352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Text Experiment

As you may have already seen within some of my developmental blog posts for my 352MC Professional Photographic Practice module, I thought that it would be a good idea to experiment with the use of accompanying text, in order to enhance the viewers contextualized understanding surrounding the personal concept of the project, thus making it more accessible for them as an audience.

As you may have seen in different one-to-one discussions with both David Rule and Anthony Luvera (please see the blog posts entitled “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Lecture 12 (One-to-One Tutorials with Emma Critchley, David Rule and Caroline Molloy)” and “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Lecture 13 (One-to-One Tutorial with Anthony Luvera)”), the idea of including accompanying text actually stemmed from one of my previous modules, called #Phonar (Photographic Narrative), where, for one of the weekly tasks, I looked into the literary movement called “Flicktion” (for more in-depth research on this idea, please visit the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research”). My original idea for the accompanying text was to therefore discuss the memories that have been triggered in each of the photographed locations in order to provide the viewer with textual grounding surrounding the concept of my work (however, please note that the content of the text has been experimented with below, along with the writing styles).

Throughout my research, I have therefore spent time looking into different styles of writing (both in general and in association with a photograph – please see the blog post entitled “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research”), and this blog post has therefore been dedicated to evidencing the experimentations I have undergone regarding these researched styles.

Below you will therefore be able to find information regarding the style of text and who I gained the inspiration from within my research, the piece of writing I wrote in response to this inspiration (shown in quotes and italics), a brief reflection on the style, followed by a generalized after-though and reflection section where I discuss my chosen text:

Please note, however, that for these experimentations, I have only written the text for the final exhibition piece that I decided to use (“Buttermere” – which was decided after the “Presentation Options” experiment), and these are obviously only first drafts of the text. Once I decide on the final writing style I wish to use, I will then spend time writing the text for each of the locations, as well as writing numerous drafts. Also, as you will see below, some of the piece of text I have written a more complete than others. This is because, when I was experimenting with each of the writing styles, if I thought that the specific type of text wouldn’t work well with my project, I decided to move onto the next so that I could focus on finding a piece of text that worked.

 


 

EXPERIMENT TEXT:

 

Personal and Creative:

The first style of writing I decided to experiment with was that which held a personal and creative characteristic. As briefly suggested above, this particular idea (of including accompanying text) and style stemmed from a previous module (#Phonar), where I experimented with the “Flicktion” technique in order to create a personal and fictitious piece surrounding one of the memories that I held with regards to a particular photograph of mine (to see the piece that I am talking about, please visit the following link – https://hollyconstantinephotography.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/phonar-session-four-task-transformative-storytelling/). However, I also wanted to start of with the creation of a piece of text that uses this style of writing as, after the task that I completed for #Phonar, I found that I tended to use this style of writing in my personal pieces that I create outside of university.

Nevertheless, with all of this being said, I also found that when I conducted some research into Alfred Wainwright’s “A Pictorial Guide of the Lakeland Fells” books, his style of writing was both poetically descriptive and suggestive. Focusing primarily on the descriptive aspect of his writing (because I feel that the suggestive text would only really fit within a guide like publication), the myriad of poetic language tools that he uses (such as personification and metaphors), creates an intellectually informed yet beautiful piece of writing; this could be used to represent the beauty of the subject discussed throughout the text, whilst also providing the viewer with an understanding into Wainwrights personal viewpoint in relation to the Lake District area.

I therefore decided that I wanted to experiment with this particular style of fictitious writing (personal and creative), as I personally thought that it could be used to suggest my personal relationship with the project/landscape, whilst also referencing the beauty of the landscape depicted within the final piece.

 

Feeling the sun on my back as it peers through the rustling leaves, working in time to the laps of water as it hits the shore. Walking ahead, I look down at the ground, kicking the stones under my feet, wandering how much longer I have to endure the walk around the lake. Bringing me out of my state of boredom, I stop and listen to a new sound. Tilting my head to try and determine the producer of the noise, I listen carefully to the flow of the lake as its disrupted by the shallow sound of hollowness. Walking forward, intrigued as to the new sound, I cross a small mound to see two wooden boats docked by the shore, bobbing to the waters ebb and flow. Drawing closer to them, I focus my attention on the rivets of the woodwork, following it back to the bow of the boat before being confronted by Haystacks beauty as it penetrates the skyline. Standing there for a moment, listening to the water trickle over the rocks, hit against the boats, I turn to try and scout for a seat in the shade. Choosing my rocky throne, I perch, leaning down to pick up rocks, feeling them fall through my fingers as I watch the scene in front of me. 

Mesmerized by the rhythm of the scene, the ebb and flow, the bob of the boats, the movement of the leaves in the trees, my attention is pulled away as I here footsteps in the distance disturbing the rocky path. I peel my gaze away from the view and look over to see you slowly walking towards me with the rest of the group. I smile sweetly as you look from me to the boats, and head towards the shore as I had done. Watching you analyze the scene in front of you, I focus on your face and watch as your usually solemn face peels it’s way back into a grin filled with delight. You turn to me, quicker than I am used to, and beckon me over to the waters edge. Standing up slowly, confused as to the revelation that is sprawled across your face, I make my way over to you, stepping across the pebbles, and join you beside the boats. I look up at your face the unusual grin still there as you look down at me with pure delight. During my gaze away from your face, I move my eyes down, trying to grasp an understanding of the situation. And then I see it, your camera perched perfectly in your hands, as if they were made to fit, hanging from your neck for support. Still confused, I look up at you as I slowly go into my pocket, bringing out my camera, holding it in my hands in front of me. Looking across from my camera to yours, I look back up at your face as you’re pointing into the distance, talking to me, gesturing to my camera. Seeing you excitement, bemused by your animated self, I compose myself and start to listen to the stream of words as they roll off of your excitable tongue. Lighting. Composition. Framing. Perspective. I hang on to your every word, looking down at my camera, trying to follow your instructions precisely, wanting to please you. 

I end up crouched towards the ground next to the boats where we were stood, my camera still carefully placed in my hands. I look up at you, worried that I was doing something wrong. Looking back at me you smile and give a reassuring nod. Drawing my gaze back to my camera, I adjust my grip as I look out towards the boats in front of me, Haystacks looming so ominously over them, the wind whistling through the branches that frames the peaks. Looking back to my camera, I slowly bring it up to my face, taking one last look at the view as I move my face closer, peering through the viewfinder. Everything seems so different, so small and insignificant. I move slightly, adjusting my position, take one last look at the landscape within the restricting square and, snap.

That was the first time we shared a common interest, connected. That was the time when you taught me how to compose a photo.

 

After writing this piece of text, as you can see from the completion of the piece, I personally feel that it is a very successful style to write with in relation to my FMP. This is not only due to the fact that, as this is the style of writing I usually employ, I personally feel that it acts as a more successful piece, but I also think that another reason is because the content fits with what I was expecting to include (a description of the memory I recall). However, another reason why I enjoy this particular style is because there are also numerous features associated with the creative style of the text (including the first person narrative, the use of beautifully descriptive language in order to suggest my personal viewpoint and emotional attachment with regards to the landscape and the memory I’m depicting), that greatly enhances the personal aspect of the project. I also feel that the fictitious characteristic of the piece could also be used to symbolise the created fabrication of the memory I recall, thus referencing the more academic theories I have researched into surrounding the psychology of memory recollection.

However, with all of this being said, I personally feel that there is something missing from the piece of writing. As it focuses primarily on the memory that I recall, (which didn’t actually take place in this exact photographed location, but instead across the other side of the lake), I feel that there needs to be some sort of creative description at the beginning of the piece in order to suggest the relationship between the memory and the section of the landscape that I have photographed.

 


 

Describing the Photo Methodology:

For the next writing experiment, it’s not actually the style of the writing that I am looking at, but the methodology. As suggested above, this particular idea (of including accompanying text) stemmed from a previous module (#Phonar), where I experimented with the “Flicktion” technique in order to create a personal and fictitious piece surrounding one of the memories that I held with regards to a particular photograph of mine. When I was doing research into this particular “Flicktion” methodology (looking at a photograph to create a piece of writing), I also found that Karen McCarthy Woolf used a similar technique when writing her poetic pieces, and therefore thought that it would be interesting to experiment with in order to write a piece of text that discuses the process of me revisiting these locations to trigger the recollection of the memories (rather than simply describing the event in the memory that I recalled, which was my initial plan).

I therefore decided that I wanted to experiment with this particular methodology of fictitious writing (using the personal and creative style I experimented with above), as, I personally thought that it would allow me to create a piece of writing that the viewer could engage with, and immerse themselves in, due to the accompanying landscape photograph that it describes.

 

Listening to the sound of the gravel move under my feet, feeling the coolness of the shade as I continue forward, I look up to be greeted by the beautiful haze that’s shading Haystacks from view. Standing still, taking in the beauty in front of me, my gaze is drawn up to a couple of birds dancing by. Inhaling the cool air I feel the wind whisp around my legs as I draw my attention back to the view in front of me. Curious and questioning I follow the shadow line down from the summit, and look across to the other side of the lake to see what beauty lays the other side.

 

After writing this piece of text, I personally thought that it was very interesting to include a description of the photograph (in the creative way that I previously enjoyed, reasons suggested above), in order to provide the viewer with further information surrounding the landscape depicted that couldn’t be captured within the photo (for example, the temperature), as I thought that this technique created a denser mental association with the landscape, thus enhancing the viewers engagement and immersion with the piece.

However, as suggested in the introduction to the text experiments, I originally envisaged the text discussing the personal memories I recollected in order to provide the projects concept, creating a contextualized understanding within the viewer. Nevertheless, as suggested in the previous text experiment, I said that I felt there needed to be some sort of creative description at the beginning of the piece in order to suggest the relationship between the memory and the section of the landscape that I have photographed. I am therefore going to experiment with the combination of the “Describing the Photo Methodology” and the “Personal and Creative” style of text, in order to see whether this fixes my ‘problems’.

 


 

Describing the Photo Methodology AND Personal and Creative:

As suggested above, the next piece of text that I am going to experiment with is the combination of the “Describing the Photo Methodology” and the “Personal and Creative” style of text. This is because, although I greatly enjoyed the creative style of each of the experiments, I personally thought that a constructed relationship between the photograph and the memory that I recalled was missing from the piece of text.

 

Listening to the sound of the gravel move under my feet, feeling the coolness of the shade as I continue forward, I look up to be greeted by the beautiful haze that’s shading Haystacks from view. Standing still, taking in the beauty in front of me, my gaze is drawn up to a couple of birds dancing by. Inhaling the cool air I feel the wind whisp around my legs as I draw my attention back to the view in front of me. Curious and questioning I follow the shadow line down from the summit, and look across to the other side of the lake to see what beauty lays the other side.

But suddenly, I’m no longer here, in the now. I’m 8 years old, across the other side of the lake, looking towards my future self. I feel the sun on my back as it peers through the rustling leaves, working in time to the laps of water as it hits the shore. Walking ahead, I look down at the ground, kicking the stones under my feet, wandering how much longer I have to endure the walk around the lake. Bringing me out of my state of boredom, I stop and listen to a new sound. Tilting my head to try and determine the producer of the noise, I listen carefully to the flow of the lake as its disrupted by the shallow sound of hollowness. Walking forward, intrigued as to the new sound, I cross a small mound to see two wooden boats docked by the shore, bobbing to the waters ebb and flow. Drawing closer to them, I focus my attention on the rivets of the woodwork, following it back to the bow of the boat before being confronted by Haystacks beauty as it penetrates the skyline. Standing there for a moment, listening to the water trickle over the rocks, hit against the boats, I turn to try and scout for a seat in the shade. Choosing my rocky throne, I perch, leaning down to pick up rocks, feeling them fall through my fingers as I watch the scene in front of me.

Mesmerized by the rhythm of the scene, the ebb and flow, the bob of the boats, the movement of the leaves in the trees, my attention is pulled away as I here footsteps in the distance disturbing the rocky path. I peel my gaze away from the view and look over to see you slowly walking towards me with the rest of the group. I smile sweetly as you look from me to the boats, and head towards the shore as I had done. Watching you analyze the scene in front of you, I focus on your face and watch as your usually solemn face peels it’s way back into a grin filled with delight. You turn to me, quicker than I am used to, and beckon me over to the waters edge. Standing up slowly, confused as to the revelation that is sprawled across your face, I make my way over to you, stepping across the pebbles, and join you beside the boats. I look up at your face the unusual grin still there as you look down at me with pure delight. During my gaze away from your face, I move my eyes down, trying to grasp an understanding of the situation. And then I see it, your camera perched perfectly in your hands, as if they were made to fit, hanging from your neck for support. Still confused, I look up at you as I slowly go into my pocket, bringing out my camera, holding it in my hands in front of me. Looking across from my camera to yours, I look back up at your face as you’re pointing into the distance, talking to me, gesturing to my camera. Seeing you excitement, bemused by your animated self, I compose myself and start to listen to the stream of words as they roll off of your excitable tongue. Lighting. Composition. Framing. Perspective. I hang on to your every word, looking down at my camera, trying to follow your instructions precisely, wanting to please you.

I end up crouched towards the ground next to the boats where we were stood, my camera still carefully placed in my hands. I look up at you, worried that I was doing something wrong. Looking back at me you smile and give a reassuring nod. Drawing my gaze back to my camera, I adjust my grip as I look out towards the boats in front of me, Haystacks looming so ominously over them, the wind whistling through the branches that frames the peaks. Looking back to my camera, I slowly bring it up to my face, taking one last look at the view as I move my face closer, peering through the viewfinder. Everything seems so different, so small and insignificant. I move slightly, adjusting my position, take one last look at the landscape within the restricting square and, snap.

That was the first time we shared a common interest, connected. That was the time when you taught me how to compose a photo.

 

After combining these pieces of text, I personally feel that this is the most successful textual experiment so far. Once again, this is not only due to the fact that this is the style of writing I usually employ (creating a more successful piece), that the creative features included within the style of the text greatly enhances the personal aspect of the project, as well as the fact that that the fictitious characteristic of the piece could also be used to symbolise the created fabrication of the memory I recall, but it is also due to the content of the piece. Not only does the content fit with what I was expecting to include (a description of the memory I recall), but the inclusion of the “Flicktion” piece of writing provides the viewer with an access point into the text through immersing them in a description of the landscape depicted in the photograph in front of them, before moving on to discuss my personal memory in relation to the documented landscape.

I therefore feel that, so far, this is the style of text that I will be using for my final piece’s accompanying text.

 


 

Creative and Academic:

The next style of writing I decided to experiment with was that which held a creative yet academic characteristic. My influence for experimenting with this particular style of writing came from the research I conducted into both Robert Macfarlane’s “The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot” and Rebecca Solnit’s “Wanderlust: A History of Walking”. When researching into these two particular resources, I soon found that both Macfarlane and Solnit wrote relatively creative and poetic pieces of descriptive writing, whilst also informing their work with historical, psychological, philosophical and literary context. This therefore meant that they were both able to write pieces of text that were personal to them, but that was made accessibly to the reader through providing them with a contextualized understanding of the personal aspects within the book.

I therefore decided that I wanted to try and experiment with the creation of a piece of writing that balances the personal with the academic in order to, as suggested above, create a more accessible project for the viewer through providing them with a contextualized understanding of the personal aspects within my project.

Please note, for this particular experiment, I am therefore planning on using the personal and creative piece of writing created in the previous experiment as a template, before taking time to incorporate a mixture of the academic theories I researched and discussed through both my 350MC Working with photograph in Context (Symposium) module, and this 352MC “Professional Photographic Practice” module.

 

Listening to the sound of gravel move under my feet, feeling the coolness of the shade as I continue forward, I embrace the information that is being collected by my senses. Looking, smelling, feeling, I wait for the moment where my mind takes me down the psychological pathway, triggering my recollection, providing me with the psychological escapism I came here to find. Deciding to stop, I look down at my feet, closing my eyes as I inhale the cool, spring air. Feeling the gentle wind as it whisps around my body, I open my eyes, drawing my gaze up to the beautiful scene in front of me. Following the pathway towards the stunning haze that’s shading Haystacks from view, I stand still as I contemplate. Is this what the psychological pathway would look like in reality? Leading me towards the hazy, fading memories my mind holds deep inside my preconsiousness?

Curious to see the expanse of the beauty, I follow the line of the shadow down from the summit, looking across to the other side of the lake. Focusing my eye on a far away shore, I squint as I make out two dark objects, bobbing to the waters ebb and flow.

That was it. The trigger I had been searching for. The sensory information my mind had been collecting, processing, suddenly slots into place, creating a pathway to the past as snippets of information are thrown into my consciousness. My mind remembers. I remember. The fabricated past held clearly in my mind. I’m connected to you, to the past, as I experience your presence once more.

I’m 8 years old, across the other side of the lake…

 

After writing this piece of text, as you can see from the fact that it is unfinished, I personally felt that this style of writing wasn’t very successful in relation to my FMP.

As suggested above, although I clearly enjoy the creative features included within the style of the text (due to the fact that it greatly enhances the personal aspect of the project), as well as the fact that that the fictitious characteristic of the piece could also be used to symbolize the created fabrication of the memory I recall, I feel that the academia incorporated into this piece takes away from the conceptual and personal aspect of the project. This is because, although it can be used to greatly show the broad expanse of research that I have conducted into one of my main themes surrounding the idea of recollecting memories (thus creating a more contextualized project through the texts accompanying element with the photograph), I personally feel that it takes away from pure emotional attachment I hold regarding the memory and, along with previous ideas where I have discussed the problems of being too literal within my project, I therefore think that the inclusion of academia enhances the projects research-based and documentary aspect and methodology.

 


 

Engaging and Immersive:

The next style of writing I decided to experiment with was that which held an engaging and immersive characteristic. My influence for experimenting with this particular style of writing came from the research I conducted into the work of David Rule. When I read through a number of his written pieces, although I found that his style varies dramatically depending on the piece of writing and the subject that they are depicting, the main piece of inspiration that I took away from his work was the fact that he tended to create personal pieces of work, but through his use of specific textual techniques (such as the use of dialog and rhetorical question, as well as the subject of the text), he was able to create engaging and immersive pieces that not only provided the viewer with a greater understanding to Rule as an individual, but therefore enhanced their contextualized understanding of the work as a whole, which thus enhanced the accessibility of the viewer.

I therefore decided that I wanted to try and experiment with the creation of a piece of personal writing that incorporated similar textual techniques (such as the use of dialog and rhetorical question, as well as the subject of the text) in order to see whether these enhance the viewers immersion and engagement with my project, and therefore their accessibility.

 

I took this photo, not just because it was pretty, it means something. It means something to me, anyway. To you, yeah it’s probably just a nice photo. A photo of a path, some hills and a light haze. It was probably just an accidental photograph; you probably think I just took it because I looked up and said: “Yeah, that’s a nice view, lets take a quick snapshot.”

But I didn’t. It has a meaning, it has a purpose.

I walked around Buttermere not just because I wanted to experience the landscape, “get some fresh air”, but I wanted to go back to my past. I walked, I looked, I smelled. Trying everything to trigger my mind to drift back. Back to the time I was him, by the lake.

Who’s “him”? “Him” is my Grandpa.

I must have been about 8 years old when we went for a walk around Buttermere. Bored out of my mind because it was such a long walk. Especially for a little person. 

We stopped at the shore over the other side of the lake, having a break, maybe a bit of lunch. Walking to the edge of the shore, we stood next to each other, looking out at the water, two wooden boats docked in front of us. It must have been a pretty good view. I mean, I remember him looking down at me, talking to me all technical. Something to do with composition, lighting, perspective, framing. I don’t know, something about photography.

But what I do know is that this was the first time we connected. The first time he properly talked to me. I was confused. A little scared. What had changed? He was usually so quiet, old, scary. Either way, I made sure I listened. Followed his instructions. Crouching down beside the boats, my camera in my hand. Looking up at the scene, looking up at him. Listening as he composed my first photo.

So why did I want to go back to him? Back to my past? The truth is, I miss him. I didn’t know him very well, he died when I was quite young, but he showed me. Introduced me to photography, to the landscape. One of my only passions. And for that, I have to thank him.

 

As I was writing this piece of text, although I did decide to complete this particular experiment, I knew straightaway that I didn’t think the style would work with my FMP. This is because, although I initially thought that this piece of text could engage and immerse the viewers through their identification within the text (through referring to them as “you” or including rhetorical questions), I personally feel that their personal engagement with the text will decrease the viewer’s immersion within the rest of the project (for example, the landscape depicted through the inclusion of both an object and a photograph – please see the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Presentation Options Experiment”). Also, although I like the fact that this piece of text holds a person element due to the fact that it is written in the first person, I think that it’s deliberate attempt to engage with the viewer (something similar to a mental conversation) actually seems very harsh and detached from the remembrance of the personal memory I wish to portray/explore, thus clearly contrasting to the emotional attachment I hold with regards to the memory and the place.

In short, within my final piece, I personally want the viewers to engage with the project, immersing themselves in the landscape and the memory (conceptually) depicted (similar to the methodology I experienced throughout the creation of the project), and I personally feel that the “personal and creative” experiment I conducted above achieves this more successfully due to it’s descriptive and flowing nature.

 


 

Poems:

The next style of writing I decided to experiment with was the creation of a poem. My influence for experimenting with this particular style of writing came from the research I conducted into the work of both Gary Snyder and Edward Thomas. When I read through a number of their works, although I found that his style varies dramatically depending on the piece of writing and the subject that they are depicting (similar to the work of David Rule), the main piece of inspiration that I took away from their work was the personal, descriptive and (obviously) poetic nature of their pieces through the use varying language tools such as metaphors, similes, repetition and rhyme which. As suggested in my research, this not only meant that they were able to elicit a personal and subjective viewpoint of the land (whilst also presenting this opinion in a style of writing that enhanced the subjects generalization and therefore the viewers accessibility), but also allowed them to create immersive pieces with regards to the landscape and the narrative, as well as creating a differing flow through the work, which can be used by the viewer as a symbolic reference to some of the more specific aspects described within the landscape subject.

I therefore decided that I wanted to experiment with the creation of a personal and descriptive poem in order to see whether the style (and layout) of the text could represent some of the concepts or themes explored throughout my project, whilst also seeing whether it enhanced the viewer’s immersion with the piece.

 

On a clear, cool day in spring,

I listen to the movement of the gravel,

The whisp of the wind.

 

Walking around the beautiful lake,

I draw my gaze up

To the view of the haze.

 

Following the shadow to the edge of the water…

 

As I was attempting to write this piece of text, as you will be able to see from the unfinished, amateur work that I have presented, I found this particular textual experiment very difficult. When I noticed that this was the case, I even decided to revisit some of both Gary Snyder and Edward Thomas’ work, in order to see if I could gain some more recent inspiration for this piece of writing, but soon found that I just simply wasn’t very good at writing poems. However, although I am clearly not very good at writing poems, whilst I was attempting to get words onto paper in a poetic manner, I soon realized that poems could be seen as the more conceptual style of writing in the literature industry. I therefore thought that, even if I did manage to create a successful poem, it’s conceptual characteristic, along with the conceptuality associated with the landscape photograph, would confront the viewer with too much “theoretical” and conceptual information, therefore decreasing the successful inclusion of the text to contextualize and ground the viewers understanding of the project and it’s concept.

As I am sure you have probably already guessed, I am therefore not going to be using this particular textual style as the accompanying text within my FMP.

 


 

Single Words:

The next style of writing I decided to experiment with was the use of single words. My influence for experimenting with this particular style of writing came from the research I conducted into the Martha Rosler’s “The Bowery In Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems”. When I looked through this particular piece of work, Rosler incorporated the use of singular synonyms depicting words associated with drunkenness (one of the themes she was exploring throughout the piece), which, through her careful consideration of the words and the layout can be used by the viewer as a symbolic reference to the state of inebriation where a drunk individual struggles to form correct sentences and words, thus enhancing the viewers understanding of the subject and concept of the project.

I therefore decided that I wanted to experiment with the incorporation of singular words because, very similar to the “Fading Text” triptych I experimented with during the testing of my presentation options (please see the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Presentation Options Experiment”), I thought that this particular technique could be used to represent the snippets of the event that I remember, thus referencing the memory and recollection theories I have researched into that have contextualized this piece of work. Once again, very similar to the “Fading Text” triptych, I will simply be choosing singular words that I associate with the memory I recall, and will therefore be returning to the original content I thought I would be incorporating, where I will be focusing this piece of writing primarily on the representation of the memory rather than it’s relationship with the photograph.

 

Me.

Grandpa.

Gravel.

Shore.

Boats.

Haystacks.

Leaves.

Photography.

 

As I was writing this piece of text, although I easily completed this particular experiment, similar to the “Engaging and Immersive” experiment above, I knew straightaway that I didn’t think the style would work with my FMP. This is because, as previously stated, although I initially thought that this style of text could be used to represent the snippets of the event that I remember, I personally think that the use of single, descriptive words, creates a harsh and detached atmosphere which, once again, very similar to the “Engaging and Immersive” experiment, clearly contrasts against the emotional attachment I hold with regards to the memory and the place.

 


 

Simple and Descriptive (Technical):

The next style of writing I decided to experiment with was that which held a technical and literal characteristic. My influence for experimenting with this particular style of writing came from the research I conducted into both Hamish Fulton and Richard Long’s work. When I researched into these two particular artists, I soon found that both Fulton and Long usually used simple but descriptive text in order to represent “technical” pieces of information associated with the walk (including place, date, and time), and Long also tended to include more creative titles, as well as slightly more creative descriptions of the walk, in order to capture the viewers attention.

I therefore decided that I wanted to experiment with this simple and descriptive language to depict the more “technical” aspects of the location that I revisited (such as the name of the place, the distance, and the time, for example), in order to see whether it creates a piece of text that enhances the audiences contextualized understanding as well as their accessibility to my FMP.

Please note, during my research I also suggested that I would experiment with the unusual layout of the text that both Fulton and Long employ techniques as a singular final major piece (rather than my original photographic piece with accompanying text) in order to see if they create a more successful and accessible project for my viewers. However, as I have now decided on my final exhibition presentation, I feel that this is unnecessary to experiment with. On the other hand, with this being said, if I decide to continue with this particular technique as my accompanying text, I will make sure that I also experiment with the layout of it.

 

Walked, Re-walked, Remembered

A 4.5-mile walk around Buttermere in August 2002 and February 2015

Resulting in the recollection of a memory I hold with my Grandpa

 

After writing this piece of text, although I thought that this particular style provided the viewer with relevant information about the walk itself (enhancing the methodology behind the project), allowing them to successfully contextualize the location of the path and the meaning of the project, I personally feel that this piece of text withholds information from the viewer regarding the actual memory that I recall (which is what I initially wanted the accompanying text to include). Also, as this writing is very literal, as suggested in previous experiments, this therefore decreases the conceptuality of the project that I wish to portray. This therefore means that, similar to both the “Engaging and Immersive” and “Single Word” textual experiments, although this piece of writing clearly discusses the methodology I underwent throughout the project, there is a slight detachment from the personal and emotional association I have with this project.

However, with all of this being said, I personally feel that the technical and literal title I have given this particular piece successfully incorporates all of the information I need to suggest within the title (the basic methodology and principle of the project), whilst also engaging the viewers interest, and I will therefore be considering this title for the whole of my project.

 


 

Hand-Written:

The final textual experiment I said that I would conduct was the creation of a piece that was hand-written. My influence for experimenting with this particular writing aesthetic came from my research into Alfred Wainwright’s “A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells” and, as suggested in my research represented the original reasoning’s behind the creation of this collection (for personal benefit as a hobby) and can therefore be used to enhance the personal aspect of the series whilst adding an extra empathetic level to the text.

I therefore decided that I wanted to experiment with this textual aesthetic because, quite simply, I wanted to see whether hand-written text could enhance the personal aspects behind the concept of my project.

However, as you may have already seen, I actually experimented with this particular textual experiment when I was considering my presentation options (please see the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Presentation Options Experiment”) and have already decided that I didn’t want to continue with this aesthetic style due to the fact that it appears amateur-ish and messy, thus decreasing the professionalism of the piece. Nevertheless, with this being said, now that I have experimented with a number of different types of textual styles, the personal aspect of the project should be able to come through in the content and style (rather than the aesthetics), depending on the experiment I wish to use.

 



 

AFTER THOUGHTS AND REFLECTION:

After experimenting with each of these different textual styles, I have been able to pinpoint the written technique I wish to employ for my accompanying text within my final triptychs. As briefly suggested above, I have decided to use the style of text that I created from the combined experiment of the “Describing the Photograph Methodology” and “Creative and Personal” text. As suggested throughout the experiments, this is not only due to the fact that, as this is the style of writing I usually employ, I personally feel that it acts as a more successful piece, but I also think that the content fits with what I was expecting to include (a description of the memory I recall). However, another reason why I enjoy this particular style is because there are also numerous features associated with the creative style of the text (including the first person narrative, the use of beautifully descriptive language in order to suggest my personal viewpoint and emotional attachment with regards to the landscape and the memory I’m depicting), that greatly enhances the personal aspect of the project. I also feel that the fictitious characteristic of the piece could also be used to symbolise the created fabrication of the memory I recall, thus referencing the more academic theories I have researched into surrounding the psychology of memory recollection. Finally, with the inclusion of the “Describing the Photograph” experiment, this not only provides the viewer with an access point into the text personal text through it’s relationship with the accompanying photograph, but it also provides the viewer with further information surrounding the landscape depicted that couldn’t be captured within the photo (for example, the temperature), as I thought that this technique created a denser mental association with the landscape, thus enhancing the viewers engagement and immersion with the piece.

After deciding on the style of my accompanying text, the next stage of my development is to write a piece of text (using this style) to accompany each of the locations I am including within my FMP collection, whilst also spending time writing numerous drafts until I have created a piece of writing that I feel I am happy with, as well as making sure that it successfully enhances the viewers contextualized understanding surrounding the personal concept of the project, thus making it more accessible for them as an audience.

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