2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Presentation Slides

Slides used for my presentation

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Having come out of the presentation, it was brought to my attention that I had not evaluated my images. Instead I had concentrated on talking about what it was that I had decided to undertake as my project and why.

Evaluation of Images

I am pleased with how my images look aesthetically, even though I’m not 100% sure that the theory behind them has come through. I have added an artist statement alongside the images to give a brief introduction to the theory behind them but I didn’t want to influence the viewer too much, instead I wanted them to come to their own conclusions about the images.

I feel that the images have been successful in what I wanted to achieve – showing how mankind influences and shapes the environment around him. In my opinion the images work well together and show the different types of environments that are moulded and created by mankind.

Ready for Assessment

I have spent much of this morning putting up my images and I am pleased with the way that they look. I had a few hiccups along the way with aligning them correctly and making sure that they were straight but I seem to have overcome this now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now all that is left to do is to give my presentation later this afternoon. Hopefully my nerves will not get in the way!

Reflection & Evaluation

Reflective evaluation of my personal methodologies of practice; knowing, making, creating.

  

Blogging has been an integral part of my working practice and has enabled me to work in a much more effective manner. It has been an indispensible tool within my personal working methodologies as it has allowed me to look back into previous research that I have undertook as part of my final major project and allowed me to make creative decisions about the work that I am producing.

As part of my creative decision-making, I have researched into various other artists and photographers that have or are still creating works within the genre that I chose for this project. All of the works that I have been drawn to and inspired by were of relevance to my particular practice, even though the works that I sourced were all very different in their approach. As well as looking at other practitioner’s work purely on an aesthetical level, I have also researched and read the theories behind the works that have lead to their creation. This has helped me immensely when creating my own images and the theoretical reasoning behind them.

During the creative process for the Final Major Project there have been a lot of considerations that have had to be made. Once I had established what it was that I wanted to achieve, I had to consider the time frame that I would be working to. This is where my Time Management Plan that I created as part of Assignment 1 was put into use and I found this to be advantageous. The time plan enabled me to keep on track and reminded me of what was required to be achieved by a certain time, so that I was able to stay on track and not become behind in my project. For the most part I stuck rigidly to the time plan and even found myself ahead at some stages.

Whilst I was shooting the images for this project, it was also important for me to keep in mind that a few of the locations that I had chosen may have been inaccessible due to the fact that some of the sites were on private property but luckily for me this did not cause me too much of an issue. As I was shooting 360º panoramic images with a particular look in mind, weather and time of day were of the upmost importance to me but because I had accounted for this within my Time Management Plan, I didn’t have too many issues that arose. Although I had to return to some of the sites for a reshoot.

Once I had chosen my final images I had to consider how they were going to be exhibited. This included looking at a suitable print size and of course framing, this was where money had to be taken into account. Overall I feel that I have chosen a print size and framing that complements my images and allows them to be exhibited to their full potential.

 

(495 words)

 

 

 

Identification and evaluation of my new learning over the project.

  

Over the last year whilst I have been studying for my Master’s Degree, I have had the opportunity to look at and evaluate in some depth my own individual learning process. Time management has been key to completing my project within the given time and has enabled me to work efficiently and effectively without the need to put myself under any unnecessary stress. Of course there are times when things do not always go to plan and this is where I have learnt that it is important to have contingency plans set in place so that your working process is not hindered by any unforeseen circumstances. Luckily for me I did not encounter too many problems but I had made sure that I had plans set in place should anything unexpected arise. I was also able to work methodically with the help of my time plan but this was something that I was already aware of before embarking on this project as I have always worked well to deadlines as I am a natural worrier. Therefore, rather than learning to work methodically, this just confirmed what I already knew.

However, I have learnt this year to work much more independently and have found myself seeking less reassurance than I previously would have done and have found this to be a great learning curve and hopefully this will be a skill that I can utilise within my future projects once I have left the university. I feel that the Master’s Degree has helped me to mature and work more confidently within my practice. Because I have mainly been working independently, apart from a couple of interdisciplinary projects, I have had to be more self assured and confident within my decision-making and I have learnt from this experience that when it is required from me, I am able to achieve this.

As a small group we have had tutorials and workshops on studio lighting and postproduction but most of what I have had to learn for my particular project I have learnt independently, as it was fairly specialised. I spent many hours researching on the internet for the best software and techniques to use for my project and from here I started on my journey of reading blogs, information sites and watching videos to learn about the new software and of course there was also hands on practice. All of this took a lot of time but I feel that it was worth the effort and I am pleased that I have now finished the Final Major Project with these new skills and techniques that I can possibly use in future projects.

Overall, it has been a challenging year and I feel that I have learnt a lot from the experience, coming out the other end with new practical skills and also learning to look back at my own work and be able to critically evaluate it. I will be taking these new skills forward with me.

 

(495 words)

Finals & Artist Statement

Anthropogenic Impact on the Environment

 

 

For this project I have decided to concentrate on the theme of landscapes, a subject that I am passionate about. Each of the 6 images shows a “stereographical” interpretation of a particular type of landscape.

I have chosen to photograph landscapes that are not conventionally perceived as beautiful and have moulded them with the aid of digital manipulation to make them unapologetically abstract and give the viewer a new take on the landscape that they have been invited to view.

The images show a compacted landscape, an encapsulated environment and I chose to make them spherical to convey a planet. Each image in turn shows man’s influence within each landscape and how as a species we are changing the environment around us to our own advantage and means.

These images are not meant to convey either a positive or a negative message, just an interpretation of how we are shaping the environment around us.

 

Richard Brochu-Williams

Dungeness Power Station, Kent, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

West Cambridge Site, University of Cambridge, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sheltered Scheme, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Rickney’s Quarry, Nr Ware, Hertfordshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir (Covered), Cambridgeshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell A & B, Suffolk, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

Assessment Set-Up

Tomorrow is the big day! Tomorrow is the day when I shall be giving my presentation which will present and evaluate my artefact and the work that I have undertaken for this Major Project over the last couple of months. It’s hard to believe that after tomorrow, 6 years of photographic studies will have come to an end. The last 6 years have gone by so quickly but it has been a pleasure (most of the time) to undertake study in a subject that I have such an interest and passion for.

I spent this morning clearing, tidying and preparing my space ready to exhibit my work ready for assessment at 4pm tomorrow. Everything seems to be going according to plan, I just need to put the images on the wall and I shall do this before my presentation at 2.45pm tomorrow. I am happy that I have also managed to hand in my supporting work today…1 whole day before the deadline, now my shoulders feel a little lighter.

Name Sign & Artist Statement

Setting Up

Ready to go!

Walls before painting

Walls painted

I shall be posting pictures of the finished exhibition on the blog tomorrow! Now time to practice for the presentation.

Printing & Framing (2), Preparing for Assessment

Today has been a productive day with regards to preparing my final images ready for assessment at the beginning of next month. There were a few minor problems with the printing, which was all due to me not sizing my images correctly. All my images had been saved at different sizes and this was causing a problem but the staff at the Document Services were more than helpful and very patient with me. This is something that I will not be making a mistake on again…I have learnt my lesson.

 

 

Document Services at The University of Hertfordshire

Document Services at The University of Hertfordshire

Document Services at The University of Hertfordshire

Document Services at The University of Hertfordshire

Document Services at The University of Hertfordshire

Document Services at The University of Hertfordshire

 

 

I am more than happy with the prints that I have obtained and I spent the rest of the afternoon framing my images and I feel that they work well with the frames that I have chosen.

 

 

Frame

Frame

Framing my Images

Framing my Images

Assessing my Framing

Assessing my Framing

 

Tomorrow I will be attending the University for the last of the group teaching sessions for the Major Study modules. We will be looking at our Reflection and Evaluation and making sure that we meet the demands of the assessment process. I am hoping that tomorrow will be as productive as today and that from tomorrow I will be able to dedicate my time to producing the presentation that I will be giving on the 2nd or 3rd September.

 

Printing & Framing

Now that I have my final images for the exhibition, I have had to consider where I will be getting my images printed. My tutor suggested that I should try the reprographics at the University of Hertfordshire, which is located behind the Film, Music & Media Building in the Document Services Department. I took along some samples of my work to see what results I would get with the different types of paper and I was pleasantly surprised, not only with the quality of the printouts but also the price.

I have decided that I will be using the reprographic department at the university as it will be beneficial to me, not only in cost but it will also allow me to have the prints on the same day and I will not have to send off for them and rely on the postal service. There is also the added benefit of being able to place the prints directly into the frames, decreasing the chances of the prints being ruined during transit.

Today I spent most of my time travelling to look at suitable frames. I already had an idea of the type of frame that I was after, and today I was on a mission to find a frame that lived up to my expectations. The frames that I had in mind for showcasing my work had to meet the following criteria:

  • Box type frame
  • White
  • A3 in size (min)
frame

A3 White Frame for the Assessment & Exhibition (x6)

The reason that I wanted white frames was because the walls that the frames will be hanging on will also be white and I wanted the frames to blend into the wall and the background, so that the frames did not detract from my image. I wanted the images to have a kind of floating look and feel to them, as if my images (small planets) were occupying their own space just as a real planet would. I will not get a true feel for how they will look until I have framed and mounted them, but I remain hopeful. I will be in university on Tuesday to have the remaining 5 of my images printed and I shall be framing them on site. Once these have been framed I can then go on to write my evaluation and to concentrate on producing my presentation that I will be giving on the 2nd September.

References

Herts.ac.uk, (2014). Document services | Brand Guidelines. [online] Available at: http://www.herts.ac.uk/brand/document-services [Accessed 8 Aug. 2014].

Panography

Reflecting on yesterday’s tutorial with Holger Pooten, I decided to do some research into some photographers and artists that use panography within their work. There are many ways that a 360º panorama can be captured and displayed, some of which are inventive and particularly eye-catching.

Mareen Fischinger

Mareen Fischinger is a German photographer and has a passion for everything that involves photography. As well as being a photographer, Fischinger is also involved with photo production services for national and international clients, including art direction, casting, booking of make-up/hair & styling, location scouting and retouching services. Her panographic images caught my attention, not only because they are aesthetically beautiful but because they are abstract in their nature and they have made me think about the other ways in which I can approach my work when shooting a landscape scene.

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© Mareen Fischinger

Image

© Mareen Fischinger

Image

© Mareen Fischinger

The first image reminds me of one of my own images that I shall be using for my final assessment. My image also contains office buildings which are similar in their architectural style and I also have a crane present within my image.

As I had some images with me during the Photoshop tutorial, Holger suggested that I played around with these to experiment working in a similar style. We kept the images in a sphere shape (in keeping with my stereographic images) but in hindsight I think that the experiment would have looked better laid out from left to right.

Experiment with Holger

Image

Image created with the help of Holger Pooten. Images © Richard Brochu-Williams

Holger showed me new techniques and methods within Photoshop that will come in very useful for future experimentations & creations.

Sven Fennema

Whilst researching I came across another photographer & artist by the name of Sven Fennema. Sven has an interest in landscape and architectural photography and is inspired by the geometry of buildings, their shapes and their lines. I have noticed that on his website he has also included panoramic tours, this is something that I experimented with back in April this year but I was unable to upload the tour that I created to this blog.

Image

© Sven Fennema

Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours 2

I have also looked into the work of David Hockney, who also has created landscapes from multiple images. Due to copyright I cannot post any of his work to this blog but his images can be viewed on his website.

What I like about the images that I have found during my investigation, is the fact that they are stitched together rather crudely and not seamlessly (with the exception of Sven Fennema) and in my opinion this adds to the aesthetic properties of the image and creates an illusion of texture. This is definitely a technique that I will be experimenting with in the future. It’s a shame that I do not have enough time to experiment with this technique fully at the present time, as I feel that I could have produced some good work from using these methods.

References

4rtgallery.blogspot.com, (2014). Simply Creative: Panography by Mareen Fischinger. [online] Available at: http://4rtgallery.blogspot.com/2013/06/panography-by-mareen-fischinger.html [Accessed 5 Aug. 2014].

Hockneypictures.com, (2014). DAVID HOCKNEY. [online] Available at: http://www.hockneypictures.com [Accessed 6 Aug. 2014].

Mareen Fischinger Fotografie, (2014). Mareen Fischinger Fotografie. [online] Available at: http://mareenfischinger.com/places/panography/ [Accessed 5 Aug. 2014].

Sven Fennema – Fine Art Photography | Panorama – Fotografie, (2012). 360° Panography. [online] Available at: http://www.sven-fennema.de/panography/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2014].

Wikipedia, (2014). Panography. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panography [Accessed 6 Aug. 2014].

Finals for MA Exhibition

After much deliberation, I have now chosen my final images for the MA Exhibition which will be taking place in October at the University of Hertfordshire. I have 6 images in total and these will be submitted for assessment alongside my artist statement and evaluation. After the assessment has taken place, I shall be deciding whether or not to exhibit all 6 or a smaller selection. Once they have been printed and framed this decision will be a lot easier to make, this will give me a chance to see how they work together as a collection.

Time seems to have passed by so quickly and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time left to get everything done and completed, but this is where my time management will be of the upmost importance. I still need to make some final adjustments and edits to a couple of the images but this should not take long.

The Photoshop tutorials with Holger Pooten have proved invaluable and he has widened my scope with my current project and I shall be experimenting with some new methods and techniques that he has shown me, to create some new and interesting landscapes. I shall be blogging about these techniques on a later post.

Overall I am feeling a lot more positive about the coming weeks.