Reflection – Project development

After speaking with Colin, I was pleased that the progress I am making with the edit of my work. Key to its success has to be in the way that I am applying narrative structure. I have tended to ignore its potential previously and unsure of how it could apply to a photographic series. However, I have discovered that it is a really valuable tool in the sequencing of my work, which I have always struggled with. The way that the ‘journey story’ narrative creates a kind of fantasy world also really resonates with the way that others have viewed my work. Michelle in the first module even stated as much in how my work highlights a kind of fantasy element to the subjects that I am photographing. Colin has also previously stated that some of my images have an idealised romanticism to them. What the journey narrative allows is a way of bringing these areas of strength in my work together in a cohesive way. I now realise that the success of my FMP will depend on the way that I eventually sequence using more narrative tropes and tools.

Work to do

Figure 1: Phil Hill (September, 2020) Dad holding Dandelions

I am far from done. There are some images in the present sequence that I am unsure actually work within the narrative. Potential to slim down the current set. For example, the image of my dad holding the dandelions (Fig: 1) is quite disparate to the rest of the sequence and may need to be taken out. I also need to continue looking at the journey and seeing how this can be reflected in the sequence.

I also feel the need to return to earlier research and see how this is reflected in my current work. I started the module looking at the idea of inanimate agency, informed by the idea of Object Orientated ontology. This is how to consider the way that the landscape and places impact on the people, over how we place a bigger value on human interpretation of objects. For example, Graham Harmon notes Edmund Husserl’s discussion of ‘Two Berlins’: “how can there be two Berlins, one of them a content inside the mind and the other and object outside it? In that case, there would be no way for the two Berlins ever to come into contact, and knowledge of Berlin would not be possible” (2020, p. 15). This is what photography does, effectively creating a third ‘Berlin’ – or in my case, Watford – bearing no relation to the concrete actualities that were in front of the camera at the time of the photograph. I spent a great deal of time researching this as an impact that the photograph has on the way that we remember and how the qualities of the medium of photography have an effect on the way it is read contributing to a nostalgia. Narrative structures feel like a natural progression for my work to further the construction of my own making. This has been one of the most revelatory progressions made during this module and as above, a key element to take forward into my FMP.

Figure 2: Phil Hill (November, 2020) WIPP test viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader
Figure 3: Phil Hill (November, 2020) WIPP test viewed in Google Chrome browser

Presentation At the moment the first iteration of my WIPP was created as a PDF in a series of 4, 10 page spreads. I have found there are limitations to this and need to work towards a better display of the work. InDesign limits the amount of pages in a spread and also the presentation varies depending on the way it is viewed through a program, such as Acrobat versus viewing the PDF in a browser (Fig: 2 & 3). I am aiming for the work to be seen in a linear way, so it might be better to display the work using my website where I can better control the experience. That being said, there is also a need to acknowledge the need to some flexibility and relinquish control to the reader – they will inevitably construct their own narrative.


Harmon, G., 2020. Art and Objects. 1st Paperback ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.

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