Week 7 | Reflection

As I have continued to make work and further my project, opening up new avenues and intentions. The idea of producing a photobook at this time feels almost impossible. Technically I have the skills to produce a photobook, and I could produce a product in the style of a catalogue of images however I don’t really believe that this would represent the evolution of my work accurately. At present, my project has evolved from a form of activism to a socially engaged project to a narrative based idea which faces outward to a highly personal narrative exploring the grief of losing my father using our experiences to produce a series of metaphorical images. The main problem in adapting to this level of change for me has been creative thinking and research in addition to the process of confronting some raw emotions that I haven’t dealt with in the last 5 years. 

Dealing with powerful emotions, although difficult, I feel necessary to challenge, not just for the purpose of the MA but for my personal wellbeing. Engaging with this process is slowly beginning to deconstruct the feeling of numbness that I think I have experienced for the last 5 years. Sometimes taking joy from the memories, occasionally becoming overwhelmed with sadness at the realisation that my Dad is gone forever. The whole experience is very strange and I can’t help but think that I should have experienced these emotions years ago. It makes me feel a bit thick or stupid that mentally I was unable to process my thoughts and feelings earlier. 

The negative feelings that I am experiencing translate into the current module as I feel like I am getting behind with the set tasks and to suggest that opening up to my own emotions as being a reason for getting behind with my work isn’t really a appropriate. On several occasions I have sat down with the intention of producing a product but was unable because I simply hadn’t finished gathering my thoughts. Let alone produce a powerful narrative which this project deserves. In the previous module I begun to explore the idea of photography as poetry in addition to looking at the work of Alec Soth, specifically his book Niagara. As a result, the impact of the power of a photographic narrative has hugely affected me and I would describe myself as currently in a hyper sensitive state. And the process of transferring such emotions and attempting to translate that into a narrative is proving to be a time consuming business. I feel like I could produce 15 images of empty space in order to represent the difficulty in computing so many emotions that they render a state of uselessness.  

Going forward, I am going to continue work as hard as I possibly can in order to get to the end goal of producing a photobook. But at this time I need to reevaluate my intentions and focus on taking baby steps with my progression. In the coming days I will assess the work I already have and attempt to forge into a narrative. That will help in the identification of what is missing from my work which will enable the creation of yet another roadmap to expressing my thoughts and feelings towards the tasks in hand. 

Narrative Images

This short gallery is part of a developing set which will be used as a sequence for a book or exhibition. At present I am engaging with the idea of producing a narrative style photobook. I have discussed these images with Cemre in the last one to one. I have posted as a visual record personally so that I may refer to them while I continue to build a sequence. I expect this to evolve and change over the coming weeks.

Week 6 | Reflection

Once again the week has resulted in further considerations regarding the intent and purpose of my exhibition. Having carried out the advice I received in my one to one with Cemre last week. I have produced work which encompasses movement in addition to shooting at a lower angle in an attempt to emphasise the perspective of a child. The results of these tasks received mixed reviews from my tutor and peers with the outcome being that the preferred images were those which encompassed a sense of stillness. I did experiment with slowing the shutter to emphasise a sense of movement in addition to trying to fill the frames in a way that may have small echoes of Alex Webb and Shirly Baker who I have researched previously in this module. In a personal sense I did produce a couple of images that I was quite happy with and the process of experimentation was one I enjoyed. Whether it is in keeping with the broader theme of my project, I think maybe not but in conclusion, the experience was a worthwhile one. 

Observations by of the work I produced this week made reference to a lack of representation of female players. An observation which I totally agree with and without pontification of this issue. I have responded by organising to attend a girls training session next week with the intention of making some portraits. 

Once again I was questioned about my intent regarding the choice to hold a small exhibition in a football changing room. In continued defence of this choice, I explained that the changing room is frequented probably, by an audience of over 100 people per week. The space is used for pumping up footballs in addition to being a room which connects to a store room so that people are in and out of the space. This is relevant because I feel the need to justify my project to the people who frequent this space as active users. The reason being, these people at present have only witnessed my presence with a camera. I have not shown them any images and the audience wouldn’t be considered to be one that would engage with photography at a gallery. Therefore I feel it necessary to exhibit to this specific audience in order to illustrate the outcome of my attendance with a camera. The next intention would be to promote contemplation of the images by the volunteers who see the work. At this stage I would consider the exhibition a success. In order to try to measure the response to the work I will leave a labelled comment box with a pen and sticky notes attached. This may lead to gaining some possibly useful feedback to learn about the impact of the exhibition. 

This week I have also been researching the ideologies of museums and galleries, the contents of which are contained in the previous post. However I am now understanding the importance of these spaces in relation to the art market and how they expose new and established practitioners in addition to contributing to the capitol and prestige of artists and their works. I feel that now I have a slightly deeper understanding. I am looking forward to exploring galleries for myself and will begin to plan visits as soon as I am able due to once lockdown eases. An interesting question I will explore further is the relevance of smaller galleries and understanding where they sit and their importance to the communities they serve. I have previously written about the Open Eye gallery in Liverpool so it will be my intention to how such galleries reach out and engage communities while offering an outlet for people such as myself who I would consider newcomer to this world.

In conclusion, I have had a productive week in terms of reading and making photographs. Although I didn’t get the greatest feedback in this week’s webinar I feel that I am learning in both a practical and philosophical sense. I am now reflecting on my work with intent and direction and at this point I am understanding that not all approaches will be successful however my intentions are continuing to be informed. A consequence of this is that I am approaching the making of work with an academic approach. As a consequence I think some of my images reflect this and lack the clarity of my own ‘free’ gaze. Shooting with a disciplined intent but not really reflective of myself. This is not to discredit the tasks I am carrying out because I think with further contemplation and reflection, new and informed techniques will bleed into my approach naturally. This process has led to further consideration of what is a poetic image. The fusion of experience, knowledge and feeling about making a choice to photograph. This is photographic poetry to me. 

Photographs of interest this week:

Reddish North End | Gallery 2

In response to the recent one to one I had with Cemre, I was advised to consider encompassing movement or action into my work in addition to shooting from the perspective of a participant. Having researched the work of Lartigue, specifically his action work. I decided to experiment with getting as close as I could without intruding not the coaching session to heighten the perspective of a player. I further experimented with slowing the shutter of the camera with the intention of emphasising the idea of movement within my work. In terms of composition, I was looking to get close and capture the action whilst attempting to maintain a level of separation between subjects.

The shoot took place in the early evening with the light creating hard shadows. I tried to use this by creating some silhouettes. I have created a gallery which is more of a record of the shoot, I will take a second look at a later date as I find it difficult to assess the images shortly after editing. It is my intention to take a small number of images to encompass within a broader narrative of the visualisation of the diversity within the football club.

Contextual Research | Lartigue

Going back to my one to one with Cemre, she highlighted that it may be a good idea to encompass action into my work in addition to shooting from the perspective of of a child. As a result, I have been researching the work of Lartigue which I find compelling in addition to having similarities with one of my favorate photographers, Rodney Smith. As my reserach furthered I found that much of Lartigue’s work was driven by ‘action’ with composition a secondary factor. Although I consider his black and white actioin work appealing what I really like about it is the combination of action and composition. I feel this is of vital importance to the development of my own project because what I would like to avoid is producing action shots of people playing football in a style that looks like a commercial or journalistic sports photograph. 

Lartigue’s cousin Simone Roussel, Rouzat, 1913.

The image above is particularly interesting as as stated earlier, the photograph is driven by the action of falling from the bike, the subject is placed in the middle of the frame but what I really find interesting about this image is the way that the stone path falls towards the right leading the viewer to assume that the subject was approaching a type of junction. This brings the image to life adding a narrative or even metaphor. Seconds earlier the subject would have been riding the bike approaching a type of crossroad which would require a type of decision to be made. ‘Right or Left’, the outcome of which the subject is evidence, could be a metaphor for making a decision. The image lacking colour does move away from my own approach however the union of action and composition serve as reference points on this occasion.

The image below represents an interest I have had for some years and have tried myself within a wedding photography context. Comparisons with the like of Rodney Smith are present here and what I am interested in is the symmetry of the subjects legs. Clearly creating an action pose of the subject running or possibly jumping.

Lartigue: Lady Playing Tennis
Rodney Smith

The Smith image about echoes the work of Lartigue and one is able to see the similarities in the two images. In the photograph taken by Smith. The action is still driving the photograph in addition to the presence of clear daylight between the subject the ground. The image of the tennis player doesn’t appear constructed as does the photograph taken by Smith which may be another consideration I will need to contend with.

Moving on to the work Lartigue produced in colour, his emphasis shifts towards environmental portraits mainly of women.

Lartigue | Life in Colour

The image above is dominated between the action of the water and the vantage point. The diving white diving board adding a further layer of interest which achieves excellent separation from the deep blue of the water. I find the photograph bordering the glamorous however the relationship between composition, colour, vantage point and ‘action’ achieving a union charged with the poetic.


Smith, R (2020) rodneysmith.com [Online] Available at: https://rodneysmith.com/surrealism/ (Accessed 5th July 2020)

The Guardian (2020) ‘Jacques Henri Lartigue: portrait of the photographer as a young man’ (The Guardian) 29th March 2020, Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/mar/29/jacques-henri-lartigue-portrait-of-the-photographer-as-a-young-man (Accessed 5th July 2020)

Week 5 | One to One Reflection

One to one with Cemre

20 Minutes that turned my project upside down. 

In the previous post I suggested a project that focussed around Stockport County football club, encompassing a socially engaged approach which consisted of collecting fan images in addition to photo essays by myself. I still feel that this is a good idea and something I would like to do. However, as a result of my one to one with Cemre the project was turned on its head. In preperation for the meeting I produced a short blog post/roadmap which encompassed a small gallery of my recent work. The intention of this was to provide Cemre with a brief overview of what my project was about. 

As the conversation unfolded, Cemre put a series of images together from the gallery which illustrated a clear narrative. I was quite amazed by the results and for the first time felt that I had a series of images that I was pleased with. The outcome of the tutorial caused me to rethink the direction of my project possibly moving away from the socially engaged theme proposed in the roadmap that I proposed in favour if a narrative driven monograph. This type of work will be heavily centred by my vision as a photographer in addition to the curation of images, sequencing them into a narrative. Going back to my initial idea at the outset of this module which was to persue the journey of chasing the goal of becomming a professional football player. Colberg, J (2017:p2) states in relation to monographs ‘you couldn’t easily remove a photograph or page from such a photobookwithout running the risk of dramatically altering the book.’. The idea of producing a text of this nature is still quite daunting whilst at the same time exciting. Having tried to produce a powerful narrative in my last WIPP and feeling a sense of failure, more research into this area is needed. I do feel that the images I have produced in this module are stronger than the previous, however further consideration of my intent is needed. 

As reflected in this blog post, currently my thoughts are all over the place which is frustrating and makes any response at this stage difficult. I am however, asking myself more complexed questions. Accepting the twists and mianders in my decision making and trying to make sense of them. Cemre made an observation about my work as being very still. In response I have engaged with the work of Jaques Henry Lartigue in the persuit of a sophisticated direction which would allow the introduction of movement or action. First impressions of his work led to the comparison with Rodney Smith. Some of Smith’s work appears to be directly echoing the approach of Lartique which I found interesting. Further reseach led to researching environmental portraits which was one of the initial reasons I decided to study an MA. The work of Smith and Lartigue represent where I would like to be as a photographer. Lartigue’s early black and white work represents an inroad to a way to opn up my project while his colour work and use of a limited colour pallet may be a way to open up my project in a new ambitious direction.

Arnold Newman is another to focuss on in the coming weeks. First ipressions of his work lead to admiration of the often busy compositions and detail which surround his portraits. His selection of locations is strong and interesting in the sense that the multiplicity of what is essentially portrait is where I find the real enjoyment comes from. Further research and more detailed consideration needed.

Colberg, J (2017) Understanding Photo Books, tHE form and Content of the Photographic Book. London, Routledge. 

Contextual Research | Photo Books

As the subject matter of my project begins to emerge I have begun to consider how I would disseminate my work. In response to this aspect of the project I am required to think about who the audience would be and how they would consume the project. In a previous post I have briefly considered the idea of an exhibition at the local football club. However the purpose of this post is to consider in further depth, the merit of producing photobook. And if so, begin to consider who the type of audience I am attepting to engage with in addition to considering the type of potobook that I would like to produce. Colberg, J (2017) makes some important distinction between these types of objects defining them into three different categories: Albums, catalogues and monographs. On first thought, each catogary described by Colberg has merits and potential regarding my project. The idea of an album style photo-book may lend itself well to my project in relation to a project which is about archiving fan images that are acquired. 

(2017: p2)  ‘Conceptually, a photography album is a very specific photo-book. It usually is made over time reflecting, say, person’s or family history. Its producer edits it by selecting some photographs over others. In all likelihood, an album mostly contains happier, noteworthy moments in life. in this sense, albums are items of personal propaganda.’ 

Colberg’s comments lend themselves well to the idea of creating a nostalgic football album. The book would conform to the idea of a type of ‘personal propaganda’ about the football club, fan images of groups of people, Christmas presents of new football kits being opened with the photographer storing scanned fan photographs on a website before selecting the most appropriate photographs to feature in a book.

Similarly, a catalogue may encompass the collecting and storing of images, however the presentation of this type of book may conform to a summary of the work produced throughout the project with less of an emphasis on an emotive theme such as happy memories or a narrative. 

On the subject of a monograph, a photobook of this nature would be heavily relient on the vision of the photographer using the mediums as a form of visual comminucaiton in order to convey a message with supporting text being subordinate to the photographs Colberg (2017). In engaging with this type of photobook, the work I produce would become central to the project with little or no participatory input. This would change the appeal to a potential audience moving it away from the ideas suggested above. 

Colberg, J (2017) Understanding Photo Books, tHE form and Content of the Photographic Book. London, Routledge. 

Project Roadmap | Bluetiful

Bluetiful will be a socially engaged body of work which intends to create a lasting archive of fan memories and experiences of Stockport County Football Club. A community football club based in North West England on the boarder with Manchester.

Initiated with photography, written testamonials, drawrings and painting. The project will focus around expression, using a range of creative methodologies which have the potential to draw on the experiences of a diverse age range and interest. The project will also encompass a series of photo essays by myself. Portraits, documentary coverage of matches and the surrounding cultural rituals of supporters, going to the pub, eating food etc.

The underpinning ethos will be co-authorship and participatory image production, promoted via workshops with, the Stockport County Junior Supporters Club and SCFC Community Foundation. I will work with participants in order to tease out their perspective of the football club and how it affects them in a positive sense.

The summative conclusion will be a photo book that encompasses the work created throughout the project in the style of a Roy of the Rovers or Match of the Day style football annual using assets produced throughout the project.

The project may also encompass an exhibition at the Stockport County museum which is housed at the stadium, Edgeley Park.

The assets created may be disseminated in the match day magazine/programme which are produced for every home match.


A photobook is a phyical object that may be kept and disseminated amongst families. It has the possibility to unite audiences experiences, young children who haven’t attended an away game could see what this experience looks like. Older generations could see the match day experience through the eyes of a child. Much in the style Julian Germain draws on a range of perspectives  in his book Soccer in Wonderland.  

Julian Jermain | Soccer in Wonderland 1994


A focal point for the culmination of the project. Participants get the satisfaction of seeing their work in a physical form and on display in a public space. Participants could also speak about their experiences of making the work. 


May be used to broaden the photographic vocabulary of participants whilst sharing experiences and discussing different photographic approaches through photobook discussions. Old football programmes may be used to facilitate this and invoke past experiences.

Barriers to the Project

COVID 19: Currently most football matches are cancelled with some matches taking place behind closed doors. In order to remove this barrier in the immediate future I will shoot portraits of participants I have already cultivated but not yet photographed.

Participation in Workshops: In the event of a low turnout I will promote the project more intensively. I have already made links with the groups linked below. I will attend Junior supporters club meetings, plan activities using my knowledge as a media/photography teacher. I will also plan and promote age appropriate sessions aimed at adult participants.

Useful Links for Collaboration

Stockport County Football Club

Stockport County Community Foundation:

Help the Hatters

Summary of Project Development Throughout the Module

This gallery is has not been produced exclusively within the Surfaces and Strategies module. The purpose of these images are for the benefit of my tutor Cemre in order to assist in understanding of my project in preparation for the week 5.

Week 4 | Webinar with Michelle Sank

Reflection Week 4 Webinar 

Another useful webinar with Michelle this week. My intention this week wasn’t necessarily image based. The area I am currently struggling with is the intent of my project. At present, the documentary approach towards my work I feel is becomming somewhat one dimensional. Therefore it was good to consult with my peers and tutor to identify approaches and methodologies to opening up my project whilst making the intent of my work more concise.

I am relatively pleased with the development of my practice and feel that strategies of looking are becoming more mature as a result of contextual research in addition to guidance from Michelle. 

I recently contacted Julian Germain with regards to seeking some guidance on my project. His response was brief but he did highlight the work that he felt was strong. 

The main benefit of the webinar was the identification of Emma Case and the project ‘Red’. Red is a participatory project which collects and archives fan photographs of Liverpool fooball club. Not of the football but of the culture and surrounding experiences of fans. As Liverpool have a rich legacy in the history of European football the project encompasses lots of interesting memories. The project also encompasses the work of Case herself who possesses a documentary style which is appealing in terms of her use of colour and composition.

I was also led to consider a project I looked at at in the early stages of the course. Humans of New York states the intentions of the project… 
‘The initial goal goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the Street, and create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants’.

At present I am reserching the structure of these projects in order to formulate a type of structure to my own. One of the key considerations will be whether to continue with a range of football teams and locations or focussing on just one football club which would be Stockport County. The club already have a number of organisations and supporter groups but most point towards  what happens on the pitch. There are many social media groups which already act as a type of archive however I see this as an opportunity to connect and raise awareness of my project. 

In terms of the direction of my work. When and if spectators are allowd to attend football matches. My approach will be to frequent public spaces in and around the stadium in addition to attending away matches which will provide different aesthetics. I will contact Emma Case in order to seek advice about the project in addition to formulating a type of mission statement and rational. As agreed, I will send this to Michelle in the coming days.