Category Archives: ii. Progress 25th February to end May 2019

Response to tutor formative feedback June 2019 o Assignment 6 progress

 I reflected on progress February to end of May 2019 here .  Below are the relevant extracts from the combined formative feedback report: My responses are in blue italics.


 Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Assignment 6

– keep up the shooting for Assignment 6, try to analyse what you are drawn to in your shoots and why, if there are any patterns with this and any gaps in visual messages you think need to be captured.

This is something I’ve already been doing, and including in my write-ups. It’s a fairly quiet area, certainly so far as Ether Woods are concerned, yet I’m continually surprised by new events that keep occurring as people interact with their environment. One of the problems with developing a narrative is, of course, that these types of interventions into the landscape are different from planned land-management by the local Council. They’re ad-hoc, transient so a narrative that seems dramatic or poignant quickly disappears. I’ve realised that such occurrences particularly interest me – because of all the questions as to how, when and why they occur.

I’m thinking that, at my next review, I need to start thinking about potential ‘sets’, how everything is fitting together.

Start to bring in some of your visual research in relation to the transitions brief in these posts too, to show that you are constantly trying to stay informed about new approaches that could inform the development of the project.

I do have a resource list but this is a needed reminder to actually document my research and reading. I’ve already realised that much of what I’m focusing on in Assignments in general fits somehow or other with ‘transitions’ so there is plenty of cross-referencing material I already have. Also,  whilst doing an initial survey on relevant material for an idea I have for Assignment 4, I discovered several relevant artists I had already written about in previous Modules so I need to update on these too

– Also, if introducing new camera equipment that hasn’t been used before in the shooting for a project – for example you take the tilt shift wide lens out with you in April – be aware of the change this will have on the images themselves and how they might sit with earlier work, will there be a noticeable difference? Will it look inconsistent and does that matter for your particular strategy? Be mindful of this moving forward – I’d be tempted to stick to one lens on a project such as this one. Using exercises and assignments to experiment with other equipment for future projects.

Yes, I’d certainly realised that.  It was just so tempting to use the tilt-shift amongst the trees.  I think it’s good advice to stick to one lens – I mainly use a zoom lens anyway which is a very good multi-purpose one.

Suggested reading/viewing


The Heath – Andy Sewell, (re:A6) critique both the work and the design of the book, if considering book formats for assessment

Tessa Bunney – The way Tessa publishes her projects and introduces them, how she uses different types of images to tell her stories and her way of representing communities who work with the land

I think you’d also enjoy reading about one or two of the films of Margaret Tait, especially The Drift Back and Land Makar, in relation to looking at how people live and work with the land and her exploration of the land around her. lists/remembering-film-poet-margaret-tait

I’ve looked at all of them and will write about this in a separate post.

Areas of strength and for development

 The formative feedback report was a combined report with Assignment 3. I’m including the whole of it because I think the areas apply to Assignment 6 as well.

Areas for development:

I’ve taken all of these on board.  It’s easy to be tempted to keep an image just because it fits my theme or I feel attached to it and I’ll make more effort with strict self-monitoring.  What I’m doing with Assignment 6 at present is to weed out ‘weak’ RAW images as I’m processing through Adobe Bridge. 


I wrote about the Memorial Fields/Ether Woods early on here but I’m wondering whether I need to do more site-specific research. I’ll ponder on this as I think visual research needs to take priority.  I gain a lot from peer feedback on my work so this is something that will continue. Another addition to my list for the next review of progress will be to think on potential presentation. That’s another example of the value in attending meetings of OCA Thames Valley group as this always brings in new ideas as does reading other students’ blogs and exchanging comments/views with them. 

Assignment 6: Progress 25th February to end of May 2019

I had a final February session on the 26th ; one session in March; three sessions in April (I did have good reasons) and one on the May Bank holiday, although I’m not counting that because it was Ottershaw Fair that day when I filmed a very short video which I could include if I do a compilation video.

Choices are getting more complicated because I can’t stick a marker in the ground for an exact spot to photograph from, so I remember as best I can, but take extras from a slightly different angle ‘just in case’.  Also, of course, some images turn out to be a better quality than others although not exactly from the same spot as others.

February 2019

21 chosen from 78.


Some very bright days, with the sun casting heavy shadows through the trees.  The sun isn’t warm enough to dry the mud ruts left by the Saturday Park Run group. The ‘Christmas Memorial” tree is looking very bare, although some catkins have sprouted on other trees; there is, at last, a view from the Viewpoint and the little ‘tree man’ is sprouting ‘hair’. ‘Posters have appeared asking everyone to look out for a run-away dog.  There is a sense of waiting.

March 2019

21 chosen from 38.


Buds are appeared on some trees and catkins are growing larger. I went into a clearing I hadn’t visited for a while and saw some changes. A sturdy branch structure with a blue tarpaulin inside.  There was also a folded notice stuck on the ground in front of it, so of course I had to look; unfolded it said “Don’t touch” so I quickly folded it back! There’s also a bird box fairly high up a tree and logs artistically arranged. I pondered whether this was to do with a local forest school – a great idea which seems to be spreading in the area.

April 2019 (three visits)

3rd.  18 chosen from 78.


I took the 24mm tilt-shift with me this time.  This manual lens is excellent for sharpness and, of course, tall trees but it has a different effect from my usual zoom lens so I’ll have to wait and see how it melds with other photographs .

The day before, on the usual dog walk, we’d seen a group of young people gathered amongst some trees a bit of a distance away and wondered what was happening.  We didn’t approach in case they were having a picnic – a great attraction for dogs. Today I saw that many bunches of flowers had been left in that spot, wrapped in cellophane and with messages tied on them.

The dog is still missing and it seems to be travelling quite a circular route from the messages regularly appearing on Facebook.  The difficulyt is that people are asked not to approach or try to catch it because it’s so nervy but just to phone-in the sighting. I also spoke with a very friendly gentleman who was quite keen to have his photograph taken with my tilt-shift lensed camera.  It’s good to see the blossom beginning to show on the trees.

10th. 29 Chosen from 85. A bright day with strong shadows again.



It’s lovely to see green leaves, the broom flourishing and tree blossoms.  The bunches of flowers have now been taken out of the cellophane, dismantled and placed around the base of one of the trees.  Green ribbons have been tied around other trees.  I videoed the scene as it seemed a lovely tribute to whoever had died (I gathered from messages elsewhere that this was probably a tribute to a young man who had died tragically and this had been one of his favourite places).

Woodland Memorial – April 2019 from Catherine Banks on Vimeo.

16th. 6 chosen from 16.


One of those days when there’s an almost white sky and everything is very bright. I wanted to get a better view of the small ‘tree man’ who I’m now beginning to think of as the Green Man.


It’s been interesting to see the Spring changes – the white blossom and the ‘view’ actually emerging at the Viewpoint spot due to trees being bare.  Everything will change again as the trees gain their summer leaves. What I’ve realised is that I’m most interested in the human ‘interventions’ in the woodland.  It could have been a coincidence as the name on the messages were different, but did the Christmas memorial tree have an influence on the creating of the memorial to the young man?

I have created other videos – a football match, the structures in the clearing and visitors to the Bank Holiday Monday Fair on the Memorial Fields.  I’m thinking of creating a compilation at the end of the Project.