Independent Reflection

Joanna Kurowski, 2020, Football Mom series

As I approach the final days of this module, I take overall inventory of the last weeks and where I was at the start of the module compared to where I am now.

I have noticed how much better am at looking at photographs and seeing the narrative, the context, the purpose of the photograph that works for me. I spend more time nowadays exploring various practitioners work; not only related to sports and people photography, but also genres that seem entirely different from my photography direction. It connects my vision to different subjects/topics and often opens up a new, challenging, yet exciting avenue to produce very distinctive work.

My technical and post processing skills continue to improve as I continue to experiment with different equipment and test different ways to produce my work. I am an ongoing learner and I can’t imagine creating work the same way as I did even months ago. This is not only important for me; it is important for my audiences, as they evolve as well and adjustment of my work techniques has already benefited me by acquiring work assignments that I haven’t worked on the past.

My visual communication has reached a level where I am more confident with my work and am better at creating more descriptive stories. Throughout exploration and analysis of history of photography and academic publications related to art of photography, I have developed an interest in further learning about various genres and other art mediums that impact how I produce my work. I have ventured into the graphic art of Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso and explored documentaries about fashion icons like Yves Saint Laurent and Manolo Blahnik. It may seem strange that a sports photographer would explore such different media; yet for me, such experiences added a different, softer touch to my work and made me more focused on a concept of a connecting the space and items we find value in, to my inner emotions and ultimately to the outcome of the vision of my work.

Joanna Kurowski, 2020, Football Mom series

I enjoyed the academic aspect of photography and feel that the knowledge I gained in the past few months, have prepared me to better understand contextualization of my work as well as the process of seeing and understanding better my connection with my subject. I have publications that I read during this module that I marked as my “go to” books and I explore their content back and forth depending on the subject and thought process I am following. When I first read Camera Lucida, I didn’t think it will keep drawing me back so many times; I end up looking up sentences and chapters as I feel the connection with a specific aspect of my work. I love reading in general and feel very strong connection to my practice as I explore various publications. Szarkowski, Eggleston, Sherman (among others) – they all added a touch of their magic to my practice and I am grateful for both positive and unexpectedly creative influence. Szarkowski and Eggleston informed me how to look at my photographs from a perspective of colour and space. Sherman, although I didn’t enjoy her work, influenced me to experiment with self photography.

Everything I learned so far, has an impact on my produced work. I recognize more opportunities to present my sports and events photography through online and in person exhibitions as well as a possibility to expand my practice into portraits of spaces. I also recognize the potential to expand into a commercial photography. One area that interests me is working with students. I have been an elementary school teacher in the past and in my current role I provide training and mentoring to new employees at my company. I have also given classes in introduction to photography and application of Photoshop in photography and might venture in this direction again.

I feel like I am becoming more vocal in my journal, which hasn’t always been the case in the past. I still struggle sometimes with formulating my thoughts, but I see more importance now in documenting my train of thought, my processes and what informs me. Occasionally I spend too much time overthinking and instead of articulating what is in my mind, I try to dress it in words that will appeal to others. Sometimes the translation is lost and the words just don’t feel right anymore. This is one of the areas that I will continue to work on.

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