Assignment one – ‘Square mile’ re-work

It is interesting to look back on this assignment and to see how far I think I have come on this journey. Overall I still like my theme as it is very definitely MY square mile, however, on reflection I should have chosen one theme and stuck to it and considered how they would be presented as a set rather than uploading them singularly. I did go a little way in considering this by exploring orientation and colour v’s black and white.

I did re-visit this after the initial feedback and the images I chose were much stronger and the added text helped the images although on reflection I think that the majority of people can relate childhood to the images so the text may not be so necessary.

I have looked again, paying more attention to how my eyes follow the image, hoping that I could find a set that communicates my childhood in my ‘Square mile’ but also keeping to one orientation.



‘Square mile’ re-work planning

I am trying to decide whether to stick to my original square mile theme with a few re-takes or to explore a new square mile. The thing I am struggling most with from the feedback is finding and showing my personal viewpoint and taking more risks.

I will look into the suggested reading list and explore the photography of Tim Walker, William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Walker Evans to see if this can lend me a new perspective.

My thoughts on reworking my original theme of childhood would be to present images that resonate with my childhood against my children’s childhood side by side.

If I were to simply use the childhood images I have already taken and re-select based on stronger composition and delivery of ideas it would be the images below, I have added text to strengthen the concept.

Home is where the heart is, safe and secure
A short trip to the swings, laughter and fun
Family days fishing, not a care in the world
Hop Scotch in the ally, finally allowed out to play on our own.
Building our den out of sight , out of mind.
Hanging around trying out ‘adult’ for size


Childhood is like the horse, fenced in, pretty and safe but we long for the dangerous, fast, grown up world that the car represents.

Tutor feedback – Assignment one ‘Square mile’

Expressing Your Vision Assignment 1 -New

So after an anxious wait I received my ‘Square mile’ feedback from my tutor. Whilst it wasn’t really great it was also not as bad as I had thought it might be so a small sigh of relief from me. This is a major learning curve and I have realised just how rusty I am but on looking back on my images I somewhat agree with some of the feedback.

I did two collections of images rather than one but this was because I was so unsure of myself, my ability and what I was submitting. I need to stick to the brief and take ownership of my final selections and not allow self-doubt in the future.

I did consider the sequence of the photos as I was showing the childhood images from younger years to teens, and in the river series I showed it from the industrial river flowing through the town to the manicured gardens on the other side of town but obviously I did not convey this very well in my images.

Some of the images were centred, although the pipe photo I thought worked best in this composition but the rope I agree was too centred, I did try to retake this but the rope was gone! Looking back there are a few I would remove, such as the weir, I cannot get myself into a position to improve the angle and it does seems more of a ‘snap shot’.

I am not too sure on how I can improve on the presentation unless I perhaps do not show them on my blog as individual images but maybe as a collection of images.

Personal voice is the one I struggle most with, I am still trying to find my own personal voice and I am really lost on this one. I do know what I am trying to convey but as for my personal voice I am hoping I will discover it in time. It is there, I am sure, but I need to scratch a bit deeper and a sense of my own personal self should hopefully achieve this. This is why I am on this journey, to recapture my past creativity and find ‘myself’ in the process.

I also agree that my observations were not very in-depth but this is a style that I am working on and sometimes I find that I do not read into things as much as others. I am a very insular person and it is new territory trying to put into words what I observe. I am also a believer of plain talking, some of books I have tried to read have lost me on the first page!

I will look forward to revisiting this assignment once I have completed the coursework modules to see if I can improve on it.





‘SQUARE MILE’ – Assignment one final submission

I began this assignment by brain storming my local area which has been my home for almost all of my life. It was interesting to try to see it through new eyes as I have become very oblivious to the area over time. I was drawn to exploring my childhood areas but I was also drawn to the river, both of which overlap at times as much of my childhood was also spent by the river. I decided to head out and shoot the areas I was drawn to.

It was like a Pandora’s box, opening up old memories, mostly pleasant, and rediscovering areas that I thought no longer existed as well as finding out some areas were no longer there.

I looked at the work of various photographers but was particularly drawn to Jodi Taylors’s work as it was of a similar subject to my own initial ideas and I also liked the addition of text by Barnard.  As I was ploughing through my reading list I discovered Anna Fox and her Basingstoke series which interested me as she also added captions and her images are quite saturated, which leads me to the exhibition I visited of William Eggleston’s work and the fact that I was also drawn to his more saturated images. I had been toying with the idea of aging my childhood images by using cream tone black and white but in the final edit I decided to increase the colour saturation instead.

I have very limited ‘technical’ skill so I was a little daunted after seeing the high calibre of work by other students so this caused me to overthink this assignment slightly. I used a Nikon D3200 set to manual mode and a combination of lenses (Nikon 18-300mm, Nikon 35mm Prime and Sigma 10-20mm). I had limited opportunities to shoot so in future I would like to plan to make better use of natural lighting.

Perhaps the addition of a tripod may have improved the quality of some of the images however given my shyness I did not want to draw attention to myself, I am aware that my photographs are devoid of people, this is something I would like to work on in future but for the purpose of this brief it was more about my memories than the inclusion of other people.

I particularly like my alleyway photograph with the hopscotch, I was always up and down this alley in my childhood, and I also like that some of the photos had the pylons in the background which run through the town. I remember being terrified of the pylons after seeing the graphic safety video adverts as a child, a video of a boy with a kite springs to mind.

If I were to revisit this I think that I would like to add more childhood elements and stage some of the images to make them stronger. Overall I am quite pleased with my final selections and I look forward to building on this.

I have in fact ended up with Two Collections : Childhood and The River, so I have included both final selections for each collection.

Contacts sheets:





‘Square mile’ childhood selection (portrait)

My final selection for the childhood theme of my ‘Square mile’, I have tried to keep to an all portrait selection however I am still undecided if I would prefer these in black and white but I have tried to increase the saturation to see if this makes it more preferable.



I have kept a scrapbook / notebook which I have used to help formulate my ideas and decide on images. My photo scrap-book contains my printed images, some in both colour and black & white, and some historical images of the same area that I found on local historical archives online. I asked various family members to add sticky dots to the images that they liked and I made notes and further reviewed my photographs. It helped to see the images printed rather than on the screen of my PC.

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