On Reflection: Week 1, Module Three

Module three, a new chapter in education …

Appraising the work of photographer Ed Ruscha and choosing a work on which to base a repeat photography exercise proved very informative. This was a good opportunity to evaluate different contexts, or surfaces, for the display of photographic images, and the impact of those contexts on how displayed images are viewed.

It was very surprising to find the production of an interactive ebook to be as problematic as it was. This was predominantly due to the software needed to produce and subsequently read an interactive ebook not being universally available, and also the problem of Mac operating systems not being compatible with HTML5/flash.

Despite the frustration, however, I am taking the view that this is extremely valuable knowledge. And I am pleased with the finished set of images – I think the slideshow in the CRJ is an appropriate method of presentation. Perhaps most importantly the body of work received some very positive feedback (“Inspired by … Ed Ruscha”).

… …

Revisiting an image I took in 2013 brought further frustrations because every piece of technology involved in the task had some sort of failure and everything that could go wrong logistically did so.

I wasn’t especially pleased with the end result, although this also attracted positive feedback. My printer was one of the pieces of technology which failed – and did so quite spectacularly. So, getting two images printed at all was an achievement. I don’t think the background was particularly attractive or complimentary to the images. This is an area of ongoing research.

However, the end result was extremely valuable in terms of evaluating how my photographic style has developed over a period of time. Additionally, this was invaluable as an exercise in real-time, “on the hoof” problem solving (“Repeat Photography & Rephotography”). “MacGyver … “

Looking ahead, week two presents a chance to produce a movie type trailer. This will really be unchartered territory for me. Let’s see what transpires …

Inspired by … Ed Ruscha

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It was, I think, inevitable that I would be drawn to Ed Ruscha’s 1969 work “Crackers” – a story told in images of a man who takes his date to a hotel room, persuades her to undress before covering her body in tomato, cucumber and salad dressing. He goes off to buy some crackers, having realised he forgot this important item, never to return.

Before I even picked up my camera to shoot the series of images for this project, I had the idea of producing an interactive ebook – my mind “free wheeled” after reading the brief and I decided pretty quickly on a variation to a photobook.

However, producing an interactive ebook proved to be less than simple, largely because the software needed to both produce and subsequently read this type of publication is not universally available. Furthermore, interactive ebooks prove to be a particular problem for Mac users.

Nevertheless, this has been both an interesting and invaluable learning experience and I am grateful to those with greater IT knowledge than myself who provided assistance, and also to those who took time to test prototypes.

The alternative method of dissemination remains, therefore, as a standard photobook which is awaiting publication whilst I evaluate the various companies which offer photobook printing services. At the moment, the concept is for a soft cover book, 8 x 8”.





Repeat Photography & Rephotography

Sushi 2

Morris, 2013 & 2017. Sushi

Revisit an early image, print off the old and the new, and photograph them side by side.

This was a seemingly easy project to work on. However, it became a mountainous task: everything involved in this task went wrong – camera, printer, everything.

Nevertheless, it was through overcoming these issues that this was a richer learning experience.

The image I revisited was chosen specifically because it is one of the earliest examples of my food photography and therefore allows me to view images over the longest possible period of time.

I think revisiting images of food differs from the revisiting of other subjects because of the highly ephemeral nature of food: there are no fixed co-ordinates to which a food photographer can return in one or two years’ time. Consequently, because the original subject, for me, no longer exists, the real value in this exercise was in appreciating how my photographic practice has developed over time.

I took the view that the comparison lent itself to a scrapbook type of presentation and shot the two images attached to some handmade craft paper.

See also: ‘Repeat Photography’ … Revisited