Reflection prior to starting on Part five

What have I learned so far and my own personal thoughts on reflection on the course

  • There is much more reading expected with this course, than I was expecting. I spend 80% of my time reading and researching. At first this did not seem the best way to be progressing with a photography course. However, in saying that I have now learned so much and feel my tutor’s influence in this has been without question.
  • I started the course photographing literally what was asked (with out invention and soul) and I felt almost as though I were studying for a GCSE. I now think about my images and think;
    • what do I want my image to say
    • who is going to view this
    • what external influences will act on my final image
    • how does the location affect me and the viewer
    • does the image need a title/caption
    • should it be in colour or black and white, not simply black and white for its’ perceived qualities of art and truth.
    • what is my audience
    • how has such a subject been shot by other artists
    • what are my basic in camera requirements
    • how does the light influence my thoughts
    • how long have I got for the shot etc
  • I feel that when I make a photograph, I am not simply copying what is framed, but I am capturing the essence of the subject, from the reflected light of the subject and in essence I am capturing part of the soul of the subject.
  • Importantly from my research and reading I am feeling inspired by the wonderful and yet challenging images taken by Sally Mann and plan to develop this further.
  • I still need to be more critical of other artists and add book reviews to my blog, and this is (in respect of the book reviews) something I will do prior to completing Part five. Critical reviews will be an ongoing process for me,  as I am not used to academic language or style and this needs to be developed further.
  • I was originally overawed by the exercises and thinking them through too deeply and perhaps to literally, not putting my personal stamp on the images and projects I have made.
  • I have also been involved in setting up a photography gallery, where I was able to spend three days with Les Monaghan, gaining invaluable insight not only into galleries, but life as an artist and what is expected from students, along with multiple  hints and tips along the way.
  • Don’t be afraid to make images of total strangers and be confident in doing so.
  • I feel am beginning to develop my own personal voice.

Have my images changed in any way? That is the question I have posed myself. Here are two images from the start, and up to and including the present.

I guess I have chosen 2 images that are impossible to compare fully, yet for me the second image has more “soul” and meaning. Image 2 is a portrait, and you may be left thinking, who is the lady, how old is she, where was this shot as the background is missing and is that a sincere smile. For me, the eyes in the image say I am not quite comfortable with this. The first image does not really say anything to me on reflection, which was not how I originally intended the image to be read. If I were to complete the square mile assignment again, I would choose a different subject matter and more than  likely include people, who were missing from my original  piece.

Would I ever have experimented with self portraits as in the image below? No is the answer, so I have progressed and now give greater thought both inside and outside the box when making images. Studium and punctum play roles in my thought processes!



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