I had been so excited at the end of my first two weeks of photographic practice, prior to Christmas, and am very keen not to lose the momentum I gained in terms of the development of my image-making, the critical reflection of the outputs and the process and how that might redirect or refocus my research. So, the two weeks of practice and two weeks of reading and research model I have adopted, is integral to my ongoing PhD studies.
I decide to take photographs from my garden today with the intention of capturing Derrida’s “unnameable glimmer”. During the MA, I had taken some images from the same spot and exhibited them on Skye in 2019. My work was inspired by the Japanese photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto.
It is hard not to feel disappointed at not spending time in the forest as planned but I know I would have been consumed with guilt and not in the right frame of mind to relax and potentially access a non-conscious state – thus enabling the potential to reveal the essence of Skye in my images. I console myself in the knowledge that any practice I am able to do over the next couple of weeks will be a learning experience whether I consider the images to be successful or not. In many ways, failure can sometimes be the best way of learning.
I am greeted by an icy blast as I step outside. I decide not to restrict myself with anything more than the general intent noted above and soon become fascinated by the patterns in the water at high tide. I set up my tripod with the intention of trying to capture the movement with slow shutter speeds and also nudging away from sharp focus. The sky overhead is leaden but there is a good degree of light, so I slow the shutter speed down by using a filter. I see a few Mallards gliding across the water and the odd gull hovers overhead, but the majority of birds will appear as the tide recedes and leaves its treasure behind. A rainbow appears on the horizon, but I resolve not to be seduced by the undeniable beauty of the presence of Skye.
The textures and patterns on the water change with the light, the colour of the sky, the prevailing wind direction and strength and whether the tide is rising or falling. Here are a few images from my first shoot in my second period of photographic practice:
I think in school day terms, I would have given myself a B- at best however, I did not begin the shoot with a positive mindset, and I had expected to be somewhere else. So, I need to learn not to be so hard on myself and look forward to tomorrow’s shoot!