The research blog has been a motivating project for me taking me out of my comfort zone.  The blog encouraged me to branch out into things that I hadn’t considered before. And it was a vent that has allowed me to directly view the progress of my practise which has been the most useful part, and is certainly confidence boosting. Using discussion with tutors and peers has also helped me shape my direction, as it has been easier to see what an audience feel is successful to work out what I should be creating at this stage in my practise.

The thing I tried this semester that I haven’t attempted before was contacting photographers and companies; I have contacted roughly eight studios in London and five photographers with some success. Particularly towards the end of this semester I knew I had to get out and assist, I have given my details to Phillip Taledano, Colin Thomas and Steve Neaves for assisting jobs.  One studio that contacted me back was ‘The Worx’ who have agreed to take me on as an assistant for a week in February 2011. I’m proud of this because it will be a professional studio experience where I can learn what is expected of an employer in the industry. I am happy that I have something to show from my research, and if all goes well I will be looking for more work experience.

Another area the course has really nailed into our heads this year has been the use of lighting, which has been so valuable. Being introduced to new equipment has triggered my mind into action as I can now shoot some of the ideas I already have, in a more professional way. Having access to location lighting kits and ring flash has made a chance for diversity in the way my portfolio is coming together. I have a book of ideas waiting on standby which I don’t want to rush through until I feel I can do them justice. The blog process has made me realise that planning a shoot methodically is essential.  And that once I understand the technical side and evaluate along the way it’s then the concepts that I have to think about, which is exciting because it’s the bit I love most about photography.

Assignments for PH2000 this semester have been broad allowing me to flow with my own style with plenty of time for reflection and idea accumulation. Using artwork as original inspiration in assignment one was a nice change; however I had a blip when deciding on what to do for the project. At first I decided on an idea that wasn’t entirely relevant in response to art that I wasn’t entirely passionate about and that may have been too ambitious.  This is one of my floors, getting carried away. Looking at the blog and talking it over with a tutor made it easier to see what I was doing. I had a rethink and found an artist that I related to better. Studying fashion photography in the second semester and collaborating with a styling student will help me with these issues because I will be able to discuss and learn with another person how we both want the visual to pull off. When it came to the final shoot, I took a while to setup everything, and just about everything went wrong with weather and location lighting kits but I learn so much from it and all the way through thought about what would be communicated to the viewer. I think a lack of model really helped me as I could just think about a still life scene, and as I get better I may be able to control even more elements. Assignment two was about taking inspiration from a film, in my case Shallow Grave. I really got into the project, built a scene, used the dedo lighting kit on three occasions and arranged for actors to be in the shoot so am proud of the achievement. I am that happy with the concept of this work that I want to continue it on as a practise for portraiture, but it would also be an interesting exhibition.

Other skills I feel I have strengthened have been Negative scanning which I have made a real effort to get into and being introduced into the medium format digital back and the Capture One software. A few sessions into the Capture One software it is easy to see why it is used by the pros, and I have confidence that I can use it. Even if I can’t get my hands on it as a second year I could assist the third years to get more experience.

Continuing on from this introductory research blog is a new blog, workbook and big idea. I’m motivating myself to dig deep and think of an idea that isn’t cliché and that can really help me develop my style. I’m thinking about using proverb and fables as inspiration. One issue I do already foresee is how I tackle the images, as I work in two styles it will be difficult to choose. And if I take a tongue in cheek look at my ideas it could end up very blank advertisement looking. These are just worries that I will have to overcome. I plan to bounce my ideas off lots of people and to not rule out any possibilities; I just have to get down to it. What I will do differently, is to move faster and capture all ideas at the time. Get onto Photoshop more and my graphic tablet so I can do justice to the ideas I have in my head.

To conclude I will be focussing on developing my style and getting noticed by doing what I do best, working on amazing concepts for this huge new brief and really considering how to get my intentions across to the viewer and finally working towards work of an exhibition standard that I will hopefully exhibit.

One phrase that i always keep in mind to motivate me… If you do what you’ve always done, You’ll get what you’ve always gotten.


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