For task two, we have to develop one of the images from one of the projects from the Finding Workshops. These tasks include; Melissa Harris' Exquisite Corpse, Christine Shank's One Hour Photo Project, Shawn Records' Out of Your Head, and Aline Smithson's Words and Ideas (all of which are documented on previous blog posts and my Instagram).
Despite enjoying the majority of these tasks and having many areas where I can develop and improve upon, the project I felt most engaged with was Aline Smithson's Words and Ideas task. What I liked most about it was how I got to explore myself and how to shoot the responses in a clear way with strong narrative. I also liked how I could be as creative as I wanted with this, taking the chance to explore the use of PhotoShop, gif files, and archiving. Picking one question from this set of ten to hone in on was hard, as there were a few I found challenging. Such as who are you? What do you never normally take a picture of? and what is the meaning of life?
After looking through the images and considering the questions deeper, it turns out that the idea I found most challenging was "what do you never normally take a picture of?". This was because it got me thinking deeper about how I mediate myself through my work, what I hide, and how using my life as a starting point could create stronger narrative.
What I initially took a photo of was my nan in hospital, when I took the photo I was expiring the clear signs of hospitalisation and looking at detail. This in a way covers the question in two ways. I do not normally shoot my personal life in my practice, and I have never worked in a hospital settings. To develop this into a series, I took my camera into hospital (for the above image I was only equipped with my phone), and shot. I did not want to be intrusive, so I checked with my nan I could take photographs and abided by her wishes for her face to not be shown. This project helped me on a personal level as well, removing myself emotionally from the setting and considering it from a photographic perspective. Below are the final images from this mini project, as well as a critical rationale.
I chose to focus on refining this specific task and question set by Aline Smithson due to the fact I found it the most challenging task over all, looking at myself to draw inspiration. This specific task however I chose as I struggled with it initially emotionally, really showing a part of my life I don’t tend to display as it is fair to say I am quite private. I wanted to conquer this unease in order to draw a better narrative from myself. Working towards making my work more personal.
This is a fair strong attempt, and I found it easier than I thought. Initially thinking my emotional connection to the subject would render my images to resemble more of a family album. Working from the original image I wanted to focus at the details rather than the bigger picture. Some of these are not the strongest images out of what I took, however, despite wanting to remove myself emotionally from the shoot, I still wanted to show that this is about a person, rather than just have a hospital still life images.
This project, and the tasks from the Finding Workshops, have got me thinking more about shooting from myself and time constraints. Using time in a more defined way, with more solid shoot deadlines. This has meant being confined to a certain light, place, or idea and working with what I have rather than leaving it and constructing the shoot to my idea of ‘perfection’. I am really excited however about how these have made me think about using myself as a starting point, which I have never really done but want to develop further. Although this proves hard at times, it can produce a stronger body of work, and help overcome things on a more personal level.