Online Degree Show

I have submitted 5 of my current images into the Graduate Showcase. This goes live on 25th of May, the same day as the Degree Show private viewing.

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Critical Evaluation

Degree Major Project – Critical Evaluation

As I come to the end of my third year studying for my photography degree I feel a duality that I have both learned and grown an incredible amount as a photographer and yet I feel like I have just scratched the surface and still have so much left to learn. I guess this is exactly the nature of the industry I am about to enter, always changing and evolving and as times have proved regressing. For example, there has been a resurgence for analogue photography that was presumed long forgotten, alongside this however are such technical advances that allow mobile phones to capture moving images. I also read an article recently suggesting that for photographers to continue working within their industry they will need to look at videographer skills also as these are more in demand for all genres of photography. This suggests to me that my life as a photography student whilst formally completed will always continue.

My project for this module was I feel a culmination of all I have learned during my three years studying leading me back to my artistic roots of surrealism and abstract art. The idea was to produce a series of images to compliment my dissertation subject “Creating desirability within the fast food industry a public health issue” in my dissertation I discussed the advertising of fast food and the morals of a photographer creating images in such a desirable way. This led to my Degree Major project looking at healthy foods verses Junk foods and the warped way in which we view what is and isn’t good for us. I settled on a plan to produce a series of abstract, fine art images that would lead the viewer to question what they are seeing. My goals were to create vibrant, high key, detailed images of both healthy foods and junk foods.

I didn’t have a fixed idea of final presentation until much later in to the project, though I had lots of ideas throughout. What I decided on for my final exhibition I feel compliments the subject of my work, I opted for wallpaper with a repeated abstract print. From time to time I would see abstract food images on the walls of cafes, this has influenced my decision. After lots of deliberating I decided to experiment with printing ten more images on table mats. This was a risk because I had not used the company before and had no idea how the images would turn out. I did also have a backup plan available where I would get prints on smaller aluminium rectangles or just standard fine art prints in frames. My risk paid off though and I am really pleased with the finish of my table mats. These were my chosen option because they complement the fact that I am working with food. The images have worked in such a way that I can see the colourful ones being sold as a set in somewhere like Lakeland. This is a possible revenue source for me in the future.

I feel that my idea and execution has been a success over all however there are elements that could have been improved. Successful elements are the healthy images both the frozen ones and the kiwi in water. The colours are bold and striking, the ice creates a layer of distortion enough to give the viewer some questions and the images do have an abstract feel. The wallpaper though not initially how I had pictured it has been a success, I am really pleased with the quality and the bold colours of my image choices. Because I have selected the mirror print the wallpaper is very abstract and my daughter even commented saying that one of them she would even consider as a wallpaper for her home. Area I feel I could have improved would firstly be the junk food images, though they capture the junk food in the way I had intended the colours are bland and unexciting. This is the nature of the foods however so if I were to carry this project on it may need a different direction. Another area for improvement is finding a working space where I have plenty of room and equipment available, I worked in a small set up at home which was adequate however it is very easy for me to become distracted by goings on in my home and family.  Though I have been much more time conscious this whole year of study this is always an area that could use improvement. I was lucky with my final images given that I printed so late however this could have been a different story.

Regarding my continuing development I am sure that I will always be learning to one degree or another. I am enrolled in several online courses that I have yet to complete and these include post production which is an area that I am keen to develop. In particular, meeting industry standards including Capture One. I will continue my membership with the AOP, The Societies and will look at other associations that will support my entry in to the photographic industry. With a background in Network Marketing I understand the importance of networking, contacting people and continually putting myself out there to secure future work. I follow the creative review magazine online it is a great resource for keeping an eye on upcoming trends within the food photography industry, in their recent article they talk about how modern trends have moved away from the dark and documentary style to a brighter, vibrant coloured and softer focus. With these more modern images being sought after for a wide range of customers. (Creative Review, 2017) This is the area I feel my work fits in to however this feels like a slight contradiction to the recent winners and highly commended images from the Pink Lady Food Photography Awards, of which most have the dark documentary feel. What this suggests is that there is room in this industry for all types of food photography. My inspirational artists list continues to grow and not just around food but other genres too. This is a very long way from where I started three years ago, where the only famous or influential photographer I knew was David Bailey. My knowledge and professionalism have improved greatly and I look forward to what the future brings.

1060 Words

 

References:

Creative Review. (2017). Trends in modern food photography – Creative Review. [online] Available at: https://www.creativereview.co.uk/trends-modern-food-photography/ [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017].

Pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com. (2017). Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year. [online] Available at: https://www.pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com/finalists-gallery-2017/ [Accessed 14 May 2017].

Competition 3 – Lensculture, Magnum Photography Awards

The third competition I have chosen to enter is the Magnum Photography Awards through Lensculture. Working with their official partner BBC Culture photographers selected could potentially gain exposure to 3.5 million viewers. Winners will get a digital display at The Photographers Gallery in London and access to Magnum Photography Workshops.

The cost was $20 to enter 1 image.  As a student I got 30% off this taking the price down to $14.

I have entered the same image as I have entered into the BJP Breakthrough Awards.

Screenshots of entry and confirmation email.

Competition 4 – Lenscratch

The fourth competition I am looking at is a student competition with Lenscratch, an online photography blog .

The prize is in $ and allows for the free upload of 15 images, I need to write a third person biography to enter this one and the deadline is 28th of may so this will be completed in the next week after the hand in deadline. I also need to confirm that this is open to international students and not just those based in USA.

I will either enter my bod of work from my most recent project or I will use the series I had created for last years Final Major Project.

Finance Team

As part of our exhibition preparations we needed to choose teams to be assigned to, whilst I would have preferred to be on a more creative team (Like most of the creative students) I did also put my name down on the finance team as I am fairly competent in budgeting. It makes sense really as I am a mature student who has experience of budgeting in my every day life.

I didn’t have a huge role on the team, I was with two very organised students who took control of the heavy duty chores such as creating spreadsheets and opening bank accounts. I was however useful in fielding messages, helping people with the details for making their payments and helping to follow up with some of those that needed more time.

The payment for Free range has to be made by 18th May

We asked for all payments to be made by 21st April, giving us time to ensure all payments were in to cover the costs and that we had money available to cover the cost of printing our advertising materials.

Costs

  • Hire = £4,200
  • Damage Deposit = £600 (After some discussion the University agreed it would be best if they covered this cost)
  • Electrics + Vat = £120

Total = £4,920

University to pay = £1600

Left to pay = £3320

We each agreed to pay £150 so that we would have enough of a budget left over for drinks, entertainment advertising etc. Between 39 of us there would have been £2530 left to spend. However a number of students dropped out and we were down to 30 students exhibiting. Though we requested a minimum payment for those only exhibiting at U of H to cover printing and entertainment costs I am not sure anyone actually has contributed. We have £1,180 in the budget and Sam curling managed to secure a £200 donation brining that total up to £1,380. This should be more than adequate to cover our expenses for both exhibitions.

Free Range Cost and Preparation

Free Range Exhibition

  • Cost
  • Dates
  • Advertising
  • Space Visit (Planned)
  • Considerations

Much of the information is the same for Free Range as it is for the Exhibition at University of Hertfordshire. This is due to the fact that my wallpaper will be split between the two exhibitions and my table mats can be re-mounted at the Free Range Exhibition.

Costs Incurred

  • Wallpaper x 3 – £68.85
  • Table Mats x 11 – £66
  • Delivery £14 – £5 Discount for 2nd order – £9
  • Velcro 20mm x 10m – £27.74
  • Spray Mount, Business card holder & Delivery – £18.03
  • Forks – £5.55
  • TOTAL – £195.17 

Dates

29th June – Opening Night

30th June – 3rd July General View

Advertising

This is the leaflet/Poster created by the design team for our Free Range Exhibition. I will be emailing this out to people and I will also create an event on Facebook for family and friends.

Space/Layout

As a group we will be planning a visit to The Truman Brewery after we have put our work up for exhibition at UofH, This is so we can determine what space we will have available and the best space for each of our exhibitions.

These images are taken from the brochure that Diane brought in for us to have a look through. There are also images from past shows on the Free Range website, this will be helpful in making decisions as to where my work might go and how it might look.

Considerations

Space will be a consideration as I have a very specific exhibition and I will need to be sure I can hang my wallpaper from a size perspective but also the practicality of mounting on the walls. We are not clear on the space we have available to us all at this stage (or those not on the build/design team anyway) But we have less students choosing to exhibit at Free Range so we potentially have more space to play with.

 

I uploaded my profile and three images to the Free range Web Site.

Job Hunting

As the end of my study is in sight the realty has hit that I really need to be looking for work, even as a mature student who has spent many years working the though actually scares me a little. Thinking about weather I am actually ready to go out and work in the industry, to be responsible for creating projects with and for other people is a huge responsibility. Even though feedback over the three years has been on the positive side it is at this stage I always doubt my own skills and abilities. It would be really easy for me to slip back in to my old job roles or take on running my Therapy business to a greater degree gain but I try to remain focussed on the task at hand and so have been in search of photography or photography related jobs. I have carried out Job searches on:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Reed

I have yet to upload a full CV or actually apply for a job at this stage.

Just an example of the jobs I had saved to look at fully. I will continue to look and perhaps go and register with agencies locally to me.