PHO704: Week 5: Stronger Together

In Week 5, we were presented with a task of producing some co-authored work.

Co-authorship Take 1 and 2

I set off to a meeting in a nearby town to establish contact and begin the co-authorship task. I arrived seemingly prepared, yet as is often the case in my photography, chance intervened and plans altered.

I found there to be a lively gathering and was strategically placed to enter the conversation. But,  it was someone else who gained my attention first. The subject was broached, yet I knew that this potential coauthor wasn’t really a candidate. They’d travelled, and I’d not reasonably be able to get to the location and photograph in good time. I could have persisted and made something from the situation, but I still had in mind my preferred choice of co-author.

In the event, I was only able to take part in the snatches of conversation with them, so this attempt fell flat.  Lesson learnt.

Take 3

A nearby scenic location had earlier come to mind as a potential area to conduct this weeks task. So having set aside the time, I set off and went to get a feel for the place on an actual day before approaching a member of the public. It was a great October day, but the light was wrong, being rather bright and contrasty and it would have been too much. I decided to wait until the hour before sunset to return and go on the lookout in a shop or cafe for an opportunity to find a co-author. It would be more comfortable in a more captive setting to strike up a discussion, but I was prepared to take the risk. I’m confident in talking to others I’ve not met before and usually get into easy conversation reasonably effortlessly. As time passed, and the onset of more sympathetic lighting conditions, an unexpected request came in via social media.

Take 4

Someone who’d seen my current work made contact as they had a request. Having recently lost a family member, they enquired about having one of my abstract colour treatments applied to this person photo. A discussion was fairly general at first, and as I realised the opportunity to co-author, I got into gear and suggested a suitable starting image, one I had in my catalogue from back in 2015. As the live discussion unfolded, I went into multitasking mode and trialled the application of my current signature style in post. Initially, the treatment I applied was too heavy on the particular portrait, thinking this might support discussion and help create clarity as feedback would likely follow, and it did.

The tonal change was requested which happily aligned with an intermediate stage of post-processing, so a new version was made available without delay. We arrived at the colour image below. As the discussion was on a trajectory of toning down, I decided to take the source image to the next stage and created a dreamy monochrome also below. It felt for me more in tune with the circumstances of the loss. I worked on and offered another image as a trial option, but the choice had already been made, so I was able to halt further processing.

Next, my request for captions was made, but initially, this was declined. Understandably more time to think would be needed in such a sensitive situation. Then almost by return my co-author got inspired and came back with song lyrics as captions. I understand the power of linking music to an image but wasn’t familiar with the choice of lyrics. I agreed with the form of words and some corrections needed for accuracy.

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Fig WK5 – 1 Visions of you in shades of blue

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Fig WK5 – 2 Hello darkness my old friend

Things then became more progressive. My co-author now wishes to make a canvas using both images and plans to have a couple of sets made.

Summary

I attempted to stick to the brief. In the event, I went with the spirit of co-authorship even if the subject matter involved being constrained to using an already existing portrait.