Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Assignment 4 - underway again

Assignment 4 - a critical review, has suffered a number of stops and starts due in part to my circumstances requiring a short deferment, and if I am truthful my hesitancy at doing this work. The human being when faced with decisions, will out of human nature take the easiest route and provide the required excuses to justify the why and wherefore as a defense. In general, within photography I will have a go at almost anything (that is legal) and produce an image to look at. Its what photographers do, we enjoy the process of taking images, the traveling, the equipment selection, the light measuring, the moment we select the shot, the taking and the later processing of the images into photographs. Its a comfortable place to be and we like it. I am not adverse to writing. In the past I wrote for Motoring News (a weekly motor sport newspaper) on something that was factual. At work now I write reports and technical output, but this whole essay business has got me hiding behind the settee. A few weeks ago I decided to try and face the demons and analyse  why was this so difficult. The answer became clear as soon as I was honest with myself about how much I understood of the subject that I was to write about. The essay is "The life and works of Edward Weston" and while I had read a biography, plenty on the Internet and a superb book on his last years in Carmel, I still didn't have original thoughts to write anything meaningful. The only way forward was to re read as much as possible and get a legitimate understanding so that I could justify to myself the authenticity of my words. I am not naive enough to think of course that when complete it will be the essay everyone has been waiting for (in fact it is likely to be the only bit of this course that doesn't get published here) but I am feeling happier now the writing is underway that I will rely less on quotations from outside sources. All of this should not of course be a surprise. "No Pain, No Gain" has been with me for many years. Sanding wood before varnishing, exercising to loose weight etc etc and now read before you write. My tutor and the assessment will of course be the judge of whether I have succeeded.


  1. Hmm, I know what you mean....there is so much written about these pioneers that to add anything original or different is pretty tricky. It sounds like your approach is a sensible one. I have just tweaked mine, again, for the assessment. I don't know if it helps, but my tutor said of mine that I included too much opinion and biography, and not enough critical analysis on the images themselves. Keep going Nigel, I'm sure the thought of doing it, is worse than actually doing it.


  2. Hi Penny

    I will certainly try and up the critical analysis, and that's the tricky bit isn't it.

    There were a few minutes today when I did enjoy it and I found that a little worrying, as if its not meant to be like that.

  3. There can't be many photographers with a bigger story to tell than Weston - so you've made a rod for your back there Nigel! Will you focus on a particular section, pre or post Ohio? I think all the stuff after Ohio is much more interesting. And having been to Carmel, well who wouldn't get inspired there? I'd be interested to see the finished article. John