Bye Bye Carbon? – Exercise 3.6 – Mixing Genre

Brief:- In this exercise you’ll make four photographs that mix genres together. Choose a subject you’d like to photograph. It can be anything at all, a place, a person, an object or a story. Landscape – Now decide on how you can enhance your subject’s meaning by joining it together with a place – a landscape. Make a photograph of your subject in or associated with a landscape or place of your choice. But choose wisely; there needs to be a ‘resonance’ between the subject and the place. For example, you could place a friend outside the house where he or she was born. You may not think it’s possible to combine landscape with other landscapes, but have a look at Beate Gütschow’s work and you’ll see it can be done (www. You can also place images side-by-side to be read as a single piece or make one picture out of several pictures. You may even be able to mix all four genres in one picture. Portrait – Make a photograph of your subject in combination with a portrait – the presence of a person. If your subject is a person, then you could add a second person, like a relative. Still life – Make a photograph of your subject in conjunction with an object or collection of objects. You could place an object in a landscape for example, as in Penny Watson’s photograph.  Story or event –
Make a photograph of your subject involved in a story or event. This could involve creating a narrative situation or a sequence of photographs that represent an event happening in time.When you’ve finished the four photographs arrange them together as a series, either in a computer program or as prints on a wall. When you view pictures repeatedly over time, they ‘work on you’ and you begin to notice things that don’t work and other things you’d like to improve. It’s a good way of learning from your own photographs.

A couple of months ago when I was visiting Redcar, I walked up the dunes and saw 50 – 100 christmas trees which had been planted into the sand. Dead christmas trees. Trees that are no longer drawing in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. Instead, they have been uprooted by human kind, to be used for our pleasure for 12 – 30 days, so that they can then be re-planted into an area that they will never grow in.

You can probably tell that this sparked a photographic fire within me. I couldn’t help but be drawn to the wind farm juxtaposed with these trees. How many times must we find to destroy the planet, then find ways to correct out destruction, just to create more destruction and need newer inventions to counter our further interventions, and ad infinitum.

Watching current affairs also highlights climate change deniers, and those “leaders” and carbon heavy industries who are desperate to cling hold of fossil fuels rather than say goodbye to them and make use of renewables.

I have included both two and three genres to create a narrative within the one image; still life and landscape or still life, landscape and portrait.

bye bye carbon

bye bye carbon

bye bye carbon


The narrative is promising here and I’m pleased with how combining different genres I have been able to create a narrative within a single image. I think many photos naturally make use of more than one genre, not all, but a fair few. However the process of deliberately trying to make use of different genres places an emphasis upon deeper consideration of what it is that I want to convey. Slowing the process down is always good for somebody with my make up, who tends to run with an idea without considering alternatives or depth. It’s when I slow down that my better work is produced, it has become a deliberate ploy since beginning Foundations in Photography.

The developing of the second image has not worked for me, the white balance is wrong and has too much warmth, and the yellowish tint doesn’t look right, although its composition is strong, maybe even the strongest of the three, simple but bold.

The first image needs the top cropping slightly, I like the composition, and I like how the red of the rose draws my eye into the cross.

Ok, the third image. This has the potential to be a strong photo, with the model offering the flowers to the trees, almost as if he is pleading to retain the use of carbon based energy, not wanting to let go and allow it to die in peace. But it needs to be re-photographed. I need to go back to Redcar and take this photo in the morning so that the mans shadow does not lean into the trees. I find it off-putting. maybe the toy cars could go from this photo as well, or be re-positioned as they detract from the composition in my opinion.

Hand on heart I am not always great at following the brief. I had read the brief in advance, a month or so, but I did not re-read prior to going out and shooting. At some point I am going to have to get on top of this. Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased with how my intuition and mind work together with some of my ideas, and this one particularly, and they have lent towards the brief in this instance. However, there will be times, either in higher education or with commissioned pieces where following the brief will be essential. With the times that I have deliberately chosen to go against the brief, and this has generally been once I have followed it for the first go but have wanted to explore, then that’s fine, thats personal development. However, I have said it before and will say it again until it sinks in, follow the brief.

Re-Worked Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology

Thank you so much for all of the helpful comments on my original. I have taken them on board, and I think the most important learning for me was in relation to the curtain tie back. I felt an attraction to that photo, I liked the neutral tones which emphasised the thread of the tie, and I also liked the contrast between the straight drape and the curve of the nylon/silk of the tie. However this series is about rope. Its so easy to choose a photo based on preference without realising that it doesnt fit with the theme.

I took on board the comment in relation to having the lobster pot in the middle, however with replacing the tie back I chose to use a second lobster pot, so have placed them on the left and right of the middle row, and the purple chord and rope in the middle. This means the tope row is predominantly beighe rope, the middle row is colour, and the bottom row includes rope and metal. The border is now smaller, as is the gap between the photos.


The brief asks us to record peoples comments, so here they are.

12 thoughts on “Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology”

  1. A really impressive set of photographs Richard. Worth the effort in assembling and post processing. The variety of rope is enormous and the range of colours surprising. The boat is different, but it does not disrupt. To my eye it causes pause for thought. On the other hand the far left shot in the middle row looks like a rope tie back on a curtain rather than rope on the shore. I think the size of the border is a matter of personal taste. I like your wide one. Your mid grey is bocming your signature perhaps? Lovely. Well done.

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  2. Really like the idea and also the variety of rope you have found.
    Just hope you were not trying to “string” us along – sorry could not resist a pun.
    Great piece of work non the less

    Liked by you

  3. Good set of pictures again Richard. I love the first crab/lobster pot one with the geometric pattern coming from just off centre, almost like a Spirograph. I think I might be tempted to put this in the centre? I agree with Sarah the 4th picture does oddly look like a curtain tie back. I think the 8th one also has some nice textures and colour. Well done and I look forward to seeing your final arrangement

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Rope – Exercise 3.2 – Typology

Brief:- Decide on a specific subject and work on making a series of photographs over several days. It’s best to choose a subject you have daily access to – your workplace, your home, a friend or a particular activity, for example – but you must be clear at the outset what your subject is. You have two important pieces of information before you’ve even begun to take pictures: you have your subject and you have your method of presentation. Now think about how you’ll approach the subject itself. For example, making wide shots from a distance would be very different from getting close into the action. When you’ve made the final selection of photographs, print them and place them in a grid or linear series. Invite people you know to comment on them and note down their responses.

This series is not my planned version, which I am still working on, however when opportunity beckoned I took it. During my recent holiday on Lindisfarne I was aware of how much rope was lying around. All of which had some connection to fishing, some of which was coloured and bright, others not so. I figured that I could make use of the rope for a typology.


My Favourite things by Michael Wolf is colourful and very pleasing upon my eye and I am glad the coursework asked us to review his series (here). I had this in mind whilst I was photographing the rope.

Presenting the different photos in a grid has not been easy. Differing colours, textures and other items has made the layout challenging.  Yet again I find that the midtone grey is a very suitable background, and it allows the images to stand out so that the focus is upon them. Perhaps I need to reduce the size of the border and spaces between the photos? I’m not sure.

What I like about this kind of series is the consistency. Even though there are background objects (boat, anchor, chain) the ropes with their different texture, colours and uses, are all prominent.

To add to the consitency I tried to get a similar white balance, exposure and contrast in Lightroom, and then took the photos into Photoshop, set the crop ratio to 3:2, and turned some of the photos around so that they are all in portrait. I cropped closer to the rope in all of the photos, but the boat doesnt match the others. However, I like the photo and it highlights a different use of the rope.

It has been a fun exercise to complete whilst I am still developing a much larger typography which is coming soon.

I would be grateful for any critique, feedback and suggestions. Have a fab day.

Dogs – Animals In Motion – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence

My first attempts at capturing animals in motion were photographed using my bridge camera, and I wasn’t particularly happy with the results. I have re-photographed, this time using some dogs that were playing in the snow. I made use of my Olympus OMD EM10 MKiii for this series, the lens was the MZuiko 4-150 zoom. As well as making use of the photo video format, I have made a grid presentation style using Adobe Photoshop.


The results are better here than they were for the birds, not perfect, more improvement needed but a better than my previous attempt.