Notes from my second tutorial

I was really pleased with the feedback from my tutor after assignment 1. I didn’t really know what to think beforehand because the technical quality of the shots wasn’t great and I’d wanted to try something a bit different; I wasn’t sure if I’d gone way off with my ideas. But thankfully my tutor got where I was coming from. The feedback he sent me was really comprehensive and helpful.

One idea floating around is to eventually try using Lomography in a different way, (perhaps for the last assignment); without the typical use it’s put to create a vague nostalgia, but to use it with humour, as a parody. My tutor says he is sick to death of the way Lomo is typically used. He was keen for me to really pull out the themes and key ideas I’ve developed in the first assignment and explore their aesthetic possibilities, so I need to think about that. The main one he picked up was the idea of home, for me it’s identity and dislocation. We spoke about Brexit and he put forward the idea that perhaps a version of an idea of England has re-asserted itself and seeks to present itself as the only valid view. I thought that was really interesting. He pointed out an image of guns in a shop window that might need to be approached in a different way so that was helpful. One of the weakest images didn’t fit in the set and he spoke about why; looking at it again, I can see that it doesn’t fit and that it’s not a good shot – the highlights are really overexposed.

After the tutorial I thought about the idea of re shooting it on instant film and then cutting it in half. The image is a view of a footpath alongside the river that runs underneath a road bridge. On one side is the river, fields, trees, and typical views of Dorset. On the other there is graffiti and concrete – a more urban feel. Or that’s what it’s supposed to show, but it doesn’t work, partly technical issues (the highlights), partly because it would work better in a landscape format to fit in more of the views and less path. It still won’t fit into the set for assignment 1, but I did like the ideas that I saw in it and I would like to strengthen it, so perhaps I can use it in another set as I produce more independent work?  I thought if I retook it and then cut it in half, it might be a good representation of the two sides of Britain that I feel are almost at war with each other? That made me think about the idea of Britain being fractured and I immediately picked up an overexposed instant image, cut it up and stuck that into my paper learning log to remind me of the idea.

As soon as I’d stuck it down I wished I’d put it onto a black background and maybe stuck it back in a more random way, but I sort of liked the idea as I am keen to try something a bit different. My tutor also suggested looking out for more signs of a youth culture around me that might be rebelling against this view of England, that it would be good to explore the views younger people have about Britain. He’s suggested I take a look at the work of photographers like Si Barber, Martin Parr, Simon Roberts and Val Williams’ book How We Are: Photographing Britain.

When I looked again at some of the images I’d rejected for the first assignment, I’d noticed that in some of the images there are figures leaving the frame, lines leading out of the frame and lines blocking the view. I know that typically people and lines shouldn’t be leading the eye out of the picture but into it. However, I quite like the idea of using people and lines leaving the image to represent some of the ideas I’m trying to communicate. I’m not sure if it would work or if it would be too obvious so I’ll consider it for a revision of my first assignment and see if it works.

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