Monday, 16 July 2012

Landscape - what am I going to do with it?

Well I did my usual thing of deciding I understood everything and charging in, as a result of which I’m halfway through the projects leading to the first assignment before deciding what I’m trying to do Sad smile.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I had a useful introductory chat with my tutor who reminded me that at this level I need to think beyond technique to communication of ideas, or exploration. One of the things that concerns me most is that I look at other people’s blogs, and it’s clear that they have reasonably clear ideas about what they are trying to explore or achieve.

In truth, I don't feel particularly driven to communicate my personal views  - I’m not terribly political and I rather loathe single issue protest groups and campaigning organisations because of their inability to see more than one side of an argument – but there are undoubtedly subjects that interest – perhaps even irritate me – and ideas I’d like to explore in more detail. At my tutors suggestion I have spent a couple of hours jotting and doing a bit of mind-mapping to get some of these things into a usable form that I can pick from and relate to each other and to the course work. I’ve broadly sub-divided the ideas into two chunks Concepts – in which I’ve included the ideas I’d like to explore, and Examples – which covers the subject areas that I’m currently photographing or tempted to photograph. I added in the Assignments for good measure, and my first pass is here:

Early mindmap setting out my ideas for Landscape 2

The connections are a bit weak at the moment, but I plan to come back to it from time to time to test where I’m going and to work up further ideas.

Overall I’m quite take with this approach – it adds some structure. Rather than going out to take random stuff I can start relating it to some key themes. Some of these are practical – how do I create ‘space’ in a photo for example, some are a bit more philosophical – how do all these images relate to my memory of place perhaps and some are simply practical – shoot some old farm buildings, but by linking them together  feel I have a reasonable chance of setting in motion the processes that lead to a meaningful block of study. Without something like this to guide me I’ll get to the end of the course with nothing more than a set of unrelated assignments. At the same tie, it has to be live. If my initial brainstorm missed something that subsequently seems important, or I lose interest in an area, it should simply be a case of nudging the map to  ensure that I stay on my new path.

We shall see – as my sensei says: There is no try – only do.

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