Study Break – Exhaustion

Hello all.

I’m taking an unplanned study break. I move to London at the end of next week, which is incredibly exciting. I’m also finding the pressure of moving to be exhausting. I’m learning to listen to my body, and just now I’m needing to rest.

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I am experiencing moments of anxiety, not a huge amount, and I think the exhaustion and need for additional sleep, is the way my body and mind need to do things in order for me to cope. The anxiety had triggered my neuro-muscular condition quite severely, which will also have an impact upon the tiredness. I’m going with what my body needs at the moment, and that feels so healthy.

I’m still waiting for my self portraits to arrive. My next steps will be to review Cindy Sherman’s use of masks, and then to begin embroidering over my portraits. But that’s for once I’ve moved.

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Looking after myself is not a natural experience, but it’s happening. It’s a change that I put down to working the 12 step programme. It’s a relief to pace myself, focus on one thing at a time, and rest. Rest includes play, which right now is about watching comedy and the occasional movie.

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I’m on track with my eating, and working closely with my nutritionist. I can’t believe that I’m coping with change without restricting my diet or bingeing and purging. I feel very grateful.

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Action Man’s Travel Blog

Hey, I’m back.

Richard’s taking me on holiday again so I thought I’d get back on with me travel blog. Last time was great, but it was a shame Richard had to come back home early. I’ve been cooking for him and he’s doing better.

Not only is he getting well, I am too. I haven’t had a drink since London. One of my army pals came and did an intervention. I have started going to and Richard’s started going to a 12 step group for anorexia.

I’m still better looking than he is, even though he does look well now. A long day ahead. Catch you later.

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Exercise 3.5 – Photographs From Text

Brief:- History painting was a specific genre of painting that depicted scenes from religious, historical or mythological texts.  Choose a text that has meaning for you. It can be anything from a poem to a newspaper report, a biblical passage or a scene in a novel. It can be a long text, but it would probably be best if it was reasonably short, even a few lines. You’ll need to know your text by heart, so read it repeatedly.

Try to generate visual ideas that communicate something about the text. Discuss the text with other people and find out what images spring to mind for them. Write down any ideas you get from the text. They can be visual ideas or thoughts about the subject.

How would you turn that text into a photograph or a series of photographs?

  • Begin by thinking of a literal translation from the text, like a movie or a biblical painting.
  • Next, try to think in more metaphorical and symbolic ways. Text can be didactic, but you don’t have to illustrate the text; you can use it as a starting point for your picture making or you can create a broad interpretation based on the intuitive or emotional meaning the text has for you. For example, the Resurrection may cause joy and this joy could be metaphorically expressed in an explosion of colour, as in the work of Polly Apfelbaum.

When you’ve finished your work, place the photograph or photographs you’ve made with the text, side-by-side.

Leisure

by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Reflections

What a lot of fun I have had whilst making this sequence, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Because I read the course manual before I started Foundations in Photography, I had planned to use Leisure by William Henry Davies from the outset. It is probably my favourite poem, and one that is etched in my memory. My intention had always been to make this as close to a literal representation as I could do.

Technically this has been quite straight forward, with the only challenges coming from using Photoshop to remove an electric fence in the scene with the cows, and also from trying to get the text size correct. This has been difficult because I have taken the photos on four different cameras, each with their own dimensions, and because they have all been cropped to different ratios so that I could make each omage how I wanted them. I felt that it was important to get the text correct on the full size image, rather than the 1080p that I have saved the photos as, so that if I need to rework a photo then I have the original in its complete form.

The text has not worked out, and this is easy to correct by saving the original without text to 1080p and then increasing the canvas size and adding text, which can now be added at the same size.

I am going to go back and do this, but I felt that it was important to, as my former school teachers would say, show my workings out not just the answers.

Because this has been planned for a long time, than I have had the opportunity to take these photos in many places that I have visited, although I have had to include two from before I began Foundations in Photography so that I could retain the narrative, and two portraits from previous coursework.

 

 

Narrative – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence

A Hermits Journey

A Hermits Journey

I do not live alone, I live with myself. This is a position of strength, although it may appear to be an isolated existence.

A Hermits Journey

My mental health difficulties can lead to very morbid thoughts, but somehow I manage to walk that path in between life and death. I find there is as much joy to be found in darkness as there is in light. That’s not the way it used to be, so I think a positive attitude comes with experience and age.

A Hermits Journey

People are important to me. Through my studies I have developed an online community, and I have some very close and wonderful friends that I have known for years. However I chose not to meet with people very often, I prefer to have a physical distance, and enjoy the freedom of not having to be with people.

A Hermits Journey

If I spend too much time around people I feel overwhelmed and oppressed. It’s not that people are oppressive, its hard to explain. I find that being with people is quite heavy and tiring. It’s hard for me to just let go and move with current of life when I am in the company of others.

A Hermits Journey

Its much easier to blend into the background and be invisible.

A Hermits Journey

Spirituality, in my mind, is not about a church or belief system. Nature and space provide me with a connection and nourishment, as of course do birds. For me, feeling connected, that I have a place and purpose is important, and photography has given me that in bucket loads. I am grateful for my camera, and grateful to be studying photography.

A Hermits Journey

Gratitude is something that is so important to me. It is possible to feel grateful for so many small things, and in this photo its the colour and texture of the wood, and how they are strengthened and exaggerated by the snowy background. One of the many things that I found to be grateful for on my walk. Gratitude is a spiritual practice. At the end of each day I write five things down in my daily gratitude journal. Positivity has to be cultured.

A Hermits Journey

One of the down sides to living the life of a hermit is that there is a wee bit too much time for thinking. I find it is easy to slip into either negative thinking or dwelling on the past.

A Hermits Journey

Too much self-reflection can leave me feeling trapped, brittle and easy to break.

A Hermits Journey

During those times I have to dig deep and find my inner strengths and push myself forward. Colour and beauty is to be found within those inner resources that I use to move onwards and upward.

A Hermits Journey

Once I have pushed myself back up to the top of the hill, and re-discovered the joy of being, I can take a rest at my post. I lean upon this post with my camera in one hand and binoculars in the other. There are so many different bird species to be found in this small patch of bracken, bramble and trees. Peace and beauty flutter around me.

A Hermits Journey

In the journey through life people come and go. Maybe in passing, for however long that maybe, we will sit on these benches together and connect. But whether I sit with you, or someone else, I will never be alone because I will always be with myself.

 

Reflections

I am so grateful that I have used the opportunity provided in exercise 3.3 to explore different themes in relation to photography as a sequence. The photos for A Hermits Journey were taken during a walk from Whitby Abbey, down into the town, along the river Esk into Ruswarp, and then back into Whitby, ending with a walk along the West Cliffs.

The walk took me five hours, and I took many photos along the way. Although I will publish others in my gallery, I narrowed my selection for this narrative down to twelve photos which I could use to express a little of who I am. These photos are sequential in relation to the walk that I took, and I have tried to use my words in a manner that flows throughout.

If viewed by anyone who hasn’t walked the route I enjoy, then the photos without text would be seen as a series rather than as a sequence. The writing brings the photos together as a sequence, and provide a way for me to communicate and express myself. This is directive in its manner and probably doesn’t leave the viewer asking questions, although some may be able to relate to different aspects. I don’t believe that this has any abstract or conceptual slant to it, and fits very neatly into a genre of narrative photography.

Critique and feedback are always welcome on my blog.

Whitby

A few photos taken on my Huawei P10 Smart Phone. I’m currently developing some taken on my main camera (Olympus OMD EM10 mk iii) for my studies.

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