Friday, 8 April 2011

Assignment 3 : Feedback

A confusing set of notes this time with more questions than answers. There is certainly concern that the photographs (well some of them) are manipulated in an abstract sense. A concern that had never crossed my mind but one that my tutor asks is "..... an attempt to make something interesting which is basically not very interesting". I was never aware that photography as art had to have as it subject something that is intrinsically interesting, and if so what is the criteria to measure that.

"Is it form over content", is another valid question but how much of art does that apply to, or is it just my photography.

There are some positive parts to the feedback relating to presentation, print quality and my "outside of the box" approach, which gives me some comfort. My general feeling is that I pushed the limits of the Level 2 envelope and just about got away with it, and its not somewhere I will go again. The remaining assignments in this module do not require that amount of risk so in the future I will be applying myself to "content and interesting".

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A few developments

I was weened on Amateur Photographer magazine. That was many years ago when a typical headline was     " New Ilford FP4 now on sale" and the For Sale pages gave me hours of lusting over a F2AS or 500CM with one lady owner. In the main these days I never look at AP, except a sideways glance in the supermarket at another front cover offering me another  "Shoot out - Nikon xxx   v  Canon xxx".

The only magazines I read are the BJP and Black and White Photography. They fit my need as a photography student. BJP to frustrate me due to its content and B&W to frustrate me due to my lack of expertise compared to the best monochrome workers. So, enter a new read and its an online magazine called "Great British Landscapes". Its in its 12th issue and having seen that they mean business I have signed up for a year. You can find it here and Issue 1 is free. Co written by Joe Cornish and Tim Parkin it includes work by a number of quality landscape photographers. The jewel, in my opinion is the video content where Joe works on an image in Photoshop and creates the final photograph. My Photoshop technique has got stale and seeing a master at work has encouraged me to try a new work flow and to be gentle with the image, slowly slowly, rather than my current 2 minute rush for the finish. Critiques, featured photographers, interviews, debate and technical articles make it a good read.

A second development, almost forgotten after FOCUS, is that my Lee Big Stopper has arrived after a long wait in the queue. A BS is a ND filter with a 10 stop factor. It is 100mmx100mm and fits the standard Lee holder. I know its already a bit old hat using one of these but having 5 minute exposure times in daylight is an interesting avenue. Movement recorded as swirls of light whether its water, clouds, cars or people allows me to create new work for myself and whether it gets into the coursework, we will wait and see. I am so conscious of the cliche, but while Michael Kenna gets away with it there is no reason why I shouldn't.