Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Using "The Photographer's Eye" as Workbook

I've read Michael Freeman's book cover-to-cover and the pedagogic structure is sound. The matter now is how to make use of it as a tool of personal development.

The first question
  • "How do I keep track of my development?" or put another way,
  • "How do I take stock of my skills?"
The simplest way is to use a copy of table of contents in the book as a check-list, ticking off each skill/concept as I go along - "The Photographer's Eye" becomes, in effect, a workbook. But I'm looking for something that has more utility, more potential for interactivity...

The second question
  • "What form should it take?"
I want the system to be easily accessible and device independent, so the internet is the obvious place. The front-runners are:
  1. website - set-up cost and administrative overhead is high.
  2. image gallery - doesn't accommodate the necessary discourse easily, may enforce frame dimensions (e.g. instagram) which undermine a key aspect of composition.
  3. blog - has the flexibility and low set-up costs, but there are restrictions on total storage occupied by photos and it is strongly sequential which can be managed by good labeling and linking (requires organisational overhead).
I opt for the blog format because of its low initial overheads, to get a feel for the scope of the project before greater commitment.

The third question
concerns how I generate and use learning content.
  • "Should I go through every stage in sequence, taking new photographs for each topic?" Or,
  • "Should I go comb through my existing catalogue, looking for items which demonstrate each topic?"
I decide not to reinvent the wheel, at least at first. Re-curating my collection will exercise the skill of composition analysis. A simple frequency analysis will indicate which skills or 'ways of seeing' are better developed, and which ones less so - any gaps identified can be filled in with new photos. Finally, a series of complete run-throughs will be required to develop conscious competence into subconscious competence.

Loo Yeo

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