Phonar: Task 3 – Email to Amy Elkins

For this task I also had to make a communication with the author of my assignment and pick the most appropriate method of communication. For Amy Elkins I felt that this was email as she is active on social media and has kept a blog for many years about her work and research and therefore it would be most appropriate to send an email with links to my own blog. Below is the email I wrote to her:

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The text in the email reads as following:

Dear Amy,

I am writing to you to inform you that I have recently completed the assignment that you set in the Photographer’s Playbook entitled Two Challenges. My name is Charlotte Pattinson and I am currently a second year BA (Hons) photography student at Coventry University whose own practice mainly focuses on the landscape and the natural environment however since completing your assignment along with many others from the Playbook it has changed my way of working and made me more open to experimentation and styles of photography that are out of my comfort zone. 

In the introduction to the assignment you said that you got given these tasks in your early stages of study they terrified you or nearly drove you to the edge of madness. This is also how I felt when I got set the assignments especially the one assigned by William Hendricks where I had to stay in one place and get 12 strangers to “sit for the camera” so I could take their portrait. For me this was the most challenging as I have always struggled with not only taking portraits but talking to people I am not familiar with and especially approaching strangers. When trying to complete the task I had many self doubts that I could not do it. I became very anxious about not only approaching a stranger to take their portrait but the act of doing this in a public space scared me. In order to get around this I chose to set myself up in one place at 1940’s event where people were dressed up for the event and it was very busy with constant streams of people. I felt that at this type of event it would be less daunting as they would be more willing to have their portrait taken as they were in character. Although I still felt nervous and anxious about asking them it was more manageable and this allowed me to relax more when taking the portraits and I am happy with the outcome. Due to this experience I have learnt more about myself as a photographer and as person and have gained confidence in taking peoples portraits. It will still take more attempts for me to feel more confident in doing it again however I feel that I am able to overcome this in the future. 

In addition to this, the other part of your assignment that was assigned by Silvio Wolf challenged me in different ways. It took me a while to get my head around what ‘nothing’ was and how I could translate this into a visual piece when often nothing is a feeling of absence. After researching into Wolf’s work and experimenting with accidental images and the visual language surrounding the darkness and light this led me to make an image that explored absence in an image. The image was an accidental mistake made during the developing process when developing my roll of film. An area of blackness took over the image and only part of the original scene from the image remained which makes you intrigued as to what the rest of the scene would look like without the black mark. Overall I really enjoyed this part of the assignment as it gave me an opportunity to experiment conceptually as well as with different mediums. 

If you are interested in viewing the images I have taken from your assignment I have blogged about it and you can find my research, experimentation and final images here: https://charlottepattinson.wordpress.com/tag/task-3/ 

Kind Regards,

Charlotte 

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Charlotte Pattinson

Photography student

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