Oral Presentation: Draft

I have started to draft out my oral presentation. The Pecha Kucha method is actually quite freeing in many ways. It makes it a lot easier to piece together the presentation and make edits, for example. Trying to cram in everything that I want to say in 20 seconds per slide is proving to be the biggest challenge, however.

Draft Presentation

I have made a fist draft of my presentation. I think that it is moving in the right direction but unsure at this point if I am covering the learning outcomes. I have spent time discussing my use of black and White and how it creates significance in the image and draws attention to the act of photography. This module, I have spent a great deal of time invested in the development of the aesthetics of my project through how I produce the images.

Figure 1: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Draft Oral Presentation for Surfaces and Strategies
Peer feedback on Oral Presentation

I asked my peer group to watch my draft presentation and give me some feedback on any improvements that I could make:

It is excellent, Phil.  But I do feel the pace is slightly too fast.

Isabelle.

Phil -your presentation is v good,  it seems to cover all requirements – it’s a good pace and nice range of images.  It defo keep me engaged.

Claire.

It didn’t feel rushed at all – very clear and good pace. I didn’t check the no of slides or length but it sounded really good. I liked the parts where you talked about having to deal with change.. and also the ref to the sunday supplement printing trad locally! Great thing to link to your zine! I thought it was excellent.

Sioned.

Brilliant job very well done!! HCP does an exhibition called on the fence check it out when you get a min think that that would really work for you. I note your portrait on the fence!!

De.

The only thing I’d suggest is slowing down your speech – it’s too fast to take it all in.

Andy.
Reflection

It’s really great to get such positive feedback on my presentation. I do agree that the pacing of some of the narration of my slides is on the fast side. I have been very keen to get all of the information into the 20 second window per slide that actually it is starting to have a negative impact on the delivery and the ideas being communicated effectively. This is something that I may need to edit down slightly in order to focus on a quality delivery and be assured that the information that is omitted is available in my CRJ.

Workshop Planning

To link to my research project, I would be keen to run a workshop about creating work within the community. This could potentially be about how to approach people and places within the community and identify the cultural signifiers that make that place unique and why you are drawn to it – the reason why you want to take the images in the first place.

I am still getting to grips with grounding my project in this area, so I think the workshop would be just as important for me as it would be the participants. Especially. Plus, if the participants were also from the same community that I am making my work it would create valuable insight into how others perceive the same place, which I also live.

My workshop would comprise of peer discussion and Q&A to establish prior knowledge, understanding of socially engaged photography, and provide me with an opportunity to outline any learning outcomes and introductions. The workshop should take a day to complete, including practical time to go out and start to create images with the potential for a later plenary, or online presentation of work once participants have had the opportunity to create imagery.

Workshop Plan

Sorting Images

Figure 1: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Selection of the images produced during the MA so far.

My project has taken a number of turns throughout the three modules and now for this one I have decided to explore black and white film photography, which creates a big departure from the way that I was photographing my project up until now. This development is how I am starting to move away from a more commercial way of shooting, linked to my comfort zones.

Sequencing is one of my biggest challenges and although I have been putting together a zine in time for Landings, I have not yet started to look at how my work will be edited ready for the next WIPP submission.

Considering formats for publication, I have always quite like the idea of postcard sets as they acknowledge how a reader of the work might create their own narrative from the work. They are quite nice to spread out and do the same as this task. The downside is that the standard postcard is small compared with many books and the quality of the image may be lost in this small format. 

I am interested in books as they create a tangible object from the photographed and can be carefully sequenced in a way that the author intended, should that be a primary concern for the project (as opposed to postcards). The challenge with the book is the limitation this might put on the accessibility of the project. Only available to a few people who can afford it and accessing the creation of such a publication where many publishers expect the photographer to contribute to the cost of producing it.

Some Surfaces: Publications

I have been looking at my own book collection for some inspiration into potential exploration into publication.

I very much enjoy photo books and collect them enthusiastically. It is worth noting however, that the photo book might not be an effective end in itself, as it can be quite a limiting format to display work. There is a great deal of prestige in having a book published of course and I would absolutely love to have one of my own. The audience for these books is quite limited however and it is important to understand this before chasing this as an output for a photography project, which should consider other ways of presenting work and making it accessible.

The primary market for photography books is other photographers, which the demographic is notably white middle-class. This has been one of the reasons why Simon Norfolk, for example, stopped producing books as a matter of course, noting that they are more about an insular self-congratulating between photographer that does not look outside its own bubble (2019). Norfolk is quite damning, but makes a solid point, if you are producing a body of work, especially one that is socially concerned, having 300 books produced will not reach enough people. There is an argument for the photography book as a way of opening doors into other avenues of publication, for example Vanessa Winship’s ‘She Dances on Jackson’ (2013) also has features on the BBC (Coomes, 2013), and The Washington Post (Dickerman & Winship, 2018) with the latter being published in 2018, long after Winship’s book has sold out and a collectable rarity. Of course, any work by Winship is going to have a life beyond its limited publication, however this is an example of how a body of work can continue to reach audiences beyond its printed origin. There may be a need to consider the secondary market for photography outside of photography. Hoxton Mini Press are quite good at creating these and I have regularly seen copies of Jenny Lewis’s ‘One Day Young’ (2015) in parenting shops.

Understanding that I would ultimately like to produce a photo book, however also considering that the project must exist outside of only that format is important for the effective dissemination of a photography project. This is another good reason for my Landing exhibition to be displayed online as it makes the work accessible to all with the option to purchase a limited-edition zine for anyone invested in collecting and rarity.

Looking at different binding and publication options

Postcard Sets
Figure 1: David Bailey (2014) Box of postcards produced to coincide with Bailey’s ‘Stardust’ exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

Knowing and understanding that I have no authority in the reading of my work by others, postcard sets present a really interesting way to present a body of work. I have used this method in the past as a marketing tool to send out to potential editors. One of the biggest draws to this format is the ability to spread the work out in front of you and create your own narratives by placing images together (Fig: 1). The challenge of the book is that the sequence is fixed to the linear journey through the book format. This was pointed out by the curator of Jack Latham’s ‘Sugar Paper Theories’ exhibition at the Royal Photographic Society (2019), who stated that the audience of the exhibition had free reign to create their own version of the narrative, which very much suited the conspiracy and mystery of the ‘Sugar Paper Theories’ work. Postcards have the advantage of being a tangible art object, which is not limited by any sequenced narrative of the author. The size of a standard postcard makes them ideal for mailing out to potential audiences and buyers of work, however the size could be considered limiting as it is quite a small size compared to many other books.

Figure 2: Lewis Bush (2016) Postcard set for ‘A Model Continent’

Lewis Bush produced a postcard set of his work ‘A Model Continent’ (Fig: 2), which is glued on one edge to be flicked through as a book. It is quite delicate and potentially designed to be taken apart by the reader, however I have tried to keep them together. This continues the idea of the object having rarity but removes any advantage that the postcard had as a flexible narrative presentation.

Saddle Stitch Binding
Figure 3: Portrait Salon et al (2015) Exhibition Catalogue cover and with stickers attached.

In 2015, Portrait Salon created an interesting concept for its exhibition catalogue, which links to the flexibility of the postcard. The book was essentially a sticker album where you would have the book and a pack of stickers that could be placed in any way that you wanted (Fig: 3). This created a method of giving the audience agency in the way that the work could be read and placed together. Once the stickers are placed they are of course fixed.

Figure 4 Sadie Catt (2019) Cover and interior spreads from ‘Woodstock’

Saddle Stitching might come across as lower quality than a traditional case bound book. It is much more accessible financially however and can be created as a very high-quality art object in itself. For example, Sadie Catt’s book ‘Woodstock’ (2019) is a beautifully produced saddle stitch book with a very nice finish (Fig: 4), which has been stitched not stapled (Fig: 5). I also really like the letterpress wrap that creates a greater sense of the book’s quality.

Figure 5: Sadie Catt (2019) Woodstock book with stitching finish.
Perfect Bound
Figure 6: Ewen Spencer (2005) Open Mic book cover.

Ewen Spencer’s self-published book titled ‘Open Mic’ (Spencer, 2005) is perfect bound and creates an exhibition catalogue aesthetic (Fig: 6). This is another method that is more accessible to self-publishing and does make the resulting publication look more professional over many saddle stitch books that can come across looking like zines. What I find challenging when reading through Spencer’s book is when an image is printed across pages, much of it can be lost to the gutter of the book (Fig: 7). This feels like it is because of the binding method that is quite tight and does not open out.

Figure 7: Ewen Spencer (2005) Image printed across spreads.
Case Bound
Figure 8: Nick Turpin (2016) ‘On the Night Bus’ book cover and close up.

Considered the best binding technique (Philipson, 2017), it creates a significant sense of the quality of the book. As an object it seems to denote the significance of the photography within and understanding the hard work that goes into getting a book published, there is also the prestige of having the work in a hard cover book. I have a few Hoxton Mini Press books who’s aim is to create high quality but accessible books, primarily focused on East London (2020). The covers are generally linen with an image (Fig: 8) and smaller in size than many of the books that I have. The size compares to Spencer’s ‘Open Mic’ but is more easily read and images viewed (Fig: 9).

Figure 9: Nick Turpin (2016) Spread from ‘On the Night Bus’
Experimentation

Unfortunately, my ability to experiment with publication is limited by the current situation, however I was lucky enough to have some printed pages from the previous modules and a printed-out PDF book dummy I made prior to the MA to use.

Figure 10: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Pagination test

I am fairly used to creating PDF books using InDesign, however printing them out is not something that I have been too concerned with up to this point. The challenge is getting the pagination correct when setting up the printer (Fig: 10), which was my aim when I printed these out. I still have some research and development to do in this area as although I was able to work out pagination for saddle stitch (Fig: 11), I could not get the case bound version to print correctly without setting up a separate InDesign file for each of the book’s signatures (Fig: 12).

Figure 11: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Saddle Stitch test
Figure 12: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Book Signatures for case bound book test.

I created a saddle stitched booklet using black thread with holes I punched myself. A little uneven without the correct tools for the job but useful to understand the process (Fig: 13). My finished book is rough but works, albeit with some loose pages (Fig: 14).

Figure 13: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Saddle Stitch outcome

Figure 14: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Loose pages in Saddle stitch test

Using some of the lessons learnt from the saddle stitch, I have also created a booklet from the signatures I set up, without a cover for now. Each signature is essentially a saddle stitched booklet, which is then sewn together in order and glued. Again, mine is very rough but works well as a booklet (Fig: 15)

I would have liked to have made these experiments with my current work in progress research project, however it has been really valuable to explore and better understand the differences between bindings. Moving forward, I think that i am still very keen to produce my work in a physical medium. As I am waiting for the delivery of my Landings Zine (Fig: 16), I can use these lesson to develop that process and refine it ready for my WIOPP Submission for this module.

Figure 15: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Case bound binding test

Figure 16: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Digital version of Landings zine with current research project images.
Bibliography

Bush, L., 2016. A Model Continent. 1 ed. London: Self.

Catt, S., 2019. Woodstock. 1 ed. Frome: The Lost Light Recordings.

Coomes, P., 2013. Each picture paints 1,000 words in Vanessa Winship’s US photos. [Online]
Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-22508301 [Accessed 15 July 2020].

Dickerman, K. & Winship, V., 2018. Deeply poetic photos focus on the nexus of ‘chronicle and fiction’. [Online] Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/wp/2018/06/06/deeply-poetic-photos-of-the-junction-between-chronicle-and-fiction/ [Accessed 15 July 2013].

Hoxton Mini Press, 2020. About Us. [Online] Available at: https://www.hoxtonminipress.com/pages/about-us [Accessed 15 July 2020].

Latham, J., 2019. Sugar Paper Theories. Bristol: Royal Photographic Society.

Lewis, J., 2015. One Day Young. 1 ed. London: Hoxton Mini Press.

Norfolk, S., 2019. A Small Voice: Conversations with Photographers [Interview] (12 June 2019).

Philipson, S., 2017. WHAT’S IN A BIND? 4 TYPES OF BOOK BINDING – PROS AND CONS. [Online] Available at: http://blog.ironmarkusa.com/4-types-book-binding [Accessed 15 July 2020].

Spencer, E., 2005. Open Mic. London: ESbooks.

Winship, V., 2013. She Dances on Jackson. 1 ed. London: Mack.

Producing: Landings Zine

As my intention for the Landings exhibition was to not compromise locations and spaces to show my work, I decided to focus on an online exhibition, which I discussed earlier. Owing to the nature of the online exhibition, I still wanted to offer some kind of physical object (Fig: 1).

Figure 1: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Digital version of Landings Zine ‘I hope this finds you safe and well’

After the last webinar it was suggested that I try and ground my research project in the place that I am taking the images. I have found that Watford was an influential printing hub up until very recently. It was responsible for the printing of all of the major newspapers and colour supplements as well as government propaganda during WW2 (read more here). I decided then that it would be good to use this in my own publication and create a zine as a mini colour newspaper. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get this done in Watford so in the end I opted to get my zine printed using ‘The Newspaper Club’ who have been responsible for producing a number of high-profile photography newspapers and zines.

Figure 2: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Zine front cover
Figure 3: Watford Borough Council Logo
Figure 4: Watford FC (2020) Watford’s football team logo.

I wanted the design to be minimal so not to distract from the images (Fig: 2), however, to maintain the link to the place, I have chosen to create the cover background using yellow, and the typeface in red, both from from the Watford town coat of arms (Fig: 3), and more commonly associated with the Watford football team (Fig: 4) and can be seen all over the town. As my images are black and white, these are the only elements of colour in the series.

Figure 5: Atipo (2020) Calendas Plus Bold Typeface.
Figure 6: Phil Hill (July, 2020) Zine back cover.

The typeface used is called ‘Calendas plus’ in Bold by font foundry Atipo (Fig: 5) and is also going to be used for the landing page of my exhibition and also in the social media promoting the show. The typeface is a clear serif that links again back to newspaper headlines and Watford printing. To maintain the minimal style of the zine, the cover only displays the title and my name, and some additional information on the back as well as a QR code, which links to my website (Fig: 6). My design for the cover was inspired by ‘Out of Place’ books, who have employed this kind of cover for a number of their zines, including ‘Spark’ by Andy Pilsbury (Fig: 7) and ‘This Must be the Place’ by Daniel Lyttleton (Fig: 8). The books that ‘Out of Place’ produce are primarily about places, and those not normally photographed, so I feel that my own journey through Watford may have an audience there.

Figure 7: Andy Pilsbury (2019) Cover of ‘Spark’ Zine.
Figure 8: Daniel Lyttleton (2018) Cover of ‘This Must be the Place’ zine.

As mentioned above, I have also produced a landing page for my exhibition, which also utilises the same cover design as my zine (Fig: 9). This creates a consistent branding that should feel more professional when clicking through whilst also providing a differentiated experience other than just viewing my existing web galleries on my website. The landing page utilises a simple enough HTML coded index page that has the same typeface embedded into the page and a fade in code so that the title is not too abrupt on visiting.

Figure 9: Phil Hill (July, 2020) ‘I hope this finds you safe and well’ landing page.

Zine making – follow up: Learning lessons for Landings

After working in the successful collaboration during the week 3 zine making task, we all wanted to have something tangible and decided it would be great to print the zine out for us all to keep. Additionally, Tim suggested that this could coincide with the Landings exhibition to add value to our exhibitions.

Figure 1: Phil Hill et al (June, 2020) Ginger Zine V1 with fold out middle.

This meant that we would need to seek a printer produce what we had created digitally. The initial version of the zine was 24 pages (or 12 spreads) including the longer fold out page in the middle (Fig: 1). The idea behind the fold out was to create something memorable and interesting at the heart of the zine, the challenge with this is the printing cost associated with creating something so unique meant that it became far too expensive to produce. We instead came back together to re-adjust the layout to maintain some of that same interest but also allow it to be printed for a reasonable amount (Fig: 2). It has been a useful exercise to go through the process of trying to get the zine printed as it is useful to understand these kinds of challenges before attempting to get one of my own completed.

Figure 2: Phil Hill et al (June, 2020) Adjusted Ginger Zine layout for printing.

Starting to Consider: Exhibition

I have started to consider how I want my work to be viewed in the lead up to the Landings exhibition and how it actually provides me with an opportunity to really analyse my online presence and start to create a curated online platform for myself that is much more focused on the kind of photography I am developing during this time.

Figure 1: Phil Hill (2020) Top of website homepage, which uses the WordPress theme ‘Sketch,’ before updating.

My website was initially set up much like my MA blog, utilising WordPress and one of their themes called ‘Sketch’ (Fig: 1), which is also the same theme as this CRJ.​*​ I have always liked the flexibility of the WordPress platform having used the blogging platform for over 10 years, more so after they introduced the portfolio feature for projects. WordPress has a massive community network in terms of support and people creating functionality for it, if there is a custom function that I want to use for my own site, chances are that there is a plugin available. It was also great to find out that Falmouth is keen on it and rolls it out for the CRJ meaning that I had prior experience that I could fall back on. The biggest draw of WordPress of course is that it is primarily free (with some exceptions for functionality and premium features), which creates a powerful tool at entry level.

Figure 2: Phil Hill (2020) Bottom of website homepage displaying WordPress logo and links

The challenge has always been that usually the free options equal some sort of compromise. For example, the need to display the ‘powered by WordPress’ logo at the bottom of the site (Fig: 2), which could be removed with some tinkering of the code, this is quite a challenge for someone like me with little coding knowledge and could lead to a broken website. Although, not the end of the world, this display always felt a little unprofessional. A great number of websites that I have been looking at by other photographers, have a horizontal scrolling feature (Fig: 3), which creates an aesthetically pleasing way to look at a sequenced project, in a similar way to how you might read a narrative in a book. I feel that this is important as it can be a way of establishing an initial way to consume the work as I intended.

Figure 3: Luke Stephenson (2020) Horizontal scrolling gallery feature using the Format platform.

There are a number of sites that offer this kind of portfolio website experience including Format and Squarespace. I have previously used the American based Photoshelter when I was freelancing because it had a really good image proof and delivery function as well as full resolution storage, however even that was limited and would not allow me to do everything that I wanted. These examples are also premium subscription services, which I cannot really justify at this stage. Ultimately there are still going to be the inevitable compromises and it is a case of working out the ones that I willing to accept.

My website, although I updated just before the beginning of the MA, was quite bloated, and now that I am adding galleries for my most recent projects, it was also confused. My website was a platform for promoting my freelance practice as a travel and lifestyle photographer, however this is not something that I have done professionally for a few years (although I do still take on commissions and license work); my practice is evolving into more of an art practice concerned with longer term research projects (Such as the ones conducted during the MA).

It is important for the audience of my work not to be confused with the work that I presenting on my site, even though it is useful to show the types of professional work that I have conducted, as this shows a level of competence and professionalism. It is also important that the form and function of my website also create a framework (or surface) for the effective dissemination and consumption if my work.

Figure 4: Phil Hill (2020) New website homepage featuring a minimalist design, distinctive typeface and horizontal scrolling gallery.
Figure 5: Phil Hill (2020) Horizontal scrolling gallery

After some research, I found a well-designed theme that can be used with WordPress and would effectively display my work and could be rolled out to my website ready for the Landings exhibition at the end of the month (Fig: 4). I have decided to utilise a minimalist design that hides the menu unless clicked on as well as the important horizontal scrolling feature (Fig: 5). The website also adapts well when viewed on a mobile device, which is a fundamental consideration as this is a primary means of viewing. The theme also utilises two different typefaces, which creates an aesthetically pleasing means to display my work and lifts it beyond the ‘sketch’ theme that I had been using (Fig: 6).

Figure 6: Phil Hill (June, 2020) Updated website screen recording for computer browser view [Top] and as viewed on a mobile device [Bottom].

There are still a couple of elements that I would change, for example, there is an automatic numbering of images within galleries that could become distracting to the reader of the work, so I may look into removing this at some point in the future. I have also hide a lot of the content that was on my old site, including tear sheets, and my published work examples, which is something that will be important to create a solution for display.

Landings

Figure 7: Phil Hill (June, 2020) Example of how to utilise a community display board – Before & After

I have been considering how best to display my work for the landings exhibition with the idea of creating a community based display. For example, I quite like the idea of creating a kind of ‘art trail’ approach where the work can be displayed in the places that I took the images. This would create an opportunity for the community to view the work in situ. It also creates a re-tracing of the journey that I was making during the process of creating the work, which would hopefully create meaning and connection to the people and place. There are two ways that I though could work well for this. Firstly, during my walks around the local area that I live, I noticed a number of community boards for displaying local information, one method of display could be to ‘take-over’ these displays and present my portraits (Fig: 7). Secondly, an idea that is more grand in approach could be to display large scale prints in the locations that they were taken that could either be discovered by the people using the facilities, or be part of an art trail (Fig: 8). In addition to these approaches, there is an opportunity to support the display with a small publication or catalogue of the exhibition that includes a map of the art trail. I could also incorporate a workshop where participants could walk the art trail with me and we can discuss community engaged photography projects.

Figure 8: Phil Hill (June, 2020) Digital composite of how a large scale print might look in the location it was created.
Current situation

Owing to the ongoing restrictions, my concern is that these ideas are simply not feasible so my intention is to utilise what I have developed for my online platform with the aim to utilise it in an effective local manner. Now that I have established a professional presence with my updated website, I want to use the landings exhibition as a means of self-marketing as well as the online gallery having the potential to outlast the 7-day exhibition itself. Local community engagement is still important to the work and its dissemination so my intention is to seek local means for disseminating the exhibition as opposed to merely adding a link and some images to Instagram. An example of this could be by utilising the local network within Watford like the community noticeboard ‘Next Door.’ There is also an opportunity to contact ‘Watford BID,’ who promote local events. This might be quite valuable as I could also work with them in the future for such promotion. Having an online gallery in place for a year also creates an opportunity for visitors throughout the 12 months.

My intention is to support my exhibition gallery with potentially a downloadable publication of the work or even a physical version that can be purchased through my website. This is not something that I have done before but am keen to explore, building on the experience of creating zines.

How much you consider the audience when making your work?

This question is something that I think that I have been answering, yet possibly not really in enough detail. People do seem to respond well to my work, however I find it increasingly difficult to ‘break through.’ Potentially, the presentation of my online portfolio could have been a factor as it is fundamental that the work should be presented in a professional way. There of course could be innumerate reasons for the work not cutting through, however it could very well be that I am actually not considering the audience of it. Defining who wants to consume my photography is key to the success of the work.

How much you would allow a curator to influence the reading of your work?

Considering the above, I think it would be important to engage with others who might be more experienced art curation than me. It is important to maintain my intentions and how I wished for the work to be read when I created it. However, it is important to remember that I also do not have exclusive rights over the reading of my work, that is an impossibility. It is also useful to engage with other professionals in the dissemination of the work, primarily because as the artist, I will be very close to the project and may not see the value in particular sequences.

How curators could be useful to your practice?

Vanessa Winship on discussing her first book, stated that although she valued the opportunity and process of making the book, she felt that she was having to compromise more than she would have liked (Winship in Smith, 2015). Experince may have played a part in this leading to a lack of compromise in making the decisions about her own work. I do stand by the need to work with other professionals however, expertise in fields I am not familiar in is ultimately invaluable. For Jack Latham’s ‘Sugar Paper Theories’ exhibition at the Royal Photographic society (Latham, 2019), curator Mark Rawlinson discussed the differences between the exhibition over the book, noting that the linear nature of the book allows only for one way to consume the narrative of the book, whereas the exhibition opens up multiple ways to view and construct a narrative from the work as the audience is freed up to walk around the space and consider the images presented as they see fit. According to Rawlinson the non-linear  conspiratorial narrative of ‘Sugarpaper Theories’ is a particularly good example of how two successful sequences can work (Rawlinson & Latham, 2019). That exhibition did feel like there was a good collaboration happening between Latham and Rawlinson, which led to its ultimate success.


  1. ​*​
    I am considering moving this blog onto the new theme, however I may not do this during the MA. Primarily because I would not want to break anything!
Bibliography

Latham, J., 2019. Sugar Paper Theories. Bristol: Royal Photographic Society.

Rawlinson, M. & Latham, J., 2019. Sugar Paper Theories Gallery Walk & Talk. Bristol: Royal Photographic Society.

Winship, V., 2015. A Small Voice: Conversations with Photographers – 082 – Vanessa Winship: “And Time Folds” Special [Interview] (11 September 2015).

Road Map

Title of your work/project, with 3–5 keywords;

‘I hope this finds you safe and well’ (working title – based on many of the emails and communication that I have been making during the last few months).

  • Keywords: Idiorrythm, connection, Identity, community
Methods/methodology you will be exploring;

I am currently exploring new apparatus and the associated processes. Moving outside of my digital comfort zone and onto medium format black and white film, which is in part based on research into a documentary aesthetic and how photographers such as Vanessa Winship, Eli Durst, and Alec Soth have utilised to heighten the idea of nostalgia (linked to the way we view community), and how Winship considers it a way to highlighting the way that the world is in colour. Black and white also considers the photograph as an object as a way to make the reader aware that this is a photograph and how Vilem Flusser suggests that the black and white image can be used as a way of logical analysis of the subject, hence its use as a documentary tool (2000, p. 42). I also aim to explore the qualities that are inherent in film that will bring additional meaning and reading of my project.

Part of my research into the use of Black and White was informed by FSA images of the 1930s referenced by Susan Sontag (1979, p. 6), John Tagg (1988, p. 12), and Sally Stein who considered ‘Migrant Mother’ “as the quintessential 1930s documentary photography” (2020, p. 59). This research, initially brought me to consider the use of black and white seems to have taken on new significance with Boris Johnson announcing yesterday ‘A New Deal’ (Partington, 2020) which was a clear reference to the one of Roosevelt that led to the creation of the FSA photography project and still plays on the mythology of the time and imagery of our learned knowledge.

My aim is to explore the idea of connection through engaging with people in my local community and see if there is a common identity contained within the landscape, the people and the spaces. My project has evolved during the last few months as I start to really identify what it is about this place and people that draws me to photograph them.

Number of shoots you will need;

One of the parameters I have placed onto my project is via the apparatus and its 6×7 format, which means that I can shoot 10 frames per roll of film. This approach need to be considered and planned as I do not have my digital camera to fall back on.

I am also dependent on the weather to conduct shoots, but anticipate that I will conduct roughly 2 shoots per week in order to have a good range of images to edit.

Possible outcomes and where to show them;

My aim is to produce a consistent body of work that might contribute to my broader project goals. Initially, I intend to show the work online as part of the Landings exhibition supported by a publication to create a tangible outcome alongside the digital one.

I will also create a workshop, which can be conducted online and related to engagement within the community. This would potentially with my peer group.

The results you are looking for/expecting;

I hope my new direction in image making will give me a better understanding of why I am making the images that I have been producing for my project.

The relationship between this work/project and overall research for the MA;

My work is a continuation of the idea of connection and identity within my community. Primarily, my intention is to establish an aesthetic style that will be refined and developed to work out the possibilities before moving into the next

Landings exhibition: you need to start thinking about the exhibition and considering how you can work collaboratively. Discuss your strengths with your peers, and what you can offer with regards to organising Landings.

Related to the above, my intention is to exhibit my work online and will explore different possibilities for this.

I would be happy to collaborate and support the Landings exhibition as much as I can. As I have childcare commitments this may not include being a part of the team curating, however, I have experience in using software, such as InDesign and Illustrator, should that be useful.

Additionally, as a lecturer, I would be more than happy to support anyone who wishes to create workshops and help with structure, for example.

Bibliography

Flusser, V., 2000. Towards a Philosophy of Photography. 2018 Reprint ed. London: Reaktion Books.

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