This year was the first time I have ever considered Professional Practice within my study of photography. I have found it very interesting to learn about different elements that contribute to photography besides the physical side of it, which has ultimately helped to increase my awareness when being the photographer and how I can build myself into a more professional one.
Learning about different photographer’s practice and journeys into photography has been helpful inspiration to decide the path I want to take and helped to decide that I am on the right one. It has also been interesting studying the curatorial side of being a photographer, helping me to look at how I present my work more creatively and studying how others exhibit their work to communicate with the audience.
It has been really helpful to learn a substantial amount from various photographers who have visited. this has not only helped me with research for other briefs but has enabled me to consider how I intend to build myself and sell myself as a photographer. Having joined from commercial and attending the symposium in London, I was able to meet a variety of different practitioners such as retouchers and freelancers.
I found the work experience placement very interesting and looking at the development of photography through various years in the archives what very fascinating. I learnt different ways of how businesses like these work, using their online data base and how they store the archives, as well as being able to build on my current technical skills and team work skills.
I found the interview quite a difficult task but it has helped me to be more confident when talking to other practitioners. I found my interviewee gave me some helpful feedback and information that will help me forward with my work as a photographer.
My main problem through the year was not keeping on top of notes and time management, meaning it all became a rush towards the end, however this is a consistent problem across all of my briefs so is a definite target for next year.
To conclude, I feel over the course of professional practice I have had the opportunity to learn a lot and have taken in a lot of feedback from various angles that I may not have considered before. I feel next year will be even more interesting to continue learning how to start a professional photographic journey and learning from other sources how to maintain this into a career.
During Semester 2, we were split into three groups to produce weekly exhibitions in the class room to get our minds thinking about creative ways of displaying work and working as a team to do this. I was in group 3, and in some ways you could say we were at an advantage as we were the last ones to do our exhibition meaning we had extra time to think about our idea first time around.
For our first attempt we decided for our exhibition to delve into the idea of capturing the essence of an individual, but decided to keep it simple with portraiture, some of which are staged and some obscure. Collectively we gathered images to create a PowerPoint accompanied by music to help bring a tranquil feel to the space enabling you to observe the imagery at a deeper level. We set this up within the small cupboard in our classroom, and projected the PowerPoint onto an easel, linking back to historical portraiture painting.
Our second idea was to create a 3D shape that consisted of images of shapes that could be seen in 3D by wearing glasses. We used the internet to find different shaped nets which we then assembled and photographed quite simply on a white background. We then took the images to Photoshop where we used basic techniques found on YouTube to create the classical red and blue 3D effect to the image. Once we had enough of these images to cover multiple sides of a shape we placed these onto another net and printed this out large to assemble into a large shape covered in 3D shapes. Therefore the overall theme of this exhibition was 3D image of shape onto a 3D image of display and then viewed in 3D with glasses. Through doing this I learnt different types of origami and also new things I can do to my images in the future on Photoshop which I had never considered to look at before.
Over all, the mini exhibition process allowed me to discover alternate ways of displaying my work which would add to the interest of it visually, as well as learning new techniques and working on my team work skills.
As part of my work experience deliverable I chose to take part in a day at the south west image bank in Plymouth. Upon my arrival I was introduced to the office and introduced to the existing staff, all of who were volunteers as they do not offer paid work.
My first task set to me was cataloguing, which consisted of me going through a film archive from Plymouth Herald newspaper in April 2002, and writing the correct information from the negatives onto the computer database, making it easier to find electronically in the future without searching through all of the archives manually. Although this was a long and at times tedious task, it was interesting to look at the kind of things that were recorded only 14 years ago and how these were considered suitable for publishing. The archive contained many different genres from documentary, fashion, all the way to just family photos, showing the different ways of working by different photographers. This was inspiring to me to look at how photography can still be just as important, if not more many years down the line and how photographs are stored as memories waiting for someone to recover. It was intriguing looking at the negatives, wondering who the individuals were and if they knew that these images were still seen now, showing how moments captured can last forever.
My second task was to actually go through negatives and scan them into the database to the right information. At times this task proved tricky, as there would be several negatives from different stories in one sleeve, meaning I would have to use a light box, the information on the sleeve and the database to try and figure out which images belonged to which story. I was already familiar with the scanner and the scanning programme that I had to use. It was interesting to see how different, if different at all, the volunteers of south west image bank scanned in the images. They used a dpi of 1200, which although lower than what I would use normally, still gave a clear end result suitable to upload to the database. Some of the stories had several negatives, so there was a lot of pressure on myself to only choose 1 or 2 from each story to upload; giving me the responsibility of choosing which ones I felt suited best. This has helped me however to study images more carefully to choose which images are more worthy of being public and the relevance of an image to the job it is needed for.
When leaving my day at south west image bank I asked if I could return again as I had enjoyed studying the history of Plymouth and looking at the development of photography through various years in the archives. Although some may think the job itself is quite boring, the element of fascination and inspiration from the images keeps the day busy. I learnt different ways of how businesses like these work, using their online data base and how they store the archives. I also fell upon techniques when scanning that I may not have considered before as well as gaining more confidence on choosing the right photo for the circumstance. I am excited to go back again in the future.