Information for Assessors

 

Catherine Banks : Student No 507005

Context & Narrative

Assessment Submission

  

Information for Assessors

My online learning blog can be located at https://catherinebankscn.wordpress.com

The blog is in the standard blog format of descending date order but each entry can also be accessed separately in the Categories section. I have reflected on learning, research and reading throughout but reflective posts can also be accessed under the Research and Reflection category https://catherinebankscn.wordpress.com/category/research-and-reflection/ .

I also created a fictional blog as part of Assignment 2 which can be located at https://pjdumont.wordpress.com/2015/?order=asc in chronological order. The song, film and philosophy videos that are utilised on that blog were not created by me but are publicly accessible YouTube videos. However, I confirm that the photographs on that blog are my own photographs and I wrote the poem that appears there.

I have created short videos at various points which are embedded in posts on my own blog and would particularly draw your attention to the final version (V3) of the one created for Assignment 3 which is located on my “Response to Tutor Feedback on Assignment 3” https://catherinebankscn.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/response-to-tutor-feedback-on-assignment-3/ .

Postal submission

The two Assessment packages posted to OCA contain:

(1)

  • Portfolio Box, with contents index, containing
  • Prints, contact sheets and written essay submitted to Tutor
  • Printed Tutor Feedback Forms
  • Further work created in response to Tutor Feedback

(2)

  • Assignment Preparation Folder which is a paper log relating to planning and preparation of Assignments and is supplementary to my learning blog
  • General Paper Log that contains other material e.g. notes on OCA Study Visits and Talks: informal Exhibition visits and Workshops; group meetings and email correspondence.

Google Drive

Electronic copies of 5 Tutor Feedback forms have been uploaded to my assigned Google Drive, located under “Tutor Reports”. I have also uploaded the final Version of Assignment 4 which can be located under “Final Assignments”.

Email

My final version of Assignment 4 – the Written Essay has been emailed to for plagiarism check. Receipt was confirmed on 19 May 2016.

 

Contents Index

Contents Index for Assessment Submission

 

 

 

 

 

Revisiting Assignment 2

Revisiting Assignment 2 : Photographing the Unseen

In my post “Preparation and Planning” here I described  beginning thoughts on themes to explore. However,  a photograph taken at the Brighton Festival in November 2014 – at night and blurred – had stayed in my mind. I decided to create a project around the theme “I thought I saw you the other day”. My idea was to write about the ending of a relationship, with the young man involved not ready to accept this was so. I named him “Paul Dumont” devised a biography for him so that I could enter more into how he was thinking and created a fictional blog that incorporated photographs ‘taken’ by him (but by me) , videos he enjoyed watching where he could record his thoughts and a poem “Laura” had written for him (written by me). He also has an email account.  The blog was private at first whilst I explored how it would develop but I then asked for feedback from two fellow students who encouraged me to continue. I named his ex-girlfriend “Laura McKinley” .

When I emailed my tutor about this concept he responded that this sounded very interesting but was concerned such a piece of work might take time to develop fully and merited dealing with at a more advanced level. However, as I was so caught by the concept, we agreed that I would explore it at this stage. After sharing my idea at an OCA Thames Valley Group meeting, where I was again encouraged to continue. I made the blog public, although without a comments box because, despite knowing other artists, such as Sophie Calle,  had created fictional lives, I was wary as a student of ‘fooling’ other people by entering into a fictitious dialogue with them. Fellow students have commented on my own blog though to give me feedback on how realistic (or not) it is.

My post on “Context, Influences and Research” for the assignment is here  – describing the family name connection, film/video, music, novels, and photographer influences, including still-life/created images. Amongst reference material my physical Assignment Preparation folder contains:-

  • The original photograph providing the inspiration
  • The biography
  • Diary pages I kept to keep notes of ideas etc
  • A letter from “Laura”
  • Printed email from “Paul” to “Laura”
  • Two postcards from “Paul’s” boss, a Professor
  • The poem How does he feel? written by me
  • Printed lyrics to Frank Sinatra and Ed Sheeran songs referred to in “Paul’s blog.
  • 2 prints of the two sets of images in square format (see below)

I found I was getting drawn into “Paul’s” story, even becoming quite melancholic and so I devised a supportive strategy where I played different types of music according to whether I was being “Paul”, or a follower of his blog and this worked. My intention was that, apart from photographs taken for “Paul’s” blog, I would create further images as a response to that blog – as its reader. Those photographs were intended to portray his continuing obsession with, and searching for, “Laura”.  As I began this I realised that a second process was occurring because I was wanting to evoke images of “Laura” as an ‘object’ –  fragile, beautiful, offering her ‘letter’ of goodbye but in a delicate non-assertive way.  I realised that I was, in a sense, going back to Assignment 1 and two sides of a story. I was conceptualising thoughts about relationships and how the search for an ideal relationship can miss the reality of the actual person who becomes the object of adoration, so that relationships and communication become skewed and a soft “No” is heard as “Yes, maybe …”.

The Assignment write-up itself is here and the link to “Paul’s” blog is here  in the default WordPress format or here  in chronological format.

My response to my tutor’s feedback is here . I adjusted two photographs on “Paul’s Blog” and still-life image 2 as suggested. I had commented on the problem of putting the two sets of images together – one being in landscape and the other in portrait format and with differing subject matter.  My tutor suggested I make them all square and I have experimented with this. However, square format doesn’t fit either of the sets as they both look very compressed. I have therefore not included them in my Assessment portfolio box, but they are in my physical Assignment Preparation folder.

It occurred to me that having two sets of images that are so separate is actually mirroring the incompatible relationship between “Paul” and “Laura”. I talked about this at the meeting of the OCA Thames Valley Group on 21st May and how I remember that my mother sometimes had a habit of cutting-up photographs to exclude people she no longer wished to see. To me the tearing of a photograph Is more tactile than using scissors. It still signifies the ending of a relationship but is somehow less brutal than cutting.  In his feedback my tutor had suggested I create another set of still life photographs, including perhaps a ripped photograph. Instead, I have represented this in a more physical way and the result will be included in my Assessment portfolio box.

Some fellow students have asked why I haven’t continued writing Paul’s blog because they enjoyed reading it.  I had decided that I wouldn’t continue because I thought I would lose the spontaneity of ‘being’ him and become more measured, maybe narrate  his continuing search for love. Having decided that, though, I’m aware that the relationship theme followed me through into Assignment 5 so I’m wondering if reflections on relationships might continue in my photography.

Spring on the Copse 2016

I’ve completed this Module now, apart from the preparation for Assessment, but think it appropriate to update my explorations in Landscape to show how I am continuing the theme introduced in Assignment 3.

There has been so much rain in recent months that even the days of sunshine have failed to dry out the ground. The path through the Copse has been almost a sea of slippery mud. Bluebells are beginning to raise their heads but even they look bedraggled at the moment and the strong winds have removed some of the weak branches which have gathered in drifting piles. Sometimes I’ve wondered whether people might have dumped them there over their garden fence.

Two trees were blown down across the path in the recent gales, one of them completely blocking it so that the dogs and I have had to scrabble through some prickly undergrowth to get round it. I had this debate with myself; joggers, dog walkers and families with children do pass through the Copse and the fallen trees are large obstacles. Should nature be allowed to take over or should I phone the Council, who are responsible for the maintenance of this local amenity. I thought about it for a day or so and then decided I would phone as the Copse seemed to be falling in on itself. There was also something in my mind about wanting to prove that people do make use of this small piece of nature, so that there wouldn’t be an attempt to de-label it as green space and make it vulnerable to building development – which has been mooted. I was surprised when the trees were cleared within a week especially as I had agreed with the young man in the parks department that this wasn’t an urgent job. When I say ‘cleared’ I don’t mean completely cleared away but chopped so that there’s a way through.

The other day I was talking with one of the people from a nearby house and we discussed mud, gales, fallen trees and litter on the Copse. The lady said that for quite a while she had cleared the litter but stopped doing that when the Council only started to collect fortnightly and her dustbin got too full. She told me that some young folk have re-built a den again in part of the copse and even installed an old bench. They collect there in the evenings sometimes, lighting fires and making noise. This must have been since a ‘ring’ of branches was laid-out in the area during the Autumn. I wondered about contributing something – maybe I might introduce the bark mask as a decoration. I’ve had some email contact with members of The Elephant’s Journey   (TEJ) and when I mentioned this John recalled Stig of the Dump . I’d forgotten Stig but it does fit. I have to acknowledge that I’ve felt a bit of a fraud somehow in relation to TEJ because they do their work in urban areas, highlighting adverse developments through their art, whereas I’m out of that loop, working in small green spaces in the suburbs, interacting with what I see. However, John was very encouraging around the idea of a discourse with the den builders.

I’ve also just started to read a lovely book Common Ground (R. Cowen,2015) which is an account of Rob Cowen’s explorations in a nearby edge-land after moving from London to a new home in Yorkshire. He writes, ‘Enmeshed in every urban edge is also the continuous narrative of the subsistence of nature, pragmatic and prosaic, the million things that survive and even thrive in the fringes. This little patch of common ground was precisely that: common. And all the richer for it’ (2015:9) Looking at the illustrated map at the front of the book  Cowen’s  piece of edge-land is much much larger than mine but I can still notice changes over time and see how nature and people impose their presence.  A little further on Cowen writes of entering Chauvet Cave  in the Ardeche Gorges and seeing the representations painted and scratched on its walls over between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago and how they show  the engagement between animal, land and human. He concludes, ‘What I didn’t realise until later is that in seeking to unlock, discover and make sense of a place, I was invariably doing the same to myself. The portrait was also of me’ (2015:11).

References

Cowen, R. (2016) Common ground. United Kingdom: Windmill Books.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stig-Dump-Puffin-Books-Clive/dp/0140301968
http://bradshawfoundation.com/chauvet/
http://robandleo.com
https://theelephantsjourney.wordpress.com
King, C. and Ardizzone, E. (1963) Stig of the dump. United Kingdom: Puffin Books, Middlesex.

Memory Exhibition, Oxford on 6th June 2015

John Umney has had an ongoing involvement with the Artscape Project and it was through the auspices of the Project Manager, Tom Cox, that John was offered the opportunity to exhibit work in the permanent art-space at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford. John decided he wanted to use this opportunity to create a collaborative exhibition with contributions from students in the final stages of their Photography Degree Course with the OCA.. His blog post here describes the collaborative work he undertook with Penny Watson to put it all together and  her post about it is here). SubsequentlyJohn also wrote an article for the Oxford Times, see here which provided further publicity for the Exhibition.

On the day of the Study Visit we met, with Sharon Boothroyd and Jesse Alexander in the main entrance to the Orthopaedic Centre which has a world-wide reputation for orthopaedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. I think the current building is fairly new and it is open, airy and very unlike the hospitals I’m used to visiting in my area.

We first talked with Tom Cox, who is a practising artist, in addition to his role as the Artscape Project Manager at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust , providing a range of art activities and also commissioning new artworks to enhance the hospital environment. He is also currently studying for a part-time MA in Social Sculpture. Sharon asked him what he gained from his role to which his response was that he gets the opportunity to work with a range of artists outside the gallery system and to help people to get well. It was obvious from the way Tom talked about Artscape that he is deeply committed to his work and the impact that art of all kinds can have on mental and physical health.

The art-space is free to utilise within certain restrictions regarding political work, nudity and operation scenes. It also appeared that there are more covert restrictions. Tom Cox and John explained that there had been several complaints regarding the work of Sue Jones, to the extent that her work had been removed from its setting, as some people had been upset by it. Comments had also been made by some staff regarding Penny Watson’s photographs along the lines that it looked as if the children were nude and one of them looked uncomfortable (see below).

The Exhibition

This Brochure provides an overview of the aims of the Exhibition, with Statements from each photographer.

z-final-exhibition-brochure-27-april

I’ll make brief comments about the photographers, particularly regarding how they have approached the theme of the Exhibition and also think about the context of the Exhibition environment.

Ground Floor

Entering from the atrium, to a corridor leading to the outpatient’s departments, with a small reception counter inset at the beginning. Four photographers were exhibiting along these corridors.

Remembering I’m ill – Sue Jones 

2015-06-06 12.24.31 edit web

This series is about coping with a relapse in health of ME (or CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) which creates fatigue, concentration difficulties and memory problems . It looked to me as if she had used a tilted lens to provide a slightly out of balance view that fits with her theme. I noticed that the colour palette of the six images shown was often of soft deep reds and/ochre.

Apparently one of those who complained said it looked as if the images were depicting suicide. It didn’t look like that to me but then I knew about the work and had previously read her statement and I haven’t got personal experience of ME or been close to anyone who committed or threatened suicide. There was obviously something about these photographs though that struck negative chords for several people.

There was a subsequent WeAreOCA post by John raising the issue of the removal of the work. There are a range of responses – from people who have suffered similarly from ME, with this ‘invisible’ illness being misunderstood or who have a relative in this situation, to someone who visited another hospital to collect a child who had made a suicide attempt and would herself have felt disturbed to see such photographs. This was despite her view that the message being put across regarding ME is invaluable and “… the way the artwork does this very considered”. Sue also commented on this post making it clear that her original aim in creating this series was

[…] to keep my sense of humour as I had gone for a stressful international sales job, and doing triathlons on the side, to becoming house bound and challenged to even make it to the pharmacy down the street.

and that she had never aimed to disturb anyone although with hindsight, perhaps a hospital environment adds a different interpretation. It is also proof of how much an image can take on a life of its own once it leaves the hands of its creator.

Recollective – Mike Cookson

2015-06-06 12.24.15 edit web

This is a Series looking at differences in weight of memory from the “casual capture of a moment through a ‘selfie’” to “evidence of the collective memory that spans generations”.

Vandals or Memories – Margaret Taylor 

2015-06-06 12.23.44 edit web

A series asking, “Do people leave their marks on trees as vandals? Or do they have a desire to be remembered, to say they existed, to memorialise themselves?”

The photographsare harmonious in colour tones and details of textures and, to me, this theme of trees brought the external environment inside. This got me thinking about ways in which the series could be presented as an installation – maybe hanging from the branches of a tree structure or placed within a book with bark covers.

Along the Frozen Valley – Mirjam Bollag Dondi 

Remembering a relationship

We used to hike
Along the frozen river …
But now you left – to live
In the land
Of not remembering –
And so I walk alone

Peaceful images and yet with an air of sadness in their cool colours.

I thought it was a shame that (as with Margaret Taylor’s series) these photographs had to be placed above the chairs rather than opposite them due to the layout of the corridors. It would have been nice to think that patients could sit and look at them whilst they were waiting.

First Floor

Where there seems to be more room and sweep of corridor.

 

Eudosia – Penny Watson 

IMG_455283309 edit web

Exploring the relationship a child has with their landscape and how childhood memories become our adult folklore. The children gaze at us wearing their coronets of foraged foliage, as if from Midsummer Night’s Dream or an earlier more pagan time. I’m only sorry that I couldn’t really capture the beauty of the images as they glow from their dark backgrounds.

We had been told that some staff had expressed concerns about the images and yet all is clearly explained (as was Sue Jones’ series) in the accompanying information

IMG_455282997 edit web

where Penny made it clear that parents had been involved; the bare shoulders were to remove any cultural distractions and she tried to capture faces without smile or expression – to see beyond those into their eyes and to see their strength of character.

There was additional information showing some behind the scenes images of the process of creation.

IMG_455282986 edit web

Lifting the Curtain – Keith Greenough 

Keith’s new website for this series provides comprehensive information about this series which grew from his fascination with East London and how it has been shaped by its history.

2015-06-06 12.43.40 edit web

We had some discussion with him about the images themselves and his choice to visit the sites in the early morning when there were few people around – making it easier to use a large camera; to achieve the chiaroscoru effect of dark and light and use shadows to reference the past. We also talked about his experiments in the use of font and text to reference the work of Charles Booth’s 1889 socio-cultural survey, Life and Labour of the People.

IMG_455284214 edit web

Are You Still There – John Umney

2015-06-06 12.39.39 edit web

Here being looked at by Russell, fellow OCA student.

John explained that the images arose originally from his emotional attachment/reaction to light and then developed as he experimented in using text (written to or by himself). The images are displayed pairs (one in landscape format, the other in portrait format) within seven frames, so that they appear like a physical structure, with the corridor doors acting as ‘interruptions’ – a conversation point as John termed it.. The text is under the images. Originally he had placed some of them in a book that forced you into a narrative sequence but, as presented here, you could attempt to build your own narrative.

The images are small in the frames, intended to create intimate moments, delicate and beautiful to look at. I actually couldn’t relate the text to them and yet that didn’t seem to matter as they evoked a contemplative mood in me. As Sharon put it, image and text are like two parallel ‘conversations’.

Thoughts on the environmental context

I think the hospital does offer a wonderful opportunity for photographers and other artists to show their work, notwithstanding that it is freely available subject to certain ‘regulations’ regarding the kind of images that are acceptable.

There was no indication in the large main entrance atrium that there was a Photography Exhibition along the corridors. I think it would be good if there could be some kind of noticeboard to let visitors know. Maybe in future the ‘Friends of the Hospital” section could even host some flyers/simple brochures.

The corridor lighting is for the people travelling along them and not for artistic display, which means that it may not be possible for images to be presented to their best advantage.

It was a Saturday when we visited and very quiet. This was good for us because we had space and time to look at and discuss the photographs. Even so, on the ground floor, there were at least three occasions when a patient and bed were wheeled along the corridor past us, and this made me feel somewhat ‘out of place’. I would think that there would be much more activity along those corridors during weekdays making it hard for visitors and staff to do little other than have a quick glance as they walk, or are wheeled, past. They certainly wouldn’t be able to read the available information about the images. It also occurs to me now to wonder about the hanging space and whether it allows people in a wheelchair to see the art.

I was sorry that Sue Jones’ work received some adverse comments. It very much reinforced for me the dictum often repeated that, as an artist, one should create work to please oneself because it takes on a life of its own once it becomes public. The issue also reinforced that you really do have to look at the context of an Exhibition and how work will be received and I think it’s important to do some research on this beforehand. For example, there are comments on the WeAreOCA post mentioned above referring to the Nuffield Centre as dealing with purely broken bones whereas in fact it deals with much more complex and longstanding issues than this. It also treats bone infection and tumours, limb reconstruction and the rehabilitation of those with limb amputation or complex neurological disabilities.

In a hospital environment viewers are likely to be there by necessity rather than choice and they are unable to walk-out because they don’t like a piece of art. Their only recourse if they feel distressed is to complain and in many respects it’s good to know that at least their complaints were heard, even though one may not be happy with the outcome.

Concluding thoughts

All the work was presented within the same size and type of frame. I know that this was to provide cohesion to a different variety of images in addition to reasons of economy and scale but I had wondered beforehand whether this might detract from some of the work. However, I was pleased that this was not the case at all.

I thought this was a very well put together Exhibition presenting a range of responses to the theme of Memory, at an advanced level of student work. It was professionally hung and framed and of a standard which I think equals or surpasses that of the Graduate exhibitions that I have seen. This achievement of John and Penny is particularly impressive given that this was a long-distance collaboration, involving a number of people – from the exhibiting students themselves, help with the hanging from Keith Greenough (also showing in the Exhibition) and support from the OCA and Tom Cox.

Congratulations to all and I’m pleased I was able to observe as the concept developed and then see it through to Oxford.

 

23rd June 2015

References

https://umneybow.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/the-exhibition-called-memory/
http://weareoca.com/photography/memory-exhibition/
http://www.liftingthecurtain.net
http://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/?news=art-mental-health
http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/leisure/focus/13327173.For_Art_s_Sake_with_John_Umney/
http://www.social-sculpture.org
http://www.metphotography.co.uk
www.mikecookson.com
www.mirjamphotography.com
www.photo-graph.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment One : Two sides of the story

C&N Assignment One : Two sides of the story

This Assignment has been a long time coming and I’m grateful to my tutor for his patient forbearance.

Preparatory thoughts

There are several areas of woodland near to my new home which has meant I’ve continued with my compulsion to take photographs there (see here ). In the work review group at the Brighton Photo Biennial Weekend Visit I shared some prints of the in-camera double exposures and got to talking about the local Memorial Fields, with its fenced off areas and the houses around it. Russell, our presiding tutor, reminded me of Mark Power’s work 26 Different Endings . Where he looked at places that fall just off the edge of the A-Z London street Atlas. Russell suggested, in view of this Assignment, that I might want to consider something along similar lines but looking at Inner and Outer perhaps. I also showed the prints to the larger group and Gareth mentioned the book Gossip from the Forest (2012 ) by Sara Maitland who used to be one of the OCA Creative Writing Tutors. I bought it and it’s an enchanting book that took me back into woodland and its stories. On the way out, one of my student colleagues made an interesting comment to me that the phrase, “Can’t see the wood for the trees” had come into his mind as I was talking.

During on-going research on the roots of woodland’s attraction to me, I recently listened to a Radio 4 Programme on ‘Place’ part of the “Digital Human” series . During this there was a suggestion that humans are biologically programmed towards landscape and mention of the word ‘topophilia’ – from the Greek topos “place” and –philia, “love of”. Whereas the concept of “heimat’ (German) concerns love and attachment to homeland in the sense of a social unit, topophilia concerns a strong sense of place. This sense of place often becomes mixed with the sense of cultural identity among certain people, and a love of certain aspects of such a place so, to me, this is more an intimate connection. Because I’ve lived in different places and environments, woodland, which has its own special quality, takes the place of ‘homeland’ and becomes my continuing inner and outer space and place.

So far as photography is concerned, I’ve continued to ponder how I can put “me” in the wood – not to own it but to be a part of it and capture the spirit of the wood and I’ve written some further ideas about this in my paper log.

Into the Woods

Brief: Create at least two sets of photographs telling different versions of the same story.

I decided that the local Memorial Fields would be my subject for the Assignment. This Recreation area has a children’s playground and facilities for bowling, tennis and Sunday football clubs. On Fridays I’ve sometime seen people training birds of prey – falcons I think. I did manage a video on my iPhone but at a distance because one of our dogs chases large birds. There is also an area of woodland that can be accessed. Part of it is fenced in (or fenced out!) but it has a path that wanders along, crossing another main road, and then continuing past houses, many of which also have gates leading onto the path. These houses don’t exactly have their own private wood (see some earlier work I did here ) but I do envy them having this facility so near by. Having said that, I’ve hardly ever seen people walking along these tracks and the woodland doesn’t seem to be used that often which is very unlike Horsell Common which can be quite a social occasion.

The Process

I had four separate sessions with my larger camera plus taking some iPhone photographs as I had a further idea of creating a different narrative which could include a more forensic investigation of the woodland. In the event, I haven’t used the iPhone images but, as part of this idea, I experimented with newsprint to produce a ‘request for information’ poster that I then attached to various places and photographed. I decided not to use In-design for the poster but to keep it simple and use ‘Pages” which has some useful templates. My large printer didn’t like the newsprint so I used the small one I have for general use. The quality isn’t very good but I enjoyed the exercise. I also noticed that Blurb offer a magazine printing facility so will keep this in mind.

Selection

I chose 85 images to process from RAW which I then reduced to 67. These 67 seemed to form into categories.

The Memorial Fields themselves and entering the wood:-

ContactSheet-The Memorial Fields

Houses with close, direct and free access to the wood

ContactSheet-Rights of access

Places people can’t go:-

ContactSheet-Places you cannot go

The wood can be a lonely and unsafe place

ContactSheet-Lost

In her book, Sara Maitland writes that “large swathes” of the old forests people talk about, “…. were never the untrodden tanglewood of the imaginations, but were inhabited, worked, used” (p. 5, 2012). She goes on further:

This was not wild wood that had to be ‘tamed’, but an infinite resource, rich, generous and often mysterious. The forests were protective too. Of course you can get lost in the forest, but you can also hide in the forest, and for exactly the same reason: in forests you cannot get a long view.

Maitland believes that forests are central to European fairy stories in ways that are not true of similar stories in different geographies.

Landscape informs the collective imagination as much as or more than it forms the individual psyche and its imagination,
I believe that the great stretches of forest in northern Europe with their constant seasonal changes, their restricted views, their astonishing biological diversity, their secret gifts and perils and the knowledge that you have to go through them to get to anywhere else, created the themes and ethics of the fairytales we know best. The forest is the place of trial in fairy stories, both dangerous and exciting

Now, the reason I’m finding this so interesting is that, a few weeks before reading this I had said to my husband words to the effect of “ it’s only a small area of woodland, and the dogs like it, but I wouldn’t want to be in there as it’s going dark because there are hardly ever any people around. Those words came back to me as I was walking there alone with my camera, and without the dogs, as the afternoon began to darken towards twilight. My senses sharpened as my breathing became more shallow. 

Third Selection

I ‘disorganised’ my categories so as not to be too constricted by them and edited down to 23.

Final selection of 11

Somehow or other the recreational area of the Memorial Fields has ‘disappeared’ in my perception!

Living on the Edge

There are dangers in the Wood

Here’s the ‘information wanted” poster.

Missing-person-query_Page_1-for-print

The police did get a response from a local resident who emailed them a photograph she had taken in the woods around the same time of a large cat-like creature

_MG_6553-composite-6x4

This was a composite image I created using a 3D image from Wikimedia Commons .The photograph was taken by Tony Hisgett and was transferred from Flickr. I used this image as a background

_MG_6553-background-for-composite

and then layered it in the same way as the exercise I did in Project 5.

Reflection

I got very caught up with the project which was great because it got me interested in photography again. On the other hand I think I took too many photographs, often, similar, which made it harder to choose – my colleagues phrase “Can’t see the wood for the trees” now seems very apt! . A major problem concerned the light. Days were either sunny or overcast with very pale skies which created problems with the dynamic range. I don’t like using a graduated neutral density filter because, to me, it always seems to make the sky too unreal looking and, of course, also affects tops of trees. I did use a Fader ND variable filter on some days which was better but, again, it tended to make shutter speeds too slow. I need to keep practising! When printing, I used 7×5 paper first to check contrast etc and learned that although images need to be brighter for print I also needed to deepen contrast. I enjoyed doing the composite – not sure whether the lynx being 3D helped or hindered. It did fit fairly naturally into the background but I can see an edge around it. In terms of context – although I did little additional reading for this particular assignment I have done a lot of reading in general and critical reflection on Study Visits etc which can be seen in the rest of my online blog.

3rd December 2014

References

Maitland, S (2012) Gossip from the Forest, Granta Publications, London

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/dh
http://www.markpower.co.uk/projects/26-DIFFERENT-ENDINGS