Tag : Laura Noble

Assignment 1 Tutor Feedback

The assignment for this section can be found on my website here.

Everything seems to be generally OK as far as David is concerned with few critical issues raised.

David suggested that I shouldn’t mention the fact that I am a student in my material. This creates preconceptions and prevents the reviewer or visitor from looking at my work as that of a professional. It does mean that I shouldn’t refer to my exhibition as a Degree Show, something that I intended doing to tailor people’s preconceptions. However, that’s exactly what I shouldn’t do according to David. This is making me very nervous, almost as though I was pretending to be a “real” photographer and inviting harsher criticism from viewers of my work. Still, I suppose that I have to go for it !

We discussed my website name, Gaslight Photography with me trying to keep a straight face as David had a slight difficulty in broaching it. Obviously, it was created at a time when “gaslighting” did not have the negative connotations of today!!!!!! I’ve since changed it to “Photography by Gaz Williams” which isn’t ideal but it creates minimal disruption and my email domain can still be used.

In the publicity I could use terms such as “Edgelands” or “liminal space”. We both agree that we don’t like these terms but galleries and curators often do. Possibly “renovate” the phrases e.g. “Challenging the concept of liminal space” “Edgelands: A tourist’s perspective”. Again, I’m not sure that I want to use such cliches but it fits in well with Laura Noble’s feedback on how to publicise an exhibition or work in general. I just need to think of a version which I can say without laughing or grimacing.

The last image in the BoW thumbnail grid stands out as it has a different colour set to the other images. By modifying the WB and rearranging the grid I’ve been able to reduce this “standout” factor. This is the image that I really want to keep in as it is very contentious, some people hate it and others love it. I’m curious what people will now think as it better integrates with the other images.

Finally, the last image in the wildlife grid appeared grainy in this form. I understand where David is coming from, but the quality is the same as the others and appears fine at full-size. I think that it’s a result of the panoramic format and the dusty location which does work well in the thumbnail format.

Anyway, that’s the feedback from my first tutorial and it’s been very useful. I’ve taken on board each comment and, with the respective changes, I know think I have a stronger approach.

Portfolio Review 2 – Laura Noble

The course notes for SyP discuss portfolio reviews and one of the options detailed  is the gallerist Laura Noble. Noble established the Diemar/Noble Photography Gallery in London with photographic consultant Michael Diemar after working at the Photographers, Gallery.

She is quoted in the course notes for SyP :

The good thing about portfolio reviews is that it’s bespoke to each individual. Photographers’ backgrounds vary from MA/BA graduates or students to professionals wanting to alter their place within the industry, both self-taught and with academic qualifications. Often people ask for business advice or to advise on their editioning etc.

As a result I contacted her to arrange a portfolio review via Skype. In advance, I sent the updated portfolio PDF that I’d used in my earlier review with David Williams and prepared myself for some difficult feedback !

It was an interesting session and, much as she describes above, it was very individual – in fact it surprised me with its direction. I had expected a degree of analysis of the portfolio, much as I’d received from David Williams (see earlier post) but the only real comment that Laura made about the portfolio was: “They’re beautiful photographs”

Now that was not the feedback that I was expecting!

Instead, Laura focused on other critical issues such as networking, the exhibition itself and my website which made it a very complementary session to my other review.

The early part of the review addressed networking, following on from her quote in the SyP notes:

“Networking is everything – I wish I’d had Twitter, Facebook, etc., when I was a student. Connecting with other people is key. It’s amazing how quickly people connect. Everyone has a mutual friend in the photography world! Keep in touch with everyone – peers, colleagues. Everyone will keep crossing paths; this is also good for having group shows and collaborating to show you are active.”

She emphasised the benefits of Twitter and Instagram for this purpose, explaining how to make the best use of the tools to create a broad network of interested parties. In particular, she described the “politics” of following and liking related groups that might not be directly related to photography but overlapped. For instance, my portfolio describes the virtual boundaries of Windsor Great Park but a group of dog walkers would have overlapping interests as would a more philosophical group interested in boundaries of any kind. She recommended the app Crowdfire to help with this function. Tweetfire was another recommend app to help manage the Twitter environment.

A website is an obvious mechanism for promoting one’s work and Laura was dismayed at the fact that I had three fonts on my home page. Given that one was a logo rather than a font and the other two were very similar (I’d thought that they were the same as I hadn’t looked closely enough 🙁 )  I didn’t think that it was quite as bad as she described but, on the other hand, it’s something that I need to correct. The logo is going and the other two fonts are now the same. In addition, I’d included some background material to my portfolio which was too complicated so is now much simpler.

The third element of the discussion was the exhibition itself and this, for me, was the most interesting section. We discussed options for presentation such as Ink Jet vs C Type (must be Ink Jet in Laura’s opinion), framing and mounting (never use black frames), the location (seemed to be OK) but the interesting part was how to get the audience/viewers involved, how to create an extra layer to the experience to make it stand out.

Image result for Rein Jelle Terpstra in his project The People’s View A simple, but effective, example was the exhibition of “The People’s View” by Dutch artist Rein Jelle Terpstra that is part of the exhibit, “The Train: RFK’s Last Journey,”. In the image shown some of the images are arranged on the wall to show the location at which they were taken along the route.

We discussed how I might add a layer of interest and came up with a number of examples

1. display a map of the Park with pins available that could be stuck into the map to show people’s favourite location

2. invite visitors to upload their favourite “off the beaten path” image of the Park to an Instagram account that could be displayed at the exhibition

3. Simply label each image with the distance, in metres, from the popular Tourism Space

etc, etc, etc

Throughout the review Laura used other photographers or their websites to illustrate some of her points and the most relevant of these were

In summary, it was a useful exercise, particularly the ideas on viewer interaction, adding a layer to the display, that was so complementary to my other feedvack.