I have done my best to fulfil the requests of the course this week, despite my misgivings. I will not dwell much on this, other than to say that I had a written correspondence with Jesse on the subject. All ‘water under the bridge’.
I am very much focusing on how best to maximise the next Cambodia trip, starting Tuesday, and related studies.
I will add a last reflection for the week – on photographic DNA. I have dealt with some of this in a draft Artist’s Statement, Back at the Beginning and Marketing Plan. So here’s a summary based on the questions asked:
- Which images do you enjoy shooting?
- Pretty much everything – I find the process of photography almost as enjoyable as the end result, and always have done. I have tried most genres over the years. That said, formal studio / fashion work or sports photography aren’t really my ‘thing’.
- What photography are you good at?
- I am probably best in the documentary, travel and event arenas, which is perhaps as well as that is what I am focused on.
- If I get hired for anything, it is events and the related candid, environmental portraiture.
- I know that I can significantly improve, which is why I am here, so ‘good’ is, to me, a transient word.
- I also feel that the ‘artistic’ side of my DNA is a little bottled up vis a vis my photography, another reason I am on this course, to unleash the genie.
- Which photographers inspire you and what area do they work in?
- I am inspired by literally dozens of artists, photographic and otherwise. JMW Turner, David Salle, Wassily Kandinsky, Wolfgang Tillmans, Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and many more would be on my ‘desert island’ list.
- Photographically, the work of Hiroji Kubota, William Eggleston, Dorothea Lange, Saul Leiter, Daido Moriyama, Annie Leibovitz , Alex Webb, Sophie Ristelhueber and Robert Frank stand out.
- I am also very much enjoying a dialogue with Lukas Birk.
- In the words of Hiroji Kubota, “I think everybody has a great drama to talk about. Everybody“. I think that sums up my attitude to the work that I like, and also how I try to create work.
- In an ideal world, where would you like to see your work? Magazines? Billboards? Galleries?
- Installations, in galleries or other public spaces, where it can make a difference, locally and internationally
- Books and journals referring to those books
- What are your personal interests?
- I assume this means in general, so here goes. Art, Music (all forms except Rap :-)), leadership development, mentoring, teaching, data privacy, social development, politics, ethics, technology in the ‘future oriented’ sense …
- One thread that strings these together is that I really enjoy teaching and mentoring, even in my senior management roles.
- Answering the question a different way, I have been lucky to have had several careers, and to be blessed with polymath experience. Related, it is worth noting that the business world is pretty tough, especially at senior levels, so clear 1-1 feedback is the norm.
- If I have a skill set, most of my personal performance reviews over the years have stressed a) my ability to create ideas and actions across multi-disciplinary boundaries, and b) my ability to communicate complex ideas in a simple way, to make thing happen. I try to bring these skills to all my endeavours, including this MA.
I would add one other point. Right at the end of the Canvas post on this topic, there is a statement ‘Whatever you end up pursuing, make sure there is a market for your imagery‘.
I well understand that some people are starting out in their career, and want photography to be their main source of income – so that is a fair question. But, for others, either already established photographers or people like myself who are primarily here to improve their photography and their critical understanding of it, I am afraid it’s not really a helpful criteria for all. I sense that this attitude on behalf of the module organisers is part of my personal frustration with it.