A Week Review #5

If I was doing a word of the week section, this week’s word would definitely be ‘Inspiration’, not because we’ve had a particularly inspiring week, but because of the amount the word’s been said in the edit room!

This week’s mostly been taken up by editing the two videos we’re making for our session with the undergrads I mentioned in previous posts.  But I’ll start off on Monday when we did something a little different… We had a talk from the OPAL citizen science project (https://www.opalexplorenature.org/), and took part in their soil and earthworm survey.  It essentially involved digging a hole in the ground and counting worms, but it was a welcome break from staring at screens! (Citizen science is a great way of getting people outdoors and involved with research, so if you can get involved, please do)


Tuesday saw us heading over to Bramcote Woods (If you’re in the Nottingham area it’s worth a visit), it’s part of a wildlife corridor that links up an area from the middle of Nottingham right the way out into the countryside so it was really interesting to have a look around.

Wednesday and Thursday were taken up editing the videos I mentioned.  We’ve done the films in two very different styles, the inspiration video is unscripted, and has us on screen for most of it.  The other video, which I haven’t mentioned much, has us describing a topic in photography.  Our topic is Light and Exposure, we’re not speaking on screen for any of it, and the voice overs are all scripted.  I find it very easy to talk about my inspiration, as it’s something I think about quite a lot, but very rarely have to describe or teach a topic in photography so found the second video a bit harder, even though it was all scripted.  They’ll be up on Vimeo at some point, so keep an eye on my twitter.

Our Friday day out this week was a cityscape day, so at 7am we set off to London.  I’ll leave this as a bit of a cliffhanger, because I haven’t developed the film yet.  I’ll do a post on it sometime next week.

But in the mean time! Take it easy,



Underwhelming Sunrises.

We had a fantastic talk by landscape photographer Chris Upton on Tuesday, and as landscapes are an area I’m looking to improve, I journeyed home to the Cotswolds on Wednesday intending to head out early the next morning.

I had checked the weather and sunrise was set to be a beaut, so at 6.30am I was up and out the door.  Unfortunately the clouds decided not to play ball… But I stayed out and shot the old viaducts used for the railway before it got shut down in the 60s (below).  This was a prime example of something that I’ve been struggling with a bit recently; although it is nice sometimes just to head out and take photos, I have briefs to complete so I need to start putting a bit more planning in before I go out.  I didn’t really take full advantage of my time; I knew I wanted to shoot a sunrise, but didn’t actually know where, and didn’t really have a backup when the sunrise was a significantly underwhelming.

However I’m learning from all experiences and taking it on for the next time! It’s all a learning curve.

Take it easy, M



A Week Review #2

This semester I’ll be giving a general overview of what happened during the week, if there are workshops or days out I want explain in more detail, I’ll tackle them in separate blogs!

This week consisted of microscopy, inspirational talks, helping with the undergrad course, and magazine design.

The first of our microscopy lab days was really interesting; we had a brief overview of just a couple of the types of microscope, learnt how to set them up for photography, and had a practice taking images.  Below is an image of a muscle fibre slide, I also tried taking images of some pond water, but unfortunately I just missed the focus… Oh well, practice makes perfect and all that!

On Tuesday Wildlife Kate (@katemacrae) came to give us a really fascinating talk (below).  It was truly inspiring to see how inventive she was at generating film and photography from subjects some would consider “just boring British wildlife”, and it definitely gave me some ideas for future garden projects at home!

We also had a morning helping David and Steve with the undergrad biological photography module (wish I’d had it for my undergrad!), not a huge amount to say now but a developing project through the term.

Finally we had a day on magazine design, D&S had kindly got hold of a huge amount of magazines for us to analyse as groups, and perhaps gain some ideas for the upcoming magazine project!

Take it easy and more blogs to follow next week!



Guess who’s back?

After a good few weeks off recharging the batteries (literally and figuratively) I’m back up in Nottingham ready to get into the semester.  My photography came on leaps and bounds last year, but I want to get more creative with it this year, try new things.

I’ll start off by giving a quick heads up about the various modules I am doing for the rest of the course.  The magazine is the big project of the semester and is the culmination of a few different modules:

  • ‘Professional Techniques in the Field’ – the actual creating of the magazine including 5 article titles (blogs on each coming soon)
  • ‘Commercial & Business Application for the Professional Imager’ – writing and shooting additional articles and features for the magazine
  • ‘Business Start Up’ – drawing up a business and marketing plan for the magazine

We also have a microscopy module (using the different microscopes and conducting scientific research using them) and a marine and freshwater biology module.

The course finishes with the summer projects (something big planned for this so watch this space) but just before that we have the superb group exhibition we’re going to be putting on as a course!

The blog this year will mostly consist of what I’ve been doing during the course on a day-to-day basis and I’ll keep you up to date on how I’m getting on with the projects!

Meanwhile, take it easy and I’ll leave you with some images I had fun taking over the Christmas break.