Landscape Part 5 – Resolution
Exercise 5.7: Prepare your artist’s statement
Spend an hour or so looking at photographers’ artists’ statements. Some will be on their own websites (although it’s surprising how few practitioners do this), but you’ll find most information from the websites of the galleries that represent them. Collect a selection that interest you, noting the tone that’s used and how the practitioner’s inspiration and their particular use of techniques and materials are described.
Write an artist’s statement to accompany your self-directed project (Assignment Five). This is not the same document as your evaluation which you should also submit as part of Assignment Five.
Use this document to help you to write your artist’s statement: http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/index.cfm?articleid=18407
Exercise 5.6: Context and meaning
Although you’re not expected to produce any kind of installation or exhibition of your projects at Level 2 (HE5), there is certainly no reason why you shouldn’t be thinking about where you could present your work, and how the meaning of your photographs could be strengthened or expanded by their physical location. Think about whether there is a particular place where you could install your work for Assignment Five. Perhaps it’s the same place that you shot the project, or somewhere that contrasts it somehow. Make a very rough sketch of how prints could be hung, their scale, and anything else that might be incorporated into an installation.
Read John A Walker’s essay ‘Context as a Determinant of Photographic Meaning’, first published in 1980. The text is not devoted to site-specific work in particular; however, it addresses the themes encountered in Part Five. Summarise Walker’s key points and note down your personal reflections.
Exercise 5.5: Create a slideshow
Look at some of the audio-visual slideshows on the websites listed above. Make some notes about particular works of interest, considering how they are edited, sequenced and how audio is used with images. Note down your own personal observations.
Whether or not you intend to present your photographs for Assignment Five as an audio-visual piece, suppose for this exercise that you will. Familiarise yourself with any basic slideshow- or video-making software and compile an edit of your work, experimenting with transitions, text and music and/or sound effects. Save your work so that your tutor and/or an assessor can view this if necessary. Write a brief evaluation of your work, commenting on how appropriate and effective you think this medium is for presenting your photographs.
Exercise 5.4: Online exhibitions
An online audio-visual piece doesn’t necessarily have to be the piece of art in itself, but may simply be part of the ‘presence’ of the work, put together to promote it, possibly to coincide with an exhibition or publication, or to help generate interest more speculatively. This post by Sharon Boothroyd on WeAreOCA discusses a piece of work that is particularly relevant both to our discussions on contemporary landscape photography and the slideshow format.
The sequence in question was designed to be the exhibition. Read the post and if you have any comments of your own, add them and include a link in your learning log.
Exercise 5.3: Print-on-demand mock-up
Whether or not you intend to produce a book to present your photographs for Assignment Five, suppose for this exercise that you will. During this exercise you’ll familiarise yourself with a print-on-demand application and experiment with a book design.
If you don’t already have one, set up an account with a print-on-demand service, such as Blurb. (You don’t have to use Blurb, but whichever company you use must offer the option of saving your book layout draft as a pdf document.)
You’ll need to download Blurb’s Booksmart software from their site. This application is fairly intuitive. Import the photos you’ve made so far for Assignment Five into the new project. Experiment with layout, text, titles and captions; when you’re satisfied with a draft, save it as a pdf. If you’re using Blurb the pdf will be watermarked with their logo but this doesn’t matter. If you’re keeping your learning log online, link this document into a blog post. If you’re keeping a hard copy log, print the pdf on regular printer paper.
You don’t need to place an order for the book for this exercise.
Make some brief notes about how you found working with the software and briefly evaluate your rough book design, describing any particular design choices and noting any influences in terms of other books that inspired you.
If you’re thinking about producing a book for your self-directed project, you may want to email the pdf or send a link to it to your tutor for their comments.
Exercise 5.2: Print quotes
It’s not a requirement to submit prints for formal assessment, so you may choose to submit your work on the self-directed project in a different format, such as a book or a multi-media piece. However for the purposes of this exercise please imagine that you’re going to submit prints.
- Search the internet for different companies offering inkjet and C-type printing. Compile three quotes for getting your work professionally printed, with a variety of different options such as C-type or inkjet, for portfolio review. (The pictures don’t need to be framed or mounted.) Prices will be available on the companies’ websites. This kind of information is useful to inform your project proposal.
- Imagine you will order from one of these companies. Prepare one image file exactly as specified by the printers.
Please note that you don’t actually need to have your work printed professionally in order to complete this exercise.
- Write a brief entry in your learning log, reflecting on whether or not you feel that an inkjet can be treated as a ‘photograph’.
Exercise 5.1: Origins of the White Cube
Read Thomas McEvilley’s introduction to Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space, which provides a good summary of O’Doherty’s suite of essays (see ‘Online learning materials and student-led research’ at the start of this course guide). Note down the key points and your own reflections in your learning log.