Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Selected Final Images

When coming down to the crunch of preparing my final images, I found it quite hard to decide between the two themes I had explored, so tried to make a connection between the two.

Theoretically, I thought that the two ideas show the contrast of the city – the natural beauty of the water and the man-made beauty of the street art, combining together to create what we know as the character of the city of Plymouth.

Instead of printing several images I wanted to narrow it down to only 2 or 3 based solely on my budget. Visually, I made connections between my chosen images based on similar colours within the images to make strong partnerships between two very different elements of the city. This way I could combine the images together to make one image. These are my experiments.

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From this I was able to see which pairings worked well and which didn’t, helping me to see the colours clearly and present the partnerships between the two. This was a massive learning step for me – I had never thought about pairing images this way and I felt that the process really worked and has taught me something to consider in future projects. This helped me get down to just three final images, which are shown here.

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I want to express that this was just as much a learning curve for me as for anyone else who may not know Plymouth so well, helping me to see different ways that the city has evolved into what we see today.

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Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

The New Idea and Images – Urbanisation

The next idea I looked at was the theme of the urbanisation of Plymouth, looking at mainly street art along with a few other ideas. As an art student, I felt this was a really key theme especially when talking to other art students in India, showing the idea of how art can be explored in many ways. When exploring Plymouth, I found that street art is very commonly used within the city as a form of expression, which I wanted to show in my own expressive medium of photography.

By photographing these areas I wanted to promote the idea of expression, and that although classed as illegal graffiti, it allows people to show off their talents and ideas. What means very little to one person would mean so much more to someone else, and I believe everyone has the rights to express that.

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From the contact sheets I again chose 5 of my favourite images, which I would consider for potential final pieces. I felt that these chosen 5 demonstrate the diverse amount of street art in so many different areas; regardless of how small it might be, it’s still effective. It also shows that some of the areas are hidden like in the underground, which I feel is unfair – people shouldn’t have to hide their expressions.

One of my final images wasn’t based on street art but I felt showed the urban lifestyle of the city well. With the faded colours, rusting and the prominent satellite on the wall, I felt it showed the very urban lifestyle that is slowly becoming evident within the city.

I think the colours of the images are really vibrant and eye catching enabling people to notice. These things are ignored too easily and I feel they are really relevant at creating a certain character for the city. I wanted to try and capture different textures to contrast the colours in the images also, which I feel I captured well.

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Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

The New Idea and Images – Water

After the last shoot I tried to study the city as a whole, what makes the city a unit? Being fairly new to Plymouth myself this seemed a daunting question, but I quickly found that, for me, there are two major themes consistently rolling through the city – water and the urban modernisation of the city itself. This then became the foundations of my photographs.

My photos look at two areas of Plymouth specifically following the two themes – the boating lifestyle of Plymouth and the street art dotted around the city. I feel that together, these two aspects of Plymouth really build the character and atmosphere of the city.

Thinking about the boating and water theme, I was inspired by the large navy enforcement within the city and how this is a huge pride and honour for Plymouth. I didn’t want my images however to be navy based photos. I wanted to go deeper than that.

When approaching my first shoot focusing on the boating and water theme of the city, I didn’t want to be too cliché and show the typical landscape photos of boats and the sea. I wanted to get up close and capture the character of the sea and the journeys individuals take to cross it. I wanted to investigate what goes on among the shore before heading out to sea, looking at the boats themselves and the docks where they leave. These are my contact sheets for that shoot.

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From the contact sheets I chose 5 of my favourite images, which I would consider for potential final pieces. I felt that these chosen 5 show my idea well, demonstrating more than just a cliché image of the barbican, but the actual demonstration of the equipment of a boating lifestyle. I used the water as an object of reflection – reflecting the memories and realities of the boats, which I felt was much more effective than using water in a landscape.

I think the colours and the textures bring real depth and life to the images, which in itself helps the image to become more engaging and memorable. I believe it helps to show the reality of what I was trying to capture.

 

 

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Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Initial Idea for ‘The City’ Shoot

When first approached with the theme of ‘The City’, I felt very lost and at a loose end with the possibilities of what I could show the city of Plymouth as through photographs. When studying the city in great depth I thought, what would I want to show someone who doesn’t know Plymouth about Plymouth?

I thought at first about showing travel. Travel is a major part of Plymouth, with many bus services, trains and a large amount of bike riding. As a heavy train traveller, I decided to study the use of trains. In a previous project from my first year I studied the train station itself so wanted to focus more on portraiture and the kinds of people who travel on trains and what they do to pass the time whilst travelling. This was also a new step in confidence for me as I am not highly experienced with working with strangers so felt this would be a major step forward.

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This was my first set of images. I was quite nervous about the shoot so it wasn’t a large one. I feel the images are a starting point at showing my intended message but I felt that the pressure was too much and it made me feel a lot of undesired pressure to continue this as a project. As a project that is being used to almost ‘educate’ the university in India about the lifestyles of Plymouth, I wanted to do a project that I felt more confident about, both when taking part and about the imagery at the end.

From here I intend to try and make a more confident project, maybe sticking to my comforts of still life or using models, which I feel comfortable with. This however has been a learning curve and has urged me to consider using models that I don’t know when perusing projects of a longer time period in the future.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Diary of Organizing the Exhibition and Symposium

As groups we worked together to brain storm some potential ideas for the symposium and exhibition, with things that need to be thought about when organizing it. Here are some of the things that were mentioned:

  • Delegating different areas to specific groups of people
  • An overall theme? Common ground – eg. Culture, water
  • Should we have several themes for people with different interests and diversity?
  • Is there any point in outside speakers?
  • Do we want mixed media? Eg. Sound, video
  • How much should each person submit?
  • Should we include props? Eg. Post cards, sculptures
  • Could we send postcards back and forth to India? Look at the idea of tourism vs reality
  • We could look into using the big screen in Royal Parade to show the work from India and how society reacts to it
  • We should have volunteer speakers so that it is organised
  • Need to consider different ethical beliefs when photographing
  • Should we do a test run a couple of weeks before to ensure that technically everything works and runs well?

This, along with Jen’s lecture, has given us a strong starting point of things to think about to move further into the organisation of the symposium. It has been decided that we should all be put into groups where we feel we will best perform such as curatorial, the symposium itself and technical, to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day.

As a group we made some decisions about the symposium. We wanted to keep it internal but then we had the question of where? We had three options –

  • 2.24 – perhaps too small a space?
  • 4th Floor gallery space
  • Lecture Theatre – no space to exhibit but good for the symposium

As a collective we decided to go with the 4th floor gallery space. With large windows surrounding, it gave good lighting which meant we wouldn’t need to worry about trying to light the space. The area was large enough for us to exhibit our work and the Indian work whilst still delivering a symposium.

We also discussed potential themes as it would make the work more structured and enhance a flow to the space. The themes included

  • Water
  • Fashion / Culture
  • Postcards

Eventually it was decided that there was no need for a theme – the theme of ‘the city’ encased all of work into one. Although everyone’s work was very different the work connected together to build an overall feel of the city. It also meant that we didn’t over complicate the symposium and could use our time more effectively to plan.

We then decided to part into groups – curatorial for the overall look of the event, symposium to organise the event itself and technical for the connection to India. I decided to join the symposium group to further my skills in organisation and the pragmatics of an event. The group was of a good size meaning that there were enough people to delegate tasks to make sure everything was covered.

As a group we discussed over some points that were areas that needed to be answered and sorted before the day itself and help to progress further in the organisation

  • Introduction of Mohini and India
  • How will we receive the work from India? Online?
  • Allow people to volunteer to talk – call for proposals
  • Decided to only invite people within the college as limited space

We then created deadlines for people to follow in order to make sure that the organisation moves forward quickly and efficiently.

  • 26th April – proposals to be submitted ready for decisions on flow of the day
  • 28th April – print deadline
  • 3rd May – Run through of the day

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We gave each member of the group roles to ensure everyone had something to be responsible for:

  • Tiah – Runner of the Day / General Organisation of everyone
  • Dannielle – Google Drive documents / Call for proposals
  • Niamh – Time Plan / Running Order of the day
  • Mollie  – Runner of the Day
  • Sophie Brett – Branding
  • Ellie – Unknown
  • Anna – Branding
  • Rebecca – Communications between Curation and Design

During the Easter break, I got on with my responsibility of creating the call for proposals, giving everyone a clear structure of what we desired and when by.

Branding took a long time to get underway which left us a little bit lost with our overall look for the symposium. This also delayed invitations to other students and the overall promotion of the event.

There was a running of the day created to get a general overview of how the day might run. This included time for the exhibition to be explored, speakers and breaks. We decided it would run from 9am – 1pm to ensure that the students in India were within a good timescale with us due to the time difference.

After receiving the proposals we met as a group to select the relevant ones and order them into the time schedule. We wanted to have a flow to the speakers so that the run of the day didn’t seem dysfunctional. We had a lack of proposals entered leaving us with a problem of empty time in the day. We managed to rope in a few more speakers, eventually filling the day with speakers, in an order that showed the history of Plymouth through to the potential future of Plymouth. We also worked out that the speakers would have 10 minutes of speaking time, 5 minutes of speech and 5 minutes of questions from the audience.

The same day we established all the tasks that were left for us to do before the day itself so that we were organised.

TO DO:

  • Branding
  • Make Posters
  • Video of creation of the day to show the Indian students
  • Trial Day – Presentations / Talks – 3rd May
  • Catalogue of the work – propose this to the Curation group?

On May 3rd we had our first trial run day for the speakers and general running of the day. The day wasn’t very successful or organised and seemed like we had a lot of work to do to make the process of the day smoother. We did however clear up some loose ends such as the making of the catalogue. To contribute to this and tick a box in the deliverables we decided that everyone should contribute their artist statement to the catalogue.

Branding had still not been done and was starting to really delay our movement in promotion and invitation. This was becoming irritating as we had all been delegated roles which were agreed and these were not being stuck to.

The speakers decided to meet again on the 15th may to run through the speeches in time for the day.

During the time in between I used Eventbrite to create a page for people to sign up for tickets for the day. As there was limited space in the gallery, we limited the numbers to 40. The tickets were free as this was an internal event and was not necessary for payment.  I also used my time to extensively promote the event on the PCA Collaboration page on Facebook to get interest from other students.

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The branding was also done during this time which made the promotion of the event begin which was essential.

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On May 15th, the speakers met together. Not many people, myself included, had prepared a speech which made this another unsuccessful meeting. However it was then demanded to us that we change the whole running of the day and shorten it by an hour. This seemed really unnecessary when branding and promotion had already been started and advertised the original time schedule of the day, making me feel hugely agitated by the decision.

After another difficult meeting, we decided to have a speech meeting within the exhibition space on the 18th May to show how it would work within the space.

On the 18th we met in the space and had a brief run through of the speeches. None of the speakers spoke for long enough which made the timing of the day a concern, a concern that could have been avoided had we stuck to plan in the previous meetings.

The symposium day it arrived. My responsibility for the day was my role in speaking during the programme of the day. The start of the day made me feel miserable – none of our audience had shown up! This was highly demotivating but didn’t stop us trying our best. We were also still lacking running of the day leaflets, something that someone was delegated as a task but had neglected. This had to be quickly sorted and printed ready for any late coming guests.

We managed to gain a connection with India through video allowing us to collaborate together. We had a few issues with the connection at first but it was eventually sorted. The speeches began and everything was flowing smoothly.

After the third speaker, we were introduced to the presentation by the Indian students – something we didn’t realise was happening but was liaised without our agreement. However, this was an excellent experience and really inspiring, giving us not only an insight into the students’ photography but their culture and way of life which made this a really engaging experience for us all. I myself really enjoyed this experience.

Presentations

After the presentation had finished, I was expecting our symposium timetable to continue however I was wrong. The connection was ended and that was the end of the day. This was highly disappointing as I wanted to engage with the students with my speech which was practically taken away from me. However I feel that this would have looked worse had our audience actually showed, so this turned out to be a happy accident.

I did still get the chance to present but the circumstance in which it happened was not what I had expected so I probably didn’t take as much care over it as I would have had it been the correct schedule.

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Overall I think the overall day was a really essential experience. It was a great way to expand our knowledge and potentially our contacts – the contact between the two universities is something I would be interested in keeping up with. It was inspiring to engage with a group of people with a completely different way of life to us. It was highly informative and an engaging time for us all.

The symposium event was a real confidence-building exercise – the building of relationships and the broadcasting of work on the walls for an audience.

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I feel the event faced us with many situations where we had to think quickly to ensure that the day continued which is a good skill to develop as the real world is unpredictable. It definitely strengthened the team relationships within the cohort but I feel it may also have destroyed a few – this is life and I feel that it shouldn’t be disheartening as people are not always going to agree.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Creating a Symposium

As a starting point for our symposium, visiting guest Jen … came in to talk to us about her symposium and give us some tips on how to make one ourselves.

Research in Practice

What do you want to talk about?

  • Respond to words?
  • Debate?
  • Practice?
  • Themes?
  • Environmental?
  • Rural vs urban?

You need a broad topic to keep a range of people participating.

Formulating Foundations

  • Who is it aimed at?
  • What questions will be asked?
  • What is your own take on the theme/question?

Research your subject so you know exactly what you’re talking about!

A time plan is really important to stay on track

Tasks Involved

  • Venue
  • Budget
  • Written content
  • Research
  • Social media
  • Online platforms
  • Running order drafts

Leading up to the Symposium

  • Marketing
  • Hand outs of information
  • Technical needs
  • Do we want to film it?

 

After this spread of information I realise I need to research symposiums to get an idea of what to expect and get brainstorming. It is clear that there is a lot to think about and to be considered to make a successful symposium. I also need to really research the subject of The City to get a really interesting idea started for the project.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Website

After creating several online presences, I decided to make a website to give myself more credibility and a more professional nature. Without a website people could underestimate my professional abilities.

I used the site Wix to make my website as this offered an easy to use service at a very low cost for the domain name. For one whole year it cost me £24 for the use of my own domain name which is financially very little. The website offered me several templates to start off my website which I used as I have very little experience with creating one. I found this very helpful when establishing the lay out of my website.

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As a welcome page I chose to use a plain background with simply my name and an enter button. I feel this establishes clearly and successfully who I am. It might be an idea to write photography alongside it; however, it does say it in the domain name so I would hope that it would be obvious what the website is going to be about. I am also considering creating a logo which would sit on the welcome page to add more character to my website.

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In the top corner of every page it has my name in the font seen on the welcome page to keep a consistency of design throughout the website. Along the top there is also my menu. At the end of my menu I have included some hyperlinks to my existing online presences to show my existence in other areas and try to gain more following.

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In my about me section I tried to focus on selling myself in a way that sounds professional, including my qualifications and experiences. I tried to write about my interests in photography such as my work with documentary but also making it clear that this is not my only area of ability so that I can show my diversity. I didn’t want to make this section incredibly long so not to bore the reader or make the website too word dominating when the website is for photography which is visual. I included a photo of myself to try and reflect my passion for photography and the desire to make this my career. I feel this area could do with a little more work, which I am hoping to do once I have studied artist statements and creating my own.

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For the main portfolio of my website I decided to use a visual menu in the form of boxes, using one image from each category to represent it which, when clicked, takes you to the whole body of work within that category. There is also a written menu in the drop down menu along the top.

A general theme throughout my website is to keep the writing to a minimum – as a photography website I feel that it should be visual and allow the audience to interpret the work as they wish instead of me writing paragraphs explaining what I want them to think. My work is about telling stories and showing realities within society. My work isn’t there to tell people how to feel, but to allow them to see things a different way.

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When clicking on the category box it takes you to the body of work within that category. For the presentation of the work, I used a slide across menu that automatically takes you through each image every three seconds although there are buttons for you to skip through the images quicker if you wish. I feel that this is a very clear layout which is easy to use.

I have tried to keep the website as simplistic as possible to make sure it is clear and easily accessible to the audience otherwise I feel that people would get fed up or irritated by the website and therefore would lose interest in my work. I want to keep my website as engaging as possible to make the audience excited and interested in what I have to show.

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To complete my website I made a contact me section for any questions, queries or general contact that people may wish to make with me. I  created a separate email address for this so to keep everything separate and more professional.

I feel the website is a gradual continuing work in progress. It needs a lot of work but I am proud of the point in which I am at currently considering I have never experienced making a website before. I feel this along with my other online presences could really help to show myself to the world and allow people to explore the stories that I wish to tell.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Louis Porter

Porter started as a street photographer, looking at mainly urban areas. This led him into a vast amount of projects which are all different yet surprisingly similar in other ways.

Unknown Land – Australia

Suburban areas

Interested in the idea of dystopia, looking at literature and film

Biggest influence was the book ‘the other side’

Lots of yellow and blue, bursts of colour, bold

Shot during summer, flash, saturated colour film

Used a drum scanner to scan film which made colour management a difficulty

Would pick up ‘souvenirs’ from the sites he had photographed to compare colour and colour correction – this eventually made up an archival collection

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I Love China – 2008 Beijing Olympics

Freedom to photograph but restriction to enter certain areas

Aim was to respond to things that the government wanted people to respond to such as museums and parks

Shoot when the sun is at its highest

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Wires at Night – Beijing

Looking at the wires and large electricity poles left from the Olympics, like urban furniture

Large things that are so casually ignored

A spontaneous shoot done because he was there at the time

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100 Flowers

Communist had asked what people thought of the revolution, which created a sense of paranoia which was a crossover of events with the Olympics

Beijing planted several new flower beds over the city in light of the opening for the Olympics

Heatwave killed the flowers so they had to be replanted

Images like snapshots

The Anatomy of Business – Australia

Archive found from a financial newspaper which was stolen by protesting photographers

Porter modified them to avoid copyright, cropping into them to make you think about what it is that’s missing

Created a shadow archive with which he did the same to compare the two

Embeds meaning into the work

Was exhibited in Melbourne

In the published book, the ink increases as the book goes through to a page of black to show the production process. It is designed to come apart to reconceptualise the images within. The inks from the prints rub off on your fingers.

 

The Appendix

From the archive in the previous project he found 4000 images of business men sent to the newspaper

Cropped them into just their foreheads and paired them up with similar styles of hair/head

Through the series the hair gradually decreases

101 John Smiths

Most common name found on facebook, porter decided to collect all of their profile photos to study the photographic clichés

Raises the question whether they are all real

The ethical side of things is to just go for it!

 

Conflict Resolution

Images from this project are catalogued – he created his own archive

The book is formed into categories of images

Planned shoots to concentrate on exactly what he wanted

What constitutes the surface of a city?

Small incidents create our normality

Interested in things that look ‘crap’ as this creates something beautiful

In the book the colours are conflicting like a wash over

This was the set of work that most influenced some initial thoughts for ‘The City’ project currently at hand. Small incidents create our normality. This has made me consider looking through the city to think about what small things we might miss but are actually the happy accidents that make society. The small things around us that build the area we live in in a way that makes it our home, our life.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Penfriend

After being put in contact with a student from the Banaras University in India, I sent an email to my partner, starting with potential points for discussion that would create a diverse conversation that would be informative and inspirational for us both. Unfortunately my recipient did not reply. After the collaborative symposium event with the university, I pursued to email Shivani again using the symposium as a point of interest for us both to discuss. Yet still no reply. From here I decided to find a pen pal elsewhere.

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I decided to make an account on PenPal World, allowing me to seek international recipients with similar interests to myself. I used the keyword search to look for people who were interested in documentary photography, giving us a common connection that would be a good conversation starter.

The account limits you to three emails a day, which I used to email three imternayional people to try and connect a conversation.

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One of the people I had messaged had a website with his own imagery which I investigated as another conversational point for our potential conversation. I found his work fascinating and beautiful – something I was intrigued to know more about.

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I eventually received a reply from the individual which was relieving as I had had no luck with responses from any of the other people I had tried to contact. It was nice to see how keen he was to engage in a conversation with me, stating he wanted us to get in contact on other platforms for an easier conversation and exchange of visual work. I think this will be something that remains a consistent. I rarely venture away from the UK so I feel excited by the idea of conversing with people around the world. Using our knowledge I hope we are able to support and help each other through our conversations. The process has increased my confidence when approaching people unknown to me; something which I feel is an essential aspect of a professional career. I also think this will broaden my experience and knowledge.