Assignment five re-edit

I was asked by my tutor to re-edit, even though he felt my original posting had met the brief for the assignment. He felt the assignment would be better for the images in colour and he asked me to concentrate the re-edit on colour and then shape. My final edit is below.

I await his written feedback, which will be posted upon receipt. I  was told previously  to make a series uniform, in regards to the  aspect ratio i.e. landscape  or portrait, but on this occasion  I have been asked to mix them up. Hence my edit below.01-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images02-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images03-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images04-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images05-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images06-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images07-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images08-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images09-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images10-20170212-Nick Ward 516128 EYV Assessment Images

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EYV reflection

One of the most important learning points I have come across during this course is to reflect upon my work and also to reflect upon the work of other artists. I have completed a number of other photography courses including some with the OCA and the Open University. However, I can say that this course has stimulated a wonderful thirst to pursue the work of other artists and to explore how they use their skill, craft, power imagination, ethics, feelings, emotions in their pursuit of their photographic goals. A good photographer can never read too much. I don’t profess to be Sally Mann, Elliott Erwitt or David Bailey, but I have read until I have dropped to sleep with bleeding eyes and my work, when my eyes have recovered, is showing signs of developing a voice and improving.

My collective reference list is extensive and includes a number of books that I have bought and have that been read with passion and sometimes with confusion, with ideas and understanding developing through the fog, to reveal wonderfully crafted learning and points of view I have never considered. These books will now stay with me for life and I am convinced they will not be dust gathers on shelves, but will be points of references, learning and lifelong relationships that will build my own photographic voice.

I have added my first and my final assignment below as a side by side comparison. I can now see how I have evolved. They were both black and white assignments. The first  assignment was a black and white set because I simply liked black and white images, at the outset, with no apparent reasoning behind this. I still love black and white images, but I do now understand more about this way to display the images I make and the meaning and context for this colour scheme.

My first assignment  was aimed at working as a series and was a political statement from me. The images were both landscape and portrait in nature and there was no real uniformity. There was some seriality, but this was not too evident. They were also captioned, not leaving the image to stimulate the viewer and potentially closing down on interpretation. There was also a lack of people in there. This was intentional, but the piece would have benefit from the human touch.

My final assignment is also black and white, but is full of people, with studiums and punctums interspersed in each image. My two assignments are similar, in so much as they are a series on one topic, yet they are miles away in terms of what they instil and inspire in the viewer.

My current work has definitely been inspired by Sally Mann. Not so much as copying her beautiful Southern lighting, her techniques, but using her thoughts on photographing her family. The final assignment is based around my wider family (not too dissimilar to her book cited in my reference list called, My Family) and I feel have captured the love that is the centre piece of any happy family.

I have benefited greatly from the tutorials with Les. He has made me think about myself as an artist (and as a person too) and what I want to get out of the course and how to progress on to being a successful degree student. His suggested reading and the pointers to other students’ work has been cleverly thought through and taken on board. There has been invaluable guidance on how I work and what other artists to look at. It has been very interesting, eye-opening and has helped me grow.

I feel the two comparative sets below, demonstrate the strides I have made and that this insight will be a building block for me.

 

 

All references for Expressing Your Vision

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Reference list for Part Five

 

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Exercise 5.1 contd…

The subject I have chosen for this exercise is a charity, which is close to where I live and one I have used before in my work. It is also close to my heart and empathy comes easy. This time I have not concentrated on the animals, but have focused mainly on the human side. This is a subject that I can empathise and sympathise with and all of the volunteers do this out of their love of animals and assisting others. Two qualities that are dear to my heart.

Getting permission to photograph the people you see was not easy as most objected, although the charity were more than happy for me to be there. There were only 2 people who immediately said yes, and I will leave these 2 unnamed.

The day was over cast, wet and thoroughly miserable. The light outdoors was muted and shadows were kept to a minimum. It was also raining, which made the work of the volunteers harder and it was not nice for shooting. It was 1 degree above freezing so my hands were cold. I made a conscious decision to avoid adding any extra light and worked purely with the ambient light, as I felt this would create more mood and assist with showing empathy. My select and series are below and I will explain my reason for my select, where I will critique my photos and link back to exercise 1.4.

09
My select

The above photograph is untitled but I will give this photo some context and reflection below; –

  • This lady is a volunteer book seller for the charity.
  • She works in a stable/barn selling hundreds of books. The stable/barn is near the proverbial barn door and 7 months of the year this is very cold work.
  • She hates having photos made of her, yet she exudes warmth and kindness, yet with a muted warning that you should not mess.
  • This warning is in the form of her Lonsdale Boxing hat, albeit predominantly pink to soften the blow.
  • The fingerless gloves also contribute to the outfit.
  • Her outfit exudes warmth and practicality.
  • The purple bum bag adds to the feeling, as does the way the coat is fastened.
  • The background places the lady in her rightful place. The books, although they stacked, they are not uniform and this is expected for me in such a wonderful place, where emphasis is placed on caring and not appearances.
  • There is somewhat of a contrast between the coldness of the building and the warmth in the colours she wears. Maybe this is a conscious decision to look bright,  warm and inviting or maybe it is a subconscious decision. Either way this adds to the feeling of wanting to get to know her and having an understanding of her, as an amazing volunteer and as a person.
  • Is she hiding behind the mug?
  • The bars in the background also place this as a barn/stable environment and the depth of field adds to the image by making you looking to see if you can recognise any of the books. I can spot a Harry Potter book and an Indiana Jones game. It must be a magic adventure working there.
  • I think it is great when people give their time freely to such charities and other worthwhile causes and the people who do so should be celebrated.
  • She is an amazing lady and I will be going back to show her the photo I made. I hope she likes it.

A similar exercise was carried out in 1.4 and I am pleased to reflect that my creativity has improved. Rather than focusing on birds, I have moved on to people, who add different challenges and more of a dynamic.  Below is my contact sheet from 1.4 and I am much happier with what I am producing now, as this is not only more meaningful, but also thought-provoking. It is also harder to photograph people in such a way than simply clicking the shutter as birds fly by. I am not sure if my work even had a studium at that stage, where as I feel my select has both a studium and a punctum and means something.

As you can see from my book reviews, I have done a great deal of academic reading and this is now starting to pay dividends. This excercise is not directly influenced by any one artist or author, but by a multitude of them and I am now beginning to find my voice.framing

My series