I’m hoping by the end of my degree to be able to work within the field of photography as I feel this is something that I could progress in, especially through gaining more experience in the real world. During the course of this year I have made some improvements in my skills in working with media. I think one of my biggest improvements would be in my conceptual skills. During one of the first projects of the year, I went into it without thinking about what I was going to do and what I wanted to achieve. This made it very difficult when it came to doing the project because I didn’t know where to start and what I wanted to achieve by the end of it. However on my latest project that I am doing, I have thought creatively about what I want to do, what I want the final outcome to look like and who my audience are. This is something I rarely did at the beginning of this course, and I have seen improvements as the year has passed. My technical skills have also improved greatly this year. Before starting this degree I had little knowledge of any technical skills in relation to media. But compared to the start of the year my technical skills have improved, although far from perfect, I have made a good start in improving my abilities. Unfortunately one skill that I haven’t massively improved on is my organizational skills. This has always been a huge issue for me when it comes to anything, and I’m still yet trying to improve on this. However there are ways that I can improve on this skill, for example, I could start to prepare my work in advance so it gives me more time to work effectively and efficiently and schedule what I have to do and when. One massive thing I feel like I still need to improve on is by being more keen to take on projects and risks and get more involved with my work.
Working in teams this year has been extremely useful in the sense that it allows more creativity and skills to be combined to produce some really good work. The people that I have worked alongside this year have each had their own particular skills that has made working in teams not only better, but very conscientious. However working in teams doesn’t eliminate any work based issues, but if problems occur the solution can be fixed a lot easier. For example, during one of our projects this year we were struggling to nail down a design idea for a poster, and the team decided that a good way to overcome this would to have multiple designers make different designs based off the initial idea. This allowed us then to physically see designs and choose which we thought would be best, and eliminated any problems with the initial ideas we had.
Before starting this degree my technical skills were very limited, and I believe they still are to an extent. When given a project or design idea my first thought is always regards to the technical aspects and whether I can accomplish them. I don’t really research massively into my technical skills when given work, I just go at it straight on, so still I clearly need to make some massive improvements. However my skills have improved in some way, for example, compared to the beginning of the year I had fairly little knowledge on the aspects of how to work a proper camera, in respects to the aperture and f-stops etc. But now I’m more knowledgeable in these aspects and I can see the improvements in my photographs. Also another issue with my photographs that I feel I now have improved on is how important lighting and exposure is when taking photographs, and this is something I now focus on in order to achieve greater photos.
When it comes to conceptual ideas in relation to my work I don’t do a lot of research into what I’m doing unless it involves technical aspects. However the most common thing I do when I’m given a project and I’m drafting ideas, I usually come up with an idea, and then research into certain aspects of it. For example, one of our first projects was portrait photography. When I was thinking about my initial ideas, for inspiration I looked at other artists work to help me finalise what I wanted to do. However during the year I have improved on these skills and now look more into conceptualising my ideas. On my latest project, I have looked at other artists work, I have also looked at what audience my project should be aimed towards in relation to its context and have also thought about how I want my final designs to look.
The practice I’m particularly interested in is photography. This interested sparked after doing a project on portrait photography early on in the course and has since been something I’m keen to develop further. Since starting this degree in September I have learnt many things in regards to this field that have helped me to develop my skills in that area. Throughout the course of the year we have taken part in many projects in relation to our work that have given us the opportunity to focus on specific skills in the area we’re interested in. The portrait photography project has helped me the most as it was the first time I had the opportunity to properly learn about photography and the specifics involved in the camera and with lighting, as this was something I was unclear of before starting the degree. Since this project I’ve not only seen an improvement in my work but in the way I think about all the aspects of trying to take a good photograph.
The intention for the design project at confetti studios was to eventually film and edit two songs and an interview of a local artist from the area. During this project one of my roles on the night of filming was setting up the cameras and lighting equipment that would be used to film the artist. But my main role was being on the roaming camera, which was the only one that wasn’t static. My other main role was going through all the footage and editing it to produce a seven minute video composing of 2 songs and an interview. Some of the skills that I needed to acquire for this project was the ability to use the editing software to edit the final cut of the video. Other skills I would have needed to acquire would be using the different cameras and equipment for the shoot, and also the ability to work with a whole team and act. The shoot itself was very successful, the group were very organised and everything went to plan. However the editing side of the project didn’t go very well. My organisation and ability to use and understand the software were fairly poor and as a result I didn’t manage to produce a final cut of the shoot.
To improve on my organisational skills I need to learn to manage my time more effectively as I feel in a lot of cases this is my biggest downfall. I could do this by preparing my work in advance and starting it much earlier so I’m not rushed, and if any problems were to occur I could address them sooner. Another way to improve your organisational skills could be through managing your work load in a timetable or list, to help see what you have to do visually.
To improve on my practical skills I think the main way to do this would be by simply getting more practice, as it’s the best way to improve on something by getting more experience with it hands on.
To improve on conceptual skills something that could help you to understand your work could be to keep notes of your work so you can revisit them later and still understand what your work is about or what it means. Something else that could help to improve these skills could be by using charts and diagrams to help you understand things clearer and to keep organised. Another way to improve these skills could be through verbal communication as it gives you a first person insight to what you’re learning.
On the 28th October 2015 I and others from the course took part in our assignment of filming an artist,, and in this case it was Alexa Hawksworth. The session was observed and we were graded on our abilities to set up lighting, camera equipment and to carry out a shoot.
On the night I was given the role of being on the fig rig handheld camera. This was something I had never done before and not a piece of equipment I was used to handling, for a first attempt at using the hand held camera, I thought it was fairly good. However some of the footage was out of focus or was unable to be used, so this is something I need to consider in the future, and ensure that my camera is set up appropriately.
To improve on this I could practice using the hand held to greater my abilities and confidence in using it again in the future.
Overall I believe that the shoot went fairly well and we all worked well as a group to carry out the shoot successfully.