As 2017 draws to a close…

This year has been a catalyst for me to reimagine my photographic dreams and reconnect with my personal photographic practice.

The MA has provided me with opportunity and support, and as I head into the final stages I plan to continue to build on this.

Having taken some downtime during the festive break to spend focussed time with family and friends, much of my photographic endeavours have remained in my mind.

But I did join a Facebook group, FlakPhoto Workshop, set up by the founder of FlakPhoto.com, Andy Adams.

He describes the group as “a place for photographers to share new work and to seek feedback on projects in development”.

So I shared some info about me, my work and, in particular, Harena Now.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 18.56.14

It was interesting to receive positive comments on Harena Now, and also a comment about how much information I use in my current explanation of my Harena Now images on my website, and that perhaps I should add more.

This is quite timely as I had recently been deliberating (see here) before the end of the previous modules (and spoke about it in my last oral presentation) if my more ‘abstract’ images needed to be supported by more traditional ones, or a fuller explanation.

Among the comments of “Gorgeous work. I’m glad you are sharing this work” and “I had no idea there was a sand crisis“, which incidentally led to me sharing details of how people can learn more about it, one person said, “The images are gorgeous; they remind me directly of Rippenhoff’s [sic] Littoral Drift, though. (I don’t have any idea which of you started their project first, and like with anything else, could independently come up with a similar idea at the same time.) As to the global sand issue…I live in Honolulu. We have sand issues. Is it the same one? Is it global? Is it a crisis? Why? I don’t know. The work does not, to me, speak to the “sand crisis” on its own face. The statement did not have enough info for me to know more about what you wanted me to know. Just my thoughts.”

This provided me with time to reflect on my decision that I do not want my images to instantly say “sand crisis” but for people who are intrigued by them to look deeper. Maybe, for some, a detailed explanation is essential to hold their attention, but I want my images to captivate and spark curiosity, which in essence they did with all those that  commented, including the person above. She has since sent on info about the issues around sand in Honolulu, which has been a big help in expanding my global knowledge of the topic, and hopefully hers in that Honolulu is not alone in facing sand issues.

I may now add some links or a short film to my Harena Now web page to enable those who are keen to learn more the opportunity to do so without being overwhelmed by words on the page.

And it was certainly nice to be compared to Riepenhoff’s work (although I find it irrelevant as to who did it first as I have been making coastal cyanotypes for some years, as I’m sure Riepenhoff has and many, many others). But it also led back to my former post about this specific matter – using-the-outside-out-and-in.

The one thing I did take from this is how easy I find deliberating my work and my conviction to it.

It’s great to have challenge. It’s great to have praise. But I believe the greatest favour you can do yourself as an artist is to listen graciously, be inspired and then do exactly what feels right for you.

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