Unit 1 - Part B - Arts Challenge

My Photography Action Plan

My Action Plan:
            While the photographs can be quick and easy to take, editing them can take quite a while to get the photograph looking just right; one photo could take over an hour to edit. Therefore I am expecting to spend approximately an hour per week on this challenge, taking photos, choosing the ones I want to use and editing them.  I anticipate that I will take around 12 hours on this challenge. For the photos I am currently considering taking I expect to finish around or just after New Year.
            I plan to take the photographs in order to keep in mind what stage in life I am currently at, however photo opportunities can crop up at any time so quite a few photographs may have been taken later in the challenge even though they are near the start of the album and vice versa.
            I do foresee that the timings I have currently suggested will change due to commitments meaning some weeks I may not be able to work on my challenge, and I may have overestimated the time I need to spend on the project. 

Recording my Progress:
            To record my progress and the time spent on my Arts Challenge I am planning on keeping a diary to record when I took each photograph and when I worked on editing the photographs and what techniques I used. In this I can also record when things went wrong or didn’t go to plan and when I wasn’t able to work on my challenge and how I think it is progressing. This diary will show how I worked on my challenge, how it progressed and the steps I took to complete it.

Stepping Stones:
            I will use stepping stones to check my progress to make sure I am on my way to completing my challenge. These stepping stones will be when I have completed each section of life: 

 I expect that these categories and stepping stones may change as I work through my challenge and come up with new ideas; however the basic principles will still be there, as the move from birth through to death. As I’ve previously said I may take photos after I have thought I have completed a section, but this will not affect this as I can just quickly slip these photos into the right section.

            The things that I am going to need for this challenge are: 
    A good pixel camera  
    Photo editing software  
    Places – school, buildings, shopping areas, towns etc  
    People of different ages  
    Inanimate and living objects to illustrate different stages of life. 

Samples of Work

For this project, I did decided to record my progress in a blog and all original photos and finished photos have been included in the relevant blog entries. The blog can either be read straight through or by clicking on the relevant tags on the right hand side which will show you the blog entries to do with that section (e.g. Teenage, adult)

Arts Challenge Blog

Below, however, are all the finish, edited photos put together for easy access without the blog writing.

Peer Reviews/Comments

Some comments were left on relevant blog entries in my Arts Challenge blog, others were given to me verbally or hand-written. I have compiled these altogether, to give a list of all the comments I have received while doing the challenge and what people thought at the end - how it had been run and of the final product. These can be found here:

Arts Challenge Reviews/Comments

My Report

Once everything on my Challenge had been completed I wrote a report on how I think the project went, what I would improve if I did it again, and which parts didn't go as well as I'd hoped, or where I'd come across difficulties. This report can be found below.
I really enjoyed myself while doing this project. Photography has always been something I have enjoyed, I like to take photos at any opportunity, of any type of subject and this challenge has given me the opportunity to take photos for a purpose and to think about why I am taking a particular photo and what I'm going to use the photo for. For a while I have also been interested in editing on the computer, either in web design, photographs, programs etc and while I've had different photo editing software for a time, I haven't had the chance to get to grips with it properly as I've had no purpose to edit photos before this challenge. 

This challenge has allowed me to take more photographs, get to grips with the different angles and lighting to make a good photo and to learn more about the photo editing software that I own. Some of the photos that I edited required a considerable more effort and concentration than others and I often got frustrated while working on the challenge, as things didn't always go to plan, and occasionally I had to change what I'd planned to do because of the intricacy of the software, however I'm happy that I persevered because I am extremely happy with the final project.

I'm glad I chose to do this challenge, rather than the writing challenge, or any other art form, because it is something completely different to what I'm used to doing and to what I'm doing every day - coming home from school, I had something different to do rather than more writing, so I was more willing to work on it to take a break. 

My favourite photo is either the one of Tottenham Court Station or the one of the mushroom. I like the Tottenham Court Station one because I think the colours really stand out against the black and white and also includes images from theatre and film which fit into Arts Award. I like the mushroom photo because of the mystical light effect that I managed to produce after getting used to the photo editing software. The photograph I liked least was the one of the pocket watch - I'm not happy with this photo because the shadow effect that I was working towards didn't come out as well as I'd expected and I don't think that the final product looked particularly appealing or professional.

If I did this challenge again, I think I would approach it in a similar way but use more categories so that I'd get the chance to edit more photographs, or change the subject of the photographs so that they weren't showing the progression of life. Another idea would be to have the same topic in all of the photographs (e.g. flowers) and use different effects to show different things. I would also like to attempt the challenge where I would have people in the photographs to illustrate each stage of life - still with editing the lighting and effects on the photographs.

I also wish that I had taken photographs while I was editing the photos to use in my report and blog so that I could illustrate how I attempted the photos and how they looked during each stage of the editing. 

I did have problems with timing during the project, a number of times I had to go on hiatus due to school work and other things, however I don't think this detracted from my challenge and I was able to quickly get back on track when I had free time again.

I had many positive comments about my challenge that I am very happy with - this means that I have achieved a successful challenge and people thought that the idea of this was unique and was carried out well.