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PART3: UNIT 7 Project Proposal and Realisation – Finalised Version

Candidate name: Ben McCarthy

Candidate number:  

HerefordCollege of Arts

Date: March – June 2013

Project proposal title: The transactional relationship between people and places

Area of specialism: Photography


Section 1: Review

Since the start of the course, during the part 1 rotations, I felt like I struggled with creativity and experimentations up until the introduction of part 2. Throughout part 2 I have continually explored and experimented with a variety of processes such as double exposures and projection. As well as attending workshop sessions to learn skills within processes such as pinhole photography and cyanotypes, I have developed skills within areas which I have discovered and explored solely by myself, for example 3D photography. I have frequently researched artists and practitioners which are not just photographic based, but still related to my work visually and also conceptually. I have not only applied practical understanding of processes such as 3D photography, but also looked into the history of it and gained a great theoretical understanding. I have been consistently evaluative of my own work and also the work of researched artists by writing about thoughts, influences and creative processes in every post on my blog.  I have instigated actions such as obtaining a projection screen to allow me to take my work to another level and therefore progress. I have maintained a blog throughout this project which is essentially a digital sketchbook; the work is presented effectively as I have some moving image and animation work and research which can be easily viewed. I have chosen to focus on photography simply because I thoroughly enjoy it, which then lead me into a genuine exploration of what I am interested in.

Section 2: Project concept 

My aim for part 3 is to continue my exploration from part 2 by looking into the relationship between a person and an environment. I aim to experiment with how the audience’s perception of a character/person’s identity can change when they are placed or found within different environments. I will explore a number of different photographical processes and techniques which will help me to create a stronger range of imagery which pushes the audience to think in a certain way. I may also use other forms of medium such as moving image and projections alongside photographical content. I will continually research contemporary practitioners as well as older ones which are related to my work and ideas whether it be visually or conceptually. I will also frequently reflect on the relationship between the research conducted and my own imagery to help move my work on further. The majority of my work will be displayed on the same blog that I have used since the start of part 2, I feel like it has worked well for me as I have been continually reflective and evaluative of my work and also researched practitioners work. I also like how anybody can easily share their evaluations, opinions and thoughts on my work as it is displayed on the internet, having continual feedback from other people has really helped me to further and refine my work to a better standard. By the end of the project I wish to create a series of images, with the possibility of some moving image projections for the final exhibition.

Section 3: Evaluation 

I will constantly reflect and evaluate my work in detail on my blog in order to push it forward and to a better level. I will not only conduct consistently detailed reflections and evaluations on my own work, but also on researched practitioners work, and how their work relates to mine on a visual and conceptual platform. By maintaining a reflective online blog, I will also be getting constant feedback, evaluations and opinions from others, as it is displayed openly on the internet; this, along with my own frequent evaluations will help me to consider how effectively my work has met my aims of the project. 




Week 22 (25/2/13)

Assessment for PART 2 

Aims for this week:

Submit PART 3 proposal (complete portfolio building sessions if required)

Review feedback from assessment of part 2

Comment on feedback

Week 23 (4/3/13)

review week – ILP’S to be completed – please log on to Pro Portal to review targets and add new ones.

Aims for this week:

Attend meeting with tutor to talk about my progression through part 2 and also whether I have met targets

Review old targets and whether I think I have achieved them or not

Add new targets via pro portal 

Week 24 (11/3/13)

Start PART 3 – make sure that you use your LOGBOOKS and this sheet in order to track your reflections and evaluation – you will be assessed on both.

Aims for this week:

Conduct initial research into proposed idea/concept

Attend group crit in order to receive feedback on my idea for the project which also gives me the chance to be given suggestions for the project.

Look at the variety of different routes which are possible to achieve through this project

Think about which route I would like to take

Start to experiment with ideas 

Week 25 (18/3/13)

Attended group crit last week and was suggested to look at the work of Martin Parr and also Richard Billingham. After conducting initial research I experimented with camera obscura idea(s) but decided to take the street photography route as I found it more interesting, and the camera obscura idea was time consuming and lacked depth.

Aims for next week:

Conduct research into street photography and which formats are good to use.

Start to photograph home town

Also look at photographing Hereford

Explore a range of formats; digital, 35mm film, disposable etc. 

Week 26 (25/3/13)

After conducting research into street photography and the best formats to use, last week I started photographing my home town using a range of formats including digital and also disposable cameras.

Aims for next week:

Continue to take images in Ledbury & Hereford or other local places.

Experiment with different formats; digital, 35mm b/w & disposable - Start to decide which format works best/is most suitable. 

Week 27 (15/4/13)


Formative evaluation:

Last week I continued to experiment with photographing my home town as well as Hereford using a range of formats, I have decided to continue using disposable cameras as I feel they are the strongest and most suitable approach to take.

Aims for this week:

Review feedback, also write self assessment comment

Act on feed back & set targets to achieve by the formative assessment in week 31.

Start to explore other places of interest other than my hometown and Hereford – look at photographing people inside home? 

 Week 28 (22/4/13)

This week I have acted on the feedback from the peer assessment last week. I have also set up/organised a photo shoot inside some bodies house to experiment with some portrait photography rather than street photography, also using 35mm black & white film rather than disposable. I have decided to continue with the disposable street photography route.

Aims for next week:

Visit another town/city that isn’t too close/local i.e Birmingham?

Continue using disposable

Week 29 (29/4/13)

This week I visited Birmingham to take photos using disposable. I was happy with some of the photos, however a lot of the images came out under exposed as I didn’t use flash on most of them. To conquer this problem I will use flash in dim lit areas/places in the future.

Aims for next week:

Visit another place of interest that isn’t too local. Maybe a seaside resort as I have looked at small towns and a large city.

Make sure to use flash in order to achieve correctly exposed images.

Conduct research into practitioners using disposable cameras in street photography.

Week 30 (7/5/13)

This week I visited Weston super mare to take photos using a disposable. I am extremely pleased with the photos that I took, and none of them were under exposed. I have also conducted research into practitioners using disposable cameras in street photography, but found very little.

Aims for next week:

Make sure my aims will be met that I set in week 27 at the peer assessment in order to achieve them by the formative assessment next week.

Visit another large city in order to capture more images using disposable – this time not underexposed due to not using flash

Conduct more research into relative practitioners

Week 31 (13/5/13)


Formative evaluation:

Over the last few days I have edited my blog in order to achieve the aims I set after the peer assessment. I have also organised a trip to Bristol in order to take more photos using disposable cameras. I have also conducted some more research into practitioners using disposable cameras in street photography.


Aims for this week & next:

Review feedback from formative assessment

Act on feedback & create aims in order to achieve the constructive criticism from the feedback.

Visit Bristol to take photos using disposable camera

Start thinking about what I want to include in the final show

 Week 32: (20/5/13)

I was very pleased again with the shots from Bristol, I feel fully in my stride for the final show now.  I have started to act on the feedback from the formative assessment last week and will continue to do so after half term. This week I have looked through all of my work from part 3 in order to choose what I want to include in the final show. I have decided on the number of images, scale, and layout, and of course which images I would like to use. I have also submitted my show proposal idea which has been accepted.

Aims for the next week:

Continue to act on the feedback from formative assessment

Get images printed for final show & sort out any additional needs for final show

 EASTER BREAK (29th March – 13th April)

Half term (27/5/13)

 This week I have visited Bath and Worcester in order to produce some extra photos using disposable. I have also continued to act on the feedback from formative assessment and will be printed my images on Monday in order to hang the show during next week.

Week 33 (3/6/13)

Hang show Run A and B

Notes for exhibition:

Week 34 (10/6/13)

14th June (private view) and deadline for assessment.

Week 35 – External Examiner from UAL


After initiating my project proposal and weekly plan, I began to research contemporary and more traditional practitioners who are exploring similar themes to mine in order to get an idea of what outcomes are possible; I found this initial research helpful and inspiring. After some experimentation with conceptual ideas, I decided to take the street photography route as I found it more interesting and wanted to carry on from where I left off in part II. I then conducted some more concise research into street photography; including different processes and ways of working i.e. candid/staged, which lead me to do some more experimentation, this time with different processes including digital, 35mm b/w film, and disposable film. This research and experimentation helped me to solve problems in my work – the less appropriate use of a DSLR - and to develop my project to the next step, which was to explore the art of street photography using a disposable camera. I chose to use disposable cameras over DSLR’s and SLR’s as they were smaller and less obvious; which was a key aspect as the majority of the photos that I was aiming to take would be candid. Disposables also have a 35mm lens which forced me to be up close to my subjects. Of course, I came across problems with disposables, the main one being underexposed images; which was solved by simply using the flash at all times to ensure that each image was correctly exposed. I started by photographing towns and cities which I knew well, such as Ledbury and Hereford, and then as I became more confident I ventured to other places which I didn’t know as well, including Bristol and Bath; this challenged my ability to recognise potential photographs and helped me to develop my practical skills within street photography. For the final show I displayed six images from throughout the project, two from Ledbury, Bristol and Weston Super Mare; three contrasting places which I visually described through photographing their scenes and people. I think my development of practical skills, confidence and increasing motivation have been the strongest of all aspects in this project, which show through in my work. Research was always a challenging aspect as I found it hard to find practitioners using the same processes as me, and if I were to continue this project I would definitely spend more time researching to find more inspiration.