Seasons Portfolio

My work on the portfolio is now completed. I forwarded my photographs to my tutor a few days ago. Here are the three images for each season.

This was a very useful exercise. It gave me lots of insight into the challenges of the different seasons. It also became abundantly clear to me why Autumn and Spring are perhaps the best times of year for landscape work. That said Winter also offers great opportunity. Summer is an all round challenge with long days, short nights, hard light and in the UK lots of green and yellow!

The second part of the portfolio was a set of four images taken from the same place. I found this project even more instructive. I had to think very carefully about location selection and to anticipate the conditions not just at the time of shooting but also on future occasions. I learned that one has to think about how the landscape changes, how the sun moves and how the weather impacts on the scene. I even had to think about how I would access the location when the winter weather was at its worst. This was a great learning experience for improving my skills in pre-visualisation. Here are my final four images of Cobstone Hill in the Chiltern Hills.

I await my feedback from my tutor and will post again to reflect on this.

Central St Martins - Art of Snapshot Photography Course

For the last ten weeks I have been attending a night school class once a week at Central St Martins Art College in central London. I was intrigued by the aim of the course which was to help the participants to develop their personal style. The course was run by Karl Grupe who is a photographer and educator whose main business is a company called The Mango Labs.

The course was interesting,  fun and stimulating. I don't think I have come out the other end with a clear view of my personal signature...I have come to realise that this will come with time and only through my work....but I learned a lot.

My key learning points from the course were...

1. We spent a week documenting the in a Visual Diary anything which stimulated us visually...from a picture in a magazine to a piece of rubbish on the street...anything that interested was to be recorded. From this I realised that almost all my visual stimuli are from photographs taken by other photographers. I do not seem to access  my day to day environment as a source of visual stimulus....I need to work on this.
2. We looked at the work of some art photographers such as Uta Barth whose work is conceptual in nature. Barth for example examines visual perception in her photographs. For example she did a series which on the face of it look like a set of out of focus images. Her intent however was to force the viewer to examine areas of the photographic frame which in many instances are out of focus...for example the background of a portrait taken with  a fast lens wide open...My key lesson here was to open my mind to different concepts behind photographs rather than just to look at the aesthetic qualities of photographs in isolation. The photograph below is  Uta Barth Field #9

3. We examined  how high key and low key images can add mood to a photograph, examining the work of a number of photographers. Some interesting images here by Nick Meek who has created a signature style with high key images as in the example below:

4. We completed a couple of exercises to demonstrate how stimulate spontaneous and instinctive responses. One involved shooting an image every 60 seconds in a location (in our case the West End of London) - this approach is an interesting one and I felt that in certain circumstances could be quite effective. For example taking images out of a window on a rail journey could establish an interesting narrative. The second exercise was to shoot blindfold in a location which one had not previously seen. What surprised me most about this was how many usable images came out of it. Here is a sequence of three of my images which I shot blindfold in a basement car park. They have a surprising cohesiveness and sense of mystery.

5. We undertook a project to work in the style of another photographer. This was similar to the assignments I have undertaken for the OCA courses I have completed. The key difference was that I did not get to choose the photographers. One of the photographers we were challenged to emulate was Wolfgang Tillmans - a photographer who does not appear to have a style. Here was an interesting thought - a personal style could be simply to be democratic in one's approach to photography. Some of Tillman's work is still life in nature and he captured images of photographic paper folded over so that one could not see what was on it. I liked this idea of photographing a photograph and transforming it into something else. Here is one of Tillmans works:

And here is one of mine...it is a photograph of a portrait photograph:

6. We also looked at portraiture in two of the sessions. In the first we visited the Taylor Wessing Portrait Photographer of the Year exhibition at the National Portrait Museum. It was fascinating to see the huge variety of work on display. This ranged from traditional work to much more inventive styles such as this edgy portrait of Tony Blair by Kalpesh Lathigra.

We also spent some time looking at how Diptychs can be used to explore a subject in portraiture more widely or to convey contrasts. I discovered the work of Mark Laita who has produced a series called Created Equal. This work may well prove to be a great influence on my own work as I pursue my level three studies. Here is one of Laita's Diptychs:

All round this course was extremely thought provoking and I came out of it with a much wider view on how photographers create their personal signature. It gave me lots of ideas for my future photography studies and work.


Assignment 5 - Feedback

I was delighted to receive my feedback on Assignment Five from my tutor. I had gone to great lengths to do Fay Godwin justice in putting together my photographs for this assignment. My work covered a wide geographic area including the Ridgeway in Southern England, the English Lake District, Calderdale in West Yorkshire, Stonehenge and numerous plant nurseries with glasshouses.

My tutor's report was very positive and it is great to have my efforts recognised. I will quote her summary in full:

"Gosh, what a lot of ground you have covered for this assignment! It was well worth the effort. This is a lovely body of work that gives a deep level of understanding of Fay Godwin's work an many layers"

There was only one photograph which my tutor felt was slightly off track and that was one of Didcot Power Station which is situated close to the Ridgeway. She felt that the misty conditions in which I captured my photograph was perhaps too romanticised given that it is meant to be expressing environmental concerns - this is a fair criticism. Here is the photograph:

Didcot Power Station from the Ridgeway

I have included two more images from my assignment below to illustrate my work:

Blea Tarn and Blencathra, English Lake District

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Barnsley 

Recent Developments and Work

It has been a few weeks since I have posted to this blog....it is not because I have been neglecting my photogaphy....

I have been away in the USA attending a Workshop with US Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey...this was a fantastic experience and will be the subject of a full post soon.

I have also been completing my Seasons Portfolio which I emailed to my tutor today. I have a couple more projects to polish off to finish the Landscape course and then I need to pull together all the material for my accreditation. These will be completed in the next few weeks.

I have also completed ten week (one night per week) Art of Snapshot Photography course at Central St Martins Art College - again I will post separately on this shortly..

So lots of influences and lots of learning and much work to do to record my progress....

Here are some of my favourite photographs from the Seasons Portfolio....it will be interesting to see what my tutor thinks of the work.

Sycamore - Spring

Beech - autumn

Poppies - summer

Snow - winter


28mm Elmarit 50mm Summicron accreditation Alex Soth American West Ansel Adams Art of Snapshot as Assignment Assignment Four Assignment One Assignment Two ball head Beauty Berkshire black and white Brighton Photo Biennial 2010 british museum Buckinghamshire Burnham Beeches Canada Caponigro Central St Martins Charlie Waite city Cliveden cloud Club La Santa collage competition composition course criticism Daisy Gilardini David Alan Harvey davidnoton derby detail Dorset drama dusk exhibition f/64 Famara Fay Godwin Feedback Fernando Gomez figures Filters format framing Framing foreground interest composition Freeman Gabriele Basilico galen rowell Georgia O'Keefe grain Hambleden Harrison Hot Springs hawaii influence ironman Jasper Joel Meyerowitz John Davies Kingston Lacey Lake District Landscape landscape format Languedoc Lanzarote LEARNING LOG-April2010 LEARNING LOG-April2011 LEARNING LOG-August2010 LEARNING LOG-August2011 LEARNING LOG-December2010 LEARNING LOG-Feb2010 LEARNING LOG-February-2011 LEARNING LOG-January-2011 LEARNING LOG-July2010 LEARNING LOG-June2010 LEARNING LOG-June2011 LEARNING LOG-March-2011 LEARNING LOG-March2010 LEARNING LOG-March2011 LEARNING LOG-May2010 LEARNING LOG-May2011 LEARNING LOG-November2010 LEARNING LOG-October 2010 LEARNING LOG-September2010 leica Lely's Venus lenses light Light Science and Magic london LPOY2010 Malhotra man-made Marc Garanger Martin Parr Mirrors and Windows Mississippi Molly Landreth MOMA moon National Media Museum National Trust near and far Nick Gleis OCA one acre opening Overton Hill panorama perspective Phil Malpas photographer polariser Portfolio portrait format portraits post-modern projects Quotation realism Rinko Kawauchi Robert Adams royalphotographicsociety Running seasons Silhouette sky snow soft colour soft light Stephen Gill street street 35mm Summicron Studland style Sunrise Szarkowski team telephoto Terri Weifenbach test Timanfaya trees triathlon tripod TriUK Tutor two UK Urban Development USA water Watlington Hill weareoca West Kennett Western Art Weston wide angle Windsor Workshop Yosemite

About Me

I have been taking photographs since I was young boy some 45 years ago, but only seriously since 2005 when I enrolled to study at the Open College of the Arts. I am working towards a BA in Photography. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society. This log record details of my projects and assignments during my studies. It also records ideas, work by other artists/photographers, notes on books/websites/exhibitions, influences, discoveries, thoughts, research findings and observations as I work through my courses. You can contact me at keith.greenough@btinternet.com or simply leave a comment on one of my posts.

Landscape Photography Bibliography

  • Andrea G Stillman (2007), Ansel Adams 400 Photographs, Little Brown New York USA
  • Andy Grundberg (1999), Crisis of the Real, Aperture Foundation New York
  • Ansel Adams (2007), Examples The Making of 40 Photographs, Little Brown New York USA
  • Ben Maddow(1989), Edward Weston, His Life, Aperture Foundation New York USA
  • Charlie Waite (1989), Scottish Islands, Constable London
  • Charlie Waite (1992), The Making of Landscape Photographs, Collins and Brown London
  • Charlie Waite (1999), Seeing Landscapes, Collins and Brown London
  • Charlie Waite (2002), In My Minds Eye, Photographers Institute Press East Sussex UK
  • Charlie Waite (2005), Landscape, Collins and Brown London
  • Clive Minnitt and Phil Malpas(2009), Finding the Picture, Envisage Books London
  • David Noton (2008), PHOTOGRAPY ESSENTIALS: WAITING FOR THE LIGHT, David & Charles PLC, London
  • Fay Godwin(1985), Land, William Heinemann London
  • Fay Godwin(1990), Our Forbidden Land, Jonathan Cape London
  • Fay Godwin(1998), Glassworks & Secret Lives, Stella Press East Sussex UK
  • Fay Godwin(2001), Landmarks, Dewi Lewis Publishing Stockport UK
  • Galen Rowell (1995), Mountain Light, Sierra Club Books San Francisco USA
  • Galen Rowell (2001), Inner Game of Outdoor Photography, Norton & co New York USA
  • Galen Rowell (2002),Galen Rowell's Vision: The Art of Adventure Photography, University of California Press USA
  • Harry Callaghan (1993), Ansell Adams in Color, Little Brown New York USA
  • Hunter, Biver & Fuqua(2007), Light Science & Magic, Elsevier Oxford UK
  • James Bentley & Charlie Waite (1987), Languedoc, George Philip London
  • James Bentley & Charlie Waite (1987), Languedoc, George Philip London
  • Joe Cornish, Charlie Waite, David Ward, Eddie Ephraums (2006), Working the Light, Argentum London
  • Joe Cornish, Charlie Waite, David Ward, Eddie Ephraums (2007), Developing Style and Vision, Argentum London
  • Joel Meyerowitz (2002), Cape Light, Little Brown and Company New York USA
  • John Berger, Ways of Seeing, Penguin Modern Classics
  • John P Schaefer (2007),The Ansel Adams Guide Book 2 Basic Techniques of Photography, Little Brown New York USA
  • John P Schaefer (2007),The Ansel Adams Guide Book I Basic Techniques of Photography, Little Brown New York USA
  • John Szarkowski (1981), American Landscapes, The Museum of Modern Art New York USA
  • Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection 01 (2007), AA Publishing
  • Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection 02 (2008), AA Publishing
  • Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection 03 (2009), AA Publishing
  • Liz Wells (1996), Photography:A Critical Introduction, Routledge Oxon
  • Liz Wells (2003), The Photography Reader, Routledge Oxon
  • Marc Garanger (1989), Louisiane, Kodak
  • Robert Adams (1996), Beauty in Photography, Aperture Foundation New York USA
  • Robert Adams et al (2009), New Topographics, Steidl Germany
  • Stephen Shaw (2004), Uncommon Places The Complete Works, Thames and Hudson, London
  • Susan Sontag, On Photography, Penguin Books London
  • Terence Pitts (2008), Edward Weston (Icons Series), Taschen
  • TPOTY Awards (2010), TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Journey Three, Travel Photographer of the Year Suffolk UK