IAP Assignment 3: Reflections Before Tutor Feedback

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – Materials, technical, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills. (40%)

When the lockdown occurred in March I decided to challenge myself by producing all the work for IAP whilst strictly adhering to the government’s requests – namely to stay at home. So possibly the most challenging assignment would be number three – which involves shooting a community.

My only option was to remotely capture an online community – which I did by screen scraping still images of a zoom conference (using ‘shift command 5’) onto my Mac. These were not my normal raw or JPEG files and received no post-processing. I felt it important, for the sake of realism and authenticity, to select possibly imperfect images but ones that I felt capture the essence of the person involved.

I selected one image per person with a final collective image showing us all in the meeting. The only decisions regarding order were to show Chris as the first image as it was his birthday, the composite image as the final image to bring us all into context, and image five (with its Zoom message) to indicate that the 40 minute warning came about 2/3 the way through a one hour call. Otherwise, I simply attempted to show couples/singles on the same row to provide balance.

Quality of outcome – Content, Application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas. (20%)

I’m sure many of us will have participated in zoom meetings over the last few months. And many of us will have suffered from the vagaries of varying individual’s Internet connections. It is also apparent that individual computer cameras differ in quality.

I wanted to reflect this realism in the images selected. So (as I have said) I did not necessarily select the best image but the one that I felt best reflecting the person themselves.

Demonstration of creativity – Imagination, experimentation, invention. (20%)

Under the limiting circumstances I feel as though the images are visually consistent and show how many of us will have connected with our respective communities. And to that extent they are a reasonably imaginative, experimental, and inventive way of satisfying the challenging brief.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking. (20%)

I am relatively pleased with the research I have completed during Part 3. There are less individual topics covered but those tackled, particularly Teichmann, were covered in greater depth than usual. So deep was the dive into Teichmann that I began to regret the decision to research her – although those regrets proved unfounded.

The Teichmann research into Carol Mavor’s story entitled ‘The Night Blooming Cereus’ involved reading a George MacDonald fairy tale, Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho’s poems, Paul Celan’s poem ‘The Death Fugue’, and work by Dante, Leung-Baruth and Canfield Fisher. And Teichmann’s PhD thesis ‘Loss Desire and the Photographic’.

Teichmann’s thesis, which revolves around issues of bereavement and morning’ had a profound effect upon me. My wife died seven years ago and, whilst I would have said I have mourned her death, there were aspects of that process that I didn’t really feel I had dealt with. Although I certainly wouldn’t have been able to explain or understand them.

The reading, thinking, reflection and talking I have done as a result of Teichmann’s work has given me a new insight into my emotional journey since the death of my wife. And specific insight into the different aspects of dealing with the death of one’s partner as compared to the death of any other family member or friend.

I allowed myself the time and space to follow a very detailed period of study which certainly proved useful to me. And it is possible that I will explore these ideas in a future piece of work.

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