PHO702: Weeks 1 to 12 Development Project

Weeks 4 to 12

Although the blog may appear to have a gap, I discover I had written in two blog posts on this topic – here is the WebPage URL for the parallel post. Also, I did in fact become very busy in my image making and development of technique. Throughout this period I was conflicted over colour versus sombre black and white wthe latter I found difficult to accept until taking onboard the Death of the Author as predicted by Barthes. As reviewers took more to the black and white images I gave up resisting the obvioius move from colour.

During these weeks I made over 350 images. The photographs alone are not complete as I processed them individually through the digital darkroom to extract glow from the mix of reflected light, penetrating light that reflects from internal structure and residual Infra Red emission from wound or from body impression.

I’d adopted the latter after a slow winter start. However, various minor incidents including from sport then the warmer weather, all contributed to a deluge of photographs.

During this time I refined the control of lighting in taking photographs as now I was voluntarily following clinical guidelines. Colour casts in shadows in earlier photographs contributed to the range of vibrant colours my initial images became known for.

I also returned from a Face to Face meeting at Falmouth University. Through the Institute of Photography there I got to work with 35mm and 4 by 5 large format film. I also did a session of Mamiya Leaf digital medium format, but it was the film processing that led to my digital work moving over to processing of “image strips”. This led to greater consistency between images so from a set of 5 images 2 or 3 were likely to go together, I found. This was an amazing step forward from the classic single abstract image I used to obtain for my efforts. This helped too as the number of photographs in a portfolio has steadily increased, now standing at 20 images.

Another aspect researched is the use of artificial intelligence software in the form of a Topaz Gigapixel AI plug-in to help scale my small scale photographic subject to the large scale I now would need to meet the d of the Art as an Experience approach exemplified in Mark Rothko’s work I have been looking ever closer at. I’m getting there, but ultimately is a 3 minute of arc resolution for human sight with sensor and printer resoltutions may lead to a viewer standing back to see the image in which case the enveloping experience will be lost. This is an ongoing challenge.

Following an initiative between the EllisHall Gallery in Amsterdam and the University at Falmouth, I decided to re-purpose some photography from the intersectionof man and nature I’d made originally for a =n Instagram takeover. That work is now part of the initial website that is being created. Although an aside to my abstract expressionistic work, it did serve to re-inforce a principle. I had decided to use a commercial plug-in filter and generated a painterly look I enjoy (and so too others). However, I prefer to use my own bespoke settings over the ready made.

I guess this was aimed at extending work from the set of single abstract images to a body of work. After the Falmouth visit this had been overtaken by now processing digital images as a strip of images.

A very fruitful time, especially considering the high demands of reading art history alongside learning principles of critical review. The saving grace was in finding application to current practice. So too was obtaining an Amazon Prime account and giving in and buying books that proved tricky to access otherwise. Many of these are standard works and should serve well in the rest of the course. This has been a very demanding period and progress has only been maintained by a strict policy of placing priority on the MA Photography course over (almost) all else.

Week 3 Making Work

There has been an occurrence of injury this week, this being the first in three weeks of the current module. The injury was not my own but related and in tune with the theme of my practice.

As always, biological hereditary connection is key and for the subject photographed their line diverges.

As a development, starting this week, the title, Sons of the Matriarchy is used to simplify mapping to those caught up in a past major world events.

All three tiers of my work are exercised and as experiment these images are subject to future edit. The square format as in the last module helps unite. However, as presented here it is possible for images to work against each other. An intention of an edit will include placing images, as yet to finished and selected, in a straight line horizontal layout.

Healing variations

These images are what they are, what derives from following the direction an image wants to move in whilst guided by the themes held in the authors mind. At this stage no control has been exercised over colour grading, a key element of development picked up during the previous module.

As a strategy I’d like to create the next set of images on an extended canvas. In the digital darkroom, any process step applied would apply to all. I cant say it would help gain consistency.

Week 2 Making Work

I started making work and prior to the weekly Tutor review had not quite got this far. Prompted by the meeting and seeing progress has been made by others I put down the reading of which there has been much and re-entered the digital Darkroom. Here is the first work I’m reasonably pleased with. 

I have a subject hierarchy:

  • Trauma (healing)
  • Life’s Glow (life’s force)

When there is no trauma and during winter inactivity there has been none during term time, then there is no subject matter. Work then moves to a second level as complement usually or substitute. The kind of starting image I wanted was sparse. Both these methods maintain authenticity as the biology still underlies the imagery. What is viewable is trace from subject to photograph to image. Key is that the digital sensor sees where the eye does not pick up information. Colour is from within the photograph at levels that are low and brought out. I sometimes think by analogy how insect vision may have a much more lurid colour palette.

During this week I picked up on aspects of the Alumni projects and my work added another level. I capture Physical trace of marking on self, captured before it subsides (a footprint in the sand ready to be washed away). The added potency here is the action being fleetingly captured is meant to be analogous to photography – normally reflected light from the subject leaves an indexical trace in the photograph.

So now a third level / option as abstract and body/skin remains as subject

  • impression as image capture.

Inspiration came from an Alumni presentation I saw of portraiture with mask then as face markings then another presentation of photograms of bee material as a contact method. From these if it is possible to follow we arrive at body contact/impression as analogy of indexicality.

Body contact / impression

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