PHO702: Week 10 Speaking Photographically

Speaking Photographically

Week 10 Webinar Reflecting on Practice

Week 10 Independent Reflection

My independent reflection leaves me in a mild state of shock. This passion I call photography, turns to obssession and if sustained becomes unhealthy. We all go through it and for me I have to recognise the onset and start to de-commit in order to restore or maintain life balance.

So after an intense period invluding catching up from the Falmouth visit whilst the course ran on, I got up to date, more so in the previous 8 weeks but engaged a bit less with the material content of the course to address my perceived shortfall in finished work. The 140 injury photographs had resulted in a dozen or so images and I needed more for the portfolio edit. That is the main assignment score so cant be left to chance.

I’ve taken. time to engage over the ElliotHalls Amsterdam – Falmouth University blog collaboration and done some Peer to Peer engagement – a great way of progressing.

As I turn back to the course and the option of making a video I reflect on the images made this week. They address the strange translation of injury into landscape – don’t ask, it happens when I apply intuition to my work and it serves to address the intent of memories faded. The results created with consistency of method I find magical as I work groups of images that go together. As my work is compared to painters and to Mark Rothko I become increasingly aware of differences of constraint. The painter can paint from floor height to ceiling height especially in the context of art as an experience and make as many marks as is necessary. My work where it involves injury on a small scale, doesn’t adapt to microscopy and now matter how expensive the camera resolution is the known limitation. My this week work I am happy with as being highly imaginative and connected to intent but at a small scale. The creation of depth with appropriate perspective I am amazed at getting. Enlarge the images and they break down, first taking on a style akin to a cartoon filter effect, which is far from my direction.

Also, in fine boomerang fashion I’ve listened and followed taking others perceptions onboard and got visually consistent images which with more polish would be fine, yet there is a but. I’ve gone into a fog and have emerged at a place that wrong for my intent. The sombre mood of Rothko style work for me parallels only the motivation for my doing my work. The outcomes I want are colour. They lived their lives (in the past in the Great War) in colour but we represent them in black and white. I have always had the intent of a perspective of a coloured past. The other pillar of my work is a celebration of life and that definitely demands colour and vibrancy. I maintain my bond with them but celebrate freedom out of their sacrifice.

Week 10 Activity Positioning Practice

Week 10 Presentation Pictures Like Poems

We listened to Jeff Wall in a gallery surrounded by his work, talk in reflective mood. This wa in the form of a video that interleaved his thought about his photography with the gallery team working hard to set up an exhibition.

Here are some observations I made from this, although on a second viewing / reading. On the first viewing, with no introduction, I had wondered who this stranger was until around 5 minutes in I realised we had seen some of his constructed images earlier in the module.

Wall has an interest in painting photography and cinematography and discusses art. He is able to objectify the photograph and at the same time objectify people within the photograph.

He avoids talking in the inclusive style preferring to exercise his own voice. He creates a reference between the photograph and himself and leaves it to the reader to accept the parallel experience.

He relates to the enjoyment and liking of good work. And he talks occasionally in an instructional manner.

Also, he creates a benchmark in photography of the snapshot to which all other photographs must compare. Then he references the idea of straight photography to which he relates the constructed scene.

He’s concerned with happenings and often as accident, through his involvement in the slow process of making. He has an interest in participation and involvement and relates this to scenes that relate to existence or that which existed. 

He considers the love of imagery and in the practical dealing with things, observing them and liking them. He has a concern for appearance. He perceives the world as a set of relations either created or found in which there is the dynamic changing of content over time.

He expresses a resistance to fixed beliefs and to conformity and seems to entertain elements of doubt concerning uniqueness, complication or complexity and idealism.

He has a wide interest in art which he studied at school as art history and yet somehow did not become an art historian. Wall does not believe in the old in photography only in a contemporary interpretation.

He is concerned by causal aspects of photography, such as the photograph as illusion, in the looking through, as well as the effect of accompanying text or indeed its absence. He also relates causally to photography in its making and the resulting feeling of confirmation that he is observant the happiness that he gains.

Week 10 Module Leader Sessions

These sessions have to be the highlight of this course module. Contact time is very impressive. The first session is usually difficult being so early in the week with the work still to be engaged with yet it does provide context for a quick start. I fell over this week on scouted ahead to the Jeff Wall reflective. He’d not featured on on my known list and it took 5 minutes to realise he was the photographer who likes to construct snap shots if I may put it so bluntly. Although Wall is an esteemed academic, in my usual manner I resist placing photographers of pedestals.

So that is not to say I could not or on second viewing learn from his unique experience and insights. Such is the delight of this quick start to the week’s study.

In the next session, I gained from numerous reminders over key information designed to assist our success on the course.It is hard to overstress the importance of this as otherwise the online delivery and engagement falls off into the abstract.

The last session is my favourite and easier to enjoy as by then I will have prepared and engaged in Tutor sessions. As we are able to engage with our own and another Tutor, I gain a great deal of insight and see much more work of others. This is so important to my development and hopefully I can give insight to others. Having been through this readies one to participate here and begin to reflect on the week gone by and its learning points.

So thank you all.

Week 10 Forum Evaluating Practice

Week 10 Speaking Photographically