Reflecting last term

In our first week we all met up to look at each other’s work and analyse it. I found those session very interesting, not just because I was curious to see the other projects but also because it became clear that we all struggled more or less with the same things.

Most of us said that they took too long to decide on an idea and therefore lost time to actually produce (and most of all know what exactly they wanted to produce) which definitely applies to me. I hope that this term, as we have a bit more time, there will be a better balance between pre-production and post-production.

I know that the quality of my video footage could have been better if I decided from the very beginning to create a video project (one should at least have the medium clear from the very beginning!) as I would have planned my shots in advance and I definitely could have done with an extra week of editing and fine tuning the work.

There were a few points that can be improved on a technical level:

– The fade to black was used too much, clear cuts would be less confusing for the viewer as they don’t suggest an “ending” of some kind and create a better flow. I totally agree with that, in fact watching back on my video I really got annoyed with those fade to black cuts myself and would have preferred normal cuts (why did I do that? Again, only shows that every decision we take has to be revised, preferably with some time in between to gain a distance, and has to be backed up by a good reason!).

– Some clips were cut too short, not giving the viewer enough time to settle on the image and take it in. I know exactly which moments are cut too fast, it is just about getting it right with what the person says.

– I personally think the audio can be raised a bit, to watch the video one really has to turn up the speakers and that is a small but effective change to actually go in and turn up the audio level itself.

I think it is worth going back and applying these changes to the video, as it shows how important these “small things” are and how much difference they make.
As I only received my feedback on Thursday and I focused the last few days on thinking about new project ideas I will be doing the re-edit soon just so I have a polished version.

For my new project it is important to take away the crucial bits from the two sessions we had and learn from it. That means settling on an idea earlier,which doesn’t mean it can’t develop throughout the term, but at least the “basics” have to be clear from the beginning such as choice of medium and the structure/planning of the production process.

Throughout Uni I have very much focused on people as a “subject”, in first year it was “students”, in second year “foreigners” and in third year “old people”. I enjoy engaging with people and investigate certain aspects of the society we live in through their experiences.

I remember in first year we photographed different rooms of students in our student accommodation (Marketgate) and we were interested in how the students make the space their own and if they brought a personal item with them that they had a certain attachment to. Because I and the other members of the group were all living in the same student accommodation we were curious to see the differences and do a little “cultural case study” in an environment that without the people really is a blank canvas (all rooms look the same). We took photos but also asked the students about their personal item and the story behind it, why they brought it with them and what importance it has to them.

Then in second year my group and I wanted to learn about experiences foreigners have in Bristol, because the three of us are foreigners ourselves. So again there was a personal element in it, something we could relate to and wanted to find out more about. We used the interview as a method of ethnography and filmed them in their own space answering our questions. This we arranged on a website, but the website was only a form of presentation – really it could have been a film project on its own.

Now in my final year I chose a topic I myself was confronted with, as I’m really not a selfie-taker and was wondering what a different generation would think about it (as my generation mostly finds it quite natural to take selfies). Again, there was a personal interest, something that motivated me to put my focus on a group of people that mainly is exempt from these modern “gimmicks” because I myself have a critical approach to it. Also because I am interested in photography and the evolution of it and somehow always feel a certain nostalgia when I see old analogue pictures, which evoke a bigger emotional response than any smart phone selfie could do.

So for my final project I think I would still like to investigate something that is related to people and their behaviour and is somehow based in a cultural context. All three ideas that I have at the moment have a “human” element in them, some more obvious than others.

I have done both, Photomedia and also video projects and I think for my final project I’d like to convey a message through photography.




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