I have just finished reading Understanding Photo Books by Jorg Colberg. The initial impetus was to build some understanding of photobooks in relation to the forthcoming task. But Colberg turned out to be so much richer than just photobooks, he offered a lot of insight into the whole business of presenting your work to a wider audience.
He really stresses the need to get other people looking at your work from a critical point of view: peers and experts. That’s something I’m certainly not good at. He also sets out some of the critical processes used by experts, which can be a real help in the examination of one’s own work.
Something I found especially useful, was revisiting work which didn’t make the initial selection. I tried this and went back to work from March which was my first shoot for the Foreboding project. I found the image which I have included at the top of the page.
Previously I had passed this over but somehow, on looking again, I found something there. I started playing with the image in Lightroom and quite soon found myself looking at the kind of image I had planned to take.
When I started the Foreboding project, it was winter and low key pictures with leaden skies were not difficult to find. But I rapidly tired of that approach and started to feel the need to express the foreboding in other ways. One idea was to adopt a science fiction aesthetic, images that expressed a sense that all is not quite right, without an obvious threat being depicted.
Whilst the image above was taken on one of those broody, leaden days, I found that the colours could be adjusted to produce an unearthly feel. The subject matter takes a moment’s thought to recognise. The colours are not one might expect, but not wholly unnatural either. I like this picture and feel it’s something of a breakthrough.
I printed a lot of pictures and stuck them up in the hall and invited family members to choose those pictures they thought were most relevant to my project. No one chose the picture above! So I shall try it out on some peers instead.
This week has definitely seen me moving on in how I assess my work and I feel myself getting closer to being to present it to a wider audience.