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17 Jan 2011

Planning for Assignment 4, pt.1

I thought I would take some time out to start writing down my thoughts and planning for Assignment 4: I’ve had some back and forth conversations with my tutor and I might as well make a log entry, summarising my thoughts so far…

I studied the brief in depth and looked at submissions from other OCA students’ for Assignment 4 and it all seemed a little too literal. The brief states that the lighting techniques are to be applied to one object, but this seems to be a very straight forward interpretation and conceptually dull.

My first instinct was to use my guitar as the subject so at least I could throw a model in there with it so I could add some extra layers and really play with artificial and photographic lighting. But I had other ideas in my head that may of lead me down the wrong path. Because of these ideas, I ended up getting the dictionary out for a definition of ‘object’……

1. anything that is visible or tangible and is relatively stable in form.

2. a person or thing with reference to the impression made on the mind or the feeling or emotion elicited in an observer: an object of curiosity and pity.


The first definition of object is the literal interpretation of the brief where as the second could be more conceptual. First thing that comes to mind is an ‘object of desire’ and given that we are bombarded with sexual imagery daily, I’m sure I wouldn’t of been short of inspiration!

I wrote a log entry about Cindy Sherman's work that lead me further down the idea of objectification, such as her Centrefolds series. I then looked at her Fairy Tale Stories series and that lead me back to Joshua Hoffine. I further considered ‘Object of Fear’ as a possible start point for Assignment 4, a ‘focus on phobias’ as a challenge that would allow me to change the subject matter in each photograph as the ‘object’ would be fright rather than something tangible.

I was concerned that I was missing the point so I consulted my tutor. He agreed with me: “The same photos of the same object, whole, with the same light only different gels, really does my head in. I didnt realise the world had that many wee small budda statues before I started tutoring this course. Most reasonably well executed but incredibly dull.”

Furthermore:

“I think your arguments are sound but only if you can tie them in with the different types of lighting and can still show the relevant aspects of the assignment brief with regard to lighting the 'object'.The main issue with this assignment is that it is very difficult to produce a panel of images from one subject without putting a notional as well as literal translation on the object. Otherwise you get a series of stick that down there change the lights, click, move lights, click etc.

Its a tough one for me this one, I’d say go for it but I genuinely wouldn’t know how an external assessor would take it, they could love it or hate it and although that shouldn’t really matter I’d say to give them at least one photo in each of the sections that they could refer to. That makes the object selection difficult because to then carry out the rest (all well lit and showing the assignment brief) as an object of fear or phobia would take a lot more thought. I'd love to see what you make of it but I’d still say for you to play safe for some of the photos but still put an interpretation on them.”


Some more correspondence followed, but in a nutshell:

“If you are asking definitely about the idea and the brief I’d have to
come down on the side of saying, from what you have already mentioned, that it wouldn’t fit the brief.”


Bugger. I still have no idea what I'm going to use for this assignment...

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