

LO3 – explore and realise a range of ideas and creative starting points and exercise your judgement in the production of visual material.

Landscape has always been my go-to genre for many years and this course has pushed me to review the way I take landscape photographs.  Previously, I tended towards typically pretty landscapes.  I have experimented with editing, composition, Intentional Camera Movement, Abstract and moved out of my comfort zone. 

Assignment 1 Beauty & the Sublime  https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/category/assignments/assignment-2/Creative work uploaded to my allocated G-drive:

I think this image works quite well.  The blurred sun on the window of the gatehouse resembles a fire in the building.

 This image works less well but included because it has a surreal feel and a sense of mystery about it.

I think this image is good with the people clearly distinctive in the shot.

Although, technically this is not as good as some of the others but I do like the long shadows and is reminiscent of Munch’s Starry Night.

Another that works quite well with the church contrasting with the dramatic sky.

Although, this is quite a good image and edit it does not sit well with the rest of the set.

Another which is surreal and gives a feeling of mystery.

Assignment 2 – The Journey https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/category/assignments/assignment-2/

Assignment 2 – The Journey, set me on another new path when I decided to follow in the footsteps of Fox Talbot rather than my original idea of looking for something more traditional in Northumberland.  Fox Talbot’s “Sun Pictures in Scotland” was the starting point for this assignment. The locations that feature in Sir Walter Scott’s novels were the focus for Fox Talbot and the route took me along the Scottish Borders.  https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/assignment-2-a-journey-planning/

When I decided to follow in the footsteps of Fox Talbot my original thought was to present the images in a contemporary style to show how they had changed over time.  However, after embarking on the journey I realised that the area and images hadn’t changed a great deal over almost 20 years and this caused me to re-think how to present them  I found myself imagining the journey in the time that it was originally taken and decided that a homage to the pioneer was going to be a good way of presenting them.  This also gave me the opportunity to develop postproduction and editing skills of which mine are limited.  Although, some of these images worked better in the editing process than others the inconsistency is a replica of how the original images appear today. Of course,  the inconsistency of the originals is because of their exposure to light and the instability of the calotype process.

All images are better viewed larger.  Although, this was a venture into a new area for me and again for me it was imaginative and creative, now that I am finished the course I am not sure I would take this approach again but it was fun doing it.

Assignment 5- Self-Directed Project

I made judgements both in image manipulation and the production of visual material. I know my skills are still developing, but I am trying new things and becoming more confident.

I included maps in my assignment to try to show where they sat within the town. I also tried to show the contrasts as the town developed into the edge lands. I return to the empty shops in the town in an attempt to show the partial impact these developments have had on the town centre. The final image of the signs shows how tourism, heritage and new developments occasionally operate side by side.

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/category/assignments/assignment-5/

Assignment 6 – Reflection

Assignment 6 was my least successful project to say the least.  However, my take away learning from it is here in my reflection.  I have been honest and fair in the judgements I made about the project and creatively did attempt to improve a poor set of images to present a more creative experience.

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/category/assignments/assignment-6/

LO4 – manage learning resources, conduct self-directed, contextual and visual research and be able to appraise your progress with increasing confidence.

Feedback from my tutor has consistently highlighted my research as being good and competent.

Assignment 4- Critical Review

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/06/18/assignment-4-a-critical-review/

Exercise 3.5 – Local History

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/category/coursework/part-3/

Assignment 5- Planning and Research

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/assignment-5-planning-research/

LO5 – demonstrate increasing autonomy and a developing personal voice and exercise your communication skills confidently and interact effectively within a learning group.

It took me a while to join in the online discussion fora both as written contributor and on video conferencing platforms.  Part reason for this had been my experience from other social media critique groups where people had not always offered constructive criticism and had at times been most unkind.  This coupled with joining an experienced well-established group was a turn off.  However, I eventually plucked up courage and joined the Forum Live, a cross disciplinary group and I wished I’d done it sooner.  I soon became a regular contributor offering my work for feedback and my opinion on others.  I also set up a hangout group for this course which is still meeting.

I was also busy in my personal life setting up a Covid 19 support group, recruiting volunteers, producing a newsletter and delivering prescriptions to those who were shielding.  I have included my journal of the first 10 weeks in a link below.

Landscape, Place and Environment Hangout

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/08/14/setting-up-a-hangout-for-lpe/

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/10/12/landscape-hangout-23rd-september/

Landscape, Place and Environment Padlet

Made with Padlet
This is the work in progress padlet which I contributed to.

Finding my Voice

I do feel that my voice is still developing and this course has allowed me to experiment and explore what it might look like.  I am still experimenting but I am pretty sure that the genre will be landscape in some form.

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/finding-my-voice-tbc/

 Webinar – Finding your Voice with Rachael Tailbart

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/05/05/webinar-finding-your-voice-with-rachael-tailbart/

Online Tutorials, webinars and exhibitions

I have used this period of curtailed activity to access many online opportunities for learning.

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/05/28/exercise-4-3-a-subjective-voice/

https://lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com/2020/09/12/keeping-up-momentum-student-led-seminar/

10 weeks in Lockdown

https://wordpress.com/view/lyndaslearninglog.wordpress.com

Tutor Feedback

All six tutor feedback reports can be found on the Gdrive and in each Assignment with my comments on them.

Featured

Assignment 1 – Beauty and the Sublime

Produce a series of 6–12 photographs that convey your own interpretation of beauty and/or the sublime within the context of landscape. You may choose to support, question or subvert accepted definitions of these terms.

Your images don’t necessarily have to be made in the same place or type of location; however, they should complement one another and attempt to function as a cohesive series.

Introduce your work with a supporting text (around 500 words) that: • Describes how you interpreted this brief.

  • Describes how your work relates to aspects of photography and visual culture addressed in Part One.
  • Evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of your work, describing what you would have done differently or how you might develop this work further.
  • Identifies what technical choices you made to help communicate your ideas, and also references relevant artists and photographers who have influenced the creative direction of your project.
  • Explains your reasons for selecting particular views, and arriving at certain visual outcomes.

Send your work and your supporting text, as well as extracts from your learning log or link to your blog, to your tutor by the method you’ve agreed with them. Make sure that all your work is carefully labelled with your name, student number and the assignment number.

This assignment is diagnostic, which means it is an opportunity for you to introduce your practice to your tutor. It should still be submitted along with the rest of your work for assessment: however, it is unlikely to have a significant impact upon your overall grade. If you’ve chosen your location for Assignment Six, let your tutor know now. It’s important to come to a decision as soon as possible so that you can maximise your photographic opportunities.

Introduction

In the planning for this assignment and after discussion with my tutor I decided to run with a set of images using Intentional Camera Movement and post production editing to create a set of images that explore the sublime. I have used the inspiration of artists of the 19th and early 20th century to bring a sense of mystery, blurring of the image and the meaning as well as distortion of the image.

I have done this to intentionally, encourage the viewer to challenge their imagination when looking at the images. I hope they will experience at least in part my interpretation of the Beauty and the Sublime.

In some images the beauty comes from the colour palette of the image and in others it is the subject. Whilst the sublime is hopefully, present in all of the images which are designed to give a sense of unease in some way.

When people describe art or explaining why they have visited a museum what the person is really doing is communicating a complex psychological experiences. (Pelowski M. Akiba F. 2011).

The artists of the 18th and 19th century that I have taken my inspiration from were playing with the emotions of the individuals who view them and as such evoking the complex psychological experiences described by Pelowski and Akiba.

The Images

1. Gatehouse

This image is of a gatehouse near my home that has ivy growing on it. The photograph taken in Autumn with the sun reflecting on the windows was very pretty. I moved my camera upward using an Non-Destructive (ND) filter on the lens. The result gave the appearance that it was on fire. The colour palette is suggestive of JMW Turner. (Edited in Lightroom (LR) and Color Efex pro, from the NIK collection)

2. Viaduct and Castle –

This “ghostly” image of Edlingham Castle and Viaduct is taken whilst zooming out with a 14-140mm lens on a micro 4/3rds camera. The colour palette is suggestive of JMW Turner. (Edited in LR and Color Efex Pro)

6. Viaduct with people

The Viaduct with people is my third attempt at replicating the palette and effect of a Turner painting style. I placed the people in the foreground in the same way as Turner was apt to do. I made very small camera movements using a 0.4 sec shutter speed at f22, with no lens filter. (Edited in LR and Color Efex Pro).

3, Graveyard

This eerie shot is of a church yard looking towards the castle and hills beyond. The sun was setting, producing long shadows. I moved the camera slightly to produce the blurred effect. I think it is reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s Starry Night. (Edited in LR, PS, Color Efex Pro).

Z
Edvard Munch: Starry Night, 1922–24. Munch Museum.
https://munchmuseet.no/en/munch
4. Distorted church

My distorted church is a combination of ICM 0.13 sec shutter speed at f.22. I added a vignette and warmed the saturation whilst bringing down the shadows. I then added a distortion filter in PS.

5. Rippled woodland path

Rippled Woodland Path is an edited version of a shot I took without ICM. I applied a filter in PS after initial adjustments in LR to give the effect similar to the Van Gogh below.

By Vincent van Gogh – repro from artbook, Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View_of_Arles,_Flowering_Orchards#/media/File:Van_Gogh_-_Bl%C3%BChender_Obstgarten_mit_Blick_auf_Arles.jpeg
7. Church through trees

This final image is not trying to replicate nor has been inspired by any artist. I saw these rather spectacular seed pods on a tree in front of the church with the evening light just glinting on the windows of the church. I thought that the evening light and the hidden image would work well. (Edited in LR and Color Efex Pro).

Reflection

Evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of your work, describing what you would have done differently or how you might develop this work further.

I have found this a really exciting, challenging and frustrating assignment.

The reasons for this is because it is new to me and learning something new is always exciting and challenging. Because of the newness of the genre there are many weaknesses. However, there are also strengths

  1. I mostly achieved what I set out to do – take photos in the style of a Turner painting, especially in the context of mystifying and dramatising the images and the colour palette of some.
  2. I think I have captured the beauty and the sublime in the majority of my images
  3. They work reasonably well as a set.
  4. Researching Turner and his influences on other artists I have demonstrated the development of the sublime in their work.
  5. I have learnt new techniques in photography including ICM and post production editing.

Weaknesses

  1. Not all images work well and some are better than others.
  2. The composition of most of the images are not as good as the painters I am trying to replicate.
  3. I have too much blur in some images and maybe not enough in some.
  4. I haven’t always managed to convey the drama I was trying to achieve.
  5. I have been frustrated during the course of taking the images because I tried not to be “cliched” when in fact most of what I have produced has been done before. Whilst this maybe alright I really did want to bring a different perspective to the assignment.
  6. I have mainly been influenced by artists and less so by photographers.

I have learned a great deal from this assignment and want to improve my ICM techniques without relying on post production editing too much. I have booked myself onto a 1 day workshop on ICM to help me with this and at present intend to use it for the final assignment.

Explain your reasons for selecting particular views, and arriving at certain visual outcomes.

I selected the views and subjects to reflect the landscape of my native Northumberland and it is where Turner visited many times to paint it’s great castles. I decided not to follow Turner exactly and take photographs of the same castles that he painted such as Norham, Prudhoe and Alnwick because I was not copying Turner merely replicating a style.

I used the light to guide me when taking the shots and post production editing to adjust the colour palette. The latter was more difficult because of the limitations of my editing skills and the limitations of the colour palette available in the software I was using.

I used a mirrorless 4/3rds camera because it was lighter and easier for me to manipulate and handle.

References

Edvard Munch: Starry Night, 1922–24. Munch Museum.
https://munchmuseet.no/en/munch (accessed 17.11.19)

Pelowski M. Akiba F.(2011) A model of art perception, evaluation and emotion in tranformative aesthetic experience. New Ideas In Psychology. Elsevier Ltd. http://www.elsevier.com (downloaded PDF via Academia) https://www.academia.edu/39694273/A_model_of_art_perception_evaluation_and_emotion_in_transformative_aesthetic_experience?auto=download (accessed 17.11.19)

By Vincent van Gogh – repro from artbook, Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View_of_Arles,_Flowering_Orchards#/media/File:Van_Gogh_-_Bl%C3%BChender_Obstgarten_mit_Blick_auf_Arles.jpeg (accessed 17.11.19)

Ray Carofano – review

Initially, I was drawn to the work of Ray Carofano when studying Context and Narrative.

Who is Ray Carofano?

Ray Carofano is an American artist who has been a photographer for over half a century. He has many book and journal publications. He has also been a lecturer and teacher. Carofano has also exhibited widely.

It is quite interesting that although, Carofano seems to be well respected across the Photography community there are not many published reviews about him. Most appear on his own website and although, I will use them in this review I have been unable to verify them.

His work began with product photography then moving onto street photography and in particular subject of those who live on the margins.. Some of this work were formal studio portraits. In 1991 after moving to San Pedro, Los Angeles, he began shooting his series of local characters which by 1998 had become Faces of Pedro, (Faces of Pedro https://carofano.com/portfolio/faces-of-san-pedro/). In this set of images Carofano has captured the the faces of local people and has shown the hard life they live. The lighting picks up the detail in each of the faces that tell the story of their character despite the hardships.

Peter Plagens on the website “Two Coats of Paint” https://www.twocoatsofpaint.com/2020/12/joe-carofino-faces-of-pedro.html describes the unsentimental images as a cross between “mug shots” and August Sander.

The subjects of Carofano has changed and moved during his career. From humans, including parts of the body to the desert (Mojave), Broken Dream, which are the ones that caught my attention. His images record the things left behind by humans and the reality of what life is really like as opposed to the dream.

I have asked myself, why I was drawn to Broken Dreams. I find his style unusual and his way of drawing the viewer into the image to take time to look at it. I was familiar with the Mojave Desert and this brought me to another perspective of the area. I remember travelling on Route66 or the new road running parallel to it when I came across a diner straight out of the 1940s. Alone, in the middle of nowhere, unchanged but still operating. I immediately identified with the images and the diners position now made more sense. However, it was not only that it was the way the images are composed and their restful feeling which is in juxtaposition to the subject itself, given the subject and the inhospitable Mojave Desert.

Carafano’s insightfulness and affinity with the environment and the people he photographs seems to be inherent in his own character and gives the viewer the opportunity to read them in a personal way.

His riverrun series is a departure from his usual style. It’s not set in the desert, it doesn’t contain images of waste, there are no people or nature in them and they are abstract and in colour. The subject is not a river but a storm drain, he abandons the soft shadows for harsh lines and shapes. However, he still brings a quality and an artistic feel to the set.

This set of images (and the one below in particular) was my original inspiration for Assignment 5 and I did take a few test shots under a pier locally. However, as you are aware the pandemic meant that I was unable to complete this.

8-LA. River#62-2015
https://carofano.com/portfolio/riverrun-too/
Amble Pier, Lynda Wearn, April 2020

Ray Carofano is an inspiration to me with his eye for his subject matter, his personal presence in his work and the insight he brings for me into life in the desert and the art that can be produced using light, shadows and reflections even from concrete structures.

References

Carofano R (20) Ray Carofano: Photographer. Website: https://carofano.com

Plagens P. (20) Ray Carofano: Faces of Pedro. Website https://www.twocoatsofpaint.com/2020/12/joe-carofino-faces-of-pedro.html (accessed 8.1.21)

Wszpolki B. (14) Desolation Row: The many Faces of Ray Carofano. EasyReaderNews Website: https://easyreadernews.com/author/bondo/ (accessed 8.1.21)

Thinking about Ethics

I have once again been thinking about ethics after Assignment 3. This has been for two reasons. The first because of the nature of the images and the bigger story that lies behind them and secondly about the publication of these images and how might I use them in the future. Is it something that the general public really think about and is publishing them an ethical issue?

I wrote a considerable piece in Context and Narrative about ethics. I was really surprised that there was not a written code for photographers and what was available pertained to Medical Photography and more general statements.

https://lyndawsite.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/project-2-photojournalism-research-point/

Coming from a scientific background I believe that every photo I take has an ethical bearing and in the days of data protection it is something I consider when framing a shot. It is the biggest reason that I do not like Street Photography. However, the taking of these photos in a military zone and one where public access is denied brings a different ethical dilemma.

If I publish these images do I entice or allure those who might be interested in trying to find the place? Does this put the general public in danger? The reason there is no public access is because of the amount of unexploded artefacts around the site. In Lockdown and in the middle of a National Park who are experiencing large numbers of people travelling (illegally) to this area and am I tempting people to try to find the area. There is evidence of this having happened previously. Should I rename the shoot.

Self-Evaluation

Strengths

  • I like a challenge
  • I have strong leadership skills and I set up a Landscape, Place and Environment support hangout via video conferencing during lockdown
  • I am outgoing and sociable and have engaged well with the discussion fora
  • I am hard working and do not give up easily
  • I am educated to higher degree level and I utilise my research skills well in my photography
  • I am beginning to be much more adventurous in my photography
  • Generally, the work I have presented has shown a progression throughout the course and I have experimented with post production editing and genre e.g. abstract.

Areas for further development

  • I need to recognise when enough research is enough
  • I need to stay focussed and not procrastinate
  • I need to plan more effectively and not keep changing my mind once I set a direction of travel for an assignment or project
  • I still need to develop my personal voice. My leaning is toward Landscape as a genre but the style is yet to be determined
  • I need to continue to be more lateral in my thinking and interpretation of assignments
  • I need to remember to put into practice the technical and theoretical knowledge that I have learned.  For example, I do not always take a tripod with me even though I know this will probably improve my shots.

Keeping up your Momentum

I attended a 2 day workshop organised by Helen Rosemier and led by Hayley Lock.

We were asked to bring a range of props to the session. Things from the flora and fauna from the garden, images either our own or from magazines as well as art materials, pens and pencils and card.

Using the painting Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Hayley explored the relationship between the real, photographic, digital and physical images.

Hieronymus Bosch's “Garden of Earthly Delights,” Explained - Artsy

We very quickly got down to picking out particular sections/images from the painting and were asked to cut these images out, folding them in half and making new shapes with them. The painting is very busy and there was lots to choose from. I have to admit at this stage I thought the session wasn’t going to be for me.

We then moved to break out rooms where we were expected to work together to produce a collage. I was really struggling now and about to leave the session. However, Hayley visited the group I was in and I expressed my concerns and how I was interpreting the brief. Hayley, was brilliant and it became clear that there was no real brief or instruction and what she had done was to give us permission to use our imagination and creativity to produce something of our own.

There had been a padlet set up for each breakout group and we were asked to put our efforts on there.

My attempts from the workshop.

In the second workshop we experimented with ink blots of which I was less successful at.

This was as a fun, informative and liberating experience which I thoroughly enjoyed and I look forward to the next one.

Thank you, to Helen for organising, Hayley for excellent teaching and OCASA for funding the event. I hope there will be more.

Landscape, Place and Environment – Reflection and self evaluation

Reflection on Landscape, Place and Environment.


I started my first level 2 course with great excitement. I love landscape photography and was looking forward to extending my knowledge, skills, and approach to the genre. I was not disappointed.

My journey through the course  has helped me to better  understand that landscape is influence in a number of ways depending on who owns the land, what the land is used for e.g. Military Training ground as demonstrated in my Assignment 3 submission as well as the personal preconceptions and expectations of the viewer. I began to understand that the rich were able to influence how we came to view and expect what a landscape should look like, away from the less savoury elements of the landscape and we still see evidence of this today in the historic homes now open to the public, of the people who commissioned paintings and altered the landscape into pleasing “gardens” made possible by designers like Capability Brown. . I know a fair bit about the history of the landscape in which I live (Northumberland) the Border Reivers and the Dukedom of Northumberland, the Freemen of Alnwick and burgers who built the town. The relationship between landowners, workers and those who made their living in the town was not always an easy one and during this course I have learned to think beyond what I see and to think about how it became.

In my learning throughout the course the idea of re purposing the landscape as a place to visit and enjoy as opposed to the industrial developments and this also made an impression on me and the responsibility I have as a photographer to think about how my images will be viewed and what the message is that I am sending to the viewer. The course has had the effect of liberating me in  a way I would never have been able to do if I had not chosen to do this course.

My original style of landscape photography was very ordinary, not imaginative  or inventive.  I did capture some pretty shots and I often shoot close up objects.  I had experimented a little with Intentional Camera Movement, inspired by a local artist Andrew S. Gray who converts ICM images to resemble J.W. M. Turner paintings.  I reference Andrew in Assignment 2. However, from the beginning of this course I began experimenting and using software editing.  In assignment 1 I decided that I would do a road trip following in Henry Fox Talbot’s footsteps when he was making Sun Pictures in Scotland based on places in Walter Scott novels.  The original intention was to take fairly straightforward shots but when I downloaded them onto the camera, I decided to present them in a style similar to calotypes using Photoshop to achieve this.  I continued to experiment throughout the course.  Assignment 2 was long exposure and ICM, Assignment 3 was a post-production editing presentation of archive images and in Assignment 5 I explored pschogeography in my telling the tale of my hometown of two halves – historical feudal town centre to the modern edge land developments.

The use of art to introduced me to a new way of thinking in Beauty and the Sublime that really started something going on in my head and my personal journey began.  I found new ways of looking at the landscape and re-imagining it.  This is new to me and still very experimental which I will continue to develop alongside my developing personal voice. 

I experimented much more for every assignment. I became very abstract at one point and I started to really move out of my comfort zone.

The only downside for me was Assignment 6 and I blame the pandemic for that. I forgot all the rules, I did not plan effectively, what I was trying to do did not work and the result was disappointing.  I learnt that I left my original visualisation and plan at home when I went out shooting.  This was in part because it was a difficult time both in terms of the pandemic and also the impossibility of getting onto the site to be a little more imaginative.  I ended up taking lots of photographs but not very many that told a story of transition effectively.  I have endlessly beaten myself up

I started to research how I could present a poor set of images that told a story and was presentable. I found the Hockney Joiners set and put my own twist on it to produce one image that was better in my view, than the book that I had put together for submission. Although not a silk purse this was no longer a pig’s ear.

My essay was a challenge and ended up being in two halves. I explored the view of abstract photography as art and because the subject was so vast it became more of a list of comparisons. However, I was relatively happy with the feedback from my tutor.

In Conclusion

The course has challenged me and I feel I have emerged a better photographer.  I have enjoyed this I course more than any other but not for the reasons or the expectations I had when joining.  This has moved me into a whole new way of taking photographs and what I do  with them when taken off the camera. I should just mention my tutor here.  I was guided but not directed and for the first time I was able to start thinking outside the box without trying, which had been a struggle for me up to this point.  Please do not get me wrong, I have appreciated all the other tutors that I have had the pleasure of working with and I found them all very helpful but something was different this time.

Self Evaluation

Strengths

  • I like a challenge.
  • I have strong leadership skills and I set up a Landscape, Place and Environment support hangout via video conferencing during lockdown.
  • I am outgoing and sociable and have engaged well with the discussion fora.
  • I am hard working and do not give up easily.
  • I am educated to higher degree level and I utilise my research skills well in my photography.
  • I am beginning to be much more adventurous in my photography.
  • Generally, the work I have presented has shown a progression throughout the course and I have experimented with postproduction editing and genre e.g. abstract.

Areas for further development

  • I need to recognise when enough research is enough.
  • I need to stay focussed and not procrastinate.
  • I need to plan more effectively and not keep changing my mind once I set a direction of travel for an assignment or project.
  • I still need to develop my personal voice. My leaning is toward Landscape as a genre but the style is yet to be determined.
  • I need to continue to be more lateral in my thinking and interpretation of assignments.
  • I need to remember to put into practice the technical and theoretical knowledge that I have learned.  For example, I do not always take a tripod with me even though I know this will probably improve my shots.

Reflections and Learning

Assignment 6 – Transitions

Reflection and Learning Outcomes

This was a surreal experience during the Covid-19 Lockdown period.  I started the shoot in January and then in March until June we were confined to barracks only allowed out for a daily walk.  Fortunately, the building site was well within walking distance but during that period there was little building although the site did not close.  There was difficulty in getting building materials and towards the end there were only three men on site.

I used four viewpoints to shoot from:

  • the lane which was to be the entrance to the estate
  • the top of the hill on the alternative footpath
  • the lane at the north end of the site
  • the window from the studio above our garage/garden.

Reflection

I do not feel that this is my best piece of work.  I was not thorough enough in my planning and I did not stick to my original plan to photograph in the same spot each time.  I was trying to assume a more artistic approach to the assignment and totally, lost my way.  This resulted in a mismatch of images to put together as a set which told the story well.

I did try various ways to present the images and the one I preferred was a collage in the style of David Hockney’s Joiner series, inspired by photographer Kyle MacDonald.  However, I was not happy with what I produced and ended with a slide show in the form of a photo eBook.  I have submitted both for discussion with my tutor.

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills

  • I have used and explored a range of materials in order to decide about how to present this assignment and assignment 6. I have improved my technical skills in creating a slide show and a book. The book I had no experience of before. My skills in presenting as video and sound need more development.
  • The composition of many of my images when I reviewed them could have been improved.
  • I did not fully visualise the final edit and presentation.  Originally, I planned a timelapse presentation but then decided that it was rather cliched and this was when I started to lose my way.

Quality of Outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas

I hope that the quality of the outcome is satisfactory. I do like the “Joiners” attempt that I did and look forward to discussing this with my tutor.  I presented the collage  to one of the hangouts I attend and although the concept was well received there was a view that it did not effectively shot the transition element which is obviously, the key to the assignment.

This maybe the re-work after discussion with my tutor. 

Demonstration of Creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice

I lacked real imagination for this assignment.  However, I did experiment and although my personal voice is still in development landscape is definitely my preferred genre and I am working on the creative side of this.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)

I have been more active on my learning log and have attended a number of hangouts.  There have been fewer online tutorials and lectures since restrictions were lifted but I have managed one or two.

I have included posts on reflection as I worked through the process of the presentation.

Learning Outcomes

LO1 – demonstrate detailed knowledge of visual and conceptual strategies in landscape photography, the representation place and be able to explore your own critical photographic projects

In this assignment I was limited to spatial, cultural and functional properties of the location.  I was unable to access the site inside the safety Heres fencing.  I experimented with various techniques using the fence and barriers as a way of demonstrating the constraints of being on the outside.  However, once again these images when collated did not really show the transition of the site and the fences became even more of a barrier.

I started the set with an image of the lane before building began in an attempt to demonstrate how a space very quickly becomes a place.  As I write this there are people now living in the completed houses.

LO2 demonstrate and awareness of the wider social and cultural contexts that surround the representation of place, and be able to discuss relevant ethical perspectives in relation to your own practice

In terms of the ethical perspective of this piece of work my own personal views were very definitely a barrier.  The safety of the access and ingress to the site has always concerned me, the dialogue with the developers was not always truthful i.e. from an ecological perspective they claimed that there were only a handful of bird species on the site before building started when in fact there were hundreds.  I live adjacent to the site and my bird table has had over 30 species of bird on it in one day, I have had deer in the garden and rabbits abound.  Now there are very few and certainly no deer.

I was challenged by the Managing Director for taking shots of the site however, when I explained what I was doing he was more than happy.

LO3 – explore and realise a range of ideas and creative starting points, and exercise judgement in the production of visual material

I continue to explore a range of starting points but for this assignment few if any were quite right and event he eBook I’m not sure really works.  I am wondering now if a straightforward set of prints might be best.

LO4 manage learning resources, conduct self-directed contextual and visual research and be able to appraise your progress with increasing confidence

Although, I am a confident researcher, I was less thorough with this assignment than previously,  Most of the research I did initially was who and what was being photographed in architecture and latterly how to present my images. This assignment is unlikely to be included in any significant way when I submit for formal assessment.

LO5 demonstrate increasing autonomy and a developing personal voice and exercise your communication skills confidently and interact effectively within a learning group.

I continue to attend and contribute to hangouts and using the padlet to document keep track of my research and to share work with fellow students.  I continue to experiment with personal voice but since the last assignment it seems to have taken a step backwards.

Finding my Voice -tbc

I am still struggling to find my “voice”, so I thought I’d list what I like shooting and what I don’t.

Likes

Landscape – scenery, urban, industrial.

Space to Place – I like to look at changes and where a place has come from, what it is used for and the history of it.

Archival photography – using old photos mixed with new to tell a new story

Politics – I haven’t really explored this fully but I do know that I like to challenge and my “protest” poster in Context and Narrative gave me great pleasure, so too did my project on Remembrance and remembering using old photos as well as new.

Abstract and ICM.

Macro, again I haven’t fully explored this genre and what I have done has limited to inanimate objects and flora.

Dislike

Portraits – I never feel that I capture the right atmosphere or character

Street Photography – although I am outgoing I am hopeless at asking people for anything not just if I can take their photo.

Who I’m inspired by:

Ray Carafano https://carofano.com/about-ray/

Carafano is an American artist I first came across in Context and Narrative and have referred back to him since then. His biography on his web page says that he is primarily a street photographer but I particularly like his landscape work in riverrun and Broken Dreams. riverrun, has a certain quality to the framing of the images, the use of reflection and shadow and the geometry of a storm drain. Who could know that a drain could be so beautiful.

Broken Dreams is about the things left behind by inhabitants of the Mojave Desert and explores the reality of the the American dream.

Robert Adams

Liz Brizzi

Kyle McDonald

Jo Spence (not a landscape photographer)

https://www.amber-online.com/collection/the-coal-coast/Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

Sirkka was the photographer who inspired me to become more proficient with my photography instead of just taking snaps. I went to an exhibition in the Laing Art Gallery a number of years ago and came away wanting to learn how to take better photographs.

A Finnish photographer who moved to the North East in 1969 and most well known for her portrayal of the Byker community where she lives and which formed part of the exhibition that I saw . However, it is her Coal Coast collection that I like the best. This is a project taken over 3 years of the coast between Hartlepool and Seaham. The area was a mining area and the evidence of the use of the coastline for the industrial processing of coal can still be seen. The landscape is reminiscent of a planet’s terrain because of the chemicals and materials used and are now debris on the beaches.

Takeshi Mizukoshi

Chris Friel

Edwward https://edward-weston.com/edward-weston/ and Brett Weston https://www.brettwestonarchive.com/

Like father like son. Brett Weston was an apprentice to his father and their work is similar. I like the mix between the landscape images and the abstract macro images, feeding two of my interests.

Gursky Abstracts https://www.google.com/search?q=gursky+abstracts&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=VxR9OAxuVD1zfM%252C-dCcuXTxwULR2M%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kRKcB8S_8NJEJbtt0V1XPCoKYV3Zw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjY6fiOoJ_qAhVQUBUIHVIcD8IQ9QEwA3oECAkQFQ&biw=1329&bih=695

Born in Germany Gursky is well known for his massive panoramas. Since the 1990s has made no secret of his reliance on the digital era to enhance his images which are usually of man made spaces and usually taken from above. They tend to disorientate me and it takes a second or two to work out what they are.

Thomas Ruff Abstracts

Daisuke Yokota

Antony Cairns

Man Ray

Moholy Nagy

Ann Atkins

Dai Suke Yokota

All have very different styles and I look forward to experimenting some more . Currently, I am revisiting their websites/information to identify what it is that attracts me to these artists and perhaps a common theme that I can link to my work.

Assignment 6 – Transitions – re-work

To get started with this assignment you’ll need to choose a location or specific view that you’ll revisit throughout the duration of this course. Choose somewhere that is easily accessible and practical within the confines of the assignment brief. We recommend that you pick a location that’s somewhere near to where you live or work.

Transitions

Produce a series of images that responds to the idea of ‘transitions’ within the landscape. Work on this assignment throughout the course. Record the changes that a part of the landscape undergoes over an extended period of time. You may want to revisit a very specific view or you may choose to explore a particular part of the landscape more intuitively.

You may wish to photograph at very specific intervals (monthly, weekly, or even daily) or your routine may develop by other means. The quantity of work that you submit will depend on your particular strategy.

When completed, the assignment should address the notion that the landscape is an evolving, dynamic system. You may wish to confirm, question or subvert this assertion.

Your assignment should be accompanied with a reflective commentary (minimum 300 words) on how your project developed and how or whether it has affected your ideas around landscape.

If you decide to revisit a very particular view, then this activity will test your skills of pre-visualisation. You’ll need to try to imagine how the view might look throughout the year under different weather and lighting conditions, and whether there are any other factors that will affect your camera’s view. You may of course try a few different angles or vantage points but in any case pay very close attention to how you compose the frame, as you’ll need to ‘commit’ to this for the duration of the course.

Transitions – the final images can be viewed in a variety of ways via the collage, an ebook or video.

Following feedback from my tutor, I have attempted to present the images in a way that tells the story better. The final presentation of a collage has been re=worked with fewer images in an attempt to improve the story telling of this building development.

I made many mistakes in this project and my honest reflection can be found below. This was definitely not my finest hour despite the number of hours spent on it. However, some good has come from it and I hope old saying “you learn more from your mistakes than your successes” will ring true for me in moving forwards.

Ebook link

https://www.flipsnack.com/F59EABCC5A8/windy-edge.html

Introduction

When I moved into my house 4 years ago, little did I know that the place that I live in was about to change. The farm land behind my house was to become a building site for a total of 390 houses. The first phase of 90 houses was to happen just over my garden fence.

Doreen Massey argues that “space becomes meaningful through histories told”, this is described as a fluid definitional process with new stories yet to come. (Well L. (2011)

The challenge for the shoot proved to be even more difficult than I had first imagined.

I started the shoot in January and then in March we went into lockdown because of the pandemic.

This is certainly not my best piece of work. I seemed to lose my way early on and didn’t really find it again.

The Site

The site of the development is on three fields – East Bog, West Bog and Middle Bog. The only route in and out the the housing estate is by what was a narrow lane (Peters Mill Lane) onto a busy A road and despite local concerns about the safety of this the plans were passed.

There was a period of time during lockdown when there was very little progress on the site and trying to capture the changes became even more of a challenge. Then when we came out of lockdown the houses went up at a rapid pace. Within a couple of days they were built from foundations to roof height and ready for the stone cladding.

My mistake during this project was not to stand in the same spot each time and that was partly because the footpath changed, I was unable to gain access because the lane was inaccessible and the changing landscape as the site began to develop.

It was difficult to find photographers who had undertaken similar projects. I’ve looked at several whose project include photography streets overtime.

The constraints of photographing a building site left me struggling to produce something creative and unique. I tried as J.A.P. Alexander suggests in Perspectives on Place (2015) to incorporate various strategies e.g. including vehicles and signs but taken out of the context for this particular assignment renders them insignificant.

In trying to present the work in a little more creative way, I researched “mixed media” images and came across Liz Brizzi and Kyle MacDonald. I thought I could present my work in this style so set about putting together a collage.

However, having completed it, I felt it looked messy and did not really demonstrate the transition that well.

I therefore, opted for a slide show and eBook for discussion with my tutor.

Following feedback, I reviewed the collage. I changed the orientation and used fewer images, which seems to work slightly better. I feel the story is more apparent, with the beginning at the bottom, moving through the construction to the show house at the top and in the middle of it all a bike track used by young people and families.

References

Alexander J.A.P. (2011) Perspectives on Place: Theory and Practice in Landscape Photography. Bloomsbury, London.

Green M. (2020) The Power of Landscape. PetaPixel web page https://petapixel.com/2020/08/21/the-power-of-transitions-a-theory-of-landscape-photography/ (accessed 13.10.2020)

Wells L. (2011) Landscape Matters. pp 554. I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd. London.

Photographers

Thomas Struth http://www.thomasstruth32.com/smallsize/index.html (accessed 13.10.2020)

Eugene Atget https://www.icp.org/browse/archive/constituents/eug%C3%A8ne-atget?all/all/all/all/0 (accessed 13.10.2020)

Kyle MacDonald https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Photography-1928-Grant-Photo-Joiner-Collage-mixed-media-by-Kyle-MacDonald/779990/2942705/view (accessed 13.10.2020)

Liz Brizzi https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Photography-1928-Grant-Photo-Joiner-Collage-mixed-media-by-Kyle-MacDonald/779990/2942705/view (accessed 13.10.2020)

Paul Gafney http://www.paulgaffneyphotography.com/We-Make-the-Path-by-Walking (accessed 13.10.2020)

Contact Sheets