Beginning ideas for FMP.

Having felt for the past 2 years that I could often struggle with collating ideas for the university research projects we have completed, throughout Summer 2014, it was continuously on my mind what I could do for my final major project. By struggling to think of ideas in the past, I would often find myself falling behind the desired work schedule and for my FMP this was simply not something I wanted to be dealing with.

As I considered various ideas of what I could look at, my dad, who has inspired, supported and continuously encouraged my interest in photography, suggested that I worked with objects/still life. Having seen the photographs I have taken over many years, he thought I had the eye for composition to make this work. However, I have never really been confident with this, my ‘go to’ has always been to work with people – however by trying something different it meant I could expand my practice, push myself and experiment and also not have to worry about relying on other people who in the past have often cancelled on me, leaving me stuck! Therefore I decided this could be really interesting for me and began thinking about what kind of still life I could look at.

This created another obstacle for me in my decision making, as although I had the idea of still life, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to photograph. I have always been fascinated by the outdoors and landscape, however in terms of photography I never felt confident shooting landscape, neither could I compose them aesthetically, in a way to appreciate the beauty of it. Despite this, I began considering how landscape changes through the seasons. We all have preferences over our favourite times of year, beautiful sunshine in the summer or cold, dark winters. There are so many different things which can ‘represent’ the seasons as well as numerous occasions which occur and associate throughout the year.  With this in mind, I began thinking of what alternate elements relate to the 4 seasons. I also used Pinterest to begin collating and visualising ideas.

Autumn

  • Acorns.
  • Pinecones.
  • Conkers and shells.
  • Red berries.
  • Water droplets.
  • Apple picking.
  • Autumnal colours – red, orange, brown, yellow, green.
  • Disintegrating plants, leaves.
  • Wilted flowers.
  • Rich, different coloured leaves.
  • Leaves beginning to fall off the trees.
  • Branches starting to look bare.
  • Halloween – pumpkins, carving, seeds.
  • Bonfire night – sparklers, fireworks, bonfire.

Winter

  • Snow, snowflakes.
  • Frost.
  • Sunny, frosty mornings.
  • Frosty cobwebs.
  • Crunchy old leaves.
  • Bare branches.
  • Warm breath in cold air.
  • Gloves, scarves, hats.
  • Fires.
  • Christmas, celebration, family.
  • New Year.

Spring

  • ‘New Life’.
  • Flowers beginning to grow/open.
  • Bright, fresh colours.
  • Lambs.
  • Daffodils.
  • Daisies.
  • Freshly cut grass.
  • Dandelions.
  • Blossom in various colours.
  • Early sunshine.
  • April showers.
  • Easter.

Summer

  • Flowers.
  • Fruits, berries.
  • Wasps/bees.
  • Butterflies.
  • Sunshine.
  • Holidays.
  • Beach.
  • Ice cream/lollies.
  • Trees in full bloom.

I wasn’t so inspired by the Pinterest board I put together for summer as I didn’t feel as though I could find much to represent it. A lot of the photographs I came across were typical holiday photos or photos of the beach which in my case isn’t so easily accessible.

After considering these different things that represent the changes in landscape during the seasons, as well as the different occasions throughout the months, I decided this was something I wanted to explore through photography as it has the potential to create some beautiful images. Through brainstorming the different seasons, it became apparent I was a bit unsure with ideas for summer, but feeling strong with the other 3 I felt this was still a good idea to pursue. By doing this, it gives me the means to photograph throughout the year and continuously keep shooting and improving. I would also like to experiment with the use of Photoshop to visually enhance my photographs and develop my skills.

Technically, I began thinking how I could approach taking these images. I considered how I could shoot outside but also inside the studio. This would give me the chance to experiment with different lighting and improve my studio skills. I also felt that shooting in macro would produce some really interesting images as I have always really loved close up photographs as it allows you to capture beautiful textures. I have also never really worked with macro before so this would be something new and exciting for me. By working in the studio, I also thought back to first year where we experimented with colour filters and wondered whether this would be appropriate for my images, such as a blue filter for winter or yellow for spring. Not only colours can be associated with seasons but also emotions. I feel that with spring, for example, the growth of ‘new life’ suggests hope after a cold, grey winter. This is something I can consider when creating my images and how the landscape can provoke emotion.

After returning to university in September for third year, I wanted to gain some ‘confirmation’ that these ideas could work. I needed to do this soon as I would need to start shooting asap as we were entering into Autumn. Therefore, I decided to book an APT with Caroline. Although Caroline liked the idea, she encouraged me to consider the actual reason I want to do this for my final project, a solid ‘base’ idea. I also expressed my concern for how would I cover summer when essentially the course will have actually finished before we enter into it, however Caroline advised me not to worry about this so much at the beginning stages as the project may involve in a way that will mean this won’t necessarily be a problem. Caroline also suggested looking at the work of Lorenzo Vitturi who recently produced some up close market work, similar to the style I wanted to attempt.

Afterwards, this sparked a couple of my own thoughts…

  • Why am I doing this?
  • What am I looking at?
  • How the landscape changes?
  • Why it changes?
  • Beauty of the landscape?
  • Can I link this to my own interest in geography?
  • Traditions? eg. Halloween, Christmas.
  • Why do we associate these things with spring, summer, autumn and winter?
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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on January 8, 2015.

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