The process of selecting and presenting the images for my Work in Progress Portfolio (WIPP) was iterative to ensure consistency with my Critical Review of Practice (CRoP). As I drafted and re-drafted my CRoP the images almost selected themselves as being those that fitted the narrative of reduction, metaphor and revealing the essence of my subjects most strongly. My search was not for literal representation of the world but to reveal its reality, and through that the essence of my experience of that reality.  I have discussed some of the images before in this Critical Research Journal but I thought I would pick a small number to emphasise some of the reasoning behind my choices.

Skye Untitled 1, Alison Price, April 2019

For example, this image of the Lone Tree, the first image in my Portfolio is a picture of fragility, vulnerability and triumph over adversity, a metaphor not only for the Isle of Skye more widely but reflecting my own feelings of vulnerability and adversity in life. Towards the end of the module as I started to put my images together I decided to follow a similar approach of light painting in darkness to reveal only those elements of my subject that I felt depicted the true essence of what it is like to be the object in this environment. I went back to Loch Cill Chriosd to “paint” the delicate slender stems of reeds that are buffeted by the turbulent and tempestuous weather on Skye, standing tall and defiant in this unforgiving landscape. I was pleased with the results and chose two images from that shoot to sit alongside the Lone Tree in the WIPP to provide a balance of tonality in the panel of images.

Skye Untitled 9, Alison Price, April 2019

Skye Untitled 14, Alison Price, April 2019

I also returned to the lone tree on a grey and gloomy day to try to capture the misery and isolation of being a tree in the shadow of the Black Cuillin Mountain Ridge. I was particularly pleased with the image below that I felt captured the misery of the day, the tree within its environment and my feelings about the day for that matter!

Skye Untitled 6, Alison Price, April 2019

I also picked some intentionally blurred shots taken through the window on a stormy day and with intentional camera movement to remove the clarity of the scene and provide more focus on the tempestuous, stormy sea or the relative calm on a different day.

Skye Untitled 7, Alison Price, April 2019

Skye Untitled 17, Alison Price, April 2019

The final image in my WIPP is very significant for me too in terms of its metaphorical elements.

Skye Untitled 18, Alison Price, April 2019

Whilst this is a straight shot of the Lone Tree, it shows its immediate environment alongside a small stand of trees. It is alone on the hilltop (as you can see from other images) but it stands in close proximity to other natural elements. This is a metaphor for my life, as someone that likes to be alone (particularly with my camera) but sometimes seeking company and closeness.

As far as my presentation is concerned I decided early in the module to present my images in triptych form. It is a type of presentation I am familiar with and I think it allows for the three images in a row to either provide contrast or similarity in subject matter, tonality and aesthetic. I chose my first and last images in the portfolio carefully – the first to emphasise the loneliness of the tree and the last to provide the additional contextual element to its location.  I also paid attention to whether the images should be displayed on the left, right or centre depending on their composition and balance.

This module in terms of my photographic practice and work in progress has been very experimental as I tried to get to grips with conveying my experience of the essence of Skye to my viewer. I feel it has moved my photography on significantly in terms of finding new ways to reveal the true essence of my subjects. I feel confident and full of inspiration and ideas as I start my Final Major Project.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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