Choose ONE of the following:
Choose a community that you’re already a part of. It could be your child’s nursery or your regular gym class, but it should be something that takes up a substantial amount of your interest and time.
Create a photographic response to how this group informs who you are as a person.
● What aspects of this group or community reflect on you?
● What do you share?
● How does it function as a mirror reflection of who you are?
Use this opportunity to find out about a community that you don’t know much about and tell their story. Get to know them and talk to them; learn by listening and understanding.
Your aim here is to become an insider. You’re beginning as an outsider so it is important to choose a group that you can spend a lot of time with. Negotiation skills and respect are intrinsic to working well with your subjects and are invaluable skills for your development as a photographer.
Be clear about your intentions and involve your subjects in the process in order to obtain the best results.
● What window into this world can you access through your role as a photographer?
In either case you can create as many pictures as you like but, in your reflective commentary, explain how you arrived at the final edit. The set should be concise and not include repetitive or unnecessary images. Be attentive to this aspect of production. Spend some time researching how other photographers seem to edit series of works. There’s helpful advice on editing and sequencing in Maria Short, Context and Narrative (2011) Lausanne: AVA Publishing.
Some questions to consider are:
● What order should the images be shown in?
● Are there too many repetitive images?
● Do you need to let go of earlier images because the project has changed?
● Are you too close to some of your favourite pictures and they don’t fit the sequence?
● Do you need to re-shoot any for technical reasons?
● Are there any gaps that need to be filled?
Send your final series of images to your tutor together with your reflective commentary (500 words) on this assignment. Reflection
Before you send your work to your tutor, check it against the assessment criteria listed in the introduction to this course guide and make sure that it meets all the criteria. Make your evaluation available to your tutor.
Your tutor may take a while to get back to you. Carry on with the course while you are waiting, but please don’t attempt the next assignment until you’ve received your tutor’s feedback on this one. Reworking your assignment
Following feedback from your tutor, you may wish to rework some of your assignment, especially if you plan to submit your work for formal assessment. If you do this, make sure you reflect on what you’ve done, and why, in your learning log.
[20Dec20] In September, while considering all the assignments and just before I started the Melting Pot page, I wrote,
I'm not in any local groups, so it's the window. I have often thought of offering my services to one or more tattoo parlours - that resembles a community.
Blog, 65 Sep
The only group I really had contact with pre-Covid was workers in a Swanscombe food bank where I advised their clients on debt and benefits once a week or so. My advice group has not worked since April and I'm not sure when we'll start again, or where, so that's out.
I thought of tattoo parlours when scoping Asg.1, but kept it back for Asg.3 and yesterday London went into Covid Tier 4, so they are all closed for the foreseeable.
While I'm working on the clergy for Asg.2, I thought one of the congregations might include a choir I could Window on but that is now on hold for Covid.
Yesterday, I was reading about Hans Eijkelboom in Part 3 and encountered his Street Fusion: Bristol project hat included a group of people with dogs and I thought of switching to local dogwalkers - there are plenty of them, some will agree, they don't fully meet the assignment specification, but they are a definable group with a common interest and that will have to suffice.
I started today on the was back from the shops with only my iPhone to hand. One request, one positive outcome.
[3Jan21] Gradual progress since the first subject on impulse. It is not easy to get a decent photograph. I can encounter quite a few dog walkers relatively eaily, but:
1. As an man of age, I will not ask single women or groups of children, especially in the less populated locations;
2. It does not work with dogs off the lead, they are busy elsewhere;
3. They have do be walking towards me and not too quickly and not distracted by, say, a conversation with others;
4. Some just assume that I am saying "what a nice dog", as they say yes and walk on;
5. Not many of the remainder refuse, just Anon on 26th December who insisted, "don't photograph me";
6. Dogs are not good at posing and their owners are nearly always looking at the dogs.
Nevertheless, I'm aiming to get 100.
[Later that day] I should remember that, despite what I'm telling the subjects ("dogs and their owners"), I am actually targetting dogs and their owners. Suddenly I feel a lot better.
Count 8, 1 anon.
[17Jan] It rained for nearly a week and the only photographs produced for the series was a few distant views to start a new subset which I have named Unmet, subjects with dogs from a distance and no opportunity to converse. Today was pleasant but the paths muddy and the count has risen, but I took more Unmets too, because there are some interesting configurations of subjects in the distance which I have no chance of catching up with. I do not always get the walkers names: when they refuse to say, I call that 'Anon', otherwise (in a rush or whatever) it's eg Rover 'plus 2'.
After writing the above I took a first cut of the images and will mention a new designation. One of the problems in the park is that the dogs are off their leads, excitedly active and unwilling to pose with their 'owners'. There are a few now suffixed 'sans'.
And an update on my patter. It usually runs,
'Do you mind if I photograph your dog?' then, if affirmative, do it then 'what's its name?' and, if they seem co-operative, 'and yours?'. If they ask what it's for,
'I'm trying to photograph 100 dogs' and if they ask whether it's for SE9, a local freepaper, I explain that it's for a photo-degree, it's portraits this year and difficult to find subjects with Covid.
If they are seated, the conversation may continue to dogs, dogs' names (one of the owners in fig D8 today had a theory about dog owners who choose 'human' names as opposed to Fido, Spot etc.), or the course or occasionally cameras. If the dog is in motion, then there is not time for such things.
No refusals today, or indeed since 10th Jan.
The Count is 20 with 1 anon, 1 sans and 8 unmet.