Keep a diary for a set period of time (at least two weeks). Each day write two or three pages about yourself – what you’ve been doing/thinking. This can be as specific or poetic as you wish. You may wish to pick a theme for the duration. This is an open brief designed to give you freedom to create something personal which suits you best. Use the artists you’ve looked at in Part Three or your own research for inspiration.
Select the most interesting parts of the diary (which could also be the most banal or mundane) and interpret them into a photographic project.
In preparation for assignment three, I have kept an online diary ever since I started the course. This can be found on my blog at http://www.bainb.co.uk/Blog/?cat=28 starting with my initial entry at http://www.bainb.co.uk/Blog/?p=871. My original intention was to put a photograph for every day in the diary, but this was not 100% successful, particularly when I was ill over the Christmas period.
Before starting this assignment I read through my diary, trying to decide what would be appropriate. I decided that most of the entries were quite boring, and that the most interesting entries came when we were abroad. Obviously it would be difficult to recreate these in a cold rainy Norfolk in February, so I decided that I had to use some of the more mundane entries for this assignment.
Two things appear repeatedly in the dairy, one is my church bell ringing, the other is the fact that we have chickens which have to be fed daily, and their hen house has to be cleaned out at least once per week. I considered my bell ringing, but I have found over the years that still photographs show very little of the actual skills involved, so I decided to take photographs of the mundane but regular job of cleaning out the chickens.
To explore this in a different manner and to maintain the self-portraiture aspect of the exercise, I decided to take the photographs as what film directors would call POV shots, where POV stands for Point Of View. A good example of this is the television programme The Peep Show, where the camera follows the action as the characters would see it.
This technique had been used by other photographers, notably the Kazakstani photographer Timur Zhansultanov in his project In My Own Eyes where he documented two years of his life from his own point of view.
As I discovered, this technique is not easy, especially when you want to put both hands in shot. For this shoot I used my DP1 camera which has a fixed 19mm lens. It has the advantage of being small, whilst still having the same APS sized sensor as my SLR, combined with an extremely sharp prime lens.
Here are my contact sheets, with the pictures I chose marked in red.
- Calouro, E. (2013) Photographer Timur Zhansultanov shoots creative point-of-view photos of his life. Available at: https://petapixel.com/2013/05/20/in-my-own-eyes-point-of-view-pictures-by-timur-zhansultanov/ (Accessed: 5 March 2017).
- Zhansultanov Timur (c.2013) Cooking (from “In My Own Eyes“) c/o petapixel.com