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.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Professional Practice Plan

Throughout my three years on the course I've tried a whole range of different types of photography, including objects, landscapes, interiors, cityscapes, portraiture and more. However, something that has been consistent for the past few years in my passion for landscape photography. I started off being a bit clueless about photography, but the course has taught me that it's not all about a pretty picture; it's the meaning behind the photograph that makes you a great photographer.

In my third year I really started to think about my future: what I'm interested in and what kinds of jobs I want to get when I have finished the course. Therefore my two final projects are both about landscapes, but very different aspects of it. The first has a very scientific approach which is an area I'd love to go into, whereas the second project was a lot more personal. Because of my passion for landscape photography, I contacted quite a few photographers regarding their work and whether I could assist them on a photoshoot to gain more experience. After interviewing Fergus Heron, he agreed to let me assist him on a shoot in Horsell Common. It was a fantastic opportunity as I learnt a lot about large format photography and the ideal composition for deadpan landscape photos. It was also interesting to see his process of finding the perfect shot, and how he records everything in a workbook - similar to what I have been doing on the course. Another field of work experience I looked into was working in a camera shop called Harpers Photographic. This was a great learning experience, especially working in the processing lab, although it isn't something I would like to do as a career. Finally, I have also been part of a volunteering project called New Creatives where I worked together with a contemporary artist, Oliver Merkin, and helped Havant and Portsmouth college students create an art piece with the theme "making things makes us human". Their work was displayed at Aspex gallery, alongside a timelapse video I created of my experience. New Creatives has introduced me to some jobs I'd be able to do such as teaching or curating, but it's also given me more confidence to talk about my work and help others with theirs.

In 2010 I created my own Facebook Photography page and have been regularly updating that ever since. I also got a Flickr account where I do weekly photo challenges; I have a Twitter account, a Pinterest account, a blog, and finally a YouTube account. I update my blog as often as possible, usually a few times a week. My YouTube account has all my timelapse videos, my pinterest has a bit of everything (portfolio, landscape photography, pet photography, university projects, behind the scenes) and my Flickr mainly features my weekly photo challenges. Of course I also have a website with its own domain (www.elainedevries.com). My website features my portfolio, but also has links my University projects and my Commissioned projects (Pet, Band and Interior photography). It also has a link to my blog and Pinterest and a contact button. I also have a section with "links" that brings you to a list of websites where my work has been featured. Although I have an online portfolio, I also have a physical portfolio as I think it looks more professional to bring that in for an interview. It is an A3 box portfolio from Silverprint and includes a variety of my best work.

After I graduate I will be moving to Australia. This is both for personal reasons but also to further my landscape portfolio. Australia is known for its beautiful landscapes, and I'm hoping to do more projects similar to my Succession project, where I look at a more scientific aspect. I like the idea of creating awareness of environmental issues within my work. Something that I have become increasingly more interested in lately is pet photography, which is why I will be doing some work experience with a pet photographer in Melbourne, Caitlin McColl, once I have arrived in Australia.


After today I won't be able to post anything until I receive my mark back for my blog. I'll still be doing all sorts of things like the weekly photo challenges, the eldon show construction, and the actual eldon show. Once I've received my mark back, I'll have a huge blog update on everything!

For the past week and a bit we've been busy with she Eldon show construction, painting walls, placing walls, etc. Tomorrow we'll start organising where everything is going to hang and tomorrow as well as Friday will be the actual hanging of the show.

I also had my practice VIVA presentation where I talked about my Succession project. It went really well, my lecturer gave me a few tips on how to make it better and I have the final on the 24th of May!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Portsmouth Show Catalogue

As I mentioned in a previous post, there was a bit of drama/confusion about the catalogues presented at the Portsmouth show. Basically, the London show people created a catalogue for the London show, however they also decided to present this at the Eldon exhibition. To the people not part of the London show, it seemed a bit weird as we're part of the show, yet not in the catalogue. Anyway, we got together on Facebook and talked about having our own little catalogue. It''ll only feature about 12 people I think, but at least we'll be in a catalogue!

This is my page! I could only take up one page, so decided to add my Succession print in it. I also added a bit of text and my email and website. I think it looks great! I'm really happy that we're creating our own little catalogue, although I do think it'll come across as a bit weird having two different catalogues, but I'm glad I'm part of it now!

Monthly Video: April!

This is our 4th monthly video of what we've been up to in April! It hasn't been a busy month since we've had all sorts of important deadlines, and therefore Chili is featured quite a bit!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


It's been a little quiet lately on my blog and that's because the majority of my course work has finished. Like I said in a previous post, all I have to do is hand in my portfolio and a final blog post and set up the Eldon exhibition and my VIVA presentation!

First of all, I got my dissertation mark back. I got a 2:1, which I'm obviously very happy about, although I would have wanted a slightly higher 2:1. But it's a good mark and that's all that matters. Also part of the dissertation mark is our VIVA presentation. This is basically just a chat about my work with two lecturers (one from my course and one randomer). I have decided to do it about my Succession project as I'm more confident talking about that one. It's a 7-10 minute chat about the concept, the research, how I have arrived at my final, and future plans. Squeezing that all into 10 min will probably be the hardest part. I have a practice VIVA on the 14th of May and my actual one is somewhere towards the end of May.

Last week I had a portfolio session which didn't go too well. After first recommending a box portfolio, my lecturers have now suddenly decided that a box portfolio isn't a good idea. They definitely didn't like my layout of it, so I'll have to change that.... somehow...... As for the final blog post. I literally have no idea what to write. At the moment my plan is to go to Australia for 2 years. I'm not specifically looking for a photography job to begin with, so I'm not sure how I'll get marked on that..

The eldon set up has also began! There has been a bit of drama about the fact that the people exhibiting in London have their own catalogue, while that same catalogue will also be presented at the Eldon show. Thus about 7 people who are part of the Eldon show aren't in the London catalogue! A special facebook group has been set up for the people not taking part in the London show where we have discussed the idea of making our own small catalogue to go alongside the other one. It would be about £27 each for 500 copies. We'll each have one photo in the book (I'll do my succession one, even though I do have the second project in the show too) and a little section explaining the work.
This week we've been put into groups to get Eldon ready for the show, eg. painting and setting up. I wasn't selected to be part of this weeks' work so I'll be in next week to sort things out. On the 16th and 17th we'll be hanging up our work, which will be a very interesting day.

So that's a little update from what's been happening over the past week!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

52 Week Photo Challenge

Last weeks theme was "Fruit". As you probably know by now, I like stretching the topics to create more fun/interesting shots. I've always wanted to include my hamster Chili in one of my photo challenges, and this is the perfect week! Chili belong to me and my boyfriend and he is literally the cutest little hamster ever. I've taken about a million photos of him and half a million videos. I think he's made an appearance in every monthly video so far!

Anyway, so obviously Chili is a hamster not a fruit, but he absolutely loves apples! So I decided to photograph him eating an apple, which sounds pretty easy, but when I want him to do something, he just does the complete opposite. He did not want to get near that piece of apple, let alone eat it.... I ended up surrounding the apple piece by sunflowers (which he is literally obsessed with). The picture looks pretty convincing, like he's actually eating the apple!