Assignment 5 – First thoughts

There are two fundamentals in all picture taking – where to stand and when to release the shutter … so photography is very simple. (Jay & Hurn, 2001, as quoted in EYV course notes p113)

And of course, Jay and Hurn were wrong, as pointed out in the course notes. Where you stand is important, but you also have to decide what direction to point the camera. In other words, the subject is as important as the viewpoint and the moment.

Take a series of 10 photographs of any subject of your own choosing. Each photograph must be a unique view of the same subject; in other words, it must contain some ‘new information’ rather than repeat the information of the previous image. Pay attention to the order of the series; if you’re submitting prints, number them on the back. There should be a clear sense of development through the sequence.  (EYV course notes, p113)

Wow, this must be the most open brief that ever was. When I first read through the course notes in February, I thought this would be a fairly simple assignment. Now that I am on part 5, with a deadline of 30th December, I am faced with a certain amount of trepidation. Proximity may be part of the cause, but I think it is mainly a shedding of innocence and ignorance over the past 10 months. A straight ‘ten different angles on a pepper’ is not going to cut it.

I have been reading coursemates’ blogs, particularly those ahead of me, and have worried about the number of high-concept projects that have been done (or at least contemplated). Is a simple physical subject, like a saxophone (my first thought in February) not going to be ‘different’ or ‘creative’ enough. How complex does a subject have to be in order to generate 10 discrete pieces of information?

I have just completed a new trawl of EYV blogs and identified 10 from coursemates who have completed, or are currently working on, assignment 5. Their subjects are:

A very diverse set, as one would expect from ten creative minds. There are a couple of smallish single objects (although presented with a twist), four building-sized objects, street photography, a typography and two high-concept projects. Therefore, it seems that whatever I select will fit somewhere into the spectrum of student responses to the brief.

A policy decision: I don’t want to repeat anything from previous assignments nor(ideally) anything that I majored on in the coursework exercises. Therefore, not sailing, bikes, pavement reflections or general urban views.

Some possible subjects, not a final or exclusive list:

  • Saxophone (plan A!)
  • Old camera(s)
  • Using a 5×4 view camera
  • Local band rehearsing or gigging
  • Rotary tin-rattling collection (with behind-the-scenes)

All of these things are ‘safe’ and accessible subjects. Ideally, I would like to come up with something a bit more challenging.

Presentation will be as a photobook, possibly in concertina form. This fits the idea of having a fixed sequence of images, and also gives me another opportunity for bookcrafting.

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