351MC #Phonar – Final Reflection
During the #phonar module, I have answered the five learning objectives in numerous ways. This final reflection focuses on how I have answered each of these learning objectives, along with the overall benefits I gained from taking part in the module.
- Successfully undertake appropriately sophisticated research, analysis and interpretation of information
For the first learning objective, I undertook appropriately sophisticated research within some of my weekly tasks (including “Transformative Storytelling” and “Post-Photographic Portrait”) where I took the time to research different methods, definitions, and examples, as well as gaining feedback from my target audience, that I used to develop my ideas. I also spent time looking back over some of the examples given within the sessions and used these as research to back up different concepts I put forward within my weekly reflections (these include week two’s ideas on metaphotographers, week three’s example of PinePoint, and week four’s example of Spencer Platt’s World Press Photo). I also undertook appropriately sophisticated analysis and interpretation of information through writing weekly reflections based on my understanding and response to the discussed class concepts, my reflection of the weekly tasks where I identified their relationship to different #phonar theories, as well as storify-ing some of mine and my peers tweets to create a personal research tool (found at the end of each weekly session, for example “351MC Photography and Narrative – Session One”).
- Identify the key issues involved in creating concepts that effectively communicate a particular message to a specific audience
For objective two, I found that throughout the #phonar module, I personally focused on the idea of having digital natives as an audience, due to the fact that the module focused mainly on concepts surrounding the digital age. In a number of different weekly reflections, I therefore discussed different ideas about how appealing to the changing, digital native audience has transformed throughout the digital era. (For example, in week three I discussed how creating a photographic narrative has become slightly more complex within the digital age due to the audiences increasing understanding of the photographic and digital mediums and its relation to the multiple point perspective; in week six I discussed Shahidul Alam’s idea on transportation mechanisms and suggested that these must have changed within the digital era due to the increasing accessibility of digital technologies and the layering of digital aspects making the digital age a more complex viewing medium for the audience; in week seven I discussed the ideas put forward by Marcus Bleasdale and Aaron Huey about experimenting with the boundaries of our photographic practice as a way of appealing to different audiences; and finally, in week eight I looked at how the reading of the image and using the image as a stimuli for action has changed within the digital age as the audience’s involvement has changed – For more information on these ideas and arguments, please visit the stated reflections). I also answered this objective within my “Post-Photographic Portrait” task as I targeted my project towards an audience comprised mainly of digital natives (due to the reason stated above), and therefore spent time in the deliberation and planning of the task deciding on the best way to present my response to the audience. However, one of the main issues I identified within this tasks reflection is that it is very difficult to balance the personal aspect of a project and the idea of aiming it more towards the viewer.
- Independently produce a photographic narrative utilizing a range of analytical and practical photographic skills
For the third learning objective, I independently produced a photographic narrative utilizing a range of different analytical and practical photographic skills within each of the weekly tasks that I completed (“Alienated Sensory Mash-Up”, “Unphotographable Phiction”, “Spoken Narrative, and “Transformative Storytelling”), including the main “Post-Photographic Portrait” task where I also included a section in the reflection discussing the skills that I used within the task. By looking through these tasks, you will notice that throughout #phonar, I have utilized and enhanced a number of different skills including research, analysis and compression of information, critical thinking, comparison of information, creatively responding to a brief, video editing, audio editing, and creative writing.
- Show evidence of experimentation with a range of narrative forms and media as a creative method for clearly articulating visual themes, stories and concepts
For objective four, I showed evidence of experimentation with a range of narrative forms and media throughout each of my completed weekly tasks (“Alienated Sensory Mash-Up”, “Unphotographable Phiction”, “Spoken Narrative, and “Transformative Storytelling”) including the main “Post-Photographic Portrait” task. I also used these as a creative method for articulating visual themes, stories and concepts which is evidenced through my task reflections where I related the task and my response back to the themes and concepts we’d already discussed within the #phonar module (specifically in the “Post-Photographic Portrait” task as I used it as an opportunity to incorporate different #phonar themes that interested me within my final piece and dedicated a section of my planning to identifying this part of the method).
- Critically evaluate their project work and the editorial decisions made throughout this process and its commercial relevance with respect to their chosen areas of specialism.
For the final objective, I critically evaluated my project work and editorial decisions throughout this process, which can be found within the preparation and planning for some of the weekly tasks (editorial decisions), as well as all of the tasks reflections (evaluation). However, this objective was specifically answered by my “Post-Photographic Portrait” response as this task focuses more on the editorial decisions and development of the work as well as the evaluation and reflection. I also evaluated the commercial relevance with respect to my chosen areas of specialism within the weekly reflections where I discussed the affect individual themes and concepts had on my professional practice and understanding of the photographic industry. I also stated that, when possible, I have tried to use #phonar to its full potential by creating responses to tasks that relate to the theories and ideas I am exploring for both my Symposium and my Final Major Project. Also (as mainly stated in the “Post-Photographic Portrait” reflection and the end of this reflection) this module has offered me inspiration and ideas that I will be taking forward for my Final Major Project.
As I am unsure whether my #phonar summer task counts towards the module, I have decided to include this small section that discusses the learning objectives it answers and how it answers them (please note, this is based solely on the second, main task that we were given from our Summer Task).
- Learning Objective 1 is answered through the fact that the idea for this task was based on past knowledge and research about the digital age, digital natives and iPhoneography (including ideas surrounding the social media site, Instagram), as well as including past research into Dave McCandless’ “Information is Beautiful”
- Learning Objective 3 is answered through the fact that this task mainly focused on practical skills through embracing the idea of iPhonography and citizen photojournalists
- Learning Objective 4 is answered through the fact that I experimented with a number of different narrative forms and media including iPhoneography, image editing apps, an app called “Runtastic”, and the idea of using visual data representation (images, maps and statistic) to tell a story
- Finally, Learning Objective 5 was also slightly answered as I briefly discussed why I responded to the task in this particular way (editorial decisions), looking back at the inspiration I gained from past knowledge and research
Overall, I feel that the #phonar module has benefited me in a number of ways. This module has allowed me to gain and enhance my knowledge of different theories and concepts surrounding photography within the digital era, whilst also providing me with the opportunity to critically engage with these themes, allowing me to explore my own take on what has been discussed. This, in turn, has enabled me to become a more digitally literate photographic practitioner, allowing me to successfully differentiate myself from the amateur photographers of today. Throughout #phonar, I have also gained and increased a number of different experimental skills through exploring different resources that photographers can now access in the digital age. By doing this, I have also been introduced to a number of techniques regarding appealing to and immersing different audiences in my projects, which has allowed me to identify a sparked interest in the idea of “Photography for your ears” and cinemagraphs, which I am now considering incorporating into my Final Major Project as a way of creating a more immersive (and personal) experience for the audience.