I have finally got to the end of Part 1 and will be glad to draw a line under it. Its not because I haven’t enjoyed it, I have but I have been faffing about with the assignment for the last two weeks and if I don’t stop now I will never move on. I started the assignment full of enthusiasm. The theme, Contrasts seemed to have lots of options and all I needed to do was choose 8 out of the 21 presented to us. I started off with some great ideas but having spoken to my tutor Peter, realised that they wouldn’t all work that well because I had not necessarily linked the contrasts.
For example I had a nice image of a stone face on the Church porch which I thought represented ‘rough’ very well, but needed either a ‘smooth’ stone to contrast with it or a ‘smooth’ face. I tried all sort of stones including some marble carvings inside the church but what I found was that even though I might have got something that contrasted well, it didn’t necessarily make a picture. In the end I went for closely cropped photo of my grand-daughter Sophie.
I managed to sort out the first half dozen contrast themes fairly quickly; some fruit in water for ‘still’ and ‘moving’, bluebells and orchids for ‘many’ and ‘few’, a stained glass window and Church door for ‘translucent’ and ‘opaque’ and I even had some fun with ice, cold tea and a bottle of whisky for ‘liquid’ and ‘solid’. But then I drew a blank, I suppose the photographer’s equivalent of writers’ block! I still had a possible 15 or so themes to choose from but either couldn’t think of how to make them work, or couldn’t create an opportunity to go and photograph them. Eventually with the help of my other half, we came up with chess pieces for ‘black’ and ‘white’, though strictly speaking our chess pieces are not black and white…
… I also played around with different flower heads for ‘long’ and ‘short’. In the case of the wisteria I struggled with the framing a little and finally decided that a long slender format would be best. I would never have considered this, or the long narrow one for the chess pieces had I not read the section on cropping and extending the frame in the materials for the course, so something that I have learned that I can put into practice already.
The guidance on submitting assignments to your tutor says that as well as providing links to galleries, you should also send some printed images to your tutor and when I talked to Peter it was clear that this was something that he wanted me to do. This is a big problem for me as printing my work is the least satisfying aspect of photography. I am always disappointed with the printed outcome and this assignment is no different. I started by saying that I had to call a halt to this unit or I’d never move on to the next section and to be fair, in the main I am fairly happy with my pictures when I see them on my monitor however the printed results are really poor, mostly quite dark and quite dull. Apart from the disappointment of seeing the pictures like this, paper and ink are expensive when it doesn’t work and for that reason I rarely print my pictures. I know that I can get custom profiles from Fotospeed and will do that before I have to submit any more work. This will be particularly important for the next assignment as assignment 2 onwards are assessed.