Last week was busy working on my Oral Presentation. This module, I attempted to follow the outline in the brief. The language is finally starting to make sense and feel comfortable using it.
This in part is due to Dr. Steph Cosgrove, who I met at the F-2-F in Falmouth, who told me to read, and read, and read. And indeed, it is beginning to pay off.
Always feel could have done better, however, this module has been the greatest advance for me in terms of my practice. I did get all this conceptually, now it turned into a practical manifestation. This is where the biggest change was for me.
This whole year has been a rollercoaster ride without a seatbelt, however, I managed to glean enough information for me to hold on for dear life no matter how bumpy the ride, and I have been through some tight turns and drops.
However, so far so good. Will see what the next module brings. I look forward to it, and hope to fine-tune what I have learned in this one.
This week watched interview with Felicity McCabe. Always interesting to find out how some-one else starts in the business, and where they came from. In her case started out with nightclub photography.
Interesting to see companies that attempt to do creative commercial work, was quite impressed with Head Over Heals and what they did creatively, shows there are people out there who want creative images, would be nice to find a company like that.
Started as an assistant, very good way to begin when interested in the commercial market. Also built her own portfolio of work that she liked to do, and practicing on weekends.
I think she went about it in a very good way, built up from a simple beginning. Also how she eventually focussed on photography. I think a lot of photographers battle with photography as a true art form and get enamored with painters and photography, and it can be a battle. The advice of the teacher to give up painting ended that for her, so made it a lot less difficult. Even the greats like Arron Siskind, liked painting and did a lot of homages to Franz Klein. I am glad that I came back to photography this module, because I love painting as well, not to actually paint, but love the medium, so I watch a lot of documentaries about painters.
Interesting how she baked the rose and came up with the idea. She had a lot of good ideas about tryptics (band shot) and associations People+Landscape or something they associated with. I like the way she uses painters of Diptych and Triptychs to fuel her own projects. Nice to see when metier cross pollinate and come out with a new hybrid.
This week I looked at the interview with Francesca Genovese curator of very interesting interview. I think it’s very important for a photographer to know how to deal with their work as far as selling and presenting it goes.
It always amazes me how people tend to talk in abstracts. For example Francesca says: “There is a lot of ways to find out how to price your work.” Well . . . tell me some ways, don’t leave it open ended.
Very busy this week writing my Oral, gathering my images for presentation and catching up on the CRJ.
This week I presented a paragraph Anna asked for. What is ‘Fences’ about and what it means to me. I sent it and received a very +ve response, and it will be part of my oral presentation. The part that discusses where I was in the past, and where I am in my practice now!
I have been working on the oral presentation and it has been going well. Seems a lot easier to put together this time around, and Anna gave some good input as what is to be expected in the Oral this module. MLO was very informative and critical, and came out of it once again as I call it my creative therapy session.
Had a good after module conversation with Michael Turner, fellow co-hort. I was very impressed by his color abstracts, and the work he is doing. We had a good long creative talk after the MLO and I discovered how much he saw into the images I presented this week. For the first time experienced how an intuitive person interprets another’s work, again I look for genuineness when people critique my work and was very impressed by what Michael saw in my images, and patterns that I did not even see my self until pointed out.
I feel that this module is enabling me to stride out in a way that I have had problems with up until this time. In the prior two modules, the problems where brought to my attention (split, undecided as far as my portfolio was concerned) so grateful for that. This enabled me to have a ‘problem’ to solve, and feel that it was a lead up to this module, and glad it got resolved, albeit only in the beginning stages.
This is the first time that I will create (a word I NEVER used before the MA) a complete ‘series’ of images with an emotional as well as a technical thread that links them. Gary was always very patient, and constantly said that his was only the second module (MOD_703) to relax, and go photograph and work it out by doing. He knows that I am very ‘heady’ and abstract, that I needed more concrete work and he encouraged me to go shoot images.
Stella brought up the fact that it’s okay to fail, that failure is part of the process, so that helped me through, instead of stopping short, like I did before. Would have an idea, think it was magnificent, and such a genius for thinking about it. However upon waking up the next morning, I would think myself an idiot for thinking up something so stupid and I would quit before I even started. Both Stella and Gary got me over that. Now I do, then think, before it was think then do (or not do) as was most of the time. So changing my approach helped me get over that fence, in the last module.
My failure piece: real vs illusion, ie real vs mirror, no idea what I was trying to do, or say, did it anyway, felt stupid presenting it and of course good ol’ Gary compounded my insecurities (with +ve outcome) he was honest and I appreciated that, and suggested what I could have done different…better and made me think further out than the immediate place I was while making this.
This week has been a breakthrough week for me. For the longest time, over two modules, in fact, I had a problem of putting together a series of images that is linked: in concept, idea and image. Up until this point, I have been happy with the singular image, and have battled with linking an idea with a series of images.
Anna suggested to start with a ‘micro-series’ of images that are related. This suggestion really made the task easier, because I looked at it as a small series, which I decided to limit to three or four images. I have always liked the number three, so I linked the concept of micro to three, and this made my ability to move into a micro-series of 3, or in my case 4 images.
I wanted to make the series in the confines of my yard, and see if it could be done. (an ego trip to be one up on Edward Weston, who limited his work to one square mile, at Point Lobos) never realizing how I was fencing myself in, and, not in a good way. Sure, it is possible to do…now what!
Related: For the past week, I have been looking at a cell tower that was constructed near my house (1/4 mile away, direct line of sight) and realized that the fence I have around my property is useless. The fence has served well in terms of keeping intruders out, but for the dangers of EMF’s and RF’s, (Electro Magnetic Fields ((RF)) Radio Frequency) it has no protection at all.
I started to think about this and figured that I have to figure a way around this problem, and decided not to be fenced in by other peoples information put out there on the internet and to do some research and tests of my own on the subject. By doing some EMF measurements on an RF meter, to measure the EMF’s emitted from other cell phone towers in close proximity.(this will be another project down the line) This way, by gathering information, testing, and making my own informed decision, this whole affair spawned the idea to make a micro series on ‘fences’ both as a physical structure and the metaphorical concept of the mind.
I decided to make a series of images of a wooden fence that I have on one side of the property, and another micro series on a rusty chainlink fence I have on the back side of my house.
When I started to photograph, the intruding thoughts started to pervade, about the idea being ridiculous and stupid. At this point, I would normally stop the project and move to another idea. This time, I decided to take the idea of former tutor Stella Baraklianou. (I will cite under contextual research) about failure and the acceptance and benefits of it.
I decided to forge on with the series, good, bad or indifferent. As I was photographing and forging on, I went back to re-photograph the wooden fence I had photographed earlier, later in the day. By this time the sun was setting, and through a crack in the fence, I caught a flash of sunlight. I decided to make a series on following the light (as cliche and banal as one can get) but decided to follow though. As I held my camera up to the slit in the fence and looked through the lens, I was transported into another world, of beauty, color, shape, line, shadow and abstraction (my favorite photographic genre) and made a few images.
I then went on to a second series of 3 to 4 images at the rusty chain link fence ant the back of my property. I had made a few images here in the past, but not a series. I made the first image of a weed head growing through the fence. Then wondered how it would look from the other side of the fence, so I went up and around to make that point of view. It was as beautiful but in a different way. The lighting was more top and the background a smoother shade of grey. Not better, but different. It gave me a perspective from the other side of the fence. The third image, is of the chain link, not the fence itself, but the shadow of the fence, cast onto some fencing cloth. So, at fist glance it looks like chain link, but once pointed out, it is in fact a shadow. Sometimes a little knowledge of the image can dispel many questions.
The last image, is of a shaft of wild grass growing through the fence. As I made the image, I noticed as much grass behind the fence, as in front of it, and thought: ‘Nature is not constrained by boundaries.’ It lives, grows and thrives, behind, in front, above, or through the fence. I have decided to adopt this attribute in my life as well as in my work from now on, and no longer be confined by the physical fence of my yard, or the mental fence of my mind.
A simple blade of grass showed me what true freedom is all about! This kind of philosophy has been with me always, however, now it takes on an understanding, that I could not grasp before.
The webinar with Krishna was very informative. She suggested that I make photographs every day. I said that I do, but she reminded me to keep it in the vane of series, and thinking about the images as a series. So it’s good that I am finally getting into the groove of working from and idea, instead of from an image that was made. This series ‘Fences’ was born out of ‘Yardwork’ and that was to make images around my yard. I am happy that it was able to be made into a series, as opposed to multiple images with no relation, which could very easily have been the outcome were I not guided this week by Anna and Krishna.
There are no wrong notes, some are just more wrong than others!
This week I have pretty much caught up with the tasks. Went through a bit of a downward turn on the ferris wheel, for a few days, after looking at the work and portfolio of David Jackson, (recommended by Anna, in her interview with Max Barnett of PYLOT magazine.) Once again the doubt about my own work crept in. Just realizing once gain how important that golden thread is that ties bodies of work to-gether, especially on the commercial end. When these times happen, I just recall the words of Simon a fellow student, slightly ahead, at the F-2-F at Falmouth earlier this year. “Your emotions are going to be a rollercoaster” or something to that effect, those words have got me through some emotionally difficult times during this MA.
Still playing catchup, finishing off 7 day picture a day. Started my Instagram this week. It was up, however did not know how to post, but figured it out, so no I have been posting on Instagram. It’s much better than I thought and am enjoying it very much. https://www.instagram.com/streets2studio/
Module Leader Office with Anna was very informative. Spoke about a lot of things, mainly how to get from small time to big time and her advice was spot on, and need to change my approach. Anna stressed how important Instagram is, so figured I may was well dive in. I did, and very happy about that. Looking forward to the next MLO with Anna.
Finally met with Krishna to-day for the first time. Had the opportunity to listen to past recordings. I am pleased to have he as my Tutor and feel it’s a very good fit. Still have some issues with the FMP, in terms of finding a thread through the work. I am and have been very opposed to telling a story with photographs, especially with abstract work. However, as I have learned in past modules, the very thing I oppose has been a hinderance in going forward with my practice, and once I had overcome them (appropriation and refusing to talk about my work) things started to open up. So, maybe I need to address this story telling issue as well and see if thats not what is the cause of my moving forward with the FMP. In the past two modules, I did not achieve a uniformity of images, or a series. They were very one of a kind, I felt I crossed the threshold, but stopped right there. This module I will make a series of images, good, bad or indifferent. I will see what the outcome is after the process instead of shutting down before, or freezing at the gate.
Week one was a slow week for me MA wise. I was on a film as a Camera-Operator for that whole week. Working 12hrs a day, plus travel, ended up 16 hr days. So could not do any work on the MA that week as far as the activities were concerned. Got to work with Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon) and Peter Jason (48 Hours) so that was nice.
Looked at the recording of the Module Leaders Office hour, found the group to be rather upset at the activity for the week, because they found it too easy and being a seven day activity could not fit into the week. I am glad I missed that, and am working on it now in Week-3.
Sometimes I have lagged behind, mainly due to my day job and other work commitments but work extra hard down the road to make and catch up which I am doing now in week three. So far I have photographed 4 days of the 7 and will finish the activity up and post it when done.