The main discussion point for the meeting with my first supervisor this week was about my practice and how the process of recording my words and images each day had worked.  We talked about the significant learning point I had identified – that in my practice hitherto I had chosen the time of day and conditions when I go out with my camera.  In so doing, am I restricting the likelihood of getting to the essence of the Island?  Is it more likely that the real Skye reveals itself on the days when nobody else goes out and takes photographs?

We talked about how I might structure my practice longer term and through the PhD, and whether I might continue to explore different times of day and different seasons.  I need to make choices and be clear about why I have made them.  What is the body of work and what are the boundaries I need to put around it?  This is something I will take the opportunity to work on over the Christmas break and after my discussion with my second supervisor in a couple of weeks.

We also spoke about the way that my recent practice is already helping me to form a clearer idea of the conceptual framework for my literature search and identify those philosophers, writers, and artists, for example, that are emerging as major influencers.  I mentioned in particular, Heidegger, Derrida and Harman along with writers such as Nan Shepherd and Robert Macfarlane. Had I continued along the path of conducting the literature review through desk research then this crucial link with my practice would have been tenuous at best.  I now see that there is an iterative process between practice and research which will continually refine and change my direction and approach.  It will inform the methodology and methods I choose and determine the conceptual framework most applicable to my photographic work.

My supervisor said she had enjoyed the contextual and other notes recorded in my journal in the field, and then transferred into my blog.  We spoke about my wish to improve my creative writing skills and I agreed to do further research to find nature writers that I admire, and also identify what it is that makes their writing compelling.  My supervisor mentioned Kathleen Jamie’s Findings, and Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost, both of which I am aware of but need to research further.   She also mentioned a name new to me – Barbara Kingsolver and in particular Flight Behaviour and Unsheltered.  I have enrolled on my first Writing Retreat with the Doctoral Academy at Dundee and also intend to look out for a creative writing course.

We talked through the images I had produced from each day and in general my supervisor said she preferred the painterly images and those that were not over-blurred.  The following images are those she picked out:

Autumn Impressions 3 – Alison Price, November 2020

Winter Impressions 7 – Alison Price, November 2020

Winter Impressions 9 – Alison Price, November 2020

Winter Impressions 13 – Alison Price, November 2020

Winter Impressions 21 – Alison Price, November 2020

Winter Impressions 28 – Alison Price, November 2020

Winter Impressions 35 – Alison Price, November 2020

Winter Impressions 37 – Alison Price, November 2020

And, the stand-out image for my tutor is:

Winter Impressions 38 – Alison Price, November 2020


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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