Sunday, 12 January 2014

Portfolio preparation: decisions, decisions…

130210_Bognor_Winter Trees 031 ecopy130511_Bognor trees 004 ecopy130511_Bognor trees 066 ecopy2
130627_DSC0555 ecopy130804 Bognor trees 142 ecopy131006, Bognor Trees 060 ecopy

One of the requirements of the landscape course is the presentation of a portfolio for assessment. The portfolio consists of four images of a single scene, one taken in each season, as well as 12 images taken through out the year, three from each season. Just to make it more fiddly, three of the set of twelve must come from the first assignment. In preparation for this I’ve been photographing some of the same scenes all year. I am particularly obsessed with two trees and have really enjoyed visiting them regularly and seeing the changes. There are some other more urban images which I’ll post in a separate entry when I get them all ready.

The trees you can see above will most likely be my single seasonal set. I continue to take pictures of both trees and am open to a different spring one. The top centre and right images are both for spring and I am not completely happy with them. I like the bright fresh green, the typical spring side-lighting and the interesting sky but the diagonal cloud shape irritates me a bit. I’m torn between the bottom left and and centre for summer: both were actually taken in summer; one in June and one at the end of August. The soft sky and warm colours in the first one fit my memory of last summer best, but the second image is a strong one also and more of a late summer/early autumn rendering. Given that it was taken on the cusp of autumn,  it might be used for that season but the final image also has a strong later autumn feel, with a hint of frost on the fields. This one needs to be seen with more sky to get the best of that interesting cloud, so maybe it doesn’t go so well with the rest? Do let me know if you have any thoughts.

130210_Bognor_Winter Trees 013 ecopy130511_Bognor trees 121 ecopy130627__DSC0542 ecopy130804 Bognor trees 105 ecopy131006 Bognor Trees 032 ecopy131105_DSC7461 ecopy

And here is my second set of totems, The first of these was part of my original winter assignment and will be used in the set of 12. I’m thinking I might use one or more of the others at different stages in the seasonal set of 12. Again I am not sure about the spring one (second left on top row). I like how the cloud shape echoes that of the tree but the contrast is maybe too strong and the white fluffy cloud at the top doesn’t work so well. It might be helpful to crop a little more so that it is not visible, as this picture is shows the tree slightly smaller than in others. In terms of visual interest I think late summer/early autumn (2nd from right on top row) and autumn (far right on top row) are the strongest.I like the range of wild flowers and plans in the late summer one, and the edge lighting and touch of frosting on the later one. The final picture was taken in November so still autumn (what has happened to the polytunnels?).

Whatever I decide about the portfolio I intend to continue this exploration for a little while. I am very drawn to the trees and may aim to have one from each month so that more subtle changes can be explored. For a future project I would like to understand farming and agribusiness in the Bognor area and want to get up courage to ask the farmers who own these polytunnels to let me make some work with them, perhaps as part of a final year exploration.

Overall I am fond of these pictures and love the trees. I do worry that they are a bit plain conservative and may not be well-received at assessment but hey-ho, not much to be done about that now. I had hoped to find a really compelling site I could revisit during the year but other than the trees and one house (which hasn’t been an entirely successful choice) I have struggled. I am a little daunted by the idea of completing the portfolio as there isn’t a single underlying them and I’m not sure how it will come together as a set. I do have some ideas to explore, which will be shared here in due course.

It seems to rain quite a lot when I go out to the trees: here is one particularly miserable day. Not sure that the rain shows up so well in the main picture but the view from the car shows quite how wet it was.

131031_DSC7125 Bognor rain and trees ecopy131031_DSC7153 Bognor rain and trees ecopy


  1. That final image looks almost like a ghost tree. It's not that the tones are drab but that they have an elusive quality. I enjoy looking at it.

  2. The portfolio is driving me a bit mad at the moment, I'm not neccssarily sticking to the 3 from the first assignment, I might be, it just depends if I make any better ones for this time of year. I haven't spoken to Clive about it at all but I don't forsee him objecting to that.

    For the 'seasons' 4 of the same place, I have more than 4 of 2 separate places and I can't decide between:-( I might cut back the 12 so I can include both... trying to work it out is driving me nuts. Currently most of my 'landscape' photographs are not of distant views so I will most likely include the sports field series purely because it actually looks like landscape photographs!

    On your cloud one, I've been varying focal length intentionally on all of my sports field pictures, as I've changed my distance in order to reframe due to what happened to be there....I think I've got away with it as visually it seems to work OK as there is that similarly positioned focal point.

    I noted for ass 5 it suggests that 3 of the photographs for that could go in the portfolio for seasons...I don't think mine will though. The portfolio is confusing, I'm going to sort it all out as best I can, list what I have to submit and take advice :-)