I hope we are all staying safe and well. As the Lockdown in the UK starts to ease I am coming to the end of the courses I signed up to while confined to barracks. I certainly feel that I have made the most of the opportunity to reset after coming to what's probably (hopefully!) going to be the end of my working career. Hopefully the new 'normal' for me will still allow me to devote the majority of my time to all things photographic but with a healthy addition of a few social activities with very much missed family and friends. If I don't manage this moving forward I will only have myself to blame.
The very excellent online course run by BaileyChinnery focusing on Cultivating Creativity has finished now. I honestly believe that this course will change the way that I approach my photography moving forward. For me, this has come at exactly the right time, a point of transition and flux, and will help give me focus and a framework as I move forward. While there were tasks to be completed each week we were also asked to design and complete a project to be delivered at the end of the course. This project needed to be complete in terms of the images themselves plus an accompanying project statement.
I chose to take a series of images in my home. I didn't stage anything specifically but just wandered around the house with my camera seeing if I could interpret anything around me creatively. I found this exercise fascinating as there really were quite a few things catching my eye which I had never really noticed before. I posted a blog a few weeks ago focusing on Clear Seeing, the practice of looking at something which is familiar as if you had never seen it before. To see form before function and to try and represent that 'thing' in a new way. I applied these principals for this project.
I am deliberately not saying what I finally selected as I don't believe it adds to the story, neither do I want to detract from the images themselves, they are not meant to be 'worked out'!
I have never written about my work before. It's not something that I felt was necessary on the basis that an image (or collection of images) should stand on it's own. As with many things I have revised my view. I found writing about my work incredibly difficult but enormously satisfying, definitely a practice I will adopt moving forward.
The words accompanying this project relate less to the project itself but rather to my approach to my Photography and how it makes me feel. I have never devoted conscious thought to why I pick up a camera but I now realise how important it is to me.
So, what have I learned both from this exercise and from the course in general.
- The course has been completely project-based. I have always worked in projects but mostly pulling images together after the fact, never as an initial objective. Thinking about the nature of a project before I start is a different approach and one which I will definitely adopt.
- There is no limit to the photographic possibilities around us. It is lovely to have the opportunity to travel and make new images while we are there but there really is no need to go very far to find exciting photographic subjects, sometimes just a few yards if we open our eyes and 'see'.
- Writing about our work and, most importantly, giving our work titles is so important. We invite the viewer to see in a different way, not necessarily our way but just differently. This I now understand can add a new dimension to our work and certainly wasn't something I appreciated prior to this course.
The trick for me now is to continue. To take these learnings, to interpret and to apply. I am determined to continue to develop and hopefully improve as a photographic artist and use this as a springboard for the future.