I can't think of anything else to title this post because a distinct feeling suggests it is going to have a life of it's own and ramble!
With all the assignments and exercises so far I have covered some old things but in more depth, also learnt new skills, enjoyed all the project final assignments and have been pleased with the feed back given. I can see the benefits of looking at other's work, taking on board the suggestions from my tutor and peers and how the application of new techniques and suggested adjustments has improved my images.
With my final set I've hit that frustration level; I know what I want to achieve but the results aren't playing ball with the vision! Having said that I have some probable final inclusions but as we all know the millions of discarded test shots and test situations far out-weigh the number included in the final set.
Several ideas were toyed with and still have two in mind, one as a fail safe if the weather continues to be truly revolting! Whilst reading "The Photography Reader" editor Liz Wells I came across a reference to Joy Gregory and the "Cinderella Stories" and out of interest made a note to Google her. Cinderella Tours This gave me inspiration for my final portfolio. However wanting to put my own take on it, instead of taking one pair of shoes and fulfilling the dreams of visiting far flung places I intend to take various pairs of shoes and visit/re-visit places in my life where I have been or have played major parts of my life with the shoes I would have been wearing at that point. Due to the nature of this idea I am reliant on the rain not falling too heavily and the light being available at a time when I am!
Last week being half-term I thought I'd be able to capture a fair few shots. PAH! The weather fairies were not listening and some of my test shots have proved that although the ideas have been sound some of the venues aren't that photogenic and no matter how much I play with positioning/angles the results have been more "why did I bother" than "Ok, I can see how I can work with/improve that" It does and doesn't help to know I have hit blocks before and lots of us do, and eventually there will be light at the end of the tunnel or a work round, or our idea will evolve and go off in a slightly different tangent from the initial idea. That is the beauty of being creative and learning. You are allowed to change, grow, alter and adapt.
I sometimes get tied up in the thinking too hard trap, it's then I know I have to step back and remember that I can experiment, in someways nothing I do will be new but what I actually take will never have been taken before, maybe that view from that spot but never that moment in time. I can use other work as a reference point but it does not HAVE to be able to be referenced to be a valid piece of work. As long as I can say I took this, in this way, at this time because, no-one can tell me it is wrong. There maybe tweaks that can do to improve the effect but ostensibly my vision is my vision, if others don't perceive it does not mean I have failed, just they don't know or understand...yet? Am I creating an image for me or am I creating an image to tick a box? I have never been good material for sticking to rules and want to poke my tongue out at the idea or square pegs only for square holes ;o)
Rambling on, for example when a child first picks up a camera what is it that appeals to them? Is it the technology? The aesthetics of the camera, the feel of the object or the desire to capture what is in front of them? Or is it merely the childlike desire to copy those around them?
As adults or parents we have to do the balancing act of "teaching" them how to hold a camera, which buttons to press and then leaving them to experimentation, exploration and self- expression. I don't think that should alter just because we age or start to become more "serious" about photography and art.
The child gradually appreciates they are capturing "what is" and will want to improve their results or change their approach but are their thoughts of the philosophy behind what they capture, why they capture it, to them it is just fun. I think we sometimes lose sight of that element in the pursuit of what is "right", what is "expected" what the "rules" are....but it is supposed to be fun as much as anything, isn't it? Does a child suddenly think that a photograph has to have a "punctum"?
As we travel through life, we rely on acquiring skills, these we learn through trial and error or believing in theories we have to trust in (like nuclear fusion...I mean how many times do we get a chance to prove that?) or intellectual theoretical ideas not embedded in the physical. A lot of these ideas at first were put down and put forward by the educational elite, these had the agenda of keeping the masses informed about politics, religion and the world they inhabited. Sometimes I think not much has changed? Images are produced to inform us, but do they ever show both sides and does the person behind the camera have their own agenda? The rich elite of the past used to control things, and so they do today, they can afford to travel, afford the equipment, publish their ideals and own the media.
However I do sense a revolution ;o) Smart phones, high res click n shoots, social networking, flickr etc etc etc the net has opened up so many options, more and more images are being uploaded and shared. I embrace that. There has been a debate about the throwaway "disposable" image, bad, out of focus, of nothing, have been levelled at these pictures. I embrace these, they still capture a "now" a "where"a "when". They have a value, they deserve a place. Maybe it will take time but they will provide a snap shot into history, they make a social comment that will interest anthropologists.if nothing else they give me a laugh or cause me to frown...but that still gives them value :o)
Long live the disposable image!!!!
Hmm does this mean I'm trying too hard with my final set...........
<~~~~~~~~~~~~ runs off giggling to self........