Thursday, 11 February 2010

Initial Ideas

On Tuesday 9th Feb I met with the external examiner Ian Noble to discuss both my previous project and my ideas for this project. With regards to my previous work Ian recommended I look at two books to help with my typography and layout:

Type and Typography - by Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam
Stop Stealing Sheep - Erik Spiekermann & E.M. Ginger

For my Negotiated Project I want to study photography to develop my skill and understand the professional process. I want to use photography as a medium to capture my personal perception of Belfast, my home.

Ian discussed coming up with some sort of story or narrative to lead the reader through the photographs. He suggested that producing a book would provide the opportunity for me to develop my typography and layout skills.

"Say a lot about a little, not a little about a lot" (Ian Noble, 2010)

I love this quote. Ian explained that it is so much more effective to focus on a small subject and cover it is great detail than to take on a broad subject and only cover a small portion of it. This means if I were looking to photograph Belfast, not to picture EVERYTHING but to consider focusing on the mundane and ordinary. Finding meaning and beauty in something small which appears insignificant to others.

One example we discussed was considering Belfast and its political history. The walls and barriers dividing the Catholics and the Protestants in specific areas are prominent features making up Belfast's history. With this as a reference I could take photographs in and around Belfast of edges or devisions where things meet. (Roads, hedges, fences, the sea and the sand, lines, tables, shelves, pipes, buildings, the sky etc) These images could potentially result very abstract, however when placed within the context of Belfast, begin to make more sense.

Another example is to focus on the people of Belfast and their warm sense of welcoming and humble sense of humour. This could be portrayed through cups of tea. A cup of tea is a typical daily act, where people take 10 minutes out of their day to relax, chat, reflect and enjoy a cup of tea. Belfast is full of tea shops! By focusing on the actual tea cup I could capture an array of different moods, atmospheres, situations, colours, styles, stories, narratives all focusing on the exact same subject. The contrast of images would be visually interesting, (a builder drinking tea outside, a delicate tea cup and saucer, No. 1 dad mug, people together, people alone etc)

These considerations allow me to be more expressive with my photography and designs.

From here the project could transform into a series of books, that all together represent Belfast. I will rely on my research to lead the project to identify the most appropriate subjects to photograph, their significance in relation to Belfast and their final outcome design.


  1. hey - nice work - I have the type and typography book if you want to borrow?

  2. Cool start street - looking like this is going to be an interesting one for you!

  3. Just found a decent photography company on the web that may be useful to contact to get some experience with or advise you? They have some good architecture shots and commercial images you can check out.