Assignment 3 – Presentation

In contrast to the organic and rustic feel to the handmade book I produced for Assignment 1, I decided to employ a different production method for the book for Assignment 3. Although they were both books, they couldn’t in my opinion have been much more different and this was in order to purposefully reflect their respective assignments. The book for Assignment 3 was designed by myself but produced by an online book company so the finish to the book was quite a bit more professional and, incidentally, colder. This professional, cold feel to the book was because there were basically no ‘mistakes’ or quirks to the production of the book; it being made probably by computer mostly. However, I was after this kind of feel to the book because it reflected from my perspective the process of gentrification in Deptford and also many of the photographs I’d taken depicting the gentrification process.

Front Cover of Gentrification in Deptford
Front Cover of Gentrification in Deptford

I also designed and formatted the book to look professional, paying special attention to borders, text size and placement and colour choices throughout the book. Because the book is a revised edition of the PDF draft I produced initially for Assignment 3, I tried to listen to my tutor’s comments regarding presentation. Drawing upon his comments for both the PDF draft I’d produced for Assignment 3 as well as my original version of Assignment 5 – Tourism in London, and Me. By drawing upon both these sets of comments I feel I was better able to design a professional looking book. Aspects of the books design included a white, uniform colour scheme across the book (excluding photographs and text), all photographs appearing centrally in the page on a separate page and borders appearing uniform and spacious throughout the book.

Back Cover of Gentrification in Deptford
Back Cover of Gentrification in Deptford

My reasoning for making the final presentation for Assignment 3 purposefully professional/cold was that I found through my Researching Gentrification in Deptford post gentrification can often be a process of vast change both positive and negative. People are often displaced or at the least the community changes drastically but lots more housing and a new scene develops. By keeping the look of the book neutral, I was accepting both sides to this argument and instead of taking a side to the argument, I was documenting the narrative of gentrification in Deptford.

Introduction for Gentrification in Deptford
Introduction for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 2 and 3 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 2 and 3 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 4 and 5 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 4 and 5 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 6 and 7 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 6 and 7 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 8 and 9 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 8 and 9 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 10 and 11 for Gentrification in Deptford
Pages 10 and 11 for Gentrification in Deptford
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Assignment 3 – Gentrification in Deptford – Revised

Following on from the comments from my tutor for Assignment 3, I have created a photo book in which I have paid special attention to formatting and text layouts. I feel I have learnt from the comments my tutor made regarding the formatting of the original (photo book) version of Assignment 5 where the photos felt too cramped on the pages.

Additionally I have removed any captioning of the photographs in the book so that the viewer can let themselves find the narrative occurring within the photographs. I also added a section to the book to show more images of the gentrification process in Deptford.

Lastly I removed one of the images from the project – the one I originally captioned ‘A Vibrant Scene’ as I agreed with my tutor it was a somewhat redundant image.

Having lived near Deptford for many years now, I have witnessed massive changes in the area. Some of this has been quite gradual while recently there has been a more drastic change in appearance. The changes have, continue to and will affect Deptford and its people in profound ways and I believe it is important to document some of this changing Deptford from the perspective of a local inhabitant. In this project I aim to show the development from my point of view and how I perceive a gentrification process occurring.

Below I have attached the PDF version of the cover of the book:

Assignment 3 – Gentrification in Deptford – Revised Cover

And below here I have attached the revised PDF version of Assignment 3 – Gentrification in Deptford:

Assignment 3 - Gentrification in Deptford - Revised
Assignment 3 – Gentrification in Deptford – Revised

Assignment 2 – Presentation

I deliberated over how to present Assignment 2 – Ephemerality of the Image in my head for some time. Originally it had been requested by the course to present it in an online format and I feel it still works well in this format. However, I have decided to present the single-image narratives as singular prints too. My reasoning for printing the images as well is two-fold. Firstly, I feel the project possesses greater impression for potential viewers because of the size I have printed the images. I printed them A3 sized which is comparably large. With the images online it is still possible to view large and even zoom in on the singular images but I feel seeing an A3 print leaves a greater impression for these images. The fact that the images incorporate Polaroid/Instax images within them (which are usually intrinsically a much smaller format) makes the impact of being printed so large greater.

Note the Large Border on the A3 Print Matching the Large Border on the Bottom of the Instax Photograph
Note the Large Border on the A3 Print Matching the Large Border on the Bottom of the Instax Photograph

Secondly, printing the images showed better the ephemerality of the image as the images were then put together in their printed forms to make a larger picture. The images that make up the final photograph became part of a moment that consisted of myself holding a frame against a dark background containing the smaller images. This moment has now passed and all that’s left of that moment is another image. To better convey this in the prints, I purposefully left large white borders on the singular images to imitate Polaroid/Instax borders. This was in order to further convey the picture-in-picture message and also lead up to the final photograph where all the images appear with my hand holding the frame. In the final photograph the large white borders were still evident which was contiguous with the singular images I’d printed leading up to this final photograph.

First A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
First A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Second A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Second A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Third A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Third A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Fourth A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Fourth A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Fifth A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Fifth A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Sixth A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Sixth A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Seventh A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Seventh A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Eighth A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Eighth A3 Sized Single-Image Narrative Print
Final Photograph - Note How the Large Instax Borders are Continued in the Smaller Photos Hanging on the Frame Which is Also Consistent with the A3 Sized Prints for the Individual Images
Final Photograph – Note How the Large Instax Borders are Continued in the Smaller Photos Hanging on the Frame Which is Also Consistent with the A3 Sized Prints for the Individual Images

Assignment 1 Presentation – Handmade Book

I have chosen to present Assignment 1 in a handmade book, the non-synthetic nature of which I feel reflects the organic nature of the brewery and photographs I produced for the brewery in the project. I have alluded to this in the introduction of the handmade book which incidentally was purposefully hand-written to fit in better with the same theme of organic. For me this organic theme lent to a more personable object (the handmade book) which felt unique, a bit like the brewery I had been photographing.

My Materials Ready for Making the Handmade Book
My Materials Ready for Making the Handmade Book

The book took some time to make and I found this process made me think carefully about formatting options and attention to detail in displaying the photographs. For example a measurement of 145mm was apparent on the long edge for all photographs, landscape, portrait or square, which helped the book to maintain a consistent aesthetic. The photographs were also centred in their respective pages in order to keep the viewer’s eye immersed in the book.

Marking Out the Central Placement of Each Photograph in the Book
Marking Out the Central Placement of Each Photograph in the Book

I decided to use a folded method – the ‘Snake Book’, as per the instructions found in Alisa Golden’s Making Handmade Books – (Golden, 2010) – for making the book. It seemed simple to make yet afforded me the right amount of pages necessary to accommodate the photographs, the introduction and the front and back covers. In order for the book to accommodate the photographs at a decent size (145mm on the long edge) as well as using a folded book method, it was necessary to use a massive-sized piece of cartridge paper (A1) to fold the book from. I folded (and cut) the A1 piece of paper into a Snake Book and then applied the photographs one by one using self-adhesive spray to the centre of each page.

Back Cover of the Book (Created by Photographing One of the T-shirts of the Brewery)
Back Cover of the Book (Created by Photographing One of the T-shirts of the Brewery)
Front Cover of the Book (Created by Photographing One of the T-shirts of the Brewery)
Front Cover of the Book (Created by Photographing One of the T-shirts of the Brewery)

Lastly, I attached a wide ribbon made in hessian to add a rustic feel to the book which could be tied to close the book. Then I applied the front and back covers to the book. The front and book covers served a dual purpose; firstly to show what the book contained quite clearly and also to hold the ribbon in place.

Front Cover
Front Cover
Pages 1 and 2
Pages 1 and 2
Pages 3 and 4
Pages 3 and 4
Pages 5 and 6
Pages 5 and 6
Pages 7 and 8
Pages 7 and 8
Pages 9 and 10
Pages 9 and 10
Back Cover
Back Cover

Overall I would describe my first venture into making a handmade book as quite successful and also liberating and fun, if time-consuming. Provided I could embark on a project which merited presenting work in a handmade book in the future, I would embrace making another one. The experience made me aware how much craft and materials are necessary to make a relatively simple book and was in some contrast to the ease with which digital files like photographs can be mass-produced.

References:

Golden, A. (2010). Making Handmade Books. New York: Lark, pp. 39-40.

Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery – Revised

In light of my tutor’s comments regarding my original version of Assignment 1, I have made a significant change to the project, which I feel makes the project work as a whole a lot more. The change included replacing certain photographs with others from the initial shooting period or shooting certain photographs again so that the set established a more consistent viewpoint of the brewery. Specifically this entailed choosing a replacement photograph I’d already shot for Photograph 3 of my original version of Assignment 1. Also shooting again the final shot (Photograph 10) for the assignment which aimed to show the brewery doubling as a working bar. Both these replacement photographs avoided eye contact in the gaze between the photographed people and the viewer. This helped maintain the same unobtrusive perspective throughout the project so that each photograph was accordant with the next. Therefore the viewer was more likely to be immersed in the photographs of the brewery which was my initial intention.

In addition I wrote a different introduction to accompany the photographs which I felt better reflected the revised version and which I have subsequently turned into a handmade book:

My response to showing my engagement with my local community has been photographing a nearby brewery. More specifically my response has been photographing the people behind and connected to the brewery as they interact with it. I have used a focal length of 35mm throughout the project and have chosen to avoid eye contact with the camera for the people interacting with the brewery. This was to maintain a consistent aesthetic style and to look at the workings of the brewery from afar. I have displayed the photographs in this handmade book as I feel it reflects the organic feel to the brewery.

Photograph 1 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 1 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 2 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 2 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 3 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 3 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 4 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 4 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 5 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 5 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 6 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 6 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 7 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 7 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 8 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 8 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 9 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 9 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery
Photograph 10 - Assignment 1 - Brockley Brewery
Photograph 10 – Assignment 1 – Brockley Brewery

Tutor Report for Assignment 6 – Documentary

Here I have attached my tutor report for Assignment 6 – Documentary. This is so the viewers of the journey I’ve taken through my course are able to see how I improved on the comments I received for Assignment 6 from my tutor in terms of presentation.

Tutor Report for Assignment 6 – Documentary

Changes I have since made or was in the process of making already when I had my Assignment 6  – Pre-assessment review are linked below:

Assignment 1 Presentation – Handmade Book

Assignment 2 – Presentation

Assignment 3 – Presentation

Assignment 4 – Documentary – Critical Review Final

Assignment 5 – Presentation

Assignment 6 – Pre-assessment Review

Here is a summary of my video call I conducted with my tutor for Assignment 6 – Pre-assessment Review:

I had a useful and engaging discussion with my tutor regarding presenting my work for assessment as well as going forwards with my course after the documentary module is complete. Key points we discussed were the presentation of all assignments but in particular Assignments 2 and 5. These incidentally posed the most difficulty for myself in preparing for assessment.

For Assignment 2’s presentation I purposefully left large white borders on the prints to imitate Polaroid/Instax borders. This was in order to further convey the picture-in-picture message and also lead up to the final photograph where all the images appear with my hand holding the frame. The reasoning behind this was that it remained consistent from image to image in the Polaroid/Instax style where each possessed a thick white border around two sides of the image and thinner borders on the other two sides. My tutor appreciated this nod towards the Polaroid/Instax style and the fact it continued into the final photograph where all the Polaroid/Instax images appeared together (complete with white borders).

Assignment 5 I had presented as a photo book initially to my tutor and on my blog. My tutor and I had discussed in detail during the video call for Assignment 5 whether it worked as a photo book, in particular whether the diptychs worked as a strategy for displaying the images. At first I was quite adamant that the diptychs did work. However, after my tutor’s suggestion that the initial composites produced were the ‘standalone’ images and my own experimentation with how to present the ‘supporting documents’ where I featured heavily in self-portraits, I am of the opinion the initial composites are the ‘centrepiece’ and merit their own space. Therefore I’ve printed them large (A3-sized) for assessment whereas the ‘supporting documents’ for each standalone image have been printed together on one piece of A3 paper but with smaller individual print space.

We then briefly discussed the other assignments. I described to my tutor how I had plans to make Assignment 1 into a handmade photo book, where I was just getting materials and equipment for the book. The reasoning for making it handmade was because I felt it suited the organic qualities of the brewery itself and the subsequent pictures. In contrast I had also presented Assignment 3 in photo book but it had been produced by an online photo book publisher and so was of a professional (and therefore a somewhat more synthetic) quality. I felt suited this type of subject (gentrification in Deptford better). I also showed how I had taken care to pay more attention to the formatting in the photo book produced for Assignment 3 than the formatting for the initial submission of Assignment 5. This included bigger borders for the photographs as well as more attention paid to the text and placement of the text on the front cover/introduction.

For the critical review editing, I had completed three quarters of its revision. I intended to make another paragraph showing how with a lot of contemporary photography, including Thomas Ruff and Bettina von Zwehl, appearances can be deceptive. This was where through use of the existing genre of say portraiture as a template, they introduce seemingly subtle variations which subvert that genre. My tutor acknowledged this was a common strategy in contemporary photography and would be a good idea for my own photography going forwards.

We discussed Daido Moriyama, particularly Bye Bye Photography (1972) which I had been struggling to incorporate into my critical review. My tutor’s insights into Moriyama’s Bye Bye Photography where he suggested to look at the book as a whole as a kind of flowing text rather than individual images was a concept I had begun to develop beforehand. This backed up my thoughts and I now could be more confident including my reasoning into how Moriyama didn’t in fact use emotion directly in his photography (as I had first suggested). In fact Moriyama’s consistent aesthetic (are, bure, boke) and subject matter (or lack of) indicated that it was strangely appealing because it went against all that was traditional photography and made a bold, stark and haunting statement.

Like with the video call I conducted with my tutor for Assignment 5, I found that post-conceptualisation and subsequent experimentation would likely be key to my progression with the course and indeed my photography going forwards. This would mean shooting more frequently and without a clear concept in mind (or at least without my usual preconceptions) during the early stages of a project and allowing the idea to develop through experimentation. Another aspect of experimentation my tutor noted was that of taking risks with the experimentation. He used the example of experimenting with different types of film like slide film (E6 process) in order to differentiate my work. On the subject of taking risks, I asked my tutor whether it would be enough to stick with what I had been experimenting with in both the Documentary and Landscape modules – where I had been interested in the way people inhabit the landscape and how they add vitality to it. My tutor said this was a difficult question but answered it by saying that I could use elements I had been building up in the Documentary and Landscape modules going forwards but to remember to keep on experimenting and pushing outside of my comfort zone. This answer was very helpful and pushed home the need for experimentation and refinement in order to develop.

References:

Moriyama, D. (1972). Bye Bye Photography. 1st ed. Tokyo: Shashin hyoron-sha.