Half Way Post

I’m just past half way in this project and I thought it would be a good idea to review my progress to date.

Just to recap. My four primary goals for project one are:

  1. To explore the concept of the Golden Ratio and its historic use in art, architecture and photography.
  2. To examine how the Golden Ratio is used in modern media images.
  3. To investigate the use of the Golden Ratio by ‘trained’ and ‘untrained’ photographers in creating ‘visually interesting’ images
  4. To offer some personal reflections on the ubiquity of the Golden Ratio in modern photography. To examine whether (‘trained’ or ‘untrained’) photographers who make use of the Golden Ratio (consciously or otherwise) produce images that are perceived to be more visually interesting than those who do not.

I have now completed the first two aims of my project within the timescales set for my project plan. My main area of interest now lies with Task three.

Task three will involve willing volunteers comprised of people who have had no training in photography (that is people who class themselves as “snapshot” photographers) and people who class photography as a serious hobby or as part of their profession (that is ‘trained’ photographers).  Each photographer will be given a disposable camera for a week and asked to take photographs which they consider to be “visually pleasing”. No attempt will be made to define the criteria for creating a of a “visually pleasing” image: this will be left to the interpretation of the volunteer.

Only after this exercise will the volunteers know about the tracking of their judgements to the composition ‘rules’ used for the production of the  photographic images. The photographs and results will be uploaded onto a website as the output method. This task will start in week five and end in week nine.

Current status of task three:

With 25 disposable camera brought and handed out to a mixture of “trained” and “non-trained” photographers, the third stage of my project is progressing well. To date I have had photographs from 19 cameras returned, developed, digitised and uploaded onto my website. My project timescale for this work was set between weeks five and nine.

I have, however, had to change the timescales for my project plan dramatically. This was to include an additional element in the project – an exhibition of photographic images which will allow random viewers to judge the photographic images produced in stage 3 of my project. In essence they will be asked to judge whether “photographers or non photographers who make use of the Golden Ratio (consciously or otherwise) produce images that are perceived to be more visually interesting than those who do not use the Golden Ratio.”

In order to manage this new aspect of my project, I realised that I needed  to start handing out cameras in week four, stopping in week six. This would allow me to mount an exhibition of the photographs produced in stage 3 in weeks eight or nine. This in turn would give me sufficient time to analyse the finding from my primary and secondary research and present this in printed book form, which would take a minimum of two weeks. This has been a good learning point for me in terms of setting realistic, but challenging, objectives for a project to be achieved within very tight deadlines.

My next step this week is to print out four or five images with the Lenticular effect added to them, mounted to wood and ready to hand. The images will be a mixture of images that use the Golden Ratio and ones that don’t. The website should hopefully be fully functional by the end of this week (week seven).

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