Monthly Archives: December 2012


I’ve received the feedback from my first assignment, its always a bit nerve wracking with a new tutor and getting used to how they prefer things and how they feedback. I was quite pleased with the feedback and some pointers to progress. I won’t post my full feedback on here but I will just put some points that I aim to focus on as these can help other students too

– Try not to have a commercial head on- focus on the quality and meaning of my images first

– Try not to miss any important photography shows in my local area

– Try and get to some of the London exhibitions

– Undertake write ups of the books I read and post in blog and ensure if I do this, links are included in my assignment when I send them in (if relevant of course)

I’ve already started to address some of these- the first point I’ll try and keep in mind as I progress.

As I’ve reached a bit of an awkward time of undertaking the exercises for assignment two. Trying to find an outdoor event that is either in daylight or when I can get to it is proving a little tricky. I spend a couple of hours with my camera at Liverpool one last week and after viewing the images, I’m not happy with the attempt so I’m hopefully going to a local park and gardens at weekend to try again (weather pending) It was suggested that I try a smaller less obvious camera than my Canon, I do have my Olympus Pen but its only got a small lens so I might try this and see how I get on.

My plans for Christmas are to catch up on some reading, I’ve got some library books to read through, Train your Gaze and I’ve just ordered Reuters Our World Now 4 as we used it on the seminar I went to last week and wanted to see more of the images within. I’ll be thinking about getting the rest of the collection in the New Year I think.

Plans into 2013 include lots of visits so far I’ve booked onto the Richard Billingham talk being held in Manchester by Redeye. I’ve got visits pencilled in for the Look photography festival in Liverpool, the Mishka Henner exhibition at the Open Eye gallery and I’ll be booking onto the ‘Lecture upon a Shadow’ study visit to the Open Eye on 9th February as soon as I can. I do want to try and get to London now that I’ve discovered that there are affordable Saturday return fares. I’ve got my name down for the Moriyama/Klein visit but it’s a long waiting list in front of me. I do plan to get to London at least once next year and see some of the exhibitions, but its hard to know what to see and there are so many, I’m also getting distracted by some of the costume and non photography exhibits too.

Photojournalism Workshop at FACT

I stumbled across this photojournalism workshop by chance, I was looking at the FACT website when I saw a link on the page and discovered a free workshop. I’ve been on paid and free photography courses/workshops etc. before and always found a difference between the two, but today’s was as good as any paid course. The tutor and photographer Adam Lee was enthusiastic and knowledgeable and with a different mix of people in the room, we had some interesting thoughts and discussions. We looked at pathways to disseminate our images, social media, new websites and looked at Cam360 where I was the guinea pig who signed up for this. Outside of the workshop this is something that I will investigate and make use of.

The afternoon was broken into a number of parts, we paired up and looked through a selection of images from Reuters One World Now, picking what we thought was the strongest image and discussed why we felt it was a good image so the usual, colour, composition, story etc. Then we attempted to write a caption for another image we’d chosen, comparing these to ones in the book- obviously ours were much shorter and less descriptive than the correct one. We then had a chance to get out and about to take images, by this point it was after four so getting dark and the light rain turned much heavier while we were out. Not everyone had cameras but we managed to get some shots and once back inside the warmth of the studio, we worked in pairs again to write captions for chosen images, and whether it captured the photographers opinion and feelings of Liverpool.

Moving on from this we discussed tagging and tips on how to choose these effectively, then the last part of the day was on consent and permission. As usual with this topic there are some grey areas and some confusion. Interestly enough I’d used the cleaning cloth supplied by Amateur Photographer with photographers rights all over one side of it to dry off my soggy camera. This added to the debate of photography in a public and private place as the wording on there was approved by the home office.

Things I learnt

– Street photography in the UK and Liverpool is tricky before you even consider getting a consent form completed.

– If the photograph tells the story- don’t necessarily need to include a really long caption

– Captions are a mix of some of the visual things going on within the image and also describes the things that you can’t see

– Tags- take some of these from the caption

– Tags- consider the feelings that the image evokes, put these into tags

– Tags- put your name into tags so the images can be linked back to you

– Consent- don’t need adult consent if the image is not for profit

– Consent- consider getting video consent if an event where it’s not feasible to use paper forms

Liverpool Biennial (24th November)

Revisiting some of the Biennial that I missed after the study visit in September, I decided to pick up some of the photography exhibitions that I’d not had time to go.

While I saw lots of interesting exhibitions and sculpture, I’ve primarily focused my thoughts onto the key photography pieces.

Tate Liverpool
Keith Arnett- A.O.N.B
(Area of outstanding natural beauty)
– look more like areas of dereliction and while Arnett explores ‘beauty and banality’, the fact he has chosen to show the worst side of these areas in my opinion doesn’t make me question the British landscape, but question as to how these places are listed as AONB as I can’t see a point in any of these images where this could have been the case. There seems to be no hint of beauty or glory days compared to AONB that I have actually visited and I think some more information on where these areas are and how they were classified would help the viewer to consider the contrast between beauty and the negative

Sophie Calle- The Hotel
A mixture of narrative and images, this series by Calle really caught my eye, on its own her diary style writing on the guests in the rooms is interesting and it made me wonder about the people staying there, but with the images it just takes it one step further, part fascination but also part voyeur and that engages me as a viewer but also makes me look at this from the other side. What would I think or feel if I’d walked into this exhibition and realised that the description was about me and my possessions were on display? It suddenly loses its anonymity but a very interesting theme to take up.

Gilbert & George- C*nt Scum (edited for my blog)
This was more subtle than I imagined it to be and was quite striking. I loved the social history aspect of the monochrome images of the people of London that seems to place this into the past (and just checking 1977 so a little earlier than I thought) While the work is based on images of graffiti in the Spitalfields area, described in the information as home to immigrant communities, the images are strangely lacking any hint of these diverse influences and communities.

Pak Sheung Cheun- A Travel without Visual Experience
I didn’t actually manage to see all of this as my camera flash wasn’t quite co-operating in the sheer darkness of this exhibition. The concept of the flash revealing the images and making your way around this in the dark was both a fun and terrifying experience as you can’t see anyone else and then suddenly there is a flash of light, I felt blinded and tried to make sense of things in a split second before it vanished. It certainly emphasises that I need light for photography.

Martin Parr- Common Sense
This was overwhelming compared to some of the other understated and almost neutrally coloured images, as per usual these were very bright, vivid and over saturated. Filling a large proportion of the gallery wall, the images all close together were too much to me, they had impact but didn’t inspire me to take the time to look at each one in turn.

George Shaw- Scenes from the passion
The images of the derelict garages where Shaw had removed people and contemporary additions to inspire nostalgia failed on me, as I felt that with the background and graffiti, the image wasn’t as timeless as Shaw wanted to put across and it had a more modern feel to me   

LJMU Copperas Hill Building
City States

I had a walk around the old royal mail building and while the exhibits were interesting in there, I was more fascinated by the old building and its remnants of its previous life. I love walking around old and empty buildings and this was well worth a visit.