Informing Contexts - Booking Up with Feedback
Following on from my previous post, my Critical Review Video Presentation has now been seen and commented on by a good number of my peers at Falmouth University. In addition I have also had chance to view many of their presentations and I wanted to use this post to reflect on this exercise and also plan my weeks ahead before the submission of my critical review and work in process gallery.
In terms of the feedback given on my video and review I was really pleased with the huge amount of positive comments received and this has gone a long way to giving me both comfort and confidence that I was right to step away from my normal style of photography to explore still life. As I have covered previously this was partly as a reaction to Lockdown 3 as I needed to secure a style, genre and subject that could be explored during a time of uncertainty and little social interactions, as the UK was hit again by a wave of the pandemic. However the switch to still life was much more than just this, I am really keen to push my practice into a fine art style and my research into paintings, poetry and photography and how their are intertwined is proving invaluable.
My research, reference points and work in progress appear strong in the eyes of my peers and my plans to develop this into a book (digital and/or print) were met with positive comments, with the triptych, poetry and main photograph working as a format.
With a working title of Still Moments I intend to create my gallery in InDesign but will then create a digital book publication through Issuu.Com to illustrate this in book form. Through out my last module I was struck by Cartier- Bresson's notion of the 'Decisive Moment' and yet still life gives a different type of moment, a moment of still, and I want my book to give this sense of still, the flowers, fruit and other objects frozen in time, and let the viewer ponder the image and poetry. The photograph opposite is the planned front cover, as this regularly receives positive comments.
The images in my work in progress are all shot in portrait form, a direct response to the need to use social media as the main outlet for my work. With the advent of mobile phones and tablets we now tend to scroll down an image rather than read it left to right. I am however aware that my three images that make up each triptych effectively creates a landscape orientated image and therefore in terms of the book's format I intend to go with a square format so that the both the main shot (portrait) and triptych (landscape) are given equal prominence on their respective pages.
I was also given feedback by a number of my peers that my photographs would work in terms of a gallery display which I had not initially planned. This is really encouraging and through the next module I intend to explore this further. In my desire to take my practice in a more fine art route the production and showing my images in a gallery setting would certainly help this intent. As Michael Fried points in his book 'Why Photography Matters As Art As Never Before' on of his first three beginnings in terms of photography being considered as art was 'an intention that the photographs in question would be framed and hung on a wall, to be looked at like paintings rather than merely close up'. My images are all shot on a full frame Canon DSLR and have scope to be printed at least in A3 size. I will however be looking into the best equipment that is required should I opt to go with a larger print. For example Jeff Wall's image below, The Destroyed Room, was printed on 150 x 234cm and displayed in a light box . This was only possible with use of either a medium or large format camera.
As highlighted above the feedback was very positive in terms of critical review and evidence was shown in terms of all of the learning outcomes. The one area that does perhaps need expanding on would be Learning Outcome 5 and the critical review of my practice and in particular examples of some of my work that has not made the final cut. Whilst I discussed the exclusion of a the dragon fruit image (as per the video) for being too literal I would like to share a couple more images with you that at this stage will not appear in my work in progress gallery.
In some respects its hard to imagine that this one will not be in the final publication, as it was one of the first images I shot on this journey into still life and was a favourite for some time. The reason for its exclusion is that as the project has evolved, my work and techniques used have also developed and the aesthetic of this image no longer fits with the flow of the other images.
This photograph had a texture layer applied to it in post editing and the lighter background no longer fits with the darker black tones that are in the majority of the others.
This was another photograph taken early on in the process portraying a story of being broken. The flatlay style worked at the outset when I had a small number of images to share but now that the portfolio has built up to nearly 20 still life, the fact it is the only one in this style appears odd.
I particularly like the words that I wrote to accompany this image, "Broken promises, broken bones, the fragments to make us whole again" and therefore intend to shoot a new still life in the coming weeks where I can use these words.
The process of producing and sharing my critical review and work in progress has been extremely useful for me and has given me the springboard to now complete this project. I also found the process of watching and giving feedback to my peers on their videos very useful. There is such a wide spectrum of work and areas being covered but going through each presentation gave me chance to really look at and understand the learning outcomes required for this module.
With a good number of images now taken, the next couple of weeks are about taking further images where appropriate to complete the digital book, but also delve deeper into my research in terms of photography and its medium as a form of art. Michael Fried's book referenced above will be one such publication that I will reading through in the days and weeks ahead.
Truecenterpublishing.com. (2019). Photographic Psychology: The Decisive Moment. [online] Available at: http://truecenterpublishing.com/photopsy/decisive_moment.htm.
Fried, M. (2012). Why photography matters as art as never before. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. Page 14
1) Steve Rabone - Time - 2021
2) Jeff Wall - The Destroyed Room - 1978
3) Steve Rabone - Tempted - 2021
4) Steve Rabone - Fragmented - 2021