14
Dec
09

Reflection to show my direction

Zombie or No Zombie That is the Question!

(Thoughts on Spectacle, Power and Memory and my way forward with the final project and this blog)

Throughout this entry you can find links to previous posts relating to what the section of the blog is reflecting/discussing to show a progression of my work but in a re-cap fashion – So yes its like a cheesy clip show but its a reflective one)

Ok so I hate Zombie themes, Zombie Movies etc….. basically I hate zombies but considering this is someones final 3rd year peace of work and was produced for £45 is pretty impressive. The previous YouTube post and the reference is designed to get us (us being 3rd year Media Production Students at Coventry University) to think, think, think (as the super slouthes would say( My Friends Tigger and Pooh)  about our final projects.

So This is what I’ve got and done so far to get to today, this point right now!

THE START OF THIS TERM

I came to university with three ideas based around the three themes Memory, Power and Spectacle, I started some basic research on these themes on my summer blog roll.

You can view the summer work book at the below address:

http://summermediaworkbook.wordpress.com/

The following are the three ideas I came with:

Memory – The Family portrait, an interactive web-based piece based on the idea of the family unit, thinking about themes like the living image, Harry potter and commercial portrait photography. Using Web development, photography and moving image being access online.

Spectacle – Imagination, looking at the idea of ontology and creating imaginative photography based around inanimate objects, a portrait of an apple for example. Using photography skills and editing techniques with Photoshop, being displayed in an Exhibition space.

Power – Knowledge is Powerr, thinking about creating an informational DVD on pregnancy and labour the untold information on alternative pain relief techniques during labour and pregnancy. This would be a Documentary and be screened by an audience.

 

SPECTACLE – Through Term 1

 

When I started thinking about spectacle I decided to do some more brain storming and think up some more ideas other than the about idea I started with, I think I was feeling uninspired. I contacted a few lecturers like Jonathan Worth and Jonathan Shaw (both Photography lecturers) as well as getting guidance from Jonathan Lee – seminar leader.

I started thinking about a project I started last year in my personal time relating to a traveling fair and produced my artifact around that, but half way through I got bored and disillusioned so tried out something new – the pumpkin project, which did not work out very well, due to a lack of sufficient planning, time and resources.

But I enjoyed working and developing both the ideas as they involved myself trying out new techniques with my camera and I like the lines of research I was working my way through whilst developing these ideas. I was directed towards researching Painting with Light by Jonathan Worth and found that once I started researching it I just could not stop. It also made me think about different genre’s this theme took, Photography, Stop Motion, Video, Animation etc and I found myself continuing this research right up to present-day.

Power – Throguh term 1

 

By this point I had totally disregarded the original ideas I had for power as I realised that the reasons for wanting to make the Documentary were personal reasons, I realised this when I contacted a senior member of staff at The Horton Radcliffe Hospital in Banbury and when discussing my idea with her she commented at the end of the conversation that I came across very aggressive. I sent an e-mail to her apologising for my behaviour but have had not further contact with her as I disregarded the project. I realised I was aggressive because of my personal experiences with having my own child and felt I was the wrong person to be objective towards this kind of project. In the future I think I would need to find someone who could be my sounding board before I start talking to people who could tell me what they think of what I want to say or ask these people, as you will see through the rest of what I am commenting on my lack of planning skills is what is currently letting me down.

I Instead came up with a fresh brainstorm and pulled some ideas from this to form possible project ideas. At one point I got pretty focused on the idea of linking emotion and power together and did some research based around this theme. I then started thinking about control and the idea of photo journalism but I did not really follow this line of thinking very much as I was getting a little obsessed with linking emotion and power together. Reflecting on my thought process at this time, I don’t think I sort out enough advice from others my research was inspiring by I was not getting anyone elses imput into my work at this point.

From researching and thought development process I went through, although rushed I came up with three ideas (click the link to see all of them). I was very aware that I had made a personal goal to challenge myself and was being encourage in seminars to try out different mediums for my work because I just wanted to stay with Photography so the original idea I tried out was making a sound recording about a missing person, based on the idea of leaving message on voicemail. I did primary Research and started recording the piece, and planned how I wanted the artifact to flow but when I received the response back for the primary research I realised my thoughts on how the scenario of a missing person would play out were unrealistic. What I really needed was again more time, I needed to get deeper into the project, find people who had been involved with a missing persons case, someone who had gone missing or families etc. Even though I had done research what I had done was not enough. I required guidance but then I also feel like I am hiding behind that and that I just jumped into the idea, again time can rush you into things.

So I decided to go with another idea stemming from the original brainstorm I did, Identity. I started to re think and was influenced by a film I watched called Fur which was based on an artist/photographer called Diane Arbus and decided I wanted to experiment with the theme of identity and get someone to show me their take on their personal identity and photograph this. I did the shoot and then decided that I would have liked this to be a web-based project, but I have not displayed this as a web-based project on this blog roll but as a gallery of work. This idea of making it into a web-based piece came after when I was reflecting more on the work and research towards it.

MEMORY – Through term 1

 

 At this time when I was posting blog entries and starting to think things with a more reflective eye I start  looking at my body of work  and realising that I seem to stick to one medium in which to work. I decided to discuss this with my seminar leader who encourages me to try working with moving image. I hate this idea (even blogging about hating it)  but decided to follow good advice when I hear it.

Again I brainstorm but not before I did some vital influence research as I was feeling void of ideas  Now thinking totally differently from the way I had started out thinking through this blog I have so much inspiration but feel less confident on the practical technical side, unless it’s with my Cannon camera. So researching really helped me think about what I wanted to experiment with and achieve.

I tried making a stop motion animation and felt it went well although I did not enjoy the process, as I started working on it I felt less and less passionate about what I was doing, making me think perhaps I am just not passionate about anything else other than photography. But I decided that my lack of interest was because I was 1) not planning enough (getting excited about it in the process) and 2) not choosing the right medium for what I wanted to express at that time.

After looking through my brainstorm and searching my thoughts I realised that Memory for me focused on the development of memory, how does it start, because I did not want to go down the scientific route, due to time I wanted to express my thoughts on the first few precious memories of Christmas for a new life in this world. I think I focused like this because of my daughter. On reflection as I have already mentioned I get a lot of my ideas and experiences from my life and now feel that I need to open up my mind/experiences and world so that I can be more creative and expressive.

By thinking about it like this I was able to talk to Jonathan Lee about my problems with working with technology and get him to show me some basic techniques with a camera I hired out from the loan shop. With this I have produced my artifact. I feel positively about my artifact as for me it represents a learning curve, I was able to pick up a piece of technology I did not feel confident with and use it and use simple editing software to manipulate the footage.

I think that it would have been better if I could have had some research directly linking what I have created with my blog but I am not sure where to look and this sis something I need further guidance with. It is a shame that I did not create my own sound with the footage and just chose a christmas song but if I were to change and do it again to go with my final project this is something I would do.

 

WHERE AM I NOW

 

Currently I am at the same stage as everyone else in my year, looking at the daunting prospect fo the final year project, what should I do, where when and what should it be about/inspired by and produced with???

What I can tell you is throughout this term I have also been experimenting with different techniques through both the three projects and as a side line which I have been trying to blog about as well.

There are a few current lines of interest. One stemming from the first project Spectacle, I am interested in continuing with photography that looks at the evening world in a different way, I have been inspired by Transport photography particularly Traffic Trails which have been captured again and again so I think I need to think about different approaches on this one. One way I have started to do this is by using a video camera instead of a still image camera. This has produced some particularly interesting footage which I hope to post up soon or parts of it anyway. I have also been capturing Traffic trails myself and starting soe research into particular photographers who specialise in Transport photography and twilight photography.

Another interesting line of research has come from the second project, Power, after experimenting with a photography shoot around identity I have been thinking and researching along the lines of unique markers of identity but this will have to wait for another post to better explain this as I have not yet formulated words to express my research.

Another interesting idea I have been mulling over in my mind is the idea of filming the normal to show its abnormalities. I experimented with photographing drips earlier in this blog and have been thinking about how normal a drip is but how amazing it becomes when seen in different lights and the surroundings. I have also been looking at peoples work with time-lapse but have not really delved into this line of thought much yet as I have been very busy already.

 

Overall I think I need to focus on the following as I go forward with this blog:

 

1) Planning, I need to plan what, when and where I am doing things. I have already started on this process by researching but I need to steer my research towards plans of action.

2)Critically reflect on other and my own work more, I need to look at those who inspire me and start saying I like this but if it was me I would do this and actually pin down why it inspires me, why do I want to try out what they have done?

3) Not be caged by just photography alone, I need to be bold and try using a video camera more, where does it say my project must be kept to one medium?

If I come up with any more need to do points I will add them on an update you post directly linked to this post but for now thats it and we will see where I go from now.

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