Today’s lecture was centred around drawing and how we could draw with more than just pens and pencils. examples were shows by artists such as Andy Goldsworthy who uses nature to makes images with and in the example he showed it, he had purposefully made a crack in concrete and photographed it. Other artist examples were shown as well as different methods and we were encouraged to make our own images using these methods and photograph them. I used the lines of my quilt cover and dragged a heavy object across them to make a bigger ‘gully’ and converted the photo to black and white.
The rest of the lecture were also based on different methods of drawing such as using drawing machines, pens attached to holders of wire and the pen centred in the middle with a piece of paper attached so it is moved by the breeze. There was also examples of machines that were made of pegs and cotton spindals which moved around of their own accord, the pen grasped by a peg. We also experimented with the drop pen technique where we attach a pen to wire or elastic and bounce it on the paper as well as drawing on paper with our eyes closed.
This was centred around different drawing methods and although the link to photography was tenuous, it was one of the more interesting lectures so far. The way we make something can lead to a different outcome to what we expect. It may be wiser to think about what you have made after you have made it rather than vice versa.
Today I am left reflecting on the MA that I have signed up for and if it was right for me. After being promised more content based on the subject i have paid to do, I have just sat through a lecture about Beethoven, Mathematics, ancient Greece and sheet music. This was not only incredibly irrelevant to photography but also very very hard to keep interested in when you’re at home starring at a screen for hours on a subject that is of no interest to me at all.
Top this off with a ‘crit’ on work we had to produce for this day that we sent to a tutor as requested but was reviewed by a technician who spent 3/4 of the session talking to 1 person about her work and had no control over the tutorial. He even posted in the chat room that we can log off if we want. All this has cost me £7500 in loans from the loans company and it is not worth it. Last semester was HTML Coding and Environmental studies….where is the photography masters i signed up for?
The cherry on the top of this monumental turd of a course was this afternoon when myself and a multitude of other photography students logged onto a talk by Charlotte Jansen which was for the undergrad students but MA students were allowed to attend. This was the first photography related content I have had since the start of the academic year and it actually felt good to listen to it and to be engrossed in a subject I am passionate about. But I shouldn’t have to log onto an undergrad talk for that content
A letter of complaint is being mooted and if it gets written, it will be interesting what the result of that will be
The time I have spent on this project has been a bit of a rollercoaster. At the beginning I really want overly keen on the project as I felt that there was little for me to do and get my teeth into. I also felt that some of the tutorials we had to aid us were less than useful and that I wasn’t really learning anything new.
However, as the collaboration has progressed, I have begun to enjoy it more and appreciate my roll within the collective. I thought the process of taking images would be straight forward for me and I could certainly be accused of being complacent so soon after getting my degree certificate. My first shoot, as I have stated many times, was far from perfect and I should have researched more about fashion photography and creative practices of other artists. Because I didn’t do this my shoot was less successful than it could have been. I should have spent more time researching and learning about how to direct people so I could have made this shoot much more successful.
The time I spent researching aided me greatly when it came to my shoot with Rob in the 90s style shoot. These images are my favorites of the entire project. The choice of clothes is spot on for the era as is the hair style and the images taken with the Boots 100FF film camera gave a real ‘you are there’ feeling. The film shots are amongst my favorites for that reason, even the ‘bad’ images that are slightly out of focus or blurry or the flash is too strong evoke a strong 90s connection and the images are all focused on the mask.
Again the research I did paid off when it came to photographing my mum. Although my research was initially focused on the Long Tall Sally website, which was useless, the work i did prior really stood me in good stead and I feel that had I used a flash more frequently then these images would have been of a higher quality. Having said that I am still happy with these
With the aid of my work exploring the market and getting a rounded image of the textures, light and layout of it, the team could move forward creating patterns for the mask decorated with their own designs using the images as inspiration. The images I produced were of a much higher quality and much more considered than those than a Google search could bring up. As documented in earlier posts, I revisited the market on many occasions using not only my Canon 5D mk4 digital camera with a variety of lenses but also my Olympus OM10 SLR, again with a variety of lenses. The use of the film camera really aided me in connecting with the building and associating with its historical context, a subtext of the project. Not all these images came out but those that did were passed on to the team
I also produced work at home while in self-isolation. I only had a narrow yard and the house I live to make work in so I ordered a manaquin head to display a mask on and take images of, as well as a hat stand. I tried to be as creative as I could with this project, using black packaging to bring out the mask and to provide a more artist look as well as using an Instagram friendly background. These images were passed on to the group for their creative use. I found this shoot to be more akin to product photography than fashion and a studio would have been a really useful thing to have had to create more professional outcomes as well as being able to spend more time to direct the light as I would like as windy conditions meant i had to keep stopping to rearrange the head or the reflector that was blown away on a few occasions. Studio access would also have been useful to create professional promotional images for the website.
After I came out of isolation, I had to rush a few shoots together as time was short and deadlines were only a few weeks away. I organised a three shoots within a week and the images were passed on to the rest of the group who used them to display their designs as well as the company website and instagram page.
The project has yielded some fantastic results. The quality of the mask is of a high standard and its fully functional. The website is of a high, professional standard and the Instagram page is also of a high quality. The team has worked well together and produced some fantastic outcomes and I am happy to have created high quality work that contributed to the group’s success.
Here are some examples of how my work has been used by the artists in the group, either to inspire or project their work and their instagrams are: