This was, much to my huge relief, a really positive and encouraging tutorial!

The one-liner that opens Wendy’s report she sent following the tutorial is:

“Essentially, a thorough, well-researched and interesting submission with plenty of potential as you move forward”

I’d been harbouring a concern (expressed many times in previous blog posts) that I’ve been too eclectic in my BoW so far and was jumping around from idea to idea, so was really pleased to get the reassurance that I’d found a workable direction for the remainder of the course.

Comments and reactions

  • After a period of research and experimentation I think you’re definitely on the right track now with your BoW project
    • Yay!
  • I have a few comments on how you might want to develop this idea but essentially, I think this pairing of your first-person accounts (written) sat next to an image of (another’s) lost object works very well and should indeed be further developed to a final conclusion for you BoW project
    • Good to hear that the idea ‘works’ – I had shared it with various people in advance of submission but it’s great to have the tutor validation too
  • The text I think is working very well as is.  […] NOTE: I don’t think you need to use the brightly coloured page layouts for the text, they work better if they weren’t too overdetermined. A simple layout of black text on a white page would work best here, I think.
    • Agreed – the colour blocking was a last-minute addition; I had been looking for a way of making the text look less caption-like and more ‘equivalent’ – but accept that there are other ways of doing this (and that I am prone to ‘over-designing’ things sometimes…)
  • The images you have selected at this stage in the project work best I think when you pull further back from the lost object itself and introduce more of the context for the lost object
    • Yes, good point; I have zoomed or cropped in very close on too many of the subjects
  • What I’m trying to say here is that you have to keep taking photographs of lost objects but also think about shooting these differently as you move forward.
    • Yes, I need to make sure that the images are more visually engaging – a lot of these are in a deadpan or snapshot aesthetic
  • Do you want to limit yourself to the glove? Or could everyday discarded/lost objects – cigarette packets etc. – start to figure?
    • Hmm, good question. My gut instinct is to focus on gloves, but in parallel I will continue to take photos of lost items of all types, and see if I feel that mixing it up a bit works; one to experiment with

Next steps

Where the tutorial discussion really helped was in what to do next. I’d been struggling a little – and had discussed with peers in a student hangout – whether the next stage of this BoW is evolution or revolution, i.e. refining this current execution or finding a new visual strategy that builds upon, but changes, the nature of the work.

Side note: the idea that I had been mulling over for Assignment 4 was to investigate the constructed nature of memory by recreating some of the lost glove images as stylised still life tableaux photographs, and/or digitally manipulating the source images to evoke a disrupted memory (potentially going back to some of the visual tricks from Assignment 1). The tutorial discussion made me realise that I was pursuing this ‘constructivist’ strategy mostly out of lack of ideas on how to refine the Assignment 3 in its current guise.

The discussion with Wendy convinced me that there is (a) a strong foundation of concept and execution here, but (b) the photographs themselves aren’t consistently visually appealing. These two points of feedback together mean that I have a better idea of how to develop the work without making a significant change in creative strategy.

In a nutshell, I think the way forward is to follow Wendy’s suggestion of making a new set of lost glove images, more purposefully (using more professional equipment, taking composition and lighting more seriously, etc). This could lift the set above its current iteration as a kind of ‘snapshot typology’.

To this end I’ve realised I need to undertake a few weeks of dedicated ‘flaneuring’ with my camera bag and collect a new set of lost gloves, with more of a deliberate ‘photographer’s eye’ (almost all of the current set were taken on a phone camera, and many were taken before this BoW even started).