Archive for the '1' Category


Project Direction

Previous Research 

In the first term we did research based around three topics, Memory Spectacle and Power whilst attending 300Mc and learning about the theory which surround the media we are confronted with ever day. In October when I was looking at spectacle I blogged about the idea of perception and acceptance of the masses (specifically looking at Gay and Lesbian representations) What the media presents to us and what is actually happening often do not match up. We accept this because its fiction, we accept that Gay men on television have to be so odviouse its silly, but in actual life could you really pick a gay man out of a croud just form the way he looks and acts. You could possibly if you were an analyst of people but I doubt it if your an average person like me. Later when I was working on Memory I took time to research perception and looked at Monet and Hockney’s art work both of there work uses the idea of perception, they both saw the world in a different way, Monet becuase of the slow loss of his sight and Hockney in his search for new levels of his art work. Click on the following links to see these blog posts to get a better idea of what I was looking at and discussing at the time:

New Project Direction


Something I have thought about for a long time is how much we see and don’t see. What I mean by this is that things happen everyday that we miss, that we walk by but also we do not stop to see the beauty in the every day routine. Carucci opens her family up to the world letting the camera gaze intrude on her personal life. Through her different works she looks at the subjects in life that society would rather us keep behind closed doors.

 But the reality is that we have been made to feel that the normalities of life are to be hidden, take breast feeding for example people have succeeded in campaigning for women to be able to breast feed in public but society would still rather you not do it where they can see it. We forget to see the beautiful because of all the rules and shame linked with things such as being nakid.

People actually pay hundred of pounds to make spectacle of themsleves and families to remember a snapshot in time (snapshot the term first used in Bird Photography). Companies like Venture, Studio 54 and other photogrsaphy companies profit from this. Hundred of freelance photographers like Abi Moore and Jane Wood (previously mentioned in this blog) also profit from this need to capture time presures eventsa and moments, ones where we are fully made up and dressed in our proper atire. Now adays photo deveopment stores can make a fuss if they develope a picture of a child in a bath or a nakid women as this can be seen as inappropriate.

I have decided to focus on this still going down the lines of looking at the changes in our bodies due to pregnancy and birth but also looking at the moments we have as a family, the intimate moments being a younge family who have rapidly gone from two adults to one child and then another child. I have decided that I am going to try and devleope a style toward shooting this, I do not want to have all of the same type of shots different images require different lighting and aftershiot editing techniques to get them just right.



Practical Work – A realisation


So far I have arranged with two models to meet them and start work with them this is happening in the coming week and I meet a pregnant lady in the street and asked her is she was interested, and she gave me her details so I am on a roll.

Today I wanted to start with some work and I have decided to use myself as a subject aswell, inspired by Carucci as she uses herself and her family as subjects. Sally Mann also used herself and family as subjects and I feel connected with the subject matter.

The Photo shoot


Using my cannon 450D with a tripod I set up first in the bathroom as I have been inspired by a shot that carucci did in her most recent work where she was in the bathroom with her children. I also found this to have the best light in the house and I felt it was secure place to house my other daughter whilst taking photo’s of myself holding my youngest daughter.

The focus of this shoot was to see the physical scars on my body (stretch marks) but with the presence of the children in the room to show my growing bond with my youngest daughter as I forget about these marks on my body and focus on her.

Images from the photoshoot:







When starting this photoshoot I had examples of artist I am inspired by in my mind such as Carucci and Olson. In particular I was inspired by the following images:

 This image is by Olson, I found this particular image really inspiring and it was in my mind during the photoshoot, the women in the picture seams to hide her identity yet is happy to pose nude. The nudity is reduced by the camera angel and the use of monocrome it gives it a naturel feel as if the idea of gazing upon a nakid women is lass of a taboo.

 Image by Carucci. This image gave me inspiration to start by looking at myself and my children/family. Not  alot of people have the courage to take images fo themselves and put them on show to the world. The images above that I have taken and put on this blog post are not all of the images that were taken during the shoot they are a selection that I felt were what I had been trying to achieve. It was very difficult to look at the images and decided what should the world see and what should they not. With the particular idea in mind of seeing the taboo such as scars, nudity comes with this, the idea of holding a new born in the bath or breast feeding. However I did not want to ignore the commercial influences I have been drawn towards. during researching I spoke to two independent photographers who have worked with a number of subjects including, people, animals and plants. Abi More is a wedding photographer who trainned through a commercial global photography company called Venture New Generation Portraites. She specialises in making photographs into works of art to suite the tastes of the individuals she works for. She does not avoid nudity in order to sell her work as many other photographer don’t they just taylor it to the specific need. One example can be clearly viewed at her website:

I also have come accross another photographer called Mallory from Fitzgerald Photography which is based in Madison Wisconsin, she specialises in baby, child and family photography. Her work is simplistic and tailored to sell to the mothers and fathers who9 want to see the amazing images she can produce of there children, art specifically taylored to there family, worthless to any one else.  You can see her work at her website

I decided to experiment with my work and not just stick to black and white, to use colour and set the actual focus of the image in the back ground to see what kind of effect I got. I was very sure when starting this shoot that I did not want to include my face in these photos. I am comfortable with people seeing my body but my face is personal, I can detach myself from my body as I am more concerned about my expresions, as seeing my face would show that actually I am uncomfortable with the camera gaze and I want to show ease and comfort not uncomfort.

I also decided to try and use different camera techniques when shooting. A friend gave me the ideaof trying to shoot through a toilet role to see what effect I achieved. I was alsdo interested in seeing what image I got from shooting through my glasses. When orginally researching I talked and looked into perspective a lot as I have always tyhoguht that wearing glasses allows me to see the world in a different way. All I felt I achieved was to frame the image with the edge of my glasses.


I tried lots of different shot compositions and fiddled around with the F’ stops and shutter speeds to try to get a really interesting set of images.

Doing this has made me think about the process of working with models, getting them to pose for me. It made me think about what I would be asking them to do, for me. In the comfort of my own home and doing it all myself it did not feel a problem, during the actual time I was taking the images but after when looking through them and preparing to put them on to this blog I got very nervous. The main thoughts running through my head where, who is going to see this? What will people think?  Is this appropriate? That is when I realised how much the naked from bothers us and why so many people/ artists are obsessed with it. It’s a very Taboo subject, we are taught to be ashamed to show of our naked selves to the world, there are even laws against it (within certain parameters). Doing this and using myself first has given me a lot to think about, not only how I need to approach I chose to work with but also if I want to use other models, because I am so inspired by people work who focus on themselves, they capture moments that no one else is privy to see. These moments I am refering could never be captured in a studio session, with unknown models. They involve families and children and husbands and wives, people who have intimate connections with each other, peoples whos reactions and interactions with each other leave impressions on each other.

Ultimatly this is a decision I need to think about, do I use models or focus on my family? The orginal pitch I made focused on looking at scars both pysical and emotional scars as I wanted to look at Taboos in Society. This has slowly progressed with guidance from tutors towards pregnancy and birth which is a very interesting subject for me as thorugh university I have had two children (hence why my project and research is taking a number of extra weeks to get together and finish).

Experiementing with this has left me with a few decisions that I need to make to such as do I shoot just in black and white or do I also use colour? How do I link my images together and do I use models or just focus on my family?



Where I am!


As you might have already have read on this blog since Feburary it has been a bit of a touch time for me and my family, I have had to prioritise my fmaily and healh over University. On the upside I can now slowly get beack to it all however I am not going to get things done as fast as I previousl did because I have now got two children depend on me and they are both under two and I have to provide for my family as well.

I have had time to think since I visited Paul Smith and Mez Packer re my project and I am not just going to drop my orginal project, instead I am going t develope it further. I am going to link in more research and make changes  (that I document).

I don’t want to waste the hard work and thought I have put into this work since the start of this year. Its not going to be easy but I am going to get this done and its going to be well thought out good work.

The following are things I need to look at despiratly:

  • the name of the project,
  • revisit the orginal research and link new research
  • the actual shots – give a better definition of what I want to achieve

I also reaslise that I need to start getting some practical stuff done. I have already gotten in touch with one Mum Deborah who contacted me when I was ill and was willing to be a model then so I am wonderig if she would still be willing to be a model now??


Project Development

With the Bad comes the good…



I have always been taught to look for the silver lining, as with every cloud there is one ‘apparently’. I think this is a optamists view of the world, a pessimist might say that following every silver lining there is bound to be another cloud! It’s hard to decided if I am a pessimist or a optamist, I see my fair share of clouds but also I can point out the silver linings, however they do seem to always be followed by another cloud!

My situation is somewhat different from some of the other people on my course, I have a child, another on the way and commute (an hour away). It makes it all the more important that I am on the ball, ready for action and either in step or one ahead of what I should be achieving. However I keep coming across clouds, like when the individuals who are running the course change very important dates, such as the degree show!!! It was first planned to be the last week of May and has now been moved to the first week of June. This is fine for those who are still arranging exhibition areas and have not taken it upon themselves to get an alternative space in the community like was suggested by members of staff….however as already explain I try to get things sorted either by deadline or in advance. I now have a Gallery space booked and paid for a week early than the actual show….brillaint.

But today I have decided I am going to be a optamist, I have been granted a deferral due to the impending birth of my second child (due two days before the hand in date for the project work). So I am going to use this extension of time to my advantage, I am going to use this exhibition space to exhibit my photography work but I am also going to see if I can get some performance work going and possibly record the exhibition and edit it to be an addition to my work. These are only first ideas but if you are provided with lemons why not try at least to make lemonade…even if it still tastes bitter.





One of my ongoing life issues is my brain, I have periods of seemly not being able to start it and other moments when I just can’t shut it off. Often these periods of not being able to shut it off are when I am trying to sleep and generally the reason it will not shut off it that I have something niggling at the back of my brain like a bed bug (not literally). I know that something is bugging me and I want to ignore it because I need to sleep but I can’t untill I finally figure out exactly what it is that is irritating me so much.

Recently my lack of sleep has been due to a number of things, one being my project and the issues I am currently having surrounding it which are the following:

Subjects for the images, coherent explanation of the project, the actual shots and the project title.


The issue I am having with subjects for the images is that I have been talking to people about my project and have had some positive responses but getting together with people is proving an issue. One subject who si very willing is currently in the army, another just yesterday under went a major operation so I feel a bit like I am running thin on models. I do have other models but they currently wish to remain anonymous as do quite a few, which I expected to be the majority. I have a women who is very willing and able but timing is an issue with her as she has children, animals, parents to take care of. I also have a male who is also very willing to help in any way he can but is also very nervous.

The other major issue I am having is explaining my project to people without putting them off, this has kept me up a lot at night, thinking of different ways to approach it, it’s a different kettle of fish explaining it to professionals in presentation mode. When it comes to potential subjects it’s a lot harder.

I have contacted the local radio station and asked if they could help with getting people interested in what I am doing. I sent the following e-mail:






Thank you for the phone conversation earlier.


As discussed the following is what I am currently doing and require.

 I require about 12 people who be willing to talk to me about their life experiences and have some photographs taken and stories recorded. The images will be part of my final degree project at Coventry University. The subjects can be male or female and any age. The stories/ experiences can be about anything at all and from as recent or as long ago as they like.


The project is currently untitled but is basically looking how life physically affects people, and a kind of celebration of what our bodies go through just by living.


I need people ASAP with a deadline being The first week in April.

 The following are my contact details:

Name: Mrs Charlotte Gunn

Landline: 01295 270567

Mobile: 077884738810

Thank you for all your help.
Many Thanks
Charlotte Gunn (Charlie)




To boil my project down to a sentance, two sentance is difficult, people could take it the wrong way. A couple of night ago I just though I know I will change the project but that would be defeatist. I have not seamed to have yet had any fead back so I am not even sure what people actually think of it which is making it difficult but I am passionate that it will be brillaint when I am done.

The above e-mail is the current way I am resorting to get subjects/models, being very vague as its not easy to just aks people, “Do you have any scars/stretch marks unusual marks on your body I could photography?” It would be a lot easier if I worked in an enviroment with easy access to individuals that are likely to have thes kinds of features such as an old age home or hospital but then I also feel that would be taking advantage of people in vounerable situations! Its a difficult one!

I did start off my search for subjects by contacting friends and family either by e-mail or text and even had lunch with a actor who is dating a friend of mine, to see if he had any contacts.

I think that by taking about my project in a way which explains that its looking at the affect of life on the body is a better way to come accross to people. I want to look at what our bodies go through to get us to age, 30, 50, 60, 70….. what does the affect fo time leave behind if you have ahcild, an oppertaion to correct something? What does time leave us with what do we grow or lose and how do we emotionally adjust to this?



The actual shots


For a while now I have been debating over studio or no studio shots. I have had lot of oppertunity to be in a studio when I worked for venture and the images can come out very polished and well lit as you ahev all the tolls to manipulate the light, create the affect you want. Where as without a studio you cna be at the mercey fo the light you have, you need to look for the light. You cna take equipment alonge with you but that can be very invasive depending on the shot you want. I have been looking a other photographers work to try and help me think and plan this through But I still have not made a decision, I am going to blog about some of my research in my next post.

Alos the other issue with the shots has been peoples anonamitity, full body shots could reval the identity fo the individual if I am shooting something quite sensative and I ahve some models who do not want to be identified. IMalgemating the two wants of shoting as a final set is currently a concern to me, massive landscape style images of parts fo the body against protraite shots?? Carucci does it well in different collections as she links them through themes so this is something I can currently considering, I just need to be very sure in the editing stages of the work.



The project Title


The title of this project is also soemthing that is keeping me up at night, ti doe snot sound right… STAMP… it does not mean as much so this is currently under reconsideration in my mind. I want it to be more sympathetic, again a lack of feedback from professionals within Coventry Univerity is not been helpful but I will see where my thoughts take me on this one… currently thinking about The Symptoms of life… but need to test drive it for a while.


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!


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:

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.




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.


Raw But its a start


As previously discussed I decided to go out and use a Px40 camera to try and capture some footage of driving in a car inspired by the recent Transport Photography and experiemental moving image people have been doing. I am not very confident with using a camera so was not sure what I got and am inspired by some of the footage I actually got.

I have uploaded some of the raw footage so you can see what I have been upto so far to keep you updated:

I am not sure what to make of it yet hence no reflection on it at this stage as its just raw footage and was just an experiement. But I have also been out with my cannon camera capturing some light trails for myself:

Not all the photos are brilliant as you can see from above but some are just brilliant in my opinion.


Memory – Artefact and beyond

What I want to try and do!

Memory Artefact – idea, thought and planning??

So I’ve tried stop motion animation and although I have had slight success I have no passion for it, well thats not true I did have a passion for it but not now. I have done a brainstorm which I should have already posted on hear for memory, I could not stop thinking about my Daughter, this year is her first Christmas and our first Christmas with us, it is very unlikely she will remember any of this, but I wonder if the facination that grows within all children as they get older about christmas stems from these early Christmas experiences they have had. We have recently been discussing in 300MC that a majority of our memory is constructed by the world around us, the rules which we as a society/ culture live buy. Children who are 5, 6, 7 + are currently in a highly capatalist society where consumer consumption is a driving force in the economy, what’s the newist toy we can get is on the other side of the deal what is the news toy we can market to kids. It makes me sad as my daughter is only 7 months old but soon she is going to be wanting the newist toy advertisted after her favorite TV programe (currently Micky Mouse Club House!).

But in my mind I like to believe that at the moment the wonder of christmas is restricted to the interestingly jolly song, flashing lights on houses, christmas trees and shinny wrapping paper……how simple but amazing.  What an interesting idea to capture this way of seeing the holiday, so simplistic it could actually be really boring but with the right video capture and sound it could actually be really interesting.

I had to pop this festive Youtube video on hear but it is nothing like what I have in mind for the Memory artefact!! You will just have to see what I produce as it is going to be totally inspired by what my daughter is facinated with when we start to put up the christmas light which is tonight!!!


Just some info I am keeping in mind, babies do not always see the same way we do they develope there eye sight gradually like there teeth although not as painful for them (bless them!!) I have popped some info on hear that I am going to keep in mind:

Sight in Babies

Unless she has a vision impairment, your baby can see from birth. As she grows, she’ll use her eyes to take in massive amounts of information about the world around her, which in turn will stimulate her
brain development and lead to physical accomplishments such as sitting, rolling over, crawling, and walking.

How it develops

Your baby’s sight develops somewhat gradually, unlike her
hearing, which is fully mature by the end of her first month. At birth, her vision is pretty fuzzy, though she can make out light, shapes, and movement. She can see only about eight to 15 inches / 20 to 30.5 centimetres – just far enough to clearly make out the face of the person holding her. That suits her because your face is the most interesting thing to your baby at this age, followed by high-contrast items such as black and white chessboard patterns, so be sure to put in a lot of eye-to-eye time.

Your baby’s sight will gradually improve, until at about eight months she’ll see just as well as you do.

One month
At birth your baby didn’t know how to use her eyes together, so they may have wandered randomly. But by the time she’s one or two months old she’ll have learned to focus both eyes and will be able to track a moving object (though she may already have been able to do this for brief periods since birth). A simple rattle passed in front of her face will often transfix her, or you can play eyes-to-eyes by moving very close to her face and slowly moving your head from side to side; often her baby blues will lock onto yours.

Two months
Babies see colour from birth, but they have difficulty distinguishing similar tones such as red and orange. As a result they often prefer black and white or high-contrast colours. But between the ages of two months and four months, colour differences become clearer, and your baby starts to distinguish between similar shades. As a result, she’ll probably begin to show a preference for bright primary colours and more detailed and complicated designs and shapes. Encourage this by letting her look at bright pictures, photos,
books, and toys. For the next couple of months, she’ll also be perfecting her object-tracking skills.

Four months
Sometime around now your baby will begin to develop depth perception which helps her to see how far away something is from her. She’ll also be gaining better control over her arms, so this new visual development comes at just the right time to help her grab for things such as hair and earrings much more accurately.

Five months
At this point your baby will be getting better at spotting very small objects and tracking moving things. She may even be able to recognise an object after seeing only part of it – the basis of little hide-and-seek games you can play in the coming months. Most five-month-olds have already learned to distinguish between similar bold colours, and now they’ll begin to sort out subtle differences in pastels.

Eight months
Your baby’s vision – previously about 20/40 at best – will be almost adultlike in its clarity and depth perception at this point. Though her short-range will still be better than her long-range sight, at eight months her vision will be good enough to recognise people and objects across a room. At this age her eyes will also probably be close to their final colour, though you may see subtle changes after that.


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