Hi everyone!

As part of my photography course, I have to track my development on a blog. The posts from September 2011 until January 2012 are part of a module called Project Management, for which I was required to work in a group of eight students to create an exhibition. The blog followed every step we took in order to create a successful gallery. The blog posts starting from September 2012 follow my final year on the course. I'll be documenting my research and analysis of my final year projects, as well as include notes of my Professional Practice unit - which prepares us for a range of post graduate options. Finally it also looks at a project called New Creatives, where I'll be working alongside an artists to help college students get more involved with art.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Portfolio Workshop One

During this workshop we had to work in groups and question everyone about what kind of photographer they want to be. This sessions is to start the process of identifying the area of professional practice you are interested in. We had to start to think about how we present ourselves and our work in relation to this identified area. Prior to the lecture we had to find two photographers we are interested in. I choose Peter Lik and Fergus Heron.

1. Describe the 2 photographers that you have brought in as examples. What is it about their work that interest you and how do they represent themselves. 
Peter Lik is my all time favourite photographer. I had never heard of him until my trip to Miami last September. My boyfriend and I went shopping on Lincoln Road Mall - and it was so incredibly hot we had to go inside somewhere and we ended up entering Peter Lik's gallery. Both of us were amazed. Lik is a landscape photographer and conducted a 5 year project travelling through America capturing all it's beauty. All of his photographs are large panoramas and incredibly colourful and dramatic. The photo to the right is a snapshot of his website. You can see the the bright colours without even having to enlarge them. The style of photography is not the only think I like about him. I want to be a travel/landscape photographer myself and that's why Peter Lik is such a massive inspiration. Peter Lik's website is quite commercial, it has a lot of his work on there, but has a shop where you can buy his work and his books. It seems like his photography isn't necessaries about the meaning behind the photographs, but more about how aesthetically pleasing it is.  

Fergus Heron is the completely opposite of Peter Lik. Heron's website shows a limited amount of work and doesn't have much information. It is a very simplistic website and not commercial whatsoever. I like Heron's work because of his deadpan style. A lot of my work has contained deadpan photography and I always end up returning to Heron's work for inspiration. Fergus Heron also has quite a bit of landscape photography, which is my favourite genre. 

2. What sort of photographer do you think you are at the moment? What do you most enjoy photographing? What do you think you're good at?
As mentioned before, I want to be a landscape/travel photographer. Since being at Uni, I've been trying out a lot of different types and styles of photography, including fine art, band photography, portraiture, architecture etc, but I still am most enthusiastic about landscape and travel photography. I'd love to travel all over the world to build up a strong portfolio, but unfortunately I don' t have enough money for that. Another type of photography I really enjoy is nature: macro photography of insects and flowers. 

3. Where would you like to see your work the future? For example, galleries, magazines, bill boards books etc.
I would love to one day have my own gallery. But before I get there I could see my work in travel related magazines or maybe the travel section of newspapers. I would also love to make my own book in the future containing a project that I have been working on for several years. 

4. How does your current portfolio relate to the answers above?
My portfolio has been through a lot of changes in the past months. I'm trying to cut down the amount of photos I'm using and make it specifically on travel and nature seeing as those are my two main interests. 

5. How does your set brief project relate to the answers above and your current portfolio?
For my set brief project I'm looking at succession in Horsell Common, so how the landscape changes over time in a natural way. Although it doesn't have anything to do with travel, it relates to landscape photography. I'm taking the photographs in a deadpan style of photography so that relates back to Fergus Heron's work. 

Lecture 1

We started our first lecture looking at a few different photography websites. Daniel, my lecturer, mentioned that a lot of the photography websites nowadays are very simplistic and easy to navigate. We first looked at Edward Burtynsky (snapshot of the website to the right) . The website makes use of a very simple format. It contains all the relevant information eg a statement, his CV, how to contact him, a film he's made, books etc. The bottom section of his website shows all of his projects. When you click on one of the links under his 'work' section it opens a page with the first photo of the series and to the right a list of all the other photos. You can click on the photo and it opens in a new window to the size of your browser. This way you can look at all the detail within the photograph.

Next we looked at a website called Webber Represents. This website contains a whole range of photographers. Again, it's very simple and easy to navigate. The photo above shows the 'artist' section where you can see all the photographers on Webber Represents, and a small thumbnail showing you what type of work they do.

We specifically looked at Steve Harris. The photo to the right is the page that opens when you click on an artists' name. Again, it is incredibly simple to use. The text to the side is a little 'about' and below that are all of his projects. Daniel decided to show us Steve Harris because he has a unique way of showing his work. Instead of just having a photographic portfolio, he has also made a film, called 'gymnast' where he combines photography and film. Alongside that he also has a film about the film, showing how it was made. 

Following this, Daniel talked to us a bit more about portfolios. He explained that your portfolio shows a lot of things about the photography you enjoy doing, however, you blog shows more development of your work as well as work experience. Having the blog alongside your portfolio gives you more value as a photographer. It almost sounds like the blog is more of a CV. A lot of photographers have blogs now, and you will usually find a link on their website that redirects you to their blog. 

Lastly, we discussed the different types of portfolios: a website, a digital portfolio and a physical portfolio. When you have a website it's very easy to add new photos and make little changes. With a digital portfolio (usually saved as a PDF), it's still quite easy to change the layout or the order of your photographs, although it's more work. With a digital portfolio you can view the photos full size and you can make it interactive by adding website links. A negative about having a digital portfolio is the size of the file, you will probably not be able to email it to anyone so you'd have to use a different program such as dropbox or put it on a cd. Finally, the physical portfolio is great because you can see the quality of the photos when they are printed. However, you would have to put the photographs in sleeves so the prints don't get damaged. It's also a lot more expensive. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Professional Practice

I'm currently in my third year at the University of Portsmouth, studying photography. I set up this blog last year as part of a module called "Project Management". For this unit a group of students and myself had to create and organise our own exhibition. Together we had to find a venue, design a logo, advertise our exhibition and much more. This blog looked closely at all the steps we had to take in order to have a successful exhibition.

This year we have to continue our blogs in a unit called "Professional Practice". This unit is all about preparing us for a range of post graduate options - whether we want to be a freelance photographer, a photographers' assistant, work for a company, be a curator etc. It will consist of lectures, workshops and visiting speakers, all of which need to be documented on our blogs. By the end of this academic year we will have to have set up our own final year exhibition as well as have an online and/or physical portfolio, and lastly have a professional practice plan of 750 words basically explaining what we want to do when we're finished with our course.

This blog will both document my journey of deciding what direction of photography I want to go into, as well as academic research into other photographers and what I've learnt in the lectures. Next week Thursday we have an alumni day where past students will come in and explain what they have been up to since graduating. Our lecturers tell us these sorts of things are incredibly important as you can establish contacts and many students go on to assist various visiting speakers. We also have a couple days for visiting speakers, although not all of them have been confirmed yet.