Photographing the Unseen – submission and reflection

Assignment 2 is now printed and ready to go off to my tutor for formative feedback. This is the final set of images with text.

I have moved on from floral tributes to ‘roadside memorials’ in general. ‘Jade’s Crossing’ is more than a floral tribute, and the 1986 schoolgirls’ plaque has lost its flowers over time. I consider the final image to be an important epilogue; there were flowers which have been cleared away, leaving traces of sticky tape only.

The combined contact sheets for all eight images are here. Some of the earlier images (Mick Whalley, Philip Baker) have only one or two contacts. I found that I was considering viewpoint, composition and context more as I grew into the project.

I already have half an eye on rework. These are the only eight examples that I have and I do not like the process of actively hunting-down road deaths. However, if I see more memorials on my travels I will record and research them so I may present a different set at assessment time.

Reflection against assessment criteria

Technical and visual skills

I am generally happy with my technical and visual skills. I used appropriate camera techniques and all images are correctly exposed and well composed. Many were taken in harsh sunshine (yes, we had a summer in 2017!) but I have used Lightroom selective exposure and contrast sliders to control overall contrast and dynamic range.

Quality of outcome

The images fulfil the brief, showing an ‘unseen’, how the dead have been remembered. The combination of images and text is not one that I have used before, but I believe they communicate my ideas well (although leaving open questions for the viewer) in a coherent and consistent way.

When presenting work for assessment, I will consider making a Blurb (or similar) book, with images on right-hand pages, captions in a smaller type on the facing page, and a short essay on the topic of memory.

Creativity

I deliberately picked a project that would push me outside my comfort zone, in terms of subject matter and the need to express things beyond the image. I think I have succeeded; I was certainly uncomfortable for much of the research/collecting process.

As always, the question of ‘personal voice’ is one for the viewer. By the end of the project I felt that I had something to say, and I have said it.

Context

I am reasonably happy with my level of self-reflection and research. I considered alternative responses to the brief before settling on my chosen project. I found some appropriate and relevant work for inspiration and applied critical thinking to determine which parts to take and which to leave. I believe I am developing a degree of confidence with blogging in an academic environment, including putting up a critical case against established views where necessary – challenging as well as being challenged.

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