Sarah Scott

OCA Expressing Your Vision Notes & Learning Log

A5 Final Images and Ideas for Further Exploration

Scan of final prints

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sarahscott516860_a5 (12 of 14)




My reflection on the updated images:

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

The images have been taken with a Canon AE-1 film camera that only works in manual mode and have mainly been taken with a fixed 50mm lens. They are printed on Ilford multigrade paper, using Ilford chemicals. The film is Ilford HP5 400 ISO which was at least 17 years old and had been kept in less than ideal conditions. I used it as an experiment.

I have learnt and developed technical skills in:

  • working entirely in manual mode
  • using a fixed lens which has forced me to compose and take images in a different way
  • developing monochrome film
  • using an enlarger
  • printing a photograph traditionally using developer, stop and fix
  • using filters with multigrade paper

In the initial work for this assignment I learnt:

  • how to mix cyanotype chemicals and produce cyanotypes from scratch
  • how to emulsion lift from a polaroid
  • how to produce a lumen print
  • how to produce an anthotype
  • how to teach the cyanotype process
  • how to use software like glitche to alter images digitally

I am pleased with the compositional skills I have shown.

Quality of Outcome

I have had issues with the quality of the prints and I think they are probably a little too dark. However, I was working with equipment that I have been given for free, at home; I do not have access to a ‘proper’ darkroom and expensive equipment. Inevitably that has  had an effect on the quality of the outcome, as has the age of the film itself. Some of the final prints do not have as much contrast as I would have liked; I certainly need more darkroom practice, but I’m glad I’ve started with this assignment.

Demonstration of Creativity

The initial work was an exploration entirely in creativity. I experimented with many photographic techniques. The work that I did went from photogram cyanotypes to digital film that was displayed on social media.


As for assignment 4,  I stepped up the research with this assignment, I was more thorough about completing preliminary exercises, and I had taken previous tutor feedback on board.  Reflecting on the feedback my tutor provided for A5 to make this update, I have tried to answer my tutor’s point that the work “does lack a clear and obvious central focus and tends to meander a little bit”, by clearly editing the ideas down to one central technique with a very simple subject. The research has focused on developing technical skills using the texts and references mentioned in the initial submission, along with The Darkroom Handbook by Michael Langford(1) and with reference to Ilford technical data sheets available from Ilford’s website(2).


Ideas for Further Exploration

Working with alternative photographic processes is important to me and I intend to work through various processes, both new and historical. Building my own photographic equipment appeals to me, and I have been looking at simple pinhole cameras. I really like the work of Lisa Oppenheim in Light, Paper, Process by Virginia Heckert (3) and I would like to try some contact prints made in moonlight and sunlight, as I did for the lumen prints I made.

Further Bibliography

(Also see initial bibliography)

1. Langford, M. (1990). The darkroom handbook.

2. Ilford Photo. (2019). Technical Downloads. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Jan. 2019].

3. Heckert, V., Harnly, M. and Freeman, S. (2015). Light, paper, process. Los Angeles (CA): The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Test strips for A5 update

sarahscott516860_a5 (2 of 14)sarahscott516860_a5 (1 of 14)

Unused images

sarahscott516860_a5 (11 of 14)

sarahscott516860_a5 (9 of 14)

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