Post Script to Assignment 3, spaces to places, Pagham Beach

30 September 2017

It has been more that a year since I completed my photography of the erosion at Pagham Beach. Yesterday I returned to the shingle beach and photographed some of the changes that have occurred.  The images show a third lagoon has now been formed by sealing the channel in front of the houses closest to it. This has turned the channel seawards but it seems that erosion has moved westward towards the harbour entrance and it looks as if shingle is building up around the 1960’s revetment . Scouring of the shingle has also revealed earlier scaffolding remains of stabilisation work, probably from the 1920’s or the WW2 period.

Unfortunately I don’t have time to research fully how all of this has happened before today’s assessment deadline, but I do know that planning consent to modify the shingle spit was given earlier this year and these changes are probably a result of ongoing work.

It is likely that I shall consider continuing this project as part of my level three studies.

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Preparation for assessment – continued

13 September 2017

When I examined the covers of the portfolio for assignment 5 I decided that I was not happy with them. I have since made another pair with thicker board, making sure that they are slightly oversize by a few mm to protect the pages.

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I have received the link to my assessment folder and will spent the next few days uploading my digital files and packing up my physical submissions ready for despatch WC 18th September.

 

Assignment 5 – preparation for assessment – continued

 

24th August 2017

I have been concentrating on editing and printing the pages of the presentation portfolio for assignment 5. I have learned some new skills in processing RAW files. Coupled with the changes to the layouts that Russell suggested, it has been a very busy time. Transferring an image from the screen onto paper is not as straightforward as it seems. I was quite keen to produce this second, hand made portfolio and gain the experience and improve my skills. Although I still have a lot to learn I am quite pleased with both of the portfolios I have made for this assessment.

My covers are currently being pressed. I am now considering the Introduction page and what else I might include…

 25 August 2017

I am making progress. the covers are done. I have to make a pocket inside the back cover for the two information documents I have downloaded from the  Deception Island Management Group website. I have also designed and printed the title page.

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I hit upon the idea of using the island’s outline while looking at Google Earth. I took a screen shot, opened it in my photo editor , added a pixel layer and traced the outline  etc.. I think it is quite effective.

  • My next job before binding is to write and print the introduction page using the modified artist’s statement I produced for this self directed project.
  • The pocket in the back cover is now in place.
  • The introduction is done, now I’m proof reading before final assembly and binding.

 

26 August 2017

IMG_0575

All clamped up ready to drill the 2mm sewing holes in the spine.


 

Portfolio assembled and bound

 

Assignment 5 – Review and preparation for assessment – continued

14 August 2017

This morning I have finalised my print layout for the translucent overlay. It is unfortunate that the aspect ratio of the Whaler’s Bay map differs from that of the image but I have resized it to fit within the underlying image boundary. However what is important is that it is now centred on the page with the correct gutter the left to align with that on the image. As a trail piece I have printed the image and the overlay so that I can check it. I cannot scan at A3 but here is an iPhone image. This template will be used for all of the Whaler’s Bay images. There is different map for the Pendulum Cove images and I will have to modify the layout accordingly. I did think of making the additional paragraph of text a different colour but unfortunately although red is the brightest colour, on the translucent paper it appears quite pale.

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I will now continue with the remaining 11 overlays and print the images ready for binding.

Assignment 5 – review and preparation for assessment

August 2017

For ease of managing my review and the actions I shall be taking in light of the formative feedback I have received from my tutor, I have re-posted the annotated feedback below with paragraph numbers for action points. I shall insert notes on the actions taken below each action point.

Overall Comments:

This submission is strong and evidences your focus and developmental approach to an excellent level. The final resolution is coherent and visually engaging, coupled with the evidence provided in your learning log, which allows for the visualisation of the final product. The overlays may be too much, in terms of the amount of text, however this will become clear through further experimentation. Your evaluation and reflective commentary is very good, there are some great points made, such as examining your original objective and whether or not you have visually answered it.

Feedback:

1.  Overall, your series is very strong; the qualities of the images are indicative of this level of photographic enquiry, where the tones, depth of field and compositional considerations are of a high standard. You have captured the landscape beautifully; the scenes are engaging, where there are some intriguing elements that draw the viewer in. One of the strongest images, in terms of a leading composition is ‘Caldera Rim and Neptune’s Window’, this works well as an opening image. The image titled ‘Factory Pressure Vessels’ is a little tight in its formation; there is no one element that draws the attention.

Look at an alternative image with a wider viewpoint

2. One image that stands out from the rest is ‘Damaged Hut’; it is interesting, however it seems a little lost as part of this very strong landscape series. Consider replacing this one, if you have another. Ideally producing some digital contact sheets would have aided in this tutorial process; also they provide further evidence of your development and decision making practice.

Replace this, it is obviously out of place as both Russell and Jayne have made this comment. I will make up some contact sheets of the most suitable images made on the day. One for this project and another for a wider look at the topic over the whole trip.

At this point I have generated contact sheets as pdf files which include the majority of the images made on the day. This will made the selection of alternative images (Factory Pressure Vessels and Damaged Hut) easier to understand. The links are below:

Contacts01   Contacts02

I have found alternative images for Factory Pressure Vessels – this gives a wider view from  a different viewpoint.

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Damaged Hut has been replaced by a  view looking across Whaler’s Bay with massive whalebones in the foreground:

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I am still  processing these images and am using the opportunity to refine my digital editing skills by producing a detailed workflow to produce acceptable prints for my presentation portfolio, I think they work well within the series, re-inforcing the bleak expanse of the site within the location. Factory Pressure Vessels did present a challenge. It was made during one of the frequent snow flurries that occurred during the day. I was able to crop both images slightly. 

3. Although you have stated, ‘I did not feel that I could easily bring them together into a coherent project which answered my original question; ‘Is managed tourism effective in maintaining the pristine environment of the Antarctic Peninsula?’ I would say you have; the images clearly do not depict any recent impact on the landscape, they only evidence of the old whaling industry; I can see that depicting the managed tourism aspect to be challenging.

4. Your edit does impact the answer to your original question; in your blog post ‘Assignment 5: Editing for presentation at OCA TV Study day.’ There is visual evidence of how the tourism is managed, such as washing the boots and the coastal walk, which coupled with your landscapes do provide an answer.

 Perhaps I need to make this clearer. Although the management of the sites and all of the procedures have a positive impact in protecting the sites, I felt that theses images including people didn’t fit into the visual aspect of the presentation. Including the texts was one way to address this point having removed the people pictures from the edit.

5. With your overlays, seeing the experimentations in your learning log was very fascinating, it looks to be a very textured and layered project that will make for an engaging reading and handling. I am questioning if there is too much text, where most of it will be not be fully assimilated by the reader. I found that some of the single lines from the guide to be far richer in their anchoring to the images. For example the text below could work with the image titled ‘Whale Oil Tanks and Mud Flow’.

• Approach oil and fuel tanks with caution. The foundations are vulnerable to erosion and the tanks are at risk of collapse.

I think there is some confusion here with the titles of some of the images but his is not really a problem. I will look at all of the texts, maps and images and experiment as Russell suggests.

It also occurred to me that there was too much text to assimilate but my original intention was to use this idea of the need for an almost overwhelming bureaucracy  to ensure that these areas are preserved and protected. I need to balance this idea with the need to provide some relevant information to the viewer.

 I am looking at this aspect again and will experiment as Russell suggests below. 

6. With this image try the following for the overlay. Remove the text from the left, enlarge the map to cover the base image, remove the text ‘Whalers Bay’ and then place the above line in its place. This would make for a good experiment to see about alternative text overlays. On a technical note, this image is displaying some chromatic aberration around the wooden beams, top right.

◊ Look at this image. Go back through the RAW processing to fix this.

Overall, your methodology for the bound portfolio is good; you have evidenced a technical and considered approach to its formation, which will yield a strong and commanding artefact for the assessment.

 

Here is the first page with the new layout. This is not the image that Russell suggested but the principal is the same. I have used the space in the centre of the map to introduce text with relevant safety and conservation instructions . This scan can only show the principal layout but I am sure I can find suitable relevant text for each image. I shall also tidy up the layout. The photograph needs to be resized to accommodate the left hand gutter for the binding, on this image it is a little narrow.

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Learning Logs or Blogs:

There are some very good entries in your learning log, which evidence your continued development and commitment to the course. Witnessing this assignment grow through the edit and experimentation has been good, as mentioned, aim to include the contact sheets from your shoot. It would be good to see your overall visual acquisition from this adventure, if only to examine your collective visual awareness and engagement.

Landscape photographer, no more! I found your contextual reasoning and exploration of your practice and its definition to be very poignant. This line of enquiry has much potential and provides you greater focus for which to conduct your investigations into the relationship, between man, nature and the land we share. Well done in defining your practice as ‘Environmental’.

Suggested reading/viewing:

7. As part of your environmental pathway, have a look at Neil A White’s work, in particular his series ‘Lost Villages’, see:
http://www.neilawhite.com/

◊ Read this and look for other artists work.

I have followed this link and discovered a wide range of projects that Neil had undertaken which were of interest. In particular, the Lost Villages series that reflect my interest in coastal erosion. I am following Neil’s Instagram feed. I shall continue to look out for other environmentally .concerned photographers as I progress though these preparations

I shall now concentrate on working through these overlays, printing them and the photographs at A3, making the covers and binding the portfolio. Subsequents posts will document this process.

Assignment 4 – review and preparation for assessment

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2 August 2017

After a month off I am returning to my preparation for assessment with a review of Assignment 4. Here are the notes I made on the feedback given by my tutor in January.

Questions to ask myself and improvements to make for assessment

  1. Review the “Contextual Application” section and see if I can improve and/or clarify the practical effects brought about by the New Topographics exhibition.
  2. Trim the biographical details of Gohlke (remove the Ref. to Paul Caponigro and award details.
  3. Check Russell’s suggestion that I include a reference to Herbert Gleason – it may be pertinent.
  4. Check the image link provided by Russell for images of 1903 and 2012 showing construction work on the Sudbury River.
  5. Look at the “clean up” project links.
  6. Look again at Russell’s report. The Communication section’s suggestion is not clear. If I can’t make sense of it, email him.
  7. “Suggested Viewing/Reading” look again and Gohlke’s ideas and compare with Kandar’s Yangtze series.
  8. As suggested, consider why Gohlke presented his images cropped in the book and uncropped (i.e. rebate included) on his website

My thoughts on these improvements:

1 & 2 Contextual Application

In terms of the contextual application to my work, I think this is clear. What is needed in addition is a general appreciation of the effect of the New Topographics exhibition has had on Gohlke’s subsequent work and landscape photography globally. To evaluate this, I first re-visited the two interviews I research as videos. The first was here at the LACMA showing of the New Topographics in 2009: http://www.frankgohlke.com/Conversations/New-Topographics-at-LACMA  the second was NEW TOPOGRAPHICS Landscape Photography Then and Now, a panel discussion held at the AIPAD show in NY March 20 2010 in which Frank Gohlke talked about his contribution to the original George Eastman House show in 1975 and  the development of his work. https://vimeo.com/11716801

What has become clear is that the original exhibition at George Eastman House in 1975 was seen by relatively few people because of its limited showing. This became apparent from Gohlke’s conversations both in NewYork in 2010 and in Los Angeles in 2009. In 2010  he answered a question “What was the net effect of being in that exhibition on both your development and stature as an artist?”  with “I didn’t notice much for a long time until a couple of years ago.”… “It [the exhibition] was not well liked, the way we photographed, and mostly what we got was flack from people who didn’t see why they’d have to look at this visual dreck.” He went on to say that he and the other artists exhibiting were, in their own way, interested in the landscape as a reflection of culture. From the NY discussion it was also apparent that the New Topographics, images of a Man Altered Landscape, marked a change in the perceptions of what landscape photography should look like, especially in the worlds of art and academia. ‘New Topographics’ appears to have become an identifiable style amongst contemporary artists. Looking at Gohlke’s subsequent work he hasn’t deviated much from his style of working since that time.

Having saved 70 odd words from my introduction I must now summarise the above to fit into the Contextual application section of my review as well as introduce Herbert Gleason into the mix if space permits.

3. I have compiled a series of links to the work of Herbert Gleason from a Google search:

https://www.walden.org/media-work/hebert-w-gleason-photographs-the-writings-of-henry-david-thoreau-1906/

http://frankgohlke.com/Photography-and-Place-The-Photographs-of-Herbert-W-Gleason-by-Frank

https://concordlibrary.org/special-collections/gleason/text/

Having read FG’s Photography and Place speech (2004) I can identify his affinity with the works of Gleason and of course Thoreau. He makes some interesting points on the definitions of Space and Place and explores both Thoreau and Gleason’s motivations in the meticulous exploration of the spaces and places surrounding them, in Gleason’s case, illustrating Thoreau’s work after applying the same rigour to his explorations. Having now spent a couple of days extending my research in to the topic of my Critical Review, I must now decide how much I should omit and include. As I only have limited space, I am going to try to include the as much of this new research as I can, perhaps trimming even more from the introduction.

4 & 5. This image link http://dmg-photography.com/blog/2012/09/oars-2012-river-cleanup is a blog by a Massachusetts environmental group who regularly clean the Asset, Sudbury and Concord rivers.

This link is to a photograph of a pipe arch bridge built over the Sudbury River 1n 1903. It is part of Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Archive.

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:2801pg54d

…and this image is of the same section taken from river level in 2012

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/79587080

It is clear that there is a lot of local interest in this short section of  the river system, no doubt brought about by an awareness of history and environmental concerns, perhaps as an indirect result of the shift away from presenting landscape in an idealised romantic way.

6. I have re-read and now understand this section. I have amended the Contextual Application section of my review.

7. Comparison with Nadav Kandar’s Yzangsze series. Russell raised an interesting question about Frank Gohlke’s statement on his thoughts about the Sudbury River project in that his contained ideas could be applied to any river anywhere. Without sufficient time to go into this in any detail I am going to assume that he meant any small river system. Clearly there is a lot more going on in the Yangtze and Kandar has included  a multitude of aspects in his series.

8. Again, I am going to guess that Franke Gohlke had full editorial control on his website and as a photographer, he wanted to include the rebates in his images to show that they were presented as taken, i.e. uncropped. A method of confirming that these were film images and his chosen method of working. In the book, I suggest that the book’s designer had the final say on layout once the images were chosen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment 3 – preparing for assessment, final post.

14 June 2017

The final thing I want to do on assignment 3 is to experiment with alternative crops of my images to attempt some other-worldly landscapes, as suggested by Russell. His references to the work of  Steven Vaughan have given me some ideas and a link to the NASA post about using  Devon Island in Northern Canada as a training site for the Mars mission was also interesting to read in-between  all of the pop up advertising.

Here is my selection other worldly landscapes which I have produced by a combination of cropping and/or cloning:

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I also tried one or two different effects using the lens filter, channel mixer and posteriser tools:

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