Photographic Tales: Session One

Today I met with Louise Fago-Ruskin, a lecturer of BA Photography. She was eclectic, enthusiastic and a confident individual which delves well with me as these are the kind of individuals I connect with. She spoke a lot about reflection; whether it be our reflection on our work, the world or each other. She very much encourages us to slow down to enable us to take the world at our own pace, and be able to reflect on it and think about it within a deeper meaning.

Exercise one: ‘Fill this page with crap’. 

Here I was allowed to let loose. Get all of my thoughts, feelings and erratic pen squiggles out. This is where I drew around my hand, the notorious primary school ‘S’ marks and jotted down words I felt at the time. To fill a blank page, I still find difficult. You think that as somebody whom is studying an arts degree I would be able to easily put pen to paper and sketch ideas, but that’s not always the case. It very much depends on the individual and how they express ideas, I know that I prefer words to diagrams and that’s how I learn/how I process things.

Exercise two: ‘your choice’.

I chose ‘select an object on your desk and write about it’. Straight ahead of me were my glasses which I had just taken off as they were creating the worst kink in my hair, but at least something good came of it. This is what I wrote:

‘ Everything becomes clear.

They help you concentrate.

Their second job is to keep your hair out of your face.

Pink haze, subtle.

You always wanted to wear them as a child,

But now you have to you are over the appeal.

“They make you look smart”,

(Although you’re not).

Slowly breaking.


Ugliest brown hue/gradient.


“You use them as a mask”;

Glasses. ‘

On reflection, I annotated the connotative association I had with my glasses. How I wanted them as a child, but now that I have to wear them because I need them and that the initial appeal has worn off. I wrote down things that are often said to me when I or other individuals wear glasses, you often make you ‘look smart’ and that’s not always the case. I like this kind of written word because I think although it is rather ominous, it makes the reader think and that’s something that can be transferred to graphic design. Sometimes it’s good to make your reader think and assume from their own conscious, rather than spelling everything out for them. It’s a good method of advertisement and branding.

Exercise three: ‘go out and take some photographs, write down your thoughts and/or senses’.  

I made a day of this exercise. With a group of my friends I wanted to go somewhere new where I had no previous connotation with, somewhere I could experience things for the first time. We went to Burrator Reservoir in Yelverton on a sunny Sunday afternoon and completed the 4 mile walk (depending on the route you take). I took a separate notebook to jot down any thoughts and senses I had and this is the list of words I noted; sunshine, summer, green, friends, bright, happy, liberated, new, wet air, fresh, free, clean, cool breeze. These are the images I took:

After the reservoir we went to Plymouth Hoe as one of my friends told us about some roofs we could sit on, I know it’s something you shouldn’t do but I’m one for new experiences. Here we walked down next to the sea, climbed on the rocks, sat on the roof and had the typical teenage chats. Again, I took out my notebook and wrote down some words; summer, free, happy, “my foot is hurting”, I should do this more often, I could bring ….. here, fearful, liberated, dark, happy, something new, apprehensive. Here are some pictures I took:


Overall, I learnt a lot from this. Sometimes it’s hard to find motivation or inspiration, especially when you feel pressured, but doing things like this really help your creative side develop. It sounds crazy, but surrounding yourself with your friends and doing spontaneous trips really helps you realise from your mind and, in turn, motivates you again. I will remember this and continue to do it when I’m stuck in a creative block.


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