While I await my tutor feedback on Assignment 2 and further responses to my Assignment 3 research requests, I have been working in parallel on expanding the series of images for publication. For the Body of Work submission I produced an edit of 15 images, and I have continued with the same edit thus far in SYP.

BoW edit

I’ve had in mind since the start of SYP that the publication edit should have more images, and have been working with an assumption of 20 in total. I’ve been experimenting with an expanded edit for a while, and have reached a conclusion of sorts, for now.

Reviewing the last edit

My starting point was revisiting the 15 images: should I keep them all, or remove one or more? I considered removing the last image, the grimy glove, as a couple of portfolio reviewers commented that it jarred. But I like the jarring; I want the last image to ‘feel’ different. I want an ending of sorts to the (very vague) sense of narrativity… a deterioration, a drop-off, a crossing of a line. So the final image stays. As do the other 14.

What to add

So the remaining challenge was to find about five images to add into the edit. I want the expanded edit to have a similar overall feel to the current edit rather than trying to change how I wish the set to be perceived. I returned to my notes on an earlier editing exercise in the last stages of BoW. The principles were:

  • Is this a strong image in its own right?
  • Does it fit in with the overall desired mood? e.g. sense of:
    • Forgetting
    • Abandonment
    • Melancholy
    • Uncanniness
  • Is it ‘simple’?
    • Composition
    • Colour palette
  • Does it contain details that bear repeated or lingering viewing?
  • Does it contain potential connotations to a particular text fragment (from the planned list of ‘forgettances’)?
  • How much is this kind of subject matter already presented in the rest of the set?

I also returned to the set of 30 images I had used as the shortlist at the time. At the time I had the set neatly divided into 10x Yes, 10x Maybe and 10x No.

Interestingly, at this current stage as well as picking four of the old Maybes I took four of the earlier Nos back into consideration.

Old shortlist options

As a first pass however, I wasn’t entirely happy with these, and flitted between giving them a second chance and re-seeing the reason I rejected them first time round.

Back to the archive

I returned to the whole set of images I had in Lightroom for BoW Assignment 5: all 975 of them. I methodically clicked through all of them with what I hoped was a fresh pair of eyes.

It was an interesting experience: having lived with the current edit for so long, and having honed how I define and describe the overall work, I realised that I now have a clearer idea of what images do and don’t fit in with my intention.

To the eight images above I picked out the following seven from the full set. The first five of these were from the pre-submission archive and the last two are photos I have taken since starting SYP. I hadn’t set out to take too many new images but these two scenes stood out to me at the time of shooting so I added them into consideration.

New images considered

So I had 15 ‘new’ images to play with. I soon fell out with five of them for various reasons and got the shortlist of additions down to 10.

New addition shortlist

I printed these 10 out on cheap 6×4 photo paper, along with the current public edit of 15, and attached them with magnets to a coincidentally perfectly-sized metal Habitat wall-hanging (!)

All 25 together

I then spent far too much time, on and off, moving them around until I felt I had the five that I really wanted to add in to the edit.

Selected vs rejected

Then I worked the new five into the flow of the current set. I worked in groups of three.

Sequenced

Or in a slightly neater digital view:

Sequenced in Lightroom

I’m happy with this set. The new additions feel right. It’s interesting (to me anyway) that all of the new additions are images I had not previously considered; it’s the fresh-pair-of-eyes thing.

Next steps

I now need to make the new photos into finalised images with white border and text fragment. Then I’ll know if they have really worked or not.