Monthly Archives: January 2018

Summary – weeks ending 26/01/18

26/01/18

Photography:

  • some interesting images of a van that caught fire and burnt out at the end of our road
  • using the Instax to get summary pictures of the week – this is hard! – partly to find an image that summarises what we have done, and partly because it goes against my  need to fiddle!

Reading:

  • Mark Cousins – The Story of Looking – a fascinating spin though the types of images and what you would have looked at over the history of mankind, also about the different ways people look at things
  • Professional Photography – talking about this years Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize – I found the 2nd place portrait of the Iraqi girl on the bus particularly haunting – I would never have considered focusing on the dirty window in this way. (Abbie Traylor-Smith)

Exhibitions seen:

  • The Way We Were: Photographs of Childhood from the National Galleries of Scotland – interesting exhibition of images of children from the very early days of photography up to today, both monochrome and colour. Some very interesting pictures taken in an early special needs school – not exploitative at all – just tender contrasting with modern images.
  • BP Portrait Exhibition: I see this every year and oddly enough am not usually very enthusiastic. I can see the technical skill of the painters but the rarely move me – this year the winning image – Breech – of a mother and child by the child’s father was very tender.
  • Land Values – Paul Mortimer – Final exhibition by an OCA 3rd year student

Thinking:

  • mainly concentrating on finalising the work for submission and getting things printed off.

 

 

 

Assignment 5 – Reflection

03/01/18

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills:

I feel that this was reasonable for my stage. The selected images are in focus, and correctly colour balanced. They show a range of details from close up to distant focus. I have tried to keep the design and composition straightforward and simple enough to show the point without overcomplication.

Quality of Outcome:

I think that I have communicated my idea about the forestry work in Scotland. It was difficult to keep it simple and within the confines of 10 images and a very short introductory paragraph. This would have been easier as a longer piece of work – and could have then included images of other woodlands.

Demonstration of Creativity:

I am not sure that there is a great deal of creativity in this! The idea is simple, taken from my surroundings.

Context:

I spent a reasonable amount of time reading around various other photographers work on woods, forests and the impact of man on the natural environment. Reading the websites on the National heritage of Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland , although not directly linked the photography, was especially useful as it made me aware of the historical implications of what I was seeing.

 

Summary – weeks ending 29/12/17

02/01/18

Again a combination summary. Life rather got in the way!

Photography:

  • some images in the garden taken under heavy frost
  • images for assignment 5 of the local woodlands, unfortunately the particular image I wanted was not available – someone had removed the large pile of logs
  • Edinburgh at Christmas – not very successful pictures of the fun fair – too much distraction
  • Edinburgh Botanics light show

Reading:

  • still Barrett on criticism
  • Robert Adams – Beauty in Photography – interesting alternative take to Barrett on criticism especially in essay ‘Civilising Criticism’
  • Photoworks 23 – I particularly like the Folio on Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber with the contrasting works ‘ on the street’, with the contrast of the shaven headed ‘Cry Minami’ images posted in cities across the world versus the Sieber images of people shown from the back.

Exhibitions seen:

  • Futureproof 2017 – at Street Level Glasgow, a compilation of works from last years degree shows in Scotland
  • Robin Gillanders retrospective – Still in Edinburgh – I liked the images from ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ which shows images based on haiku by Henry Gough-Cooper which are based on the ‘Fragments’ written about love and philosophy by Barthes.

Thinking:

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idts/david_hurn_photographer_swaps_magnum –   came across this article online about the Hurn exhibition in Cardiff  – he says ‘The point of the selfie is immediate and only of interest for seconds so most of the interest seems to me as someone who doesn’t do it, to be the fun act of doing it, usually with friends.’
  • spent a lot of time considering which images to put in assignment 5 – and, more crucially, which to leave out!

Planning:

  • I have realised that over the last year while taking a vast collection of images – very few of these actually talk about what I am doing in my life. So, I splashed out on an Instax camera with my Christmas money and am planning to take an image every week that says something about what I (and the family) have been doing. I will then make this into an album.

Assignment 5 – Photography is Simple

02/01/18

Forestry in Scotland

There were so many things a tree could do: add color, provide shade, drop fruit or become a children’s playground, a whole sky universe to climb and hang from; an architecture of food and pleasure, that was a tree’ (Bradbury, 1950).

When most people think of Scotland they think of heavily wooded areas, either replete with ancient forests or full of forestry commission pines. In reality it is neither.  At present only about 17% of the land area of Scotland is covered by trees, which, while lower than most other European countries, is a significant improvement from the 5% it was in 1919 when the Forestry Commission was started to increase the amount of timber available in Britain following shortages in World War 1. This initially led to the planting and harvesting of vast areas of soft wood, often non-native species, leaving desolate tracks, but since the 1980’s there has been a change towards planting of mixed species and use of the woodlands for a wide range of activities including timber production, biodiversity, carbon capture and social uses. (Nature.scot, 2017).

In Scotland most of the forested land remains under private ownership, but some is also owned by the government and managed by the Forestry Commission Scotland. (Scotland.forestry.gov.uk, 2017) There are complex planning agreements in place to make efficient use of the land that is suitable for forestry, as much of Scotland is too high and with too poor soil for tree plantations. There are still areas of land stripped of trees awaiting soil regeneration, and replanting and these look desolate and unwanted. Other areas are full of new growth and light.

This is the land I live in and travel though on a daily basis. It changes over the years but also remains eerily the same.

References

Bradbury, R. (1950). The Martian chronicles. New York: Doubleday.

Nature.scot. (2017). Managing our woodlands | Scottish Natural Heritage. [online] Available at: https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/land-and-sea-management/managing-land/forests-and-woodlands/managing-our-woodlands [Accessed 29 Dec. 2017].

Scotland.forestry.gov.uk. (2017). The Scottish Forestry Strategy. [online] Available at: http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/supporting/strategy-policy-guidance/forestry-strategy [Accessed 29 Dec. 2017].

Final Images:1 - Forestry in Scotland2 - Forestry in Scotland3 - Forestry in Scotland4 - Forestry in Scotland5 - Forestry in Scotland6 - Forestry in Scotland7 - Forestry in Scotland8 - Forestry in Scotland9 - Forestry in Scotland10 -Forestry in Scotland

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