How have you allowed yourself to become contaminated by your patterns ideas?
“I was impressed with the talent of my partner from the very beginning. I think it was a very good decision for us to share our interests and previous work in the very first meet as this is where my admiration for Oowen’s work first developed. I really wanted to learn how some of the images were created therefore I thought that if we progressed onto doing something similar to what he had already achieved but added to it and incorporated more elements, I could learn but then together we could expand our knowledge.”
How did you conduct your interactions?
“Oowen and I met regularly to discuss our project and its development, we used online messaging services to regularly keep in contact and share information. We also used drop box so we could share work and interesting files. Oowen was very helpful with his organization skills as he made a giant chart with all out plans scheduled out in order to make sure we had enough time to do what we needed and to complete the project.”
How have you thought and acted differently?
“Oowen is a lot more organised than me therefore in order to help him with his organisation I had to become organised myself, which was a little difficult for me! I wouldn’t normally act in such a way, for example following want charts, preparing for weather, setting very specific timings. I’m very appreciative of Oowen for putting up with me and my attempts to be more organised for him. however, I have learnt from this in seeing the benefits of being this way. It was interesting to work with a single individual rather than in a larger group, I had to considerate and compassionate to his ideas and feelings maybe more than I would have in a larger group and we had to bounce off each other solely rather than a group of 6/7.”
What was unpredictable?
“The outcomes were often unpredictable simple because our work was so down to experimentation. I guess also Oowen often used some technical jargon which I struggled to understand so I actually had to see the outcome to understand what was meant, so often this made things even more unpredictable. An example of this was the file sizes being too large to work with, this was unpredictable to me as it came across to be that it would be manageable, I think Oowen had more understanding than me when it came to how difficult this was going to be.”
What questions arose?
“What would we be achieving on the shooting day was a question that I certainly had in my head, because Oowen had seen this work before and I hadn’t and I struggled to understand the process being explained. Therefore, it wasn’t actually until things were happening that I began to understand how they were being achieved. One thing that helped this was the breakdown of workflow that Oowen created. This helped me understand exactly what was happening when and having it written down and explained was certainly helpful.”
How did you ensure your collaboration was effective?
“Constant communication was key I think, to ensure that we were both on the same page and knew what was happening. We were both very understanding of each other’s needs and Oowen was very understanding of my time constraints, because of how often we spoke. We made sure we met regularly and stuck to our schedule that we created.”
Where both parties able to be effective and was the work produced in a meaningful manner?
“I think we both could have been more involved in each other’s interests and input into the project. Owen actually shot the time-lapse and edited them to what they became on his own, maybe I could have had a go at doing this myself and been present in the edit. He was very informative of the process however and told me exactly how he was achieving what he was, I think it was mainly time constraints that got in the way. Similarity, I shot the projection and movement sequences alone, maybe I could have involved Oowen more here but because it was shot rushed it was difficult to fit everything in!
The project meant a lot to us both and we really went out of out way to complete it. I think this is shown throughout commitment of exploring different places and having so many different stages to out project. It was not just a single location shoot and one edit. There were multiple locations which we had to travel far too and there were multiple stages that the project had to go through to get to completion, like shooting, editing then re-shooting the edit. I think we really pushed ourselves here as clearly, we both wanted to achieve something complex.”
My initial plan was to identify my project concept and research for possible locations. Next, to rope in people who is interested in being a part of the project, who can commit to their time. Depending on the team’s progress, the outcome may turn out differently from my original plan. It would be through this developmental process where I would expect to see the learning outcome.
Based on my research development, I emailed to the respective organizations of my intentions, as well as put up notices on my Facebook page to attract people. Unfortunately, it had not been fruitful.
UEA Geography students
UEA environmental society, student President
Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Third-Year Fashion Student
Changing Game Plan
As the deadline gets nearer and me without any success, I had to scramble to find ways to get around the problem. This means getting out of my comfort zone and look for opportunities for collaboration outside my area of interest.
As I considered of widening my net, I thought of doing cosplay shoot and do something radical with landscapes and cosplays. I pulled out my best cosplay works and have contacted Diceni, to ask for an opportunity of a collaboration of an outdoor cosplay shoot for the Norfolk Diceni Gaming Event on May 1st, 2016. But again, unfortunately, they did not have any advises or recommendations in that aspect.
But again, unfortunately, they did not have any advises or recommendations in that aspect.
After Action Review
I then reconsidered my past works over the semester where there could have certain elements of collaboration work. It was through this process of identifying what works and what not that made me realized that “collaboration” is not just about two or more persons working together to realized common goals, but for it to happened, the plan itself should cater to the interest of both parties.
Reflecting on my lack of success in getting responses and what I could have improved to secure a collaboration work:
Be less ambitious of what I had in mind.
Find common interest or subjects that people would want to work with.
Established a portfolio website for credible reference of my own works.
Not solely rely on Facebook, but to consider more possibilities; to cast a wider net.
Get out of my comfort zone and start emailing respective organizations.
I did not meet the objectives I have planned earlier in my Learning Agreement. However, I managed to get around the problem despite the many challenges and difficulties. Eventually, I have fulfilled not only one collaboration practices but have also experienced different elements of collaboration. This not only has widened my networking, but I have also picked up many useful skill sets along the way. It is through these photography projects that had enabled me to solidify my research in landscape photography.
I realized that through different means and various situations; for people to be interested in working with me, even landscape photography needs to cater to the interests of both parties. With these collaboration practices learned, I hoped to be in a better position to carry out the plans of my original Learning Agreement for my third-year works and as well as future works.
This separate piece of work stems out from the film collaboration, which I had worked on time-lapse sequence for our video works. This, in essence, can be considered cross-disciplinary collaboration because throughout this process there were synergy and communication between us even though I was the main person behind the photography work. It was also through my partner’s creative input, the concerns she raised, which had influenced my works.
Some of our discussion in our planning includes the locations she could drive to, the kind of visual elements we are looking for, and the challenges we may encounter. Among the locations visited, Cromer, Sheringham and Mousehold Heath yield the best results for us in the short timespan.
In Cromer, we found a spot away from the caravans and the town. On my risk assessment, it was quite a dangerous spot on the cliff. We made the decision compose the shots as safely as we could. I did the camera works below while I insist that she had to be above me, for safety reasons.
In Sheringham, after exploring the town, Lucy eventually found a better spot than where I was setting up my camera. So I composed the coastline in contrast with the pathway leading to the town. The only challenge was to get more people walking towards the pathway. Lucy accidentally kicked the tripod just after a few couple frames into time-lapsing. On post production, I realized it was her kick that had ‘corrected’ my composition a little more to the right, just right for an old couple who happened to walked past us.
Photographing landscapes may take a bit of time, perhaps over a few days of patience. If our busy schedules would allow us to visit the same location, perhaps we would have a better result. As in the case of the Mousehold Heath sequence, it took me a few attempts on location to capture the right atmosphere. What I could have improved upon was perhaps be more communicative and encouraging to my collaboration partner.
With the outcome of the final image produced, it is not exactly a purist landscape picture, but neither too abstract. It sits in the realm of ‘provocative landscapes’ and I would like to think this series of works can be molded into a context to be view in Art galleries or interest Art buyers.
For an overview of this project, click here. For more indepth progress of this project, click here.
This photography project was simply a working partnership between the church congregation and me. As the church is currently undergoing infrastructure upgrading works, they needed images to document the condition of the church premise, to be included in their case study report. Some of these images would also appear in their publication newsletters.
On the surface level, this situation resembles a photography work commissioned by the church. However, I have found elements of multidisciplinary collaboration because I needed advisory of the church premises to better understand the contexts; and that the images would be utilized into a different context through the church staff’s newsletter publication design.
The initial communication was established through the pastor, with a mutual agreement that no costs were involved in return for the portfolio exposure. We discussed the date of the shoot, the kinds of angles that they were looking for, and who could assist me with during the actual photography works. Some considerations include concerns of vehicles and people in the frame, the weather forecast, as well as how to get an aerial shot of the premise. I revisited the same shoot again on a sunny day, so they would have a wider variation to choose from.
Throughout the process, we had maintained constant communication. I understood their requirements, just as they understood my technical constraints I have highlighted. The church staffs were pleasantly surprised at the efficiency of my workflow, that they were able to see my processing methods and get the images immediately after the edit.
In my opinion, the images looked a little like its slipshod work. Perhaps what could have been improved upon was that I could have spent a little more time exploring the premise, framing my camera angles more carefully,as well as take note of the little details of the landscape. I could have brought a gradient neutral density filter on the sunny day shoot.
Also, this project could have been more fulfilling if I would have, perhaps incorporate the church members when building my visuals, or if there were someone filming the entire working process, behind the scenes, etc. This video material could have been used to promote an awareness of their upgrading cause.
Property companies would like to promote their properties in the best way possible and I think that this style could be utilized in the property sector as a possible revenue for works. Aestheticised buildings could also be read as an art form, which people may be persuaded to purchase as to remember the location or decorate their walls as an ornament. The only issue perhaps, is the significance of the location or building, to the extent that permission must be granted.
Overall I was glad that they have given me full control in the creative aspect and both parties got what we wanted out of the project. It has been a pleasure working with them.
Note: the staffs were unable to provide me with their newsletter design at the time of the deadline submission. I would put up if I have received any.
Every workshop session I get to work with new people. What I like about these sessions were that even though the groupings were random (which made the challenge more interesting), everyone who attended was involved in the critical thinking process of the lighting setup. In addition, as a team, we were quite receptive to the suggestions made and were quite supportive of the decisions made. This can be considered as Intra-disciplinary collaboration because everyone are student photographers and the creative input everyone contribute are pertaining to technicalities of a lighting setup in photography. what we get away with are the images we had taken.
One example was in the most recent studio shoot, where we explored the Youngnuo Speedlite system and multiple flash syncs. In my group were Katerina, Kirstie, and Laura.
Katerina volunteered to be the model, and we figured a couple of poses she could do during the shoot. She came prepared with a makeup kit in her bag. We started off with a two point lighting (key light and fill light) and introduced a third flash with an umbrella to assimilate beauty dish. Then, Kirstie suggested putting on purple and orange color gels and we adjusted the lighting accordingly to push the purple tone out.
Next, I suggested exploring the flash from behind, to create rim lighting. Kirstie adjusted the angle of the rim light flash while Laura had pulled in the third Speedlight in front of Katerina’s face. With a bit of time, Kirstie and I explored using my kaleidoscope mirrors with the same setup. Everyone had a go with the shoot before the end of the session. As a team, we were able to produce a few good shots despite the short session. Perhaps if there were a longer time for exploration we would have tried more complex lighting setups.
As a collaboration team, we have provided constructive suggestions on ways to work around certain challenges, constantly in dialogue with each other for work critiques. We focused on words such as ‘how about’, ‘perhaps consider’, ‘I suggest’ when providing feedbacks with collaboration peers.
As a collaboration team with limited time session, we had attempted various lighting setups, including color gels. We consistently showed our progress during the session and sought the lecturers’ advice for queries and clarifications for better improvement.
What I could have improved upon during the shoot, was the art of directing a shoot and to be more communicative and encouraging to my collaboration partners. The technical skills I could improve upon was to brush up on the finer detail/aspects of lighting techniques in photography and practice more on the seldom-used photo editing techniques.
In this session, I have learned that in any collaboration practices, good communication is extremely important. No roles are too big or too small, and even the smallest details can contribute a lot.
For more infomation about the workshop sessions, click here.
Although I had not been directly involved in the production shoot, I still enjoyed assisting both photographers during the session. For me, it was the process of coming up with creative solutions to solving technical challenges they have not thought of, as well as taken some behind the scenes shots that gave me much enjoyment in this collaboration work. I guess it’s the attitude of contributing as much in order to a see a project succeed that makes one a valuable asset to a collaboration.
Where moral and ethical issues are of concerned, I have avoided using their image works as part of my reflection. Instead, what I have shown here are the images I had taken. In this instance, all rights of the images I have taken during the shoot would be transferred to them.
For me, finding collaboration with The Salvation Army – Norwich, social media team came as a complete but pleasant surprise. They needed images as a means to promote their presence in the social media. They needed someone who could do with event photography and through a friend, I happened to be available to cover a Sunday service event. Before actual photography works could begin, I had to first seek permission from the vicar.
In this situation, this may appear as a work commissioned by The Salvation Army- Norwich. However, evidence of multi-disciplinary collaboration can be found, as there are many disciplines involved in the project: the photographer, the social media (IT) team, and the graphic designer.
The agreement I had established with the social media team person-in-charge was that I would cover the event in return for portfolio exposure. For our agreement on the image rights and the usage, both parties are in favor with shared authorship of the original images, where I would use them for portfolio and image prints while they would use for social media and printed media, not for other commercial use or stock photography websites.
Capturing event is always fast paced and to be able to capture moments well requires a good amount of experience. some consideration includes how to get to the next spot, and shoot without being too obtrusive. For me, adapting to the new environment and meeting new people in a short timespan had been a challenge, and it is something I constantly strive to improve.
For the environment and group shots I had used 16-35mm, F2.8 wide angle, and the close-up and any fast pace shots I used 24-105mm, F4.0 zoom lens. By providing a variation of images of a scene, the graphic designer would be able to pick the most suitable image for further editing. Most of my event images are taken in candid shots. I have also considered directing some staged shots which may be useful for a publicity image.
The approach of collaboration is in linear phases, such that photography work comes first, followed by graphic illustration, and then social media. The graphic designer has done quite a fine job creating simple illustrations out of these images. This gives the original images a new context and meanings.
Event photgraphy is a great way to tell a narrative story about a person or an event. However, the job can sometimes be quite demanding and moments can easily be missed. The potentials of carving an income from event photography is possible, but varies depending on the client’s budget and how one photographer can negotiate. Perhaps what I could have done to improve the experience of collaboration, was to establish a more concise communication with my collaborators.
For more information about The Salvation Army in Norwich, click here.
This extended essay takes on a rhetoric approach in exploring the aspects of ‘provocativeness’ in landscape photography. As landscape photography can be categorised into the representational, the impressionist, and the abstract; the intention is not to challenge what has been established nor to question the role of provocative images of the landscape, but to explore the various strategies and the innovative approaches in landscape photography.
The important references relevant in my field of research includes the works of photographers such as Thomas Annan, LewisHine, Ansel Adams, Sebastiao Saldago, Luc Delahaye, Paul Seawright, Edward Burtynsky, KellyRichardson, Pedro Meyers and Michael Gordon. Other key figures include photography authors and critics Liz Wells, Michelle Bore, Fontacuberta, William Stott, Ken Light and Fred Ritchin.
In defining what ‘Provocative landscapes’ means to me, some of the key issues in my field of research include concerns of activism from the historical perspective, the varying degrees of ‘provocativeness’ and the synergy between authenticity and manipulation. Understanding how photographers adopt different stances of provocation to influence people informs how landscape photography can promote new ways of thinking and make a difference in the world. Though not exhaustive, this field of research is relevant to me because it gives me a better understand of landscape photography from a wider perspective and I hope that this knowledge can be used to inform my third year and future works.
Area of investigation
About Activism in photography
Landscape in Activism Photography
What does ‘Provocative Landscape’ means?
Establishing the varying degrees of ‘provocativeness’
Can there be synergy between authenticity and manipulation?
How can landscape images promote new thinking and make a difference in the world?
Relevancy of Citations
In ‘Critical Photography’, Liz Wells examines the use of documentary photography as a means of drawing the attention of an audience to particular subjects, often with a view to change the existing social or political situation.
In ‘Photography as Activism’, Michelle Bogre discusses the philosophical and historical aspects of the photography’s role in social reform and how it influences people.
In ‘Witness in our time’, Ken Light explores how photographers devised new strategies to address the obstacles and opportunities created by the rapid media changes and cross-cultural contact. He examines Sebastiao Saldago’s ideas about activism photography.
In ‘Documentary Expression and Thirties America’, William Stott having studied the wide-ranging view of documentary photography of America during the thirties, he explains how documentary photographers of the era were able to influence people.
French photojournalist Luc Delahaye demonstrated aestheticizing conflict and death as a means to provoke interest while Edward Burtynsky made use of the available elements to presents a dialectic discussion of his works. Paul Seawright prefers a subtler approach. Nick Brandt presented a giant panorama of life-sized animals prints in a barren, human-dominated landscape. By embracing digital technologies, Kelly Richardson created thought-provoking statements in her works. American photographer Michael Gordon believed that photographs with deeper meaning can capture the viewer’s attention for a longer time.
In Pedro Meyer’s ‘Truths and Fictions’, Fontacuberta defended the documentary photographer’s position of embracing digital manipulation in activism photography, stressing that by avoiding the judgement of its negative connotations, the traditional rules do not warrant a stamp of authenticity while new tools should permit new approaches.
In ‘Bending the Frame’, Fred Ritchin explores the paradigms of Photojournalism and documentary photography through historical and contemporary context. He examines the evolving media and political landscapes and addresses the new and emerging potential of how contemporary visual media can solve problems and impact the society, explaining how people use various strategies and the innovative approaches in presenting their works.
For this project, I had built a larger set of kaleidoscope mirrors. We brought the two mirrors out to experiment but quickly realised the larger mirror was too heavy to be any useful. I tried replicating the same swirly effect for the indoor shoot, but the results had not been fruitful. Throughout the process, I had relied on the original set of small mirrors.
For every 250 raw images of the indoor shoot was roughly two hours of processing in lightroom, and then another thirty mins of rendering to sequence in premiere pro.
For the first two attempts, I reshot the time-lapse sequences again, and with the lights as how I did for my still images. I experimented with the large kaleidoscope mirrors, but it was too heavy for me to last throughout the session. I eventually used the smaller one for all the sequences. After to two hours of rendering in Lightroom, I lay them out in premiere pro and see how the effects went. I didn’t like the outcome.
Although the effect came out as I have somewhat imagined, I didn’t like the outcome, for two reasons: one, the laptop screen wasn’t well hidden away and the edge of the screen is visible in the daylight sequences. two, somehow the night image looked better.
Lucy thought the light streaks were a little too much.
The next challenge was to solve the amount and speed of the light streaks. It was almost impossible to maintain the steady rotation speed for all 250 images. so on my next attempt, I did one sequence in two separate layers. I shot 50 frames (two seconds) of the light streak and overlay them onto the sequence in loops (test3). This way, I could remotely control the speed of the light streaks (test 5) however I want.
On my final attempt, I returned back to Mousehold Heath again, picking a clear night sky. Each image was a 20 sec exposure for 20 sec interval and 9 seconds worth of images. The time lapsing began at 1 am and lasted for about two hours.
The next part took another half a day to produce the final sequence. This time, I used my black mousepad to cover the keyboard, plus the light streak sequence slowed down to about 50% speed.
Variation Two (Final result)
My first thought of the final sequence was quite interesting itself. I had not thought that a time-lapse sequence could be further developed in this way. Although I had no part in the filming process, Lucy was able to zoom in on certain portions of the sequence and yet retain its quality. I thought perhaps the video could be improved if there was a proper opening and ending title sequence.
During our collaboration process, we try to make the most of our differences. This enables a deeper synthesis of our ideas. Our research was based on each of our previous developments for our courses, and we used the right tools for our work. Our guiding principles were that we externalize our thinking, presume value even when it’s not obvious. We build upon each other’s works instead of blocking. Where time has always been a constraint, we try to seek the best way forward, not perfection. We make decisions together and provided encouragement and feedback for each other to work on. However, perhaps the one thing we could improve upon was to plan ahead and better communication. After all, developing trust takes time. All in all, it was a good experience.
For an overview of this project, click here. For my reflection on this collaboration project, click here.
We explored locations outside Norwich City, as well discussed the challenges of overlaying human form with landscape into an abstract.we would need to find models to incorporate into the projection.
Lucy’s references come from Doug Aitkens Altered Earth- captured constantly changing landscapes through constantly changing projections on giant suspended screens, creating its own landscape in turn. An almost holographic view of a physical landscape, as well as Marco Sosa – An intersection of two spaces. Analog footage is captured as a projection rather than a digitised version, as a way to record the moving images as ephemeral objects and imperfection of the medium with the light, the wall and the sound of the projector.
While my references were drawn from the True Detectives opening sequences created by Clair, the creative director of Elastic, the Los Angeles production design studio – As an inspiration for Double exposure/projection onto the human form; Norfolk landscape photographer Steve Docwra’s works, as well as David Stoddart, Nick Oats and James Carrel.
We went out to Mousehold Heath for an evening recce, before the actual location shoot. Some of the technical challenges of replicating the rough cut still images into video form were the hassle of utilising the kaleidoscope mirror outdoors. In addition to the weather forecast and location scouting, there are also certain math and coordinations involved in shooting time-lapse sequences. Certain locations were slightly dangerous on my risk assessment.
The planning was such that the we categorised the process into three phases. First was the actual location shoot. Next, I had to set up the sequences in a dark room and reshoot again. Last but not least, was to project the contents onto a wall and film again, in juxtaposition with a human element.
After a series of experiments reshooting the sequences, I realised twilight sequences worked much better than the day time.
The process of the film collaboration with Lucy has been an enriching experience. We managed to overcome many technical challenges as a team and quickly learnt that sharing of vital information across disciplines would beneficial in the collaboration group, addressing any conflict of schedules where necessary.
By patiently explaining the capabilities of my field of work as well as its limits to my film partner, I have established objectives and workflows earlier on, laying down as much research material in the proposal document and categorically. I have also set up a guideline of media output for better workflow efficiency. This gives us a clearer understanding of film collaboration work. This is also evident during the presentation with our peers. Throughout various outdoor locations, we maintained constant communication, considered risk assessments and raised concerns for discussion.
For my part of the collaboration process, in which I have contributed more than ten test shot sequences with more than 2,500 raw files. I have had identified the amount of time needed to deliver my part of the work and advised accordingly throughout the collaboration process, even to the extent of responding to last minute requests and deliver the materials as required, even at 12 am. This demonstrates my efficiency in resolving technical issues after post process, reflecting my flexibility and open-mindedness in working out feasible solutions even on the last hour of the deadline submission
In response to her stress over her assignments, I had taken the initiative to encourage her by offering assistance and support for the collaboration work, if required, as well as offered my personal camera slider for her peruse.
The final sequence was quite interesting itself. I had not thought that a time-lapse sequence could be further developed in this way. Although I had no part in the filming process, Lucy was able to zoom in on certain portions of the sequence and yet retain its quality.
What we could have improved upon was perhaps be more communicative and encouraging to my collaboration partner, to be able to understand the context of the situation and be more sensitive to the choice of words when giving feedbacks. The video could be improved if there was a proper opening and ending title sequence.
For a more in-depth progress of our works, click here. For my reflection on this collaboration project, click here.
We went to a few locations for a day of road trip: Cromer, Sherringham and Wroxham.
I was extremely excited about the trip as it was my first time traveling out of Norwich since I arrived in the UK. Upon arriving Comer, we realised free carpark space was rather difficult to find and we spent quite a while looking for one. Then we walked a short distance to the cliffs.
We could not access to the beach the proper way as there were some constructions going on. Where the fences ended was a narrow trench. It was quite dangerous to go down from here. I went down myself while Lucy stayed behind to record some ambience sound. Eventually, I got a sequence of the coastline from where I was. I had no idea that the coastal area would be as cold and windy.
The next location was Sheringham. We walked around the area, looking for interesting subjects. Lucy suggested a staircase to the beach. Hence, I framed my composition of the walkway in contrast with the coastline. However, the area was all too quiet. the challenge was to get people to walk over to this stretch of the pathway.
Next location was Wroxham. We arrived there sometime near the evening time. There was a brilliant sunset but I could not find any unique vantage points. We walked around the area for a while, and the swans were following us. I could tell Lucy was already very tired from all the walking. Eventually, went back to Norwich empty-handed (from this location).
All in all, I had a great time exploring the coastal areas. I really appreciate my partner for bringing us around.
Landscape related; To stretch the definition of a landscape.
To identify the environmental concerns of the landscape.
To find collaboration
1000 Word Essay report (Theme: Provocative Landscapes) (Draft)
Stretching the limits of landscape photography
Explore how landscape photography has changed over time.
Extended Essay Approach
Collaboration Project (Theme: ???)
Why do we need Collaboration?
Collaboration is working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources.
Models: Subjects for photography shoot
Stylists: General look of the model subject.
Film: Behind-the-scenes production video, ‘Campaign’ Teaser
Music: Music for video
Graphic: Mock-up Editorial
Advisory: Advises on-site location, weather, etc.
Logistics: Support for transportation and prop equipment, etc.