Stuck again.

I was a bit eager to start the course and managed to come up with a fantastic theme for my  first assignment only to discover a bit later that most of my set-ups were time-consuming.

I had good ideas about most of my pictures, but the still life genre requires a lot of attention to small detail because small details could make or break a picture. As result of that I was constantly in search of one more prop. As it often happens with food, if you can’t take your picture straight after you’ve got your prop, you need to get its replacement. By the middle of February, my fantastic project lost its appeal. I’d taken incredible shots in my imagination, but was still struggling to archive them in camera. It seemed that I always needed another prop.

It was great to meet a few students who had already done that module or were at least half way through it. Talking to them, I realised that I should really simplify my project and concentrate more on its photographic workflow than on its artistic side. So, I put my thinking hat on to find a different theme and discovered that I am stuck.

Since I set my heart on a still life assignment, my research was about still life photography: its ideas, history and photographers. Changing my project to a different photographic genre is a bit difficult. Firstly, I don’t know a lot about landscapes and more important I am not a landscape photographer. I love looking at the amazing photographs of landscape in books and galleries, but I don’t feel like getting up very early to go out on my own with my heavy tripod.

The other possible option is to take a set of portraits. I’ve seen so many interesting portraits recently (famous paintings with a child as a model, sleeping child journey, mother and her small daughter doing yoga, Red Riding Hood by Sal Cincotta) that it is a bit difficult for me to come with something simple and interesting that doesn’t require a lot of props.

I managed to come up with a simple idea that was possible to carry on in my small village, but my son was down with a bad chickenpox and I had to put it off. He is finally back to school, but there are Easter school holidays approaching (I can take only snap shots with my two kids in tow) and also, there is still a high possibility for my second child to catch chickenpox, so I can’t plan portraits. It looks like I am back to the square one: still life. It feels like I am stuck.

Assignment 1: A Small Change in my Plans

There are not many restrictions in the first assignment for the course: number of pictures and a type: landscape, portrait or  still life. I started thinking about my assignment relatively early (in the middle of November) and very quickly decided on the theme which was related to Christmas. I easily came up with several strong visual ideas about possible subjects those could be used to create a story with the required number of pictures.

After a few weeks working on the assignment and taking and retaking pictures, I realised that there was a flaw in my concept and the point of the emerging  story was really very weak. My story as I planned it did not have a really strong connection with a spirit of Christmas and started falling apart as I progressed with the pictures. Continue reading