2: Visual Narrative (June 2019)

This second part of the course focuses on ‘Spirits of Place’ and different approaches to visual narrative as a multi-layered experience of place where ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ elements interact. Whether image-making is based on illustration or photography and even where the aim is ‘objective documentary’ many choices are made in terms of what is communicated and how. In selection and treatment of what I draw and how I draw it I consider both ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ dimensions of:

  • Whose place? different perspectives and interests. Looking particularly at what might be meant by ‘the female gaze’ and ‘multiculturalism’
  • When place? places change over time – even over a few seconds – short term, long term, historical perspective and layers – the past is always present
  • Subjective perspectives:  exploration and deepening understanding over time and ways in which other people have translated what they see into images
  • Imagination:  how I want things to be and why. Selective erasure (eg cars and rubbish bins). Simplification and expressive representation.

Focusing on photography and different styles of colour and black and white digital processing in Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and NikFX, it explores different ways of visually representing the visible reality compared to an ‘invisible’ history and my own imagination. It looks at different types of single image narrative and ways of sequencing images as photobooks and on-line slideshows to present different ‘spirits’ of the same place.

Assignment 2a Edit: ‘Edges revisited’: Aldeburgh

Assignment 2a revisits earlier iPad art for Illustration 2 Assignment 4: From the Edge: Aldeburgh June 2017 . From the Edge produced a diverse body of work, based partly on textural images following a very loose narrative, presenting these as a web-based gallery: https://www.zemniimages.com/Illustration-1/4-From-the-Edge. Some of the imaginative textural images were quite successful but needed a clearer narrative and better attention to technical issues of image resolution. Much of the iPad sketching and painting from life was quite wooden. This was partly because of my level of iPad skill at that point. But also because of inherent limitations to digital expression.

The project goes back to different photo series of Aldeburgh, most of which were taken with an iPhone or iPad and are not of high enough technical quality to stand as photographs in their own right. Using my diary notes for ‘On the Edge’ in the context of different ways to approach narrative (time-based, event-based, thematic and imaginative), discussions of photogeography and the visual approaches of colour photographers Stephen Shore and Martin Parr to produce on-line photo-galleries and card series for four different narratives:

  1. One Aldeburgh Morning: an impressionist-style treatment from a morning walk taking a time-based narrative inspired by work of Aldeburgh and Suffolk painters whose work is exhibited at Snape and Aldeburgh galleries and the Alde Valley festivals.
  2. Carnival: the Great Aldebugh Escape: a bright Martin Parr-style event-based narrative of Aldeburgh carnival August 2016
  3. From the Edge: a more complex thematic treatment incorporating conceptual issues from my Aldeburgh diary of June 2017, including the work ofMaggi Hambling
  4. Moot and Other Tales : re-editing the imaginative texture photographs as historical narratives based on Aldeburgh history and folklore.

I look particularly at the range of digital photographic styles that can be produced in
Lightroom, Photoshop and NikFX and the ways in which these affect interpretation of the image. And starting to develop my own approach to working with the different digital photographic software.

Assignment 2b Amend: Suffolk Edges 2: Orford Ness

Assignment 2b takes these skills to a different and more photographically professional level using documentary photographs taken with my Canon DSLR camera in October 2018.

Inspired particularly by urbex photographers, ‘late photography’ and work of Chinese and Japanese photographers it produces two different narrative series as photobooks:

  • Orford in Colour: a Martin Parr-style documentary bringing together photographs around Britishness and Brexit
  • Orford Landscapes in Black and White: inspired by black and white photographers

It also experiments with different approaches to black and white processing and Adobe After Effects to produce an on-line experience with audio to be posted on You Tube or vimeo.

Selected images are produced as card series for testing in the local tourist market.

Stock photography: In both cases selected images are sent for testing potential in Stock photography sites.