Interdisciplinary Studies Evaluation

For the project of interdisciplinary studies, we were asked to create a Talking Head, cinemagraph, Magazine and write notes for the lessons whilst also asked to go in to other courses and experiment within that subject. By doing this assignment it has expanded my techniques and skills not only in photography but in other disciplines as well.

One of the first tasks I was given for this project was to create a cinemagraph. This project I found very difficult as I have not done anything like this before and so this meant that, as I was creating my cinemagraph, I was also learning new skills and techniques. This meant I found this task both difficult and time consuming. However, I did find it a fun and challenging experience. Unsurprisingly, there is lots of room for improvement (for example further refining my skills needed to create the cinemagraph), I intend to continue to work on these skills even after the project has ended. Yet for a first time creating one, I think it was a good effort.

For the first experience in going into other subject areas, we had to do our own course first. For our course we has to learnt about Pop Art Fashion photography and Film Noir. The first week we were put into groups and asked created different Film Noir scenes with only one light source to help bring drama and mystery to the images. In effect, copying how they created Film Noir movies. Then the second week we did Pop Art Fashion Photography were also put into different groups and asked to use as many light sources as we want but we had to create a colourful vibrant shoot. We achieved this by having a coloured background, colourful clothing and colourful props.

Out of both the experience I enjoyed Pop Art Fashion Photography more. I had lots of fun taking the pictures of a range of people and using bright colourful props. The only problem with the experience was that on the day, both groups doing Film Noir and Pop Art Fashion were put in the same room, which meant it was very cramped and hot. If we were to do the experience again I would probably ask if we could put the two groups in different rooms.

For our first disciplinary away from our course I chose Contemporary Media Practise. It was not my first choice but I was happy that it had to do with film as for part of Interdisciplinary Studies we must make a talking head. The brief was to produce a 60 second video of art that celebrates artistic practices within a commercial framework. To begin with we were put into groups and we decided to do our film on the evolution of photography. Looking back at the project I think our film was good for a first try of filming and editing using Premier Pro. My partner and I learnt a lot about filming and editing. However, I found the project was a very rushed because we only had 3 lessons to come up with the film idea and edit with very little help. I think if we had more time our idea would be more refined and we would of done some more filming and taken more time to learn how to use Premier Pro. But overall I am glad I got this experience and have now learnt more about editing and filming. I think this will help me with my own filming projects. However, I would not want to do this discipline again, as it was very rushed and we had little help from the tutors to understand how to use Premise Pro or even to get the best filming techniques we had to experiment and learn it ourselves. I am therefore rather disappointed at the level of support during this part of the course as I think it is important that students are given a framework with which to learn within – rather than just given a task and told to get on with it.

The last course I did was Film. I was very happy with this at first, as I thought this would help me refine my filming skills. However, I was very disappointed to find out that it had no filming involved. The first week we were given a strip of film to scratch with a variety of different tools and then played it through an old film machine really fast to see what it looked like, this was then digitalised for next week. The main task was in groups of two to make a 1 minute film showing “growth” by finding clips off the internet whilst also using the film we had scratched the lesson before. For this part of the project, I was happy I was able to use Premier Pro as I got to experiment more and re-use the skills I had learnt from Contemporary Media Practise.

Overall however, I am again disappointed as there was no filming involved and was disappointed that again we had little help from the tutors. However, I am happy that I got to use Premier pro again and I think my skills are improving. I suggest for future projects that the purpose and intended outcomes are made clearer at the start and that tutors are actually involved in demonstrating and teaching some of the tools and techniques – rather than just leaving students to experiment.

As well as doing the experiences in the other courses we were also given the task of creating two magazines.  One print version and one tablet version (that also had our talking head embedded into the magazine). Before starting this project, I have had a small amount of experience using InDesign and so this helped develop my skills further. I had lots of fun creating the magazine and learning the best way of designing both a print and tablet version magazine as well as how to add my talking head to the magazine. I am very happy with my magazine and had fun experimenting with different ideas. I would be happy to create another magazine at some point.

Another part of this project was to create a Talking head. Initially, I had no idea how to create a talking head or how I was going to make a story out of my photo story (Student Life and Depression) but after a lot of planning and thinking I think I came up with a great idea. The idea is to subtlety mention student life and depression without it being overbearing and in your face. After doing the filming, I imported it in to Premier Pro. I had not had many lessons in Premier pro and had only learnt the basics of using it when we went in to the other disciplines. However, after a lot of practice, research and looking at YouTube videos on how to use Premier Pro, I began to get a hang of it, and I started to get more adventurous with my ideas. I am very happy with how my talking head turned out and I had lots of fun filming and editing my concept as I also got to learn new skills and refine old one. I would be very happy to use Premier Pro again and I am hoping there will be more filming assignments in the future.

Two of the last tasks we were given for this assignment was the Alphabet and Rainbow challenges. I really enjoyed both of these challenges and the team work. The Alphabet challenge was to identify the letter of the alphabet round Plymouth using objects and materials. We split our team into two, our group doing the first 13 letters and the other half the last 13 letters. My group looked for the first 13 letters. E and F were the hardest to find but it meant we looked at the environment around us from a different perspective, Overall, I think the letters we found were good.

For the Rainbow challenge my group was given grey which I think was a very boring and easy colour to find around Plymouth. There are lots of grey materials such as the pavement, building and walls. However, we did try and find as many different materials as we could that were the same shade of grey and not just use another pavement on a different street. Looking back, I think this task was very successful and I was very pleased at the end of the day when all the groups were back Photoshopping all the colours together and seeing the rainbow of colours.

At the end of this assignment I have learnt a lot of new skills and techniques both in photography or in other disciplines. I think learning the skills of talking head, cinemagraph and creating a magazine will be useful if I keep experimenting with these skills and could also be useful in jobs within photography. I am very happy with how this project has gone and I have learnt a lot from this project and hope to carry o using the skills in the future. I do however remain disappointed by the level of tutor support as this, I think, slowed down rather than enhanced my learning.

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