Landscape- Assignment 6- Transitions

For my representation of the idea of ‘transitions’ within the landscape, I chose to photograph “Maria’s tree” in Rugeley. This provided a very simple landscape which would allow me to easily take the images on separate intervals and be able to position myself in the correct place. The interval I chose was seasons. By choosing seasons, I was able to show how the tree’s environment is affected over the course of a year.

Following an experimental photography workshop, I struck on the idea of creating a planetoid of each seasonal image. I would then quarter each one and extracting one quarter from each, re-assemble them to create a single planetoid showing the transition of the environment with the tree as a constant. This circular design is ideal to represent the ongoing evolution of the tree’s environment. I was able to show that even though each season is separate, each one flows into the other.

From this assignment, I have learnt how to slowly build up a project while completing other tasks and projects and time management. Due to the nature of the assignment, I had to continually monitor the weather forecasts and judge when would be the best times to go and photograph the scene. Lastly, I learnt about the need for precision within Photoshop for example making sure that each image matched the others perfectly before creating the planetoids.

The challenges I faced were picking an ideal place to photograph, originally I chose the town park however I found this was too busy and decided against it as I felt that it would have been too hard to continually recreate on a monthly or seasonal basis.  The other issue was the weather, I had hoped to take a snowy photo for my winter image, however we had very little snow and it didn’t settle. The image I took was taken while it was lightly snowing.

Overall, I found this assignment to be a refreshing change from the others as it allowed me to think more carefully about my subject matter, how to present a series of similar images in a different way and working on long term photographic projects.


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Assignment 5 reworked

Following the comments from my tutor (as below), I have made some changes to my book which can be viewed below.


Unspoken Stafford Book

Unspoken Stafford Book.pdfimagewrap

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Landscape- Assignment 5- Self Directed Project

It’s has taken awhile, but I have finally finished my 5th assignment.

I have attached the files for the PDF test book and evaluation

Exploring Stafford’s Edgelands Book 1

Exploring Stafford’s Edgelands Book 1.pdfdustjacketA

ssignment 5- Evaluation

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Landscape- Exercise 5:7- Artist’s Statement

For the last exercise we were asked to pick a selection of artist’s statements to read and then to write our own, to be included with our 5th assignment.

The prospect of this seemed quite daunting, it is the first time I have had to do this and am aware of the importance of it when communicating the aims of my work, both current and future.


I had noticed when looking for examples, I was very difficult so in order to help future users I have included some of the statements I looked at as guidance

I also used the writing guide suggested within the exercise

For my statement, I decided to write something to cover all my work not just my project for assignment 5

My Artist Statement

My interest in photography started at the age of 4. I love to take photos of anything and everything. One of my earliest memories is going to a horse show and wanting to take the perfect shot of a horse splashing through the water. A lot of the shots from that day include the cordon rope but I got the shot I wanted and I guess at the time that was exactly how I saw the show. I was sharing my version of the world around me.

From as early as I can remember, I have always wanted to show the potential in the everyday. I have a fascination with the “behind the scenes”, the “off the beaten track”the overlooked, neglected and forgotten elements of life. In this day and age, we often suppress our natural urge to explore our surroundings or go somewhere for the sake of it. Younger children will never know the joy of “a drive”. The idea that you could go out in the car with no real purpose and see things you wouldn’t normally. Nowadays, sat-nav rules the car journey so we don’t have to get lost and figure out our way back.

With my work, I bring these things to the forefront and show the wonder of the everyday. I  share my inquisitive nature and hope that I can help others to explore their surroundings more.

For my “Exploring the Edgelands” project in particular, I took inspiration from Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Robert’s book “Edgelands- Journeys into England’s True Wilderness”. Their poetic and astute observations encouraged me to go out and explore these areas in my local town.


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Landscape- Exercise 5:6- Context and Meaning

This exercise was split into two parts.

The first asked us to think about how we would like to present our 5th assignment in an installation or exhibition. Although we are not expected to do this at level 2, it allows us to think about how our work can be “strengthened or expanded by their physical location”. In order to do this, we were asked to create a rough sketch to show scale, position and anything else we think could be incorporated.

Part 1

Gallery image and notes

As this is only an exercise, I thought about the more extreme ways I would imagine my work to be displayed. In the above image, you can see that the images have been displayed quite large and I have even put an image on the floor. The reasoning for this is because my self-directed project is about drawing attention to the edgelands and making people more aware of them. In a small space with large images, the viewer is “forced” to take notice of the images and feel emerged in the edgelands. I would have lighting above each image or order to give them each their own individual light, attention and focus.

Part 2

In the second part, we had to read John Walker’s essay “Context as a Determinant of Photographic Meaning” and note the key points.

Key points and notes

  • Although the essay was written over 30 years ago, a lot of what is being said is still relevant today. The essay gives a lot of food for thought and I have found it quite difficult to narrow down the key points without going off onto too much of a tangent
  • The context of an image can make a huge difference to how an image is viewed. The context can be architectural, within media, mental or social-historical.
  • By changing an images location, you can alter an image’s context and meaning, however this is not a dramatic transformation. It is usually the case that a different part or characteristic becomes more prominent. There is a further shift in context and meaning when text, other images or a display is added to an image as well.
  • originally images were created for specific areas (ceilings for example) but over time this has been lost and nowadays images can be seen simultaneously throughout the world and through different media outlets. This creates a media context which is far more ambiguous and leads onto the cultural context.
  • Walker then explores an images circulation and currency. He makes an interesting point about an image’s meaning being determined or influenced by its point of origin and how a photo’s meaning can change as it moves through its life time i.e. it could first appear in a gallery, then 10 years later appear in a textbook as an example of something etc.
  • The key point I noted within the “Jo Spence” was how a space can alter an image and an image can alter a space.
  • Walker then moved onto mental context and the “beholders share”. This was a section that really interested me as it just scratches the surface of the idea of individualism and how individual we actually are.
    • when we go to view an image, we cannot help but be influenced by the little voices in our head. These voices consist of memories, knowledge, prejudices, opinions, experiences etc
    • other things that can affect the way we see and interpret images are our social class, gender, age, education, nationality, political views, parentage, race, religious views (the list goes on)
    • we cannot say for sure, without much discussion, exactly what goes through a person’s mind when they view an image, however we can make assumptions based of things we have in common such as languages and social groups.
    • With the barrage of images we see on a daily basis (more so now then when this was originally written) there is no way to judge the impact of a single image on society unless it is so radical and shocking or in times of revolution when the social context can change dramatically
    • An artist can try to create “favourable and appropriate conditions” (deciding how work is to be displayed/presented, sizes, limiting access etc) for their work but more often than not, context and meaning is out of their control.
  • The ambiguity and complexity of an image also gives rise to variations in interpretations.
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Landscape- Exercise 5:5- Create a Slideshow

I found this exercise quite challenging as I wasn’t able to find very many programs that I could download for free or for a trial without entering payment details.

In the end, I chose to use Apple’s iMovie which is a free app. However, by using this I didn’t have as much flexibility as I would with other programs. The set up is generally quite basic.

A slideshow is not really something I had considered for my 5th assignment and I can see its potential for later projects. However, at the moment I have my heart set on a photobook.

I have included the slideshow I have created, using a few of the images my tutor selected as my strongest ones. Overall, I found the creating element quite fun as I was able to pick up photos and move them around etc. The hardest part, though, was choosing the accompanying music. As I have not thought of presenting my work in this format, I had no idea what sort of music would work.

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Landscape- Exercise 5:4- Online Exhibitions

For this exercise, we were asked to read the article “Online Exhibitions” on the We Are OCA website and watch “Looking at the Land” by Andy Adams. We then had to make any notes or comments we had on the piece.

Online Exhibitions

Thoughts after watching

After reading the article and then watching the “exhibition”, I noted a number of things that I have listed below

  • By viewing the exhibition online, the viewer is ‘forced’ to look at images they might otherwise miss or dismiss. This therefore allows the viewer the opportunity to see the whole exhibition and gives them a better understanding of why the images have been chosen and their overall contribution.
  • Unlike others who have watched this, I feel that Adams should have used some music if only something quite light such as piano music. this could help the viewer to relax into what they are seeing and add to the intimate feel of watching an exhibition in this way.
  • Further to my point about it being intimate, I felt when watching it had been created just for me, I could watch it how I wanted and when I wanted. This added to my interest
  • I liked how Adams kept the layout simple so the view was fixed in one position but there was also the photographers name, the title of the piece, the date etc like there would be in a gallery for those who wish to see it. The pace between images was also appropriate as it allowed just the right amount of time to view each image.
  • Lastly I liked how each image was shown as equal to each other. Quite often in galleries the images are different sizes and the larger ones attract the most attention. By keeping them all the same size, it allows the viewer to decide of their own favourites. They are also all given the same viewing time.


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Landscape- Exercise 5:3-Print-on-demand Mock-up

For this exercise, you had to create a mock-up of a print on demand book.

As I am wanting to create a book for my self-directed project, I was keen to have a go and see what it was all about.

While working on this exercise I watched Jose Navarro’s video (as recommended within the course materials- but felt it was very useful) and read “The Photobook: From Talbot to Ruscha and beyond” by P Di Bello, C Wilson and S Zamir

I chose to download Blurb’s Bookwright application. At first I found it a little daunting. I wanted it to give it more of a professional look and less like a bog standard photobook which you could buy from the more mainstream photo printing services. Once I started to use the application and think about the look I wanted I found the program very easy to use and manipulate. The more I got into it and the more I read from “The Photobook: From Talbot to Ruscha and beyond”, the more I started to see my project in a new light. I started to re-evaluate what were my best images and how I could piece them all together to give the best overall view.

print screen-book

Taking what I have learnt from reading about Walker Evans, I started to think about leaving the images on their own and moving my would be captions to the end of the book. This would allow the images to be “read” by the viewer instead of them being told what they are seeing. I have also left room, for the moment, at the beginning of my book for my artist’s statement (which is coming up in exercise 5:7).

I have also forwarded a copy of this mock-up to my tutor to get her opinion of what I am purposing to do.

Exploring the edgelands draft


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Landscape- Exercise 5:2-Print Quotes

After looking at gallery spaces for our last exercise, this exercise asked us to focus on prints.

Part 1

For the first part of the exercise, we had to research print quotes from 3 online photo labs for c-type and giclee prints for comparison.

Printing service

C-Type (12×10)

Giclee- Fine art (12×10)




Metro print



The Print Space



Part 2

Part 2 of the exercise asked us to prepare a file to requirement.

For this, I looked at Spectrum’s photo requirements. Using one of my images from the Stafford Fire (one of the largest images I have) I was able to check the image and there were no required changes for for the image.

The colour profile was set to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 and the image size was only 70.8MB

print screen

Part 3

Lastly, we had to write a short reflective piece on whether we felt an inkjet (giclee) image could be treated as a photograph or not.

To me, this is an interesting point. Any definition of photography only talks about how the image is taken, not how it is printed or, in fact, it’s end result. By only defining a photograph on a printed image, there are so many other things that could not be classed as a photograph such as photos on an online gallery or photographs uploaded and kept on a computer. There is also the issue of recognition, to the untrained eye there is no difference between a giclee and C-type image. It appears that this is just another way that the academic elite try to get one up on those less in the know.



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Landscape- Exercise 5:1-Origins of the White Cube

In this exercise we were asked to read the first chapter of Inside the White Cube- The Ideology of the Gallery Space by Brian O’Doherty. While reading, we had to make notes and record our reflections.

My notes and reflections

  • The comparisons between churches and galleries
    1. Both require “the outside world must not come in” and the idea that they eliminate awareness of the outside world
    2. Plain walls and ceiling as the source of light
    3. Space to appear timeless, out of time, beyond time
    4. As they appear unchanging, the creators are trying to give the appearance of eternality
    5. People visit these places with a single intention
    6. When visiting, people suppress their “individual interests in favour of group interests” and cooperate/follow the rules of the premises
    7. The spaces promote the points of view of the powering group and “censors” the rest of the world.
  • When using the examples of Egyptian burial chambers and Palaeolithic caves, he talks of how they are always in the furthest possible place so they were sheltered from change and time but they also acted as a middle ground between heaven and earth. They also offer an illusion of eternal presence
  • Art is the new religion, in this day and age, people will flock to see artist’s work much like they would have previously flocked to see archbishops and the Pope.
  • In the presence of art, we reduce ourselves to the Eye (views things without prejudice or bias) and the Spectator (the body that holds the wandering Eye)
  • There are two ways that the White Cube developed
    1. Out of the tradition of Western easel paintings
    2. The anti-formalist tradition where the gallery space is the material which is altered by the art.
  • The white cube being a transitional device as it “wipes out the past at the same time it controls the future” and it appeals to ‘other worldly’ thoughts. The issue with this is that it speaks of another world to which we do not belong. This leads back to the point about places between heaven and earth
  • The overall meaning and purpose of the White Cube is a blank canvas which is disguised and transformed for specific social purposes and it is a blank space which allows things to evolve.



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