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.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

52 Week Photo Challenge Catch Up 2

I know it's all a bit late again, but better late than never! Since I have finished my course it's been pretty busy..ish. Firstly, I sold my work!! After the show I was contacted by someone who was interested in buying my work, so I met up with them to discuss prices etc and have been in contact with them for quite a while via email, and they are officially buying my work! I went to Brighton today to get my photos reprinted! It's super exciting! Other than that I've slowly started packing, I'll be leaving Portsmouth on the 6th of July and will be going back home for (less than) 2 months before going to AUSTRALIA!!

Anyway, back to the whole point of the post: the weekly photo challenges. The theme of week 24 was "colourful" and although this theme sounds pretty easy, I wasn't really inspired by anything! I couldn't find anything colourful in Portsmouth but didn't want to do something too cheesy. Something completely different - during this week I decided to create a Portsmouth time lapse and had been testing out quite a few different techniques, one of which was using the actual filming button on my camera and secondly trying to slowly blur the images in a time lapse. After going through the photos I decided that that would be the perfect photo for colourful! It was my second attempt at the "bokeh" style of photography, which I also used sometime in January. This one looks a million times better! The whole time lapse of Portsmouth bit will make a lot more sense later at some point, I'm basically creating a time lapse of my last 2 months in England, so it'll feature some bits of Portsmouth, Woking and hopefully London.

The following week was "Angle" and again I struggled quite a bit with this theme. I again wasn't too inspired (which I should be after just having finished a photography degree!!) In fact, I was so uninspired that I only took the photo today! Half way through week 26!! I spent the day in Brighton today since I had to reprint my photos at The Vault (lovely little place), and while I was there I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to catch up on my weekly photo challenges. The first thing I thought of when I saw the theme was taking a photo from a weird angle, like really high or really low, however as everyone else started uploading their photos, I noticed they looked at angles of a house or a building. I really liked that idea as I like architectural/interior photography. I thought the burnt down pier in Brighton would be perfect. It kind of goes back to the style of photography I love, the deadpan, straight lines geometric style of photography - something that I would have thought about when I read angle... geometric. Anyway I love how the photo turned out. I also quite like how everything is straight, except for the line of the sea.

Finally I'm up to date again, this week is week 26, which crazily enough is half way through the year!? What!?? This week's theme is "Game" and when I saw this I was shocked. I have never taken a photo of a game.... what on earth can I do!?? But since I was going to Brighton, I decided to stick with the idea of the pier, and walked over to the non burnt down pier. On the way there I walked past some of those typical fun fair type of games, so thought it would be perfect! I really like how the photo has turned out, it's so vibrant and happy! I like how the background is slightly blurred and you can see the fun fair continuing. I would have loved it if I used my 50mm 1.8 lens as it would have blurred the background even more, unfortunately I didn't have that one with me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

52 Week Photo Challenge Catch Up!

 So I need to do a lot of catching up.... Firstly week 19 seat. And I have to admit, this is a rubbish photo. So rubbish that I didn't put it on facebook and was very reluctant to put it up on my blog. However, you can't have a 52 week photo challenge without week 19! This week was a particularly busy week and I was so late with it, that I just quickly snapped a photo of the Guildhall on my phone. The theme was Seat so it looks as the people sitting on the Guildhall, and comparing it to my photo from week 17 'Steps' where the Guildhall was completely empty. So it was a good idea, just rubbish execution!
 Week 20's theme was Sweets, and for this I wanted to do something fun and original. I decided to make chocolate covered strawberries! I'd never made them before, bur they turned out really nice! I used a very low aperture so that I could get a really nice blurry effect, where only one of the strawberries is in focus. I love how vibrant the red ended up being against the bright green and the more pastel pink. The background works with it very nicely too as it's a very girly and pretty polkadot pattern. Definitely very sweet!
 The theme of week 21 was Dwelling, so as I was planning to go to my parent's house, I decided to take a photograph of the house. Again, I wanted to do something a bit more special so took a photo in this mirrored decoration ball. I sat right in front of the house and zoomed in quite a bit so that my reflection wouldn't be seen in the photograph. I like how the object is in the shade, whereas the house is in the sun. Again a great contrast between the green of the grass and the blue of the sky.
 The next theme was Letter. Wanting to do something special I decided to photograph the letters of my name around the house. Again not my favourite photo as it was quite rushed. I've been busy!!!
This is probably one of my favourites to create. It's week 23 Self Portrait. I was going through the self portrait photos by everyone else, and it seemed to be a common theme where everyone was still hiding behind their cameras! I really liked the idea of creating an anonymous self portrait so decided to play with lights. I used a 15 second exposure and drew a stick figure. If you look closely you can see me standing behind it. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and will definitely be trying more of these photos!!

Now I'm all up to date!!! The theme of this week is colourful, so I'm very excited to get started with that!

Preview night!!

On the 31st of May was the preview night!!! A couple days before that I emailed my lecturer asking if I could make a time lapse of the event, and he suggested I work with Will Rudman, another student on my course interested in time lapse videos. We got chatting on facebook and decided to work together! He had already filmed a short video of the setting up of the show, so it was a great continuation for him. We went to the exhibition space a couple times to decide on where to put the camera and talked to the technicians about health and safety things. We decided on having one camera above the open exhibition space, which as far as I'm aware no student has ever been! Will's camera was set up there and shot from 5-8. I had my 7D and 1000D on the exhibition floor and moved it around the space. Starting at the beginning where people came in (and conveniently pointing at my work..) and then moved it to the corner close to the bar area, then in the middle and finishing by looking at Will's work. While I was timelapse-ing with my 1000D, Will used my 7D to film some shots of people's work and people looking at the work. Finally, we also had a gopro in a separate room part of the exhibition. It was really great to work with Will and I'm SO happy I didn't do it alone!!! We spent 4 hours on Monday the 3rd of June putting all the time lapse scenes together and creating the most amazing time lapse video I've ever created!! Here is a link for it so do check it out! :)

Anyway, so apart from filming for the whole preview night, it was fantastic!! I could see people coming up to my work and pointing at it, which is so strange haha. I couldn't spend that much time with my work since I had to keep a constant eye on my camera. However, after the show finished and I was on my way to Gunwharf, I got a phone call from a person interested in my work!! I was overjoyed. We met up a couple days later and chatted for about an hour and a half. It was great to talk to him and hear about his stories and his passion for nature. When I got home from meeting him, I checked my email and someone else was seriously interested in buying my work! Again, overjoyed!!! I will be meeting him either on Friday the 14th of Monday the 17th to discuss prices and things like that. I literally can't believe that I got so much interest in my work and that all my business cards ended up being taken.

On top of all that I got a phone call from Foxtons (estate agents) regarding a graduate job! What on earth!??? I sent my CV and website to Foxtons before Christmas asking for work experience and never heard anything back until now. I haven't been able to speak to Foxtons yet, but unfortunately I won't be able to take the graduate job since I'm going to Australia! However, I was thinking about either asking to work for the month of August, or whether I could just get some work experience with them. That way I would be able to continue in that industry in Australia. It would be fantastic to get a photography related job in Australia, rather than applying for something like Subway again (even though I really enjoy working at Subway).

It's been an incredibly exciting time since the exhibition!!!

VIVA practice and final

On the 14th of May I had my practice VIVA. If you're not sure what a VIVA is, it's basically an oral examination where I have to talk about one of my projects from the final year. It's not my work that is being marked but my awareness of the work. The guidelines included things like what is the context of my project, what research have I done, what theory have I looked at, what experiences have I gained from this project, etc etc etc. And you have to cram it all into 7-10 minutes. I decided to talk about my Succession project as I literally know everything there is to know about succession now. The practice was terrifying. I was surprisingly nervous, even though I practised multiple times! The only thing that threw me were the questions at the end, there isn't really any way you can prepare for that!!

I had my actual VIVA on the 24th of May. I took some notes with me as well as some hand outs for who ever was marking me and two books: Clyde Butcher's and Peter Lik's book. Another thing that was very difficult was the fact we had to do it in front of two people, the first was a lecturer who obviously knows all about our work and saw us progress, but also someone else who isn't part of the photography department and might now know anything about photography. This meant that instead of just saying "a deadpan style of photography" I had to go into what deadpan photography is. Same for the photographers mentioned. Again, all that in 7-10 minutes!!! I don't think I ever talked that fast in my life. I can honestly say I don't actually remember much of the VIVA presentation, and I can't repeat the questions!

Before I walked in I heard my lecturers talking about me saying something along the lines of "The next student is extremely talented" and then them joking around how I'll go far, followed by my lecturer saying "she probably will go far".... WHAT!???? I can't believe I heard my lecturers say that!! When they came to get me I obviously had to pretend I didn't hear anything, but wow!!

Business Cards

After I got my 40 free Moo.com cards, I decided to actually splurge and pay for 100 cards. I got a set of 50 business cards solely for my 7591 Miles project. I used the three different photos of the series for the three designs of the back of the card. The front just had my name, that I'm a photographer, my website, email, blog and phone number. I printed another 25 cards for my Succession project and 25 of Kayleigh. The reason I printed 25 cards with Kayleigh on it is because I wanted to save those for the summer as I want to do some pet photography then. I put them alongside my exhibition anyway just in case. At the end of the preview night I only had about 20 cards of Kayleigh left and that was it! A couple days I came back and there were only 3 cards left!! I decided to restock with some of the free cards I got, and by the time I added those I only had one card left. It's crazy! I had no idea people would take my cards. I printed 100 cards thinking I could use them over the summer and take them with me to Australia and just cross out my phone number... But no, they're all gone. It's absolutely crazy!

Exhibition Set Up

 I'll start with the Eldon Show set up.  Way back on the 7th of May we started with setting up the show. This included lots of painting and creating 'fake' walls to hang work and a whole load more. Basically getting the space ready for an exhibition. It was a joint effort so for a week and a half everyone came in and helped out. On the 16th of May the setting up had to be ready as that was the first day to hang up our work! We all came in in the morning as it was our professional practice hand in and in the afternoon we came back to hang the work. For professional practice we had to hand in our portfolio (either physical or digital (eg website) as well as our 'final' blog post. I got a 61% got this, so a 2:1. Although I'm not super happy with it, I'm glad it was in the 2:1 mark. In my last tutorial my lecturers weren't very impressed with my portfolio so I was terrified of failing!! After the hand in and the feedback forms, the lecturers basically just sent us home so they could be alone and layout the work. At 2 we came back and oh my goodness!! My work was placed right at the front!! The top right photo is taken from where you walk into the exhibition space. My work is the first you see!! I was so excited that I immediately wanted to hang my work, before they could change their mind.

I asked my boyfriend to come in to help me as diy isn't my thing at all! I bought a whole load of screws and mirror clips as well as a ruler and a screwdriver. Who knew that stuff was so cheap? So we started off by measuring everything very carefully. We almost hung it up wrong! But thankfully one of my course mates set us straight. It probably took us about an hour and half to hang up the first photo... When we started on the second one we got a bit over confident and ended up hanging it about 5cm too high! That was easily fixed though. The third photo was up in about 10 minutes.

It looks like Kevin is doing all the work in these photos, but honestly it was a joint effort! When we finally got all three photos up we thought we were done for the day and we'd do my succession photo the next day. However, my lecturers urged me to keep going and get it all done in one day.

The Succession photo weight about 7kg and the technicians recommended I hang it up with mirror clips. We started off by getting rid of the original hanging method and made new holes in the frame. Pretty scary!! After that we carefully put in the mirror clips. That was the easy part.... After measuring the wall various times and figuring out where everything had to go, my lecturer helped me left the photo while Kevin drilled some more holes in the wall. Letting go of it was terrifying. But it stayed up!!

 I'm super happy with the spot the lectures gave me, and also that both of my work was next to each other. The work is so different, 7591 Miles is a lot more personal and has a more creative approach, whereas Succession is very scientific and precise. Below is a photo of it all hanging up on the wall. It was a very proud moment!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Officially done with University

It's been a little while since my last blog post and that's because of my hand-in. Our "final" blog post was marked (previous post) so I couldn't blog until I got that mark back, which I've got back now!! The blog and my portfolio were part of the same until called Professional Practice and I got a 2.1! If you aren't sure what that means, it's the second best mark you can get. It goes First (70%+), 2.1 (60%-69%), 2.2 (50%-59%), Third (40%-49%) and anything lower than a 40% is a fail. I'm extremely excited with that mark because in my last portfolio tutorial, my lecturer wasn't very impressed with my portfolio... I also got back my mark for my VIVA presentation. The VIVA is an oral exam where we got 7-10 minutes to talk about our work (what it's about, research we've done, experiences gained and a whole lot more). This was one of the most nerve-racking things I've done on the course as it was in front of a lecturer and another person who doesn't necessarily know anything about photography. Instead of just going straight into each artist I looked at, or talking about what style of photography I used, I first had to explain who they were or what it was.... all in 7-10 minutes! Anyway, back to the point, I also got my mark back for that and I got a first!! I am incredibly happy with it, especially because it isn't the work that is marked, but it's how much you know about your work that matters. The VIVA and the dissertation are part of the same unit called Visual Cultural Dissertation, so my final mark for that is now a solid 2.1!

I'm only waiting for two more marks, which happen to be the most important marks! The first is my practical work of my 7591 Miles project, and the second is my research mark for both my Succession work as well as my 7591 Miles work. I should be getting that back sometime this week.

Other than the marks, a lot has been happening! Firstly we had the preview night of the Portsmouth Show which was a great success. Before the show I emailed my lecturer to see if I could create a time lapse of the night. He was very enthusiastic and recommended I work with another student interested in time lapses called Will Rudman. On the preview night we ended up using 4 cameras to take time lapses and some videos. We spend four and a half hours editing it yesterday and I am so proud of what we've made. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aepp6JEchwY&feature=youtu.be.

I've also continued the weekly photo challenges, but I will create a separate post for them. I will also add some more specific posts after this one to show you in more detail what I've been up to!