07th January 2020
I thought I had better start a post that contains some of my comments on other peoples Blogs, emails, college student forum and FB pages and posts as it seems to be a requirement for this course and I haven’t kept notes to show that I am doing this.
If possible I will try to find some of my old comments but it will be quite difficult, I know a few were even swapped through an email group I am within.
02nd January 2020 – blog
I love the humour in this sequence. Also the colour is very appealing to the eye. A genre I am yet to try, my photography is mostly doom and gloom which makes your images quite fresh for me. Well done!
Karen Gourlay: Foundations in Photography – Assignment three: A narrative photograph
02nd January 2020
Thanks Dawn, it is quite different from anything I have done before, but that is one of my reasons for taking the course. I also like that photography can be so versatile with the different moods it projects.
07th January 2020 – email and blog
Absolutely loved this work of yours!
I am a conceptual artist and often use images connected with Christianity and these are superb. When reading your synopsis or context, what really jumped out for me was the fact that your husband was wearing your uniform and using items connected with a context that he does not believe in (not sure if that is the correct term). This gives your work many other meanings that the viewer can work through depending on their own views so your work has many outcomes to it. I notice you mention the out of focus image – it actually makes it stronger (for me) in fact. Movement with this image – the portrait – gives an additional meaning and quite an atmospheric spiritual/ soul connection. I would have even tried to shoot a few more blurred to see the differing effect especially as with blurred eyes you gain a sense of not being connected with the subject as a person. With one of your portraits with the crown I would have also tried to crop in tightly, just showing slight forehead, crown and top of head. Again giving a juxtaposed image to the one with the full face and have them positioned together, either the cropped image above the portrait or on the right hand side at the top. For instance A4 portrait and then the crown landscape but printed as EG 21cm length by 13cm width. The viewers eyes would start with the portrait, study it, question it, put their thoughts to it and then end with the powerful image – this is the most powerful full stop you can get when thinking of the Crucifixion for me!
I think the hand shots which are focused in on are very powerful also. Especially the empty ones praying ? That void speaks so much and it is a negative space that actually holds an invisible meaning for people in prayer. It is a connection between The Holy Spirit and a human being – one heck of a powerful negative space!!
So all I can say is this work speaks volumes to me and has been very inspirational. Thank you for sharing it with us!!
Sue Lawler’s Photographic Encounters – Assignment 2
08th January 2020
Thank you for your thoughtful and constructive comments. If I may I’d like to respond with embedded comments in your text….
When reading your synopsis or context, what really jumped out for me was the fact that your husband was wearing your uniform and using items connected with a context that he does not believe in (not sure if that is the correct term). This gives your work many other meanings that the viewer can work through depending on their own views so your work has many outcomes to it. YES, I AGREE, AND AS THE ‘ARTIST’ I CANNOT CONTROL THAT OR EVEN ANTICIPATE IT WITH ANY SENSE OF INSIGHT. I AM VERY WARY OF SHARING THESE IMAGES IN MY WORK CONTEXT, AND SOMEHOW FEEL THAT A SECULAR AUDIENCE WOULD BE MORE OPEN TO GAIN.I notice you mention the out of focus image – it actually makes it stronger (for me) in fact. Movement with this image – the portrait – gives an additional meaning and quite an atmospheric spiritual/ soul connection. I would have even tried to shoot a few more blurred to see the differing effect especially as with blurred eyes you gain a sense of not being connected with the subject as a person. YES, AND I THINK MY LACK OF CONFIDENCE SHOWS HERE AS I HAD A NUMBER OF OUT OF FOCUS IMAGES THAT I RATHER LIKED BUT PERSUADED MYSELF OUT OF THEM DUE TO THE SLIGHT BLUR. THERE WAS ONE OF THE FACE AND THE EYELASHES WERE VERY SOFT WHICH APPEALED BUT I BACKED-OUT OF USING THAT IMAGE. PITY!With one of your portraits with the crown I would have also tried to crop in tightly, just showing slight forehead, crown and top of head. Again giving a juxtaposed image to the one with the full face and have them positioned together, either the cropped image above the portrait or on the right hand side at the top. For instance A4 portrait and then the crown landscape but printed as EG 21cm length by 13cm width. The viewers eyes would start with the portrait, study it, question it, put their thoughts to it and then end with the powerful image – this is the most powerful full stop you can get when thinking of the Crucifixion for me! THAT IS LOVELY! I HAD HAD A SIMILAR THOUGHT WITH THE ANGLED CROWN – OF CROPPING TIGHT, BUT AGAIN I FELT THE CLARITY OF THE SHOT WAS NOT UP TO TIGHT CROPPING. I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A MUCH CLOSER SHOT AT THE TIME OF THE SESSION. I THINK YOUR COMMENTS ARE VERY HELPFUL IN TERMS PARTICULARLY OF THE JUXTAPOSITIONING OF THE PORTRAIT AND CROPPED IMAGE. I THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT THE POSITIONING FOR THE ‘EXHIBITION’ AND FELT A BIT LIKE I WAS GOING ROUND IN CIRCLES!
I think the hand shots which are focused in on are very powerful also. Especially the empty ones praying ? That void speaks so much and it is a negative space that actually holds an invisible meaning for people in prayer. It is a connection between The Holy Spirit and a human being – one heck of a powerful negative space!! THAT IS WHAT I HAD IN MIND – I WAS TORN BETWEEN THE EMPTY HAND BEING THE BEGINNING OF THE SERIES, WAITING TO BE FILLED, BUT FELT THAT ACTUALLY IT SAID FAR MORE BEING AT THE END OF THE SERIES – REALISING IN OUR EMPTINESS WE FIND OUR FULFILLMENT. IE, THE ITEMS, ICONS AND SYMBOLS OF FAITH ARE NOT TO BECOME AN END IN THEMSELVES.
So all I can say is this work speaks volumes to me and has been very inspirational. Thank you for sharing it with us!! THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS AND FOR YOUR INSIGHTFUL COMMENTS. BTW, there was no comment on the blog post. Strange. All the best with your studies. Sue x
I am thrilled Sue replied to my comments as I learned so much from her. It isn’t wether you are right or wrong but about sharing how our ideas came to fruit and meanings. I replied to her reply as follows:
Thanks for your comments, I like to see how you feel and thought when producing this work. I like your comment about the hands being empty of icons, that is very strong and I love that concept. That did not even enter my mind!! and as said before, loved this series, well done you!I will try to put the comment on again, I must be doing something wrong somewhere!
Best with your studies – oh if you are unsure of which work to produce as the final edit, what I do is produce two edits and explain why, this way the tutor also gets to see your alternative idea and comment. It gives you strength to go with your gut instinct!
08th January 2020 – email
Hi GuysI am new to the FiP course and are starting to think about what equipment I will need.I already have a Canon EOS 80D camera with a 18-135mm lens.Some thoughts:-1) I assume that most people are using Adobe Creative Cloud editing software (£16.24/mo). 2) Can anyone recommend a suitable tripod please.3) Are there any lens filters that would be useful?If you think of anything else that will be useful please let me know.All help appreciated.Regards
Hello there Gary,Welcome to our little chat area 🙂
Tripod definitely and flash as there are exercises needing these. Lens filters I do not use but that is a preference, eg helps with little accidents. I have a variety of lenses for different jobs, street photography, landscapes, texture and abstract, creative but this is because I am a conceptual artist – you do not need so many for this course though if you are setting out on your journey.
Think about how you are going to carry your camera, not just meaning the bag. I have a wrist attachment so that it is permanently attached to my hand, even if I am out shopping. I have just bought a side sling so that the camera is at the side of me for easy access but I am too short for it and my shoulder isn’t as big as the settings on the straps – more of a mans thing I would say, so not sure if I will persevere with this. I find the neck straps cause pain and neck stiffness and the weight gets heavy pretty quickly.
I have just invested in a waterproof covering so I can shoot in the rain, I am a street photographer and hate being forced into the nearest shelter when it rains, so this is a preference.
For the flash I bought rechargeable batteries and a charger because the more images you take the longer it takes for the flash to recharge between shots and I found the batteries didn’t last as long as I had hoped on the shoots.And a spare battery for your camera if you go out on shoots for a large amount of time.
Oh and a remote trigger is needed for this course as well.
Hope this helps
Thanks Dawn. I do need to think about how i am going to carry my camera. First thoughts are i would put it in a rucksack but lets see, i will learn.
13th January 2020 – email
Hi AllNot quite sure if this is reaching anyone – could someone let me know if it works and also if the link works please?Link for Project 2 in Chapter 1 of course https://johnrobertsonocafoundation.com/category/coursework/part-1-workflow-landscapes-and-environments/
still struggling with the IT component a bit.Want to learn how to access the OCA library – any suggestions?Also just trying to learn to write meaningful content to accompany my photos. I find this hard (possibly because my photos dont really have much meaning – an issue i need to address!).Really impressed with what others manage to write and will work away at it and see if i can improve!Anyways, any feed back on my course work would be grand.Thanks allJohn R
John Robertson johnrobertsonocafoundation.com
What an inspirational place you live – I would love to shoot in those buildings and streets. The shadow work is to die for, I am really impressed.You will find as you settle into your course you will find your own voice and way of writing, then from there it is just adding more technical and historical context which you gain from research and relating it to your own practice.
13th January 2020 – email
I’m new to the FiP Course and have started setting up the WordPress blog and produced 2 posts this weekend covering some images that i have taken.
I would appreciate it if you could have a look at the blog and confirm that you can open it and any let me have any comments etc.
Of course any feedback on the images in the 2 posts would be great as well.
Hello there Gary,
Hello it opens fine and I can navigate to your photo projects with ease. Good luck with your studies it is a very stimulating course, I have gone from a point and clicker to manual and loving it, would never go back to point and click again!
On Gary’s blog:
Hello there, I like the way you have put the +ve and -ve under your images, it makes your audience go back to the photograph after an initial viewing and look at them a second time from your perspective and question it themselves. Dawn
Gary Hall Foundations in Photography Charlotte Park
16th January 2020 – email
A quick question, for assignments etc do you have to type the information directly into the blog or can you produce the assignment outside of the blog in say in ‘Word’ and then input or copy the file in to the blog?
Hello there,You can do it both ways. I even work on my iPad in other apps and upload them.
You just add them to your blog in what is called a block which is designed for specific formats for example documents.
Have a quick go, thats how I worked things out. Write a sentence save it and try to upload it… it’s the easiest way to sort problems that may arise up.
You don’t have to copy the file – save it – then in WordPress go to the + sign – a pop up box appears – choose/ type in File – upload – then your file, I think I saved it as either a PDF or jpeg first because of my iPad conversion – but give it a go first.
If your having trouble email and I will work it through with you.
12th February 2020 – email
Hi, All Just posted my latest Exercise. 2.2 People and Activity.
It is of the Scottish Highlands 24 hr mountain bike race held every feb, called The Strathpuffer. Hope you enjoy and all comments most welcome.
Thanks for looking!
Link here: John Robertson, Photography Learning Log. Exercise 2.2 People and Activity
Hi John, Absolutely loved them and YES! Black and white definitely. I like the range of images that show different aspects of the race as it gives the viewer a story. The details are great and I think the very dark one where we the viewer are shown how dark the race becomes adds to the information the viewers are given.
Well done. Is there anywhere on the blog we can leave replies to your work, or is it a reply free zone?
Hey Dawn and thanks so much for the feedback – it is such an important part of the course i feel. Also looking at the work of others will inform and improve my own work.I think reply is a free zone but only say that because i have not set anything up! I will have a look and try to work that one out…..Can you tell me how i look at your blog please?Cheers J
I definitely agree about looking at others work, I tend to go off track slightly and other students work brings me back to reality!
My blog is:
13th February 2020 – email
I was wondering what everyone’s views were regarding using 35mm film and developing in a darkroom? Would doing that improve my photography? I ask because we have a community darkroom here in Inverness and i have an old Nikon, plus a couple of lenses. I have shot a few films and it is fun but also very time consuming (plus involved learning quite a few new skill sets). I am not sure if my efforts would be better directed within digital to become a better photographer….Has anyone experience or views on this? I’d be interested to hear.
Hello John,This is how I started photography, printing my own. Things to consider:
On the negative side:* You cannot view at the time of shooting so settings and knowing if you have the correct exposure etc… are skills to strengthen.* Limited number of shots on a film – cannot be deleted and a second chance – a shot is a shot.* Developing your own film is OK if you have a good darkroom area especially free from dust and hair that was my biggest annoyance.* It costs more money to buy film and develop it and then print it.
On the positive side:* It is a brilliant hobby and addictive – a totally different skill set and I loved being in the darkroom and watching my prints develop. But saying that I was equally annoyed when the prints didn’t turn out as I had imagined.* I personally think if images are shot and developed well, film far outweighs a digital print but you actually cannot tell the difference if it is all processed very well.
It doesn’t make you a better photographer or your prints better. It is a different skill set, you still need an eye for composition and knowledge of the exposure triangle etc…
Hope this helps, and remember this is my experience of photography from the mid 80’s to the 90’s.
13th February 2020 – email
I have just posted my first Traces Assignment on the Foundation in Photography (well 2 actually, there is a story)
I’d be grateful for any comments on either of them and for any recommendations as to how to post assignments.
Many thanks for your time
Link here: Karen Allain, Foundations in Photography. Assignment 1 Exmouth Traces
My Reply (on blog):
Absolutely love this assignment outcome. You have shot my favourite theme ever and it is spot on! @ Escape branches, I like them there, it tells the viewer the door is up high plus it is like we are hiding behind them waiting for the door to open so it has a little story one can play out in the head. I love the textures and shapes perfect for the abstraction theme that is running through the series. I think the last three are totally different from the first set of pictures so I would say you have two series here, the three have much more colour and information and are not following the same abstraction and colour theory that the others have.
Well done, absolutely love them all!