Jason Fulford has compressed 307 assignments and ideas into one book to create a ‘Photographer’s Playbook‘. The assignments and ideas are proposed by well known practicing photographers, some of likes include: Alec Soth, Jem Southam and Bill Armstrong. This book is #Phonar2016’s guide to creating. Lecturer, Gemma-Rose Turnbull has personally selected particular assignments and ideas to each person in my University class. My first assignment of this module is The Last Seven Pictures set by Michael Christopher Brown, found on page 39.
Turnbull set this assignment as my first task (part 1) – which she split into 5 steps in order to accomplish this task.
Step 1: Tweet a synopsis of the assignment
For this, I decided to unpick the assignment in order to gain perspective and an understanding for what it was actually asking, or how it could be interpreted.
By exploring the assignment, I was able to summarise the task in a way I deemed simple.
Step 2: Investigate your author and create an Instagram post that shares a visual portrait of the author (e.g. response to the key themes in their life)
After investigating Michael Christopher Brown’s life and career, I devised summaries and plans on how I would go about creating the visual portrait. Find below my visual portrait and analysis of this.
#phonar2016 VISUAL PORTRAIT of Michael Christopher Brown. Significant elements of Browns life and career, from what I have found, consist of the desire to discover, experiencing, learning and documenting. Travelling alongside other clans within new territories and the recording of his journeys. In an interview with Photo Video Edu's, Aimee Baldridge, Brown stated you must "know the war you're going to" – effectively being aware of an environment and potential consequences or situations that may occur once entering. This encouraged me to know the place I was visiting before I had even set off. This short video is an exploration into discovery and the partaking of a journey. These are themes that are not only recognisable throughout Browns developed life, but also through his photography. Brown photographs his own and others' journeys and discoveries, here I am recording and documenting a personal journey which I hope reflects the idea of entering an unfamiliar environment, starting a new journey and discovering elements in an unexplored setting. #photographersplaybook #MichaelChristopherBrown #document #record #discover #experience #journey #new #environment #response #visual #portrait
Step 3: Analyse the author’s work. Present this analysis in a second Instagram post where the image should be made in the author’s “style”.
#phonar2016 IN THE STYLE OF #MichaelChristopherBrown #MichaelChristopherBrown encourages us to be honest in our photographic practice – photographing for a purpose, having a motive. Brown's work is particularly reflective of his assignment in the #photographersplaybook, where he challenges the participant to limit themselves to only photographing what is absolutely necessary. Through documenting other people's lives and immersing himself into their stories and environment, one could suggest that Brown photographs what he deems reflective, as well as imperative when showing what he has discovered. I look at the photographs Brown takes as visual observations and pieces of evidence to present his journey with a particular individual or community. In some respects, it could be said that Brown's work gives others a voice, more often than not, others living in conflicted environments – giving them a sense of purpose. In the #photographersplaybook, Browns 'honest path' was about 'finding a voice'. In regards to my aforementioned idea, not only is he giving these people a purpose – a metaphorical voice, through his photography, he may be finding his own voice through this process. #MichaelChristopherBrown captures portraits, observational shots of surroundings and found objects to record his journeys. The composition of these are extremely varied, yet remain consistent through visual filters, cropping and editing techniques – noticeably with help from the @hipstamatic app. With this in mind, I used the Hipstamatic app to capture this gravestone, using basic highlight/shadow alterations for tone intensity. By photographing an object that already had a strong purpose and meaning for being where it was and why, one could suggest that it pays respects to whose gravestone it is and similarly to Brown, empowers through acknowledgment – strengthening the purpose further. #purpose #meaning #hipstamatic #gravestone #memory #honesty #observation #evidence #recording