Pre-unit exercise

“Regarding the ‘flood’ or constant ‘bombardment ‘ of images permeating ever deeper into our lives, rephotograph every photographic image that you encounter on a single day.  The quality of the image does not matter – use a camera phone or a compact camera.  You should include videos as well as still photographs; just shoot one frame to document a sequence.

  •  Construct a grid or compile a contact sheet of all your images.


  • ContactSheet-002.jpg



  • Write a short reflective piece in your learning log about this exercise.

What have I learned?

  1.  How to create a contact sheet in PS CS6.  I had used it in CS4 but had forgotten.
  2. That even in my home I have photos around me all the time.
  3. That I did not have the patience to photograph every photograph I saw because some publications, like publicity brochures and the OCA Student booklet & its ‘Live Learn Create’ publications have multiple images on their covers and then at least 3 images per page inside.
  4. That I spend a lot of time , perhaps too much time, on Facebook which exists for image circulation.
  5. That by the end of the day, when I was looking through the images I had taken, I did not remember having seen and photographed some of the images.
  6. That I did not consider the images I had taken and then viewed on my screen as part of the day’s collection of images.  For example, I am recording the building work on the house opposite ours:
  7. IMG_1881.jpg
    The facade of a Victorian house now a pile.
  1. IMG_1883.jpg
    Site labourers playing cricket on a lovely sunny day.

    IMG_1884.jpg7.  That I no longer ‘see’ the photographs displayed on buildings because they never change.

    8.  I have also learned that when I go for a walk, I go to reach a destination rather than be aware of the journey: I took photos of photos at my destination: the supermarket / the beach rather than taking photos of posters on the walls / on sandwich boards / on awnings.

I recorded videos but this website does not support them – unless I upgrade.

Has it alarmed me?

  1.  Yes – I am alarmed at the number of images which are crammed on publicity leaflets – I could not possibly rephotograph each one them because I would be doing nothing else all day.
  2. Yes – I am alarmed at the number of images I consume on Facebook.
  3. Yes – I am alarmed at how insignificant the process is if, by the end of the day, I cannot remember some of the images – even after I have rephotographed them.

Has it confirmed any preconceptions?

  1. That so much of my time is taken up consuming images.
  2. That many of the images I consume are forgettable / forgotten.
  3. That I am confronted by hundreds of images most of which I choose to look at.
  4. That I no longer see the images that have been on the walls of buildings, both inside and out.

What do most of the images encountered show?

  1.  That images are such an ingrained part of my life that I am not aware of them as photos.
  2. That  what I see is a skewed version of what is going on in the world through images of people and animals on FB – there would be very little to challenge my view of the world if I did not follow artists, bodies ( like the Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World)  and writers who see the world differently = relationships & relative values rather than individual images.
  3. That there is a limited variety of the type of image: invariably, animals faces are presented in favour of the whole animal;  news are transmitted via images of the faces of people; social media too focus on facial expressions. Even the supermarket images use people to promote their produce.

Does it tell you anything of the environment you live in?

  1. My physical environment is a safe one – there are no arresting / offensive public images of violence.
  2. I spend most of my time at home on my computer because the space is comfortable, warm and I can explore the world from a place of safety. Here I can see what different artists & photographers are doing / thinking / exposing.
  3. That my world is mostly fed by artistic expressions.
  4. When I go for a walk, I don’t see the photographs of ice creams / cafes / clothes on sale possibly because they are banal / part of the scenery.  Instead, I make my own photos because I invariably go to the beach which is never the same two days running.


An incredibly low rainbow over the sea today.


5.  That nature coupled with human nature can create an unexpected, humorous image:

A park bench today.


All the photos were taken with my phone camera except , of course, for the screen shots.



6 thoughts on “Pre-unit exercise”

  1. You’ve certainly made very good use of this exercise. Are you going to do anything differently to take into account what you learned fro it? I know I’m now trying to spend less time on the computer.


    1. Yes: ditto use of computer but also to read more books. I wonder if we have been given the 2 books with the course because otherwise, it being a course on digital images, we would be spending even more time on the computer? Having said that, I started a physical workbook yesterday in which I wrote about some really interesting photographers’ work (found on the net!) One of whom is Maria Karajeva – have a look at her work – I love it & can see myself using her ideas quite a lot. Oops! More computer work! That resolution didn’t last long!


      1. Good point about being given books! I actually do read quite a lot and get quite a lot of inspiration from this. In fact recently I’ve begun to read even more novels – a reaction to having to read a lot of photography theory I think, as I want to give some nurture to my imagination.
        I can’t find Maria Karajeva. Do you mean Maria Kapajeva? I know her work.


      2. Yes, that’s the one Maria Kapajeva = do you like her work? There is an online magazine Der Grief which seems to have really good and varied content. I too have taken to reading more novels as an antidote to all the specialised photography reading.


  2. I do like her work. There are some good videos of hers on Vimeo and I think she was briefly a tutor with OCA and with connections at UCA. Sharon Boothroyd wrote about her in Photoparley.
    Der Grief looks good but it means more computer! I’ve put some links on Facebook re the Flaneur – a BBC Radio 4 programme with Laurie Taylor.


  3. There are several videos on her website too. Der Grief = less bookshelf space! Where on FB have you put the Flaneur link? Not on TV gp or your wall as far as I can see. I am really itching to get stuck in to the exercises & assignments for di&c! Too keen?


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