Assignment 2 – reflection on feedback

I have some doubts on the course content and also the received feedback so far. It seems not to be leading to something concrete. It’s too open, nothing is conclusive. I understand that’s the intend of the course. Develop students into self-sufficient, self-thinking, contemporary artists, but I have doubts if it’s the way for me. I feel I don’t need an expensive course or a teacher if the only aim is to let me develop myself and less to teach. I can do and am doing that myself. One thing I currently get from the course is a bit of structure. It forces me to progress by reflecting and consciously look, read and listen.

annotated version assignment notes

Comment [H6]. I choose aperture f/16 for the extended depth of field. For the concept I had in mind I needed depth throughout the picture. I always try to keep my ISO as low as possible to keep the quality as high as possible. Because I shot handheld I increased the ISO to 200 for a workable shutter time and prevent motion unsharpness.

Comment [H7]. I was shooting landscape with clouds. The clouds enforce the landscape. The idea was wide, open, emptiness which refers to the lands. From idea to concept to execution the clouds have become an unmissable element of the photos and the series. It’s part of the concept, partly motivated by the technique, the lens particulars.

I composed by looking how the clouds enforced the landscape, the other way around would have given different compositions.

Comment [H8]. Lines seen through the viewfinder don’t show the same on the picture except when these lines lead the eye into the picture. It’s all about rendering a 3D world on a 2D surface. The lead in lines are a compositional tool to give the idea of depth in a picture.

Comment [H9]. Create some additional photos because I think I can improve the series by composing with the horizon at more similar hight in the pictures. I’ve been back to the location, but didn’t have the right cloud formations. I shot some pictures for another project I started.

tutor report

After seeing my picture so far the tutor came up with the ideas typology and minimalism. Both are quit interesting ideas.

I recently read a book called “The Politics of Design” by Ruben Pater. According to the leaflet the book explores the cultural and political context of the typography, colours, photography, symbols, and information graphics that we use every day. I can recommend this very easy to read small book. With regards to my photography I think until recently the use of symbolism in my pictures was of an unconscious nature. But now when I shoot for example wildlife, what I aim for is not just a representation of the subject. I’m much more aware of idea, concept, colour theory, symbolic meanings, etc. In my newest project which I started for myself, but surely will use in this course, I am using elements as symbols, even metaphors.

With regards to minimalism I can say I’m very interested in it. I remember an evening in Brazil last year where I photographed an evening long a toothpick in a single light on a smooth surface.

the tutor recommended a couple of links:

http://www.americanphotomag.com/instant-expert-bernd-and-hilla-becher https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/focus_ruscha/ http://blog.redbubble.com/2012/04/photographic-typologies-the-study-of-types/

I was not unknown to the pictures of Bernd and Hilla Becher. I already knew that I make certain type of pictures, the redbubble blog made me realise that placing those pictures in series typology in them can be seen. I think it is inherent to the fact that my photography started as a companion on my travels and that I had certain interests and a certain idea of what aesthetic pictures were. I ended up with similar subjects, but in different locations. The new project I referred to earlier in this post is partly a step away from that.

Reading list

Barrett, T., 2011. Criticising Photographs. 5th Edition ed. California: Mayfield Publishing. This book I studied already. When I write a post for the visual research section I actually try to use Barrett’s methodology: describe, interpret, judge. Were the emphasise is on the description as interpretation and judgement I add if I like it and if I can use elements in my own photography.

The other books I’ll put on my list for when I finished the unread ones out of my closet. I already read books like:

  • Wells, L. 2015. Photography, a critical introduction. 5th edition
  • Trachtenberg, A. 1980. Classic Essays on Photography. 5th edition
  • Barthes. 1980. Camera Lucida (translated by Richard Howard)
  • Szarkowski, J. 1966. The Photographer’s Eye.
  • Sontag, S. 2008. On Photography

The extract from Barthes, R., 1977. Image, Music, Text. London: Fontana. I will study.

 

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