The end of this course seemed to come upon me at pace. My work is now all bundled up and sent off to the assessors. It seems I completed assignments 5 and 6 without posting in this journal, though it wasn’t because they were completed without reflection – far from it, but my reflections were in real time and included in my learning log.
M final reflections are on my blog at: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/2020/01/11/landscape-overall-reflections/
I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and in particular engaging with landscape in very different ways than I first imagined and my photographic practice and confidence has grown enormously. In terms of assignment 6, I wish I knew at the beginning what I know now as I finished assignment 6 knowing that it wasn’t finished; my ideas developed as my photographic practice did leaving me in a position of where I want to go rather than with finished quality images and prints. I am slightly nervous what my assessors will make of this but I have taken my Tutor’s advice and submitted where my practice is now taking me, so the images are only preliminary sketches in fact of how I will develop this project.
So now onto Documentary: fact or fiction!
When researching for assignment 5 today I was very taken with Joshua Cooper’s description of how he photographs with slow looking, and gazing rather than glancing, a gaze which is a piercing looking.
I was also particularly struck whilst researching at how Golding describes photograhing whilst walking through the landscape as a passage through a series of thoughts:
“I begin the day’s walk with an intention – conscious or otherwise – to explore beneath the surface. I stay a moment, experiencing the solid complexities, the impenetrability of the place where my journey begins. Once this has made its impression, there’s a surfacing, almost as if I’m breaking the surface of the water (or the dream that is conscious life) to gather breath – and perhaps light, or imagery – for the time beneath. Then I begin a descent into the unconscious self, gradually at first, then becoming more fully immersed. Illuminations shift, different possibilities becoming visible” (Brydon, 2016).
All of this helps me to feel better about having become so much slower in my photography recently and the concentration that getting the right picture takes. It also helps me to justify my work with a tripod in low light in the woods for assignment 6, as I am aware that it really slows me down. I am finding now that I concentrate much more before taking a picture; I might find the subject and space easily but may spend a long time moving the tripod around to get the vantage point/perspective that I want.
Brydon, A. et al. (2016) A DAY’S JOURNEY INWARD | J.M. Golding – Inside the Outside. At: https://www.inside-the-outside.com/jm-golding-days-journey-inward/ (Accessed on 4 November 2019)
I was surprised about the layers of meaning that photographing food can uncover, for instance how we live, values, traditions, as well as be used for abstraction, form, and aesthetics. I will look at food as a subject matter quite differently from now on and of course what I’ve learnt will transfer to other subject matters.
I went on a few exploratory shoots for assignment 5 before deciding that I want to walk and shoot in rural rather than industrial edgelands to give an organic feel to my Brexit landscapes. After more experimenting in rural edgelands I know that I’ll shoot mainly close ups with a shallow depth of field to achieve the intensity and ambiguity I want.
It is good for my assignment that Brexit is still at the forefront of the news and conversations in the UK, as when I go out walking it is very much on my mind. I’ve had a good week experimenting this week whilst shooting; it’s been mainly dry and sunny so I’ve been able to immerse myself in shooting.
Tonight I made it to a Google Hangout with some of my landscape colleagues (see separate post) as usual it was really useful seeing and commenting on their work and inviting critiques and ideas on my developing work in assignment 5.
I’ve had my feedback and finished assignment 4 and am looking forward to working on assignments 5 and 6. My initial idea for assignment 4 is to photograph edgelands landscape in a conceptual/abstract way as a response to my feelings about the effect Brexit is having on the country.
Whilst out running I had the thought that “dead ends” could be too restrictive and that I should keep my mind open and go out walking in “edgelands” and simply see what presents itself in terms of having Brexit on my mind, possibly, stagnation, unpleasant turns, dead ends, conflict, blockages…
It’s been a busy week. I booked but hesitated to go to a photography symposium on photography and place because of its location, but I am so glad that I spent the time travelling to it. I was able to meet and learn from many experts and the event both helped me to join up some previous learning and introduce me to new landscape photographers and new directions in landscape photography.
The next day I was taken by a friend to an exhibition at the V and A of Tim Walker’s “Wonderful things”. It’s not something I would have chosen to see but it was interesting to see his creative process, his imagination in practice in his photography, films and installations. I was particularly interested that included in the exhibition were examples of artefacts from the V and A that have influenced his work.