The brief, ten photographs, one subject, each a “unique view”, with a “sense of development through the sequence”; my tutor commented “bring together all the skills you have learned”; 300 words of explanatory text allowed. WC35
“All the skills” suggests technical diversity, as explored in the course: shutter speed; selective focus; lens choice; lighting variation and so on but this alone would not be personally satisfying or aesthetically challenging. The main theoretical component towards the end of the course was Terry Barrett’s contextual analysis and his book Criticising Photographs (2000) uses this to inform definitions of six types of photograph, described on the relevant web page (Blackburn, 2019a). Thus, in addition to technical diversity, I sought to produce images in as many of Barrett’s categories as possible.
Five potential projects were identified (Blackburn, 2019b) and work undertaken on two: Flowers and The Occupation of Benches. Flowers always seemed to present more opportunities and to have the greater potential for variation and an increasing proportion of the time available was devoted to it. The title grew to The use, abuse, misuse and misrepresentation of plants and shrank again to Plants.
The brief prompts, “what am I really trying to say?”: answer, “that humans interact with plant life in a variety of contexts” and maybe add “often with little regard for the plants’ welfare”. And, within that documentary purpose, to produce some subjectively aesthetically pleasing and diverse images. There is no compelling logical, technical or aesthetic sequence, but I have developed a preference for submitting physical prints in a presentation folder, thereby imposing my display sequence on the viewer, using only prosaic, factual titles and leaving interpretation to others: I have been influenced by Michael Grieve (2019) and Barbara Stauss’ explanation of Lorant’s (1940) views on image pairing. Image selection is explained on the web site (Blackburn, 2019c).
Barrett, T. (2000) Criticising photographs, an introduction to understanding images. 3rd ed. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing
Blackburn, N. (2019a) BAPhot: Criticizing Photographs, [online]. Available from: http://www.baphot.co.uk/books/barrett2.php [Accessed 7 September2019]
Blackburn, N. (2019b) BAPhot: EyV: Assignment 5, Development, [online]. Available from: http://www.baphot.co.uk/pages/asg_5_development.php#ini [Accessed 7 September 2019]
Blackburn, N. (2019c) BAPhot: EyV: Assignment 5, Development, [online]. Available from: http://www.baphot.co.uk/pages/asg_5_development.php#sel [Accessed 16 September 2019]
Grieve, M (2019) Inside Studio Stauss, British Journal of Photography. Issue 7,888, pp.89-92
Lorant. S (1940) Chamberlain and the beautiful llama and 101 more juxtapositions. London: Hulton