154MC: Summer Task: Final Visual Diary and Reflection

My final visual diary consists of a collages of images which I have taken using the camera on my phone. At the beginning of this task I found it difficult to find one thing which I wanted to show throughout my diary, I wanted to be able to encompass perhaps the mundane aspects of my days but also the places and moments in time which I found interesting and inspiring. I wanted to document a long period of time and be able to reflect back upon these images at a later date and remember what I was doing then. After the group feedback it was clear that I had to narrow down my style and theme for my visual diary to ensure it was consistent and coherent.s

I keep a journal where I stick pictures of any inspiration, moments and places I want to remember and I also collect items such as tickets and information guides of where I have been. Accompanying these items is often a written entry of my thoughts and feelings. For me this is a way of keeping everything in one place and having a physical recollection of events. I began to realise that I use my phone in a similar way. I use the camera on it to document a moment quickly and easily, I don’t particularly have to think about composing the shot it is just how I want to capture it. I personally feel that it gives me more freedom in choosing the decisive moment and it is more out of instinct on when to take the picture.

If I was to use a DSLR camera for this I do not believe it would feel and look as natural, I feel like I would have subconsciously been aware of the lighting, the composition of the shot and I would have been restricted in some cases of what I could fit into the frame or where I could use my camera. If I was to bring my camera with me it felt as if I was constantly looking out for something special and significant to photograph, however with my phone it felt more instantaneous and in the moment.

In addition to this, some of the pictures I take on my phone I post to my Instagram. For me this is a way of putting the images in one place and having a record of them. I am able to see the date when I posted it as well as the caption. Therefore it makes it an electronic and solely visual diary. It is also a way for me to share with other people what I find interesting, what inspires me and what I am doing in my day. As humans I feel we have a need to share stories and experiences with other people and this is why the idea of a more candid documentary style of photograph appealed to me above the more stylised images I began shooting for this task.

Following on from this idea, I wanted to present my images in a way which replicates a similar style to that of Instagram. The images on Instagram are presented in a grid format which shows square thumbnail like images. This layout allows the viewer to view the images in chronological order and also view a series of events all at once. My images are also presented in this manner. The images read from right to left and as the collage progresses downwards a different time is shown. The most recent images being at the top and the oldest images at the bottom. I arranged the images into chronological order as this is how I would present it if it was in a journal.

The main sources of inspiration for this visual diary were bloggers, other Instagram users and many amateur photographers on Flickr who share images of their everyday lives. However as I began to look more into these images it made me realise how these digital images are in many ways mimicking the Polaroid. A medium which many people used to capture moments instantly and were accepting of its imperfections and it was these imperfections which made the photograph more personal and memorable. Some of the polaroids I found particularly interesting are those made by Ansel Adams, who is more known for his large-scale black and white images.

Furthermore my visual diary is very personal and I would not expect a wide audience to view it beyond myself and friends. However if I was to present this to a large audience I would include text alongside the image as I feel it would give more context to the images and give the audience a further insight into why I took the image and how I was feeling. The images would be presented in a journal like book and the accompanying text would be hand written as I believe this makes the image and text look more authentic and organic. A photographer whose work is similar to this style of presentation is Duane Michals and for me the image and handwritten text work very well together.

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Published by

Charlotte Pattinson

Photography student

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