Due to the COVID 19 epidemic, my options were limited for subjects to photograph however, I managed to get some photos of strangers right at the beginning before the full effect of the idea of mask wearing a social distance became to problematic and I turned to my wife and my fellow distant OCA students and friends for selfies.
How well / or badly did it go?
My wife was a star in acting as my model, and my final project ‘Behind this laughing mask on mine‘ provided me with a golden opportunity to reach out to my fellow students; and their enthusiastic response to my call for selfies wearing masks was great and very encouraging. All in all, my course was a very good experience and I am pleased with the final result.
What did I learn?
The national lockdown was certainly a challenge, but I feel that it taught me a good lesson in adapting and making do and not to be afraid to get other people involved. I also learned to let go and giving control over to my subjects.
What will I do differently next time?
Next time I hope not to be in the middle of an epidemic.
How will I do it differently next time?
I would like the opportunity to work with some professional or semi-professional models and I would like to work with more of the general public.
What have I achieved?
I have learned a great deal from this course, the idea of self and other has really changed my outlook regarding portraiture, and I hope will develop my skills even further as I practice my art.
How have I put theory into practice?
In assignment one, I explored the idea of sub-identities that make-up a person as a whole. I chose to use my wife as a clear example, I find that women are better than men in visually expressing their sub-identities through their wardrobe, make-up and behaviour. In assignment two, I used the idea of a photo essay to try to document feelings of isolation that we all have been feeling during the lockdown. I assignment three, I revisited the idea of sub-identities but this time through memory and life’s journey of development and age, inspired by Roland Barthes’ ‘four image repertoires‘. Assignment four, provided me with the experience and practice of writing a critical essay and putting the ‘Harvard Referencing System,’ in to practice. Assignment five, In learned more about researching and planning for a project and Assignment six, getting my subjects involved in my project.
How does what I’ve been doing lead to me becoming better at my skills?
By reading critical theories by writers such as Roland Barthes, Kathy Woodward, Erving Goffman, I have learned to explore ideas and themes.
How can I use this to plan for the future?
I can now think about contextualising my pictures, adding themes and ideas that can add layers to my pictures, and hopefully, resulting in something more interesting with greater depth.
How can I use this to plan new learning experiences?
Start by researching for the idea, then research the idea, then plan how to express the idea. This I believe, will be a continuous learning experience.
What do I think/feel about it?
I think that for an art project, research is key, and to help contextualise the work an essay is essential. Having an idea of how a photographer is going to theme his pictures helps to make his more interesting, all this is good.