Reflection on feedback

I wrote in my analyses of the square mile assignment, ‘Keith Arnett and Gawain Barnard don’t inspire me. I’m missing exhibition of the technical skills.’ My tutor replied, ‘Perhaps when you get really technically proficient the techniques become invisible.’ I fully agree that an artist doesn’t have to show off his or hers technical skills, but I don’t think ideas are more important than execution. It’s something I’m struggling with while looking at a lot of contemporary art. I’m learning to look and decode.
My next comment was related to this as well, ‘Tina Barney. The dividing line between art and snapshot is thin.’ My tutor commented, ‘And I think this is increasingly true in photography in general…look at Richard Billingham’s Ray’s a Laugh‘. I did have a look and although the chosen pictures might look like snapshots, I certainly see well framed and aesthetically pleasing pictures. Art concealed as snapshots.

 

Suggested reading/viewing

Sontag, S., 1978. On Photography. London: Penguin. I did read. Some comments in my doubt-posts are from during reading this book. I’ll re-read in coming period.

I added the following books to my wish list:

  • Berger, J., 1982. Ways of Seeing. London: Pelican.
  • Fox, A. & Caruana, N., 2012. Behind the Image. Lausanne: AVA Publishing SA.
  • Short, M., 2011. Context and Narrative. Lausanne: AVA Publishing SA.

Next time I order books this one will be included.

Learning log

My tutor suggested, ‘the Home page would be better holding what you currently have in the Geen categorie.’ I changed the front page of my site to a static page. I would prefer to show a limited number of posts on the front page, but in the chosen wordpress theme that’s not possible.

Assignment 1 – Off the baby blanket

Thoughts to brief

 My thoughts developed as follows:

  • childhood memorabilia in square format. 
  • parental house.
  • put my father in situations I remember from childhood
  • visit a nature park and use unfamiliar techniques.
  • ‘Why i avoid nature in the Netherlands’.
  • my newly rented apartment in Antwerp

Off the baby blanket

First the baby only lies on a blanket, starts turning by itself, goes on hands and knees. The first steps are set and the baby goes off the blanket. The first discovery of the undiscovered is what I aim to capture in this assignment. 

‘From the first gesture of a child pointing to an object and simply naming it, but with a world of intended meaning, to developed mind that creates an image whose strangeness and reality stirs our subconscious to its inmost depths, the awakening of desire is the first step to participation and experience.’ (Ray, M. 1980:167)

I first photographed with a wide angle lens to capture up close, but see around it as well, then a 70-200mm zoom lens to focus on a subject and portray the surroundings vague. Both from the idea that the span of interest of a baby is short. I settled for macro shots. Babies can focus. I used a tripod, locked the mirror, set the camera at Av priority and shot with a remote shutter. 

I didn’t often use my macro lens or live view before, or stage scenes, shoot indoors, and the subject wasn’t nature.

Research recommended websites

Keith Arnett and Gawain Barnard don’t inspire me. I’m missing exhibition of the technical skills.

Tina Barney. The dividing line between art and snapshot is thin.

Tom Hunter, I like his way of thinking. Karen Knorr, I like her use of text.

Reflection

The most difficult parts of the assignment were to make nice compositions of items that aren’t photogenic subject matter and unfavourable light. 

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Implied and actual diagonals make a strong composition. Lighter part of the wood, is a little distracting.

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Simple colour plains.

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Diagonals give dynamic. Implied triangles and color contrast. Bottom part of picture a bit too dark.

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Material contrast. Basic forms, lines, squares and quarter circles. I don’t like the imperfections in the wood.

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Triangles. The grain of the wood gives a dynamic.

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Circles. Contrast Black en Grey-white.

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Colour composition. The light wasn’t perfect which can be seen in the shadow on the left.

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Diagonal grain of the wood versus the quarter circle

I liked my the idea, but struggled a bit with the execution. I stayed true to my concept. I think the selected individual pictures demonstrate sufficient technical and visual skills. The quality of outcome is sufficient. The context is good. Adequate researched and prepared. My doubts are on the coherency of the selected pictures as a series and I’m not sure my creativity is seen enough, or even if I’m creative enough.

I can continue the project with everywhere I come to look for basic forms and color plains at maximum knee level. 

Bibliography

Ray, M. (1980) ‘The Age of Light’ In: Trachtenberg, A. (ed.) Classic Essays on Photography Sedgwick: Leete’s Island Books. pp. 167-168.