It is now ten days since I met with my second supervisor who encouraged me to make my photographic practice central to my research as I am registered for a practice-based PhD.  She suggested that I should start thinking about methods, practice outcomes and the drivers of my research.  She directed me to a diagram in Robin Nelson’s book Practice as Research in the Arts (2013) that refers to know how (experiential and performative), know what (knowing gleaned from critical reflection) and know that (conceptual framework).

I have now returned to the Isle of Skye where my photographic work is based and had a chance to clarify and map out my plans over the next four weeks until the Christmas break.  I have another meeting with my second supervisor on 14 December when I would like to be able to discuss my progress, not only the practical work, but also in the way I reflect and evaluate my efforts.

The Task on Skye

My task on Skye is to capture the Island’s ephemeral hiddenness, the being of the object, and reveal the essence of an Island that most people never see.  Sometimes it is helpful to define what it is that we do not wish to do.  I do not wish to create super-saturated images in the postcard vernacular.  I do not want to record and represent the Island in the same way as the many landscape photographers that work on or visit Skye.  For me, these types of images are typified by sweeping vistas, capturing the light of the golden hour, with wide-angle lenses.  In my opinion, this is photography by numbers – they are photographing the weather – not the climate, the isolation, vulnerability and changeability of the Island.  I want to capture the often dark, turbulent, evocative and mythical landscape through my photography.

I want to photograph lesser known, equally beautiful parts of Skye.  I want to go out when nobody else does. . . in all weathers.

The Process on Skye

I plan to work in areas of the Island I know well, and most visitors drive by.  I want to go out and record the worst that Skye has to offer in terms of climate and changeability.  I do not want to influence my work, which I believe I have done hitherto, by taking a view about whether the light is best suited on a particular day.  I will go out every day and take photographs.  Each week I will choose a time during the day when I will go out, in order to get a sense of how the place and my images change with differing light and conditions.  I will continue a series I started in September, Autumn Impressions and reflect and evaluate how the images of the same places change with the seasons and produce a collection entitled Winter Impressions.  I will write a reflective journal about technical photographic decisions as well as my observations about the day, the scene in front of me and my sense of the essence.

My Reflections on the Task and Outcomes

I will write a short blog post each day showing the images I capture, and my thoughts about the task and the process and how I feel about my work.

 

References

Nelson, R. (2013). Practice as Research in the Arts:  Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances. London, Palgrave Macmillan.

 

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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