Niki South      Student number:514516



“Flushed away”

Image 26: Exposure 1/100, Aperture f/4.5, ISO 400, Focal length 35mm.



“Floating off”

Image 8: Exposure 1/125, Aperture f/5.6, ISO 125, Focal length 100mm.



“Washed up”

Image 32 : Exposure 1/15, Aperture f/9, ISO 400, Focal length 39mm



“Cracking up”

Image 42 : Exposure 1/60, Aperture f/5.6, ISO 400, Focal length 42mm.



“Frozen heart”

Image 62: Exposure 1/25, Aperture f/6.3 ISO 400, Focal length 92mm.



“Hung out to dry”

Image 76: Exposure 0.4, Aperture f/7.1, ISO 400, Focal length 48mm



Niki South        Student number: 514516



Start by doing some reflecting in your learning log. What kinds of subjects might be seen as un-photographable? How might you go about portraying them using photography? List a few examples of things you’re experiencing now or have recently been thinking about. This doesn’t have to be too in-depth or revealing, but it can be if you want. Equally, it might be something as apparently trivial as how you’re going to fit everything into your busy day. At first you may come up with literal examples, but the more you think about them the more those ideas will develop into specific and more original ones.

Make a list of at least seven ideas. Try and keep to things you have a personal interest in or curiosity about. Keep a notebook with you at all times and make notes when ideas strike you as interesting.

Now implement one of your ideas. Aim for a tightly edited and visually consistent series of 7–10 images.



This assignment is personally driven a “metaphorical and visceral interpretation” as I chose to explore and visually represent the emotion disappointment that I have felt both strongly and frequently recently. I have presented six images, the first four depicting subjects that have caused disappointment, the fifth depicting a consequence of these disappointments and the last being a summary and commentary on them.

The captions accompanying each image signpost metaphors about these disappointments. Two themes run throughout the series, water and paperwork. Water for its symbolism of weakness, negativity and the unconscious; paperwork as it was central to some of the disappointments (flushed away, washed up) and so I included an element of paperwork in each image to provide some continuity (e.g. Shreds of evidence in the disharmonious nest).

My research on conceptual art was very useful to me and led me to:

  • Photograph objects for what they might suggest rather than what they are (nest)
  • Use everyday objects to create an idea (toilet, sink, clothes dryer)
  • Photograph as a record of my engagement with the art
  • Photograph as a response to a metaphor

This assignment was a new departure for me as I found I was reflecting and planning more that I was photographing. The real challenge was in devising and composing each image, and the photograph is merely a record of this. I am pleased that I took a personal approach, using self-exploration, broadened by research and exhibition visits , and feel that it was creative in a holistic way. The question for me is how viewers will respond to it, is there enough clarity in my messages or representations, and will they find them aesthetically pleasing? I guess this is always a risk with conceptual art or photography, not being in control.


Niki South Student number: 514516



  • My research.
  • My engagement with photography on many levels.


  • Consider different formats as a way of informing the reader about and image.
  • Crop from images to focus on the strongest part.
  • Consider using either portrait or landscape within one series.
  • Shoot images that are more ambiguous, oblique, subtle and less cluttered for the reader.
  • Develop my sketch book use alongside my mind maps.


  • Make full use of various formats where appropriate to enhance my image or message.
  • Crop more brutally if effective.
  • When composing think more subtly and shoot and present images that are more ambiguous.
  • Continue to develop my sketches for shoots, perhaps I should present some on my blog?
  • Re-subscribe to the British Journal of Photography.

Link to learning log:

These mind maps summarise the narrative of my brainstorming. preparations and post shooting thoughts contained in the learning log





Post shooting:



Exercise Interpretation 

Choose a poem that resonates with you then interpret it through photographs. Don’t attempt to describe the poem but instead give a sense of the feeling of the poem and the essence it exudes. Start by reading the poem a few times (perhaps aloud) and making a note of the feelings and ideas it promotes, how you respond to it, what it means to you and the mental images it raises in your mind. Next, think about how you’re going to interpret this visually and note down your ideas in your learning log.

You may choose to develop this idea into creating a short series of images reflecting your personal response to the poem (or another poem). Write some reflective notes about how you would move the above exercise on.

On Joy and Sorrow                   Kahlil Gibran (originally published 1923)

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the self same well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

My Response: I chose this fable/verse from the many I could have within the book “The Prophet” as I have recently been coping with a reasonable amount of sorrow. His words helped me to make some sense of the sadness and problems which have been accumulating around me lately. The words are telling me that it is only because I have felt joy about something that when this pails I then feel sorrow. It is because I am alive, feeling, empathetic, and responsive, that I feel sorrow and sadness as deeply as I do, as I have also previously felt real highs. I should not be concerned that I feel sadness so deeply, as it is an indication that I feel deeply “Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced” (Gibran,1991). It gives me hope that joyful times will return and reminds me of joys in the past.

My visual response is fairly succinct, a vibrant healthy bloom and a dead bloom. The flower that I enjoyed for a few weeks is now gone, but had I not enjoyed it I would not feel sadness at its loss.


IMG_2030 ps 1500.jpg

I believe I may move this exercise on with assignment two where I will focus on the theme of disappointment or sorrow – how is yet to evolve.


Gibran, K. 1991, The Prophet, Pan. London.