Assignment Five: People and Place on Assignment Rework

For this assignment the choice is yours; the only proviso is that the subject should be one from the course – people and/or the places they inhabit.

First, decide a notional client.  Choose the kind of client (newspaper, magazine, text-book, publisher, advertising agency, television graphics, etc.), the purpose of the assignment (educational, informational, promotional) and how the images will be used (to illustrate a story, to sell a product etc.).  You choose.

You then need to imagine what the basic brief would be, which will mean thinking from the other side of the fence – what someone commissioning a photographer might want.  Write yourself the brief so that you can refer back to it.

Having assigned yourself the brief, you now need to complete it.  You need to submit between 8 – 12 photographs.  Accompany the final images with a short written assessment.

This should include:

  • the ‘client briefing’ that you gave yourself  
  • a statement of how you set about planning the photography
  • how well you succeeded, including the difficulties and opportunities you encountered that you had not anticipated

The Brief

We are an on-line magazine requiring photographic images with written/verbal information to support a story about the older person and modern technology.

We need to illustrate a story about which modern technology (mobile ‘phone, computer, satellite TV etc)  the older generation (55 years and older) have for their personal use, if any. You must include up to twelve images, but no less than eight, supporting the story.  Try to incorporate any obvious differences in the uptake of technology between the age groups.

The images will need to be ready for publishing within the next eight weeks.

Planning Statement

I decided to persuade friends at Gilbert Court, who definitely meet the age requirements, to once again participate.  For the photo shoot with the individuals, or couples, I chose to interview them and record their responses to questions I posed regarding how they remember technology in their youth and how it has changed.  I also asked questions about their personal use of modern technology, i.e. mobile ‘phones, computers, satellite television etc. and how they cope with it.  During the interview, when they’d relaxed and weren’t concentrating on me, I made images of them, which I’ve used in this assignment.  I then included edited sound tracks of the interviews to provide an holistic approach to the art, with the full interviews available for the publishers.

I perceive that photographic art doesn’t stop with the capture of any image, it should be part of a wider context of understanding the whole.  Sound, smell and touch are also facets of that whole, and whilst smell and touch cannot be incorporated, sound can.

Video is an obvious choice for the furtherance of this idea, but to me video actually removes something from the art I’m attempting to make.  The actual movement of the subject in a video is a distraction from looking at detail whilst the still image provides the opposite, provided there is sufficient interest within the picture to hold the attention of the viewer. Coupling the sound track has the potential to extend the viewers time in front the image, enable them to study the detail longer and form a different narrative than with just a picture alone.  No doubt video can provide different information to still images, but to look at that information in detail will require rewinding some sections several times.

My only reservation about this new path is that I’ve never done it before so I’m unsure of what the results will be.  I have to start somewhere with this method, so now is probably as good a time as any, and better than most, as I’m still in the early learning stage of my degree, so little harm will come if it’s not perfect, whereas there would be a great deal of harm done if I attempted this in my final module.

The associated images go by the overall title of ‘Adaptation’


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