Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Blended learning both years BTEC and UAL


Here's this weeks Blended learning task - this is applicable to both years...

Both UAL and BTEC students are working with MTP's at the moment. So this weeks task is to learn and then summarise details relating to digital file types.

JPEG's versus Raw Files

Writing this up - as much as you can before you watch the video below, write down what you already know about the difference between JPEG's and RAW files. Having done that, then watch the video below, make notes about the key points that he raises in the video and then write up a coherent summary of the point made.

Double click on the video.
To take the work further to increase the chances of attaining the higher grades...
  • Look into TIFF and PSD's.
  • Get a small JPEG file and in Photoshop crop the image (A face) and then open and save it as a new file again and again and you'll start to see how the image degrades every time you save it as a new file. Produce a before and after version showing how the JPEG file degrades. 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

BTEC Unit 2 Michael Landy 'Compulsory Obsolescence'


This image is difficult to find on the internet, but it's embedded in the assignment in your digital copy. But here it is in the short term leading up to Tuesday's exam.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

BTEC consumerism - Unit 2 guidance


This may help with your consumerism article for Unit 2

You might want to structure it in this way and include some of the suggested ideas when researching and compiling the work.

Remember to choose your own artist that works with the theme consumerism as well as Landy or Perry. You will need a high quality colour image from each artist.


(1). What is consumerism a general definition; also consider looking at what wider society says about consumerism - look at different views of consumerism
Consider looking at Marxist or economic arguments for consumerism.

(2). What does either Landy or Perry say about consumerism - why are they tackling it as a subject and how do they do this through their art? Are they for consumerism or are they against it - how do you know... (a) From what they say in interviews (b) How the message is conveyed visually through their art.

(3). Using their image - Visually deconstruct the image explaining how the visual language of the image is used to convey meaning and message.

(4). Your own chosen artist  - repeat the same process sections 2 and 3 with your chosen artist.

(5). Who/what are they influenced by and how? In your research explain who or what the artists that you've chosen are influenced by, aim to identify the artist primarily, but consider politics, popular culture and society as a whole. What do these other people say about consumerism, how does your chosen artists work connect to their influences?

(6). Write a conclusion - what do you now feel about consumerism - whose views do you now share and why?

Y02 Blended learning task - planning

Over the coming 8 days we'll be shooting using the Mamiya C330 and the 10"x8" view camera.

For your blended learning you'll need to write up a plan for both of these shoots identifying what it is you want to get from the shoot and what you need to do in preparation for the shoots.

Use the opportunity to identify the use of an array of different materials, techniques and processes, identify this opportunity in your plan. Look at the weather over the coming days including tomorrow and identify theoretical problems relating to the light. Include weather charts as part of your planning (Remember to make this visual).

Things to include in your plan...

  • Films and papers you're going to use. With the films try and use films you've not previously used and look up their properties and characteristics on the manufacturers websites 'Product data sheets.
  • Who you're going to photograph.
  • Why these shoots are useful - what are you going to gain from it and whether there is potential for you to then use either of these cameras in conjunction with your own self-directed shoots. What will be the benefits of using either camera on your own shoots?
  • Plan of poses.
  • Expectations of the light - what you expect the light will be doing regarding the mood - discuss the light in terms of mood and effect on contrast.
  • Light ratios - use of reflectors or black reflectors to increase contrast.
  • Plans for post production - e.g. your 10x8 negative images on the photo-paper - how will you convert these to high quality usable digital positives.
  • Plan to make paper-negatives using traditional darkroom contact sheet approach.
  • Props/clothes?
Once shooting make sure you photography the set up and draw floor plans.

Use both these up-coming opportunities to create loads of images and pages of practical work. Consider printing the 6x6 negatives...

  • With David Bailey-esque borders
  • With the fake post production borders in darkroom
  • With the fake digital post production borders (After scanning prints)
  • On a range of different papers (See Steve Gibbs).
  • On matt finish paper and hand-tine using mixed media approaches - different pens, pencils, paints and other mark-making tools.
  • On liquid emulsion - consider adding colour or damaging the paper (Decay).
Again all the above can be high-lighted in your plan.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

BTEC Y01 blended learning task


Your task for this week due on 9th May.

For the Fine Art Materials, techniques and processes brief...

You're required to produce a set of digital images referencing a photographer.

For this digital section you're to investigate Rania Matar looking at the series "A Girl and here room". The key thing you need to do is meet the criteria AP.1...

Explain how digital materials, techniques and processes have been used to produce fine art pieces.

Use your own experiences and knowledge and the two links here below to write up your response to the criteria above.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Specialilst papers

This is for both years BTEC and UAL

At this point in conjunction with your projects you're strongly advised to shoot film (Different types) and print in the dark rooms using a range of different papers. You were all sent an email with the details relating to the use of these papers and the new arrangements for buying it. If you take up the idea, your blended learning will be to do the research identifying the properties and characteristics of the paper. As always do not plagiarise - read the material and write up in your own words.

You need to do this by 2nd May.

Here's the email sent 24/4/17 (Slightly different for the 1st years)...


 Steve Gibbs and Alex have come up with a multi-pack of different papers for use in your FMP. Used in conjunction with your test shoots this will allow for massive displays or knowledge and awareness of material, techniques and processes, especially if you research further via the manufacturers websites and compare and contrast the manufacturers claims against your own experience of their use. (Distinction potential).

 These are high-end papers for use with professional applications – two of them are especially worthy of your attention and it would be great to see some of this paper being used in your finals. One of them combined with drawing or painting or some other mark making approach would be exceptionally well received by anyone marking the work showing exceptionally high knowledge and advanced use of MTP’s. (Providing the written support was evident).

 A ‘Multipack’ of specialist papers includes the following – (£3.95)

Ilford MG 300 Art paper

Ilford Classic MG Fibre based Matt finish.

Ilford Cooltone MG IV RC with glossy finish

Ilford Warmtone MG IV RC with pearl finish

 There’s one sheet of each allowing for a few test strips and a half sheet print.

 If you like what you see and the paper suits your purposes or you want to work with it more, you can buy the papers individually in packs of 5 from Alex. A price will be issued as soon as Alex and Steve have worked it out.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

BTEC 1st year - Blended learning - Painters Pool - Jem Southam

This task is associated with your Unit 1 - Labyrinthine project

Painter Pool - Jem Southam

This series of images by the British Photographer Jem Southam feature a series of woodland images that could be interpreted as being 'Labyrinthine'.

Have a look on-line for further images using the search "Jem Southam painters pool". Select the one that you feel is the most 'Labyrinthine' and analyse and deconstruct it as this weeks Blended learning task.

Remember to offer your initial response to the image and then research the images and the story behind the images. (See the 2nd year post for links to the prompts).

Make sure you write about the context of the images - what kind of work is this, where would it be seen, who is its audience, who would buy this - how would it be sold?

Does it look like any artists or photography you are already aware of. Does it look like the scene from any movies you may have seen or are aware of? How does it make you feel, what is your emotional response to the work?

"Painters Pool" Jem Southam