More about this image later!!
I have read through the course notes twice now and, earlier in the week, had a good first conversation with Clive, my tutor. (That is not him in the illustration – to avoid any possible confusion.) As I said in the previous post, it seems essential to maintain an open mind at this stage as to where this major project will travel – and certainly about its destination. I do, as I emerge from my Level Two studies, have some broad ideas as to the general domain.
• I am keen to explore and exploit the potential of digital photographic image-making. And I expect to regard all aspects of digital photographic creativity as ‘at my disposal’ in seeking to create meaning.
• I will want – to an extent – to continue with the ‘studio-based still life’ work on which I focused towards the end of my last Level Two course.
• I can see more potential for exploration of ‘constructed’ images, and the bringing together of material from diverse sources to construct meaning in images.
• But, at the same time, I am concerned that I should not lock myself into an entirely ‘studio-bound’ approach.
I have discussed these thoughts with Clive and he is supportive of those ideas as very broad parameters within which to start out, but also stresses the ‘open mind’ approach. So we have agreed that I will set about taking some photographs/creating some images that interest me, over the next couple of months and then share a selection with him. It has also occurred to me, following the conversation, that, since the first part of the module explores ‘Genre’, I might use some of the defined genres as the starting point for some photographic exploration of my own. (I also see the digital focus as a broadly useful direction for ‘Contextual Studies’ when I get fully under way with that module – exploring the ways in which photography theory & visual cultural thinking in relation to photography has responded to the development of digital image-making and image-sharing, for example.)
Mentioning ‘Contextual Studies’ leads into one ‘procedural’ question that I have put to Clive and subsequently raised with OCA. For reasons that are understandable, there is a policy that, when an OCA student is undertaking more than one module at the same time, they should keep their studies identifiably separate and not allow overlapping of material. The Level Three Photography Handbook that came with the course notes makes more or less that point. However, since the three modules are inextricably linked, that seems like a principle that would be difficult to apply rigidly. ‘Contextual Studies’, I believe, is intended to explore the context in which ‘Body of Work’ is produced. So it would seem very odd, even counter-productive, to not refer to ‘Contextual Studies’ material in this Learning Log. I have asked the question.
And so to the illustration at the top of this post. It is primarily here to supply a bit of visual interest in an otherwise ‘dry’ opening early post and is actually my design for a Christmas card that my wife and I will be sending this year. However, it does illustrate a bit about where my image-making stands at this stage and has some value in the context of my bullet points about direction. It is constructed from photographs of illustrations from second hand books (resized and processed for this context); a photograph that I took locally of a building in Holmfirth; a miniature festive wreath and miniature parcel created by my wife; and a tiny model of a teddy bear. The photographs have been printed and cut, as necessary, with a craft knife, and the ‘set’ was assembled and lit in ‘studio-style’ to create this effect. Some subsequent digital processing created the warm light for the internal scene and added the number over the door, as well as preparing the image for print. It is a bit of fun, naturally, but I am genuinely interested in the multiple layers of meaning that can be created through this type of activity – and I would also acknowledge some influence from Abelardo Morell, whose work I have looked at and enjoyed in the last few weeks – http://www.abelardomorell.net/posts/alice-in-wonderland-2/