Most Photographic assignments within the context of a college course have within the brief a requirement to establish early what it is you intend to do…
Quite often you’ll be confronted with an open brief and other times you’ll be limited by the title of the brief, either way, the easiest way of over-coming this initial stage and getting the proposal completed is to have a bank of ideas already in place. We advocate from the moment we realise you’re genuinely interested in our courses that you buy or subscribe to The British Journal of Photography and start looking at it and reading it. Similarly we would suggest you buy…
The Photograph as contemporary Art (Charlotte Cotton)
Photography the Whole Story (Hacking and Campany)
The theory is you’ll use the resources to generate ideas and start to comprehend how multi-faceted photography is and it’ll give you a whole bank of ideas to work with in your own projects, allowing you to get your projects underway easily.
At the start of a project you should establish what your theme is and maybe use this as your title and or have a sub-title…
You could then write about why you’ve chosen the theme, why you have an interest in this subject, have you had some personal experience with the subject? You could say whether at the start there’s some kind of bias with regards to how you might go about photographing the subject, are you intending on depicting the subject in a positive or negative manner and why? One of the main things you need to do is not think the idea through to its completion, be open to the idea developing in a way that you don’t envisage at this point – you could even make this point within the proposal?
Dogs (The relationships we have with Dogs)
Outline - My chosen theme is Dogs and I’m looking to explore the relationships we have with them. Potentially, there’s several avenues that I could pursue… Dogs as Pets, status symbols, working dogs, accessories, friends, pack animals or as individual entities. I could go about the work in a documentary style, or maybe go with a portrait slant with regards to the approach? Having browsed the BJP and similar magazines for the last year or so, I’ve noted a few photographers that might form the basis of my research and I’ll also look at www.listofphotographers.blogspot.com which allows you to find credible photographers who shoot images of dogs and other animals. Names that I’ve already got include, Daniel Naude ‘Africanis’, Pieter Hugos images of Hyenas used as pets and Britta Jaschinski’s ‘Zoo’ images. I’m erring towards shooting the images with a slightly negative slant as I feel the way many people relate to their dogs is slightly odd and I want to exploit this sense within the images, but I am open to changing direction as the project develops in response to my research.
The Brief - There are specific requirements within the brief that I must adhere to. These include a deadline of **/*/** . There is a minimum requirement to produce 4 final images no smaller than 10x8. I need to evidence the following – proposal, title, research, reflective practice, test images, a series of experimental approaches, the use of a range of materials, techniques and practices, analysis, the production of high quality images, planning and a final evaluation.
Research – Most of my research will be based on the photographers I already know from my prior research gleaned from journals such as the BJP, Hotshoe, AG, Image, Aperture etc. I also know of Elliot Erwitts work and may have a look at that as part of my research process. For the most part though I will be using hard-copy resources and Youtube if there are interviews with the artists.
MTP’s (Materials, techniques and processes) – A part of the requirement of our course is that we identify that we have a good competency with a range of equipment, materials, techniques and processes and this assignment allows us to explore these further as part of the developmental process. I particularly do want to try to work more with film and TLR cameras as I have access to a Mamiya C330. I may also look at exploring the use of Lith printing and or liquid emulsion.
Reflective Practice – I will use the Gibbs reflective practice method throughout the process at key points to reflect on my work and ensure that it’s kept on track and developed efficiently throughout the process.
Feedback – I will seek feedback from peers, lecturers and lay people with regards to the work, ideas and visual outcomes as they are produced, ensuring that the work is fit for purpose.
Presentation – Without any real ideas at this point about the size and scale and nature of the final images, I do think I will probably produce a digital photo-book at the end of the project show-casing the work. I may also put the image on-line in a blog.
Time Scale – With 8 weeks to get this work completed I aim to follow the initial schedule here…
· Week 1; Get the research completed focusing on 2 key photographers ensuring their work is analysed in depth and that some aspect of their work is useful to my own project. Locate dog owners/users discuss and arrange access to the dogs, start to form a coherent approach to the project. Shoot the dogs on DSLR’s/Compact digitals. Complete the first Gibbs review.
· Week 2; Continue finding dogs – looking at the options that are realistically going to be available to me. Start to look at and prepare resources with regards to the darkroom section of the work. Maybe work with a Pentax K1000 as the ideas starts to come together so that I’ve got film for week 3 and initial tests in the darkroom. 2nd Gibbs reflection.
· Week 3; Start to make decisions about the idea – what and who’s dogs. Start to make arrangements with the parties involved. Get the film processed and start working with the initial images in the darkroom using Lith paper and chemical and liquid emulsion as part of the experimental phase. 3rd Gibbs reflection.
· Week 4; After week three, major decisions will need to be made about the direction of the work. Proper shoots will need to be conducted and the viability of using medium format film over digital will need to be considered and decisions made about the final approach. 4th Gibbs. Look at options for professional printing and digital photo-books.
· Week 5, 6, 7 – All of the shoots will be conducted, making of contact sheets, each shoot reflected on and further experiments using darkroom – Gibbs reflections done at regular points. Printing if done commercially will have to be arranged and planned.
· Week 8 – Edit images down, decide how many and which finals. produce final images and evaluate learning using the Gibbs model identifying whether the work is fit for purpose and why? Identifying and reflecting on whether I’ve met my intentions as set out within the work? Identifying and reflecting on what kind of photography I’ve produced – where does it fit within the field of photography and whether the meaning and rationale that I’ve discussed within the project comes to fruition?