Serial Student

As a serial course participant I have signed up for the UTAS Photography and Social Media to improve my understanding of the genre and maybe stop the #classicmum from my children when I get it wrong.

So this blog will be used as my visual diary with all that that entails from photos of handwritten notes, to links and images that are assisting in forming my best practice.

Welcome to my journey as the fog clears.


There for the taking – FINAL ASSIGNMENT


I love abstract shapes in architecture. I am at my happiest tilting, shifting, bending and crouching to get a creative unexpected tight framed image of a building or architectural feature.

The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is a great example of how, with a determined eye, much can be seen just as wonderful as that hanging on the walls.

This small gallery is an example of what can be found on a quick walk through the art space.

There are a multitude of possibilities to highlight a structure and fall of natural light, if  you take the time to look.

There are a variety of presentation options, I have three below for your viewing pleasure, which do you prefer?


  1. individual images



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2.   collage



3.  slideshow



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This time its final

This journal is packed with notes on the development processes applied towards submission of the final assessment task.

The premise from the Photo Essay studies is images in a story should

  • create comparison, contrast, drama, narrative, or a sense of action;
  • words to add details that the images alone cannot communicate; and,

the principle from Photography and Social Media studies is a theme should have in common

  • design and composition – repetition, texture, colour or leading lines.
  • subject matter – urban landscape, nature, portrait, family and pets or commercial.
  • technical – monochrome, black and white, shallow depth of field.
  • creative – abstract or manipulated.

I’ve been torn between the concepts and photographed diligently to build an archive for both in this blog journal.

I’ve decided on theme and to deconstruct a building whose purpose is to display works of art, in order to show it as a work of art itself.

Using elements of space and shapes and effect of light on them, I created a series from my curiosity, patience and considered viewing of the National Gallery of Australia.

I really hope it ”communicates visually and verbally on social media platforms,” and shows I can “share images more confidently with others using digital tools.”

It’s tense when you commit – figure detail from Auguste Rodin’s Burghers of Calais           Sculpture Garden NGA Canberra
*header image from UTAS Photography and Social Media banner

Architecture front and centre

If ever you wondered who is inspirational when it comes to shooting buildings look no further than this crew.

This link may be from 2013 but their style and vision holds true today.

My current faves are Simona Panzironi and Martin Elder their work is simple, but clearly comes from a love of the subject.

The use of a mix monochrome and colour and of course B&W is stunning.

Martin Elder – high colour series
9520632009158.5601182a4ce0d panzironi
Simona Panzironi University of Rome Project

Seeing is looking

Another final assignment draft idea.

I have posted before about my love of architectural detail and this series of images from the NGV international in Melbourne highlights the building’s beauty and that by taking the time to look you can see so much more.

They came, I saw

This is another draft concept for the final assignment using a theme to curate the images.

Last weekend I visited the NGV International gallery in Melbourne to see the Patrick Pound exhibition.

I am always surprised by the beauty on offer from buildings. Despite being there to see the exhibition I may have spent longer roaming the gallery in search of some interesting angles to shoot my fellow patrons of the arts from above.


From humble beginnings

For the final assignment I have chosen to work first with the theme of storytelling with this draft.

Bread making is a tactile meditation for me.

I love each aspect of it, from the initial mixing to form a dough right through kneading, weighing, cooking, toasting and best of all eating.

For this storytelling exercise I used natural light from the kitchen window and a 10 second delay for the tripod mounted camera.

The most difficult thing was keeping the camera clean once I began the kneading as it is a pretty messy process – solution: plastic bag over the hand.

This set of images takes you through the workings to make three married loaves of grain bread in a steam oven.  There is nothing like the deliciousness of home made bread and the satisfaction of getting to enjoy it for breakfast, or any time.


Social, safe and secure, or are we?

This is not an easy topic as everyone has their own reasons for using a variety, or just one media for their social interaction.

Personally I love the simplicity of Instagram I have three accounts: @SnaphappyEm (my friends only account) @emcamproductions my work site and finally an emerging @emcamonhols_au site which will feature any travel shots I am pleased with.

I love that IG is instant and that I can nominate where and how I would like to share the image on other platforms.

Facebook has been a truly social network for me. Keeping in touch with family and friends, planning events and making contact with like minded photographers and printmakers through my page @Emma McPherson has been a real FB bonus.

I also run a page for images and blog shares on FB too – @emcamproductions

I do have a twitter feed @snaphappyem but mostly use it for sending the ABC’s Q&A comments – there are only so many hours in a day.

I use the WordPress blog site sparingly. I would like to get more into it. I subscribe to a number of blogs, which I don’t read enough, despite the constant emails reminding me that someone I follow has posted.

I have really not taken advantage of the opportunities it offers and am looking for ways to utilize my Photo Essay skills and the lessons from this Social Media course to improve my reader stats and online reputation.

Some of the blogs I follow include: Joe Becker Photgrapher  and Anne Sandler, Slow Shutter Speed,  Casual Photophile

Privacy settings:

Facebook – I regularly change the settings of posts from public, to friends to friends except or acquaintances, which is a group of photography buddies. I sometimes forget and it is a real drag when you have it on friends only and share to a group so it is blocked from their view.

Everything on the emcamproductions FB and Instagram page is public. I also share from instagram to the FB page directly.

Instagram for my snaphappyem page I like to monitor who sees my posts. The reason is twofold, I share family pics so their privacy is an issue, I also post some not technically great or well composed images so there is a professional image element as well.

My twitter account is fully public and the wordpress blogs are too.

I am always surprised by the number of businesses and individuals who like or follow you just to promote their business, or nakedness – busty eastern Europeans are plentiful.

If I have any concerns about being connected to their page or appearing to support them I block them from following and commenting on my work.


To do or not to do.  I am so slack about continuity of watermarking it is foolish. I have a rider at the top of each @emcamproductions page that all images are copyright protected to me but as we all know that holds little control online.

I use iwatermark for my smartphone stuff and automatically set it on Lightroom for my Images from my other cameras and archive.

These images are an example of just how dedicated someone can be who would like to steal your stuff.  Also how stupid, in the example below the ‘thief’ attempted to remove the deliberately annoying original watermark replacing it with one of his own using his own name. He was reported.

(Images reproduced here with permission of travellingmaz a friend, and Richmond fanatic).

Original clearly watermarked by owner travellingmaz


Stolen, cropped, edited and watermarked by ‘thief’ 






Optional assignment – Collage

Working with a theme or story that is told through 7 images (or any number up to 10 images – is the task for the final assessment.

The course notes advise …. as part of your editing process you will be looking at which sequence, cluster or grouping of images works best together.

You may find it useful at this stage to play with some collaging tools that will tile your images together.

So here goes – these images from the archive both were prepared for the weekly challenges earlier this year. using picccollage.

This is an easy freeware program and you can edit and resize to create your end result with little or no training.

Collage 2017-06-09 20_24_56
Sugar is poison
Week 2 food one collage lime water
Waterlogged lime



A photographic story

A photographic story may be:

  • a series of images that tells a story
  • a sequential or chronological series of images (eg – “a day in the life of your city”.)
  • sequential or time based
  • a series of images that has some kind of narrative structure (eg – beginning, middle and end).

A really satisfying part of being a serial student is that you are always finding new inspiration and interest.

There is always something to discover about a topic you know nothing about and a way of sharing it with your audience.

One such find is the work  about Colombian sand miners by Jan Sochor.

His use of a soundtrack recorded by him, to add to the slide show of his images of these sand miners and his effective and efficient use of text are a benchmark for me.

I have not thought to combine these elements to tell my story, and may not for the final submission of coursework, but I do love the essay visually and am stimulated by the singing and slushing of the water and sand.  The captions of the images, are also interesting and without them you may have no idea what you are looking at.

It is a hard life that is depicted here in the beauty of black and white. The caption for each image, is also a bonus, without them you may have no idea what you are looking at.  I first watched without them and found I saw something completely different from that being actually being depicted.


Screenshot 2017-06-09 13.57.08

Screenshot 2017-06-09 13.56.17


Screenshot 2017-06-09 13.57.17


Screenshot 2017-06-09 13.59.13


A photographic theme

A photographic theme is a series of images that are related in some way, such as:

  • design and composition – repetition, texture, colour or leading lines.
  • subject matter – urban landscape, nature, portrait, family and pets or commercial.
  • technical  – monochrome, black and white, shallow depth of field.
  • creative – abstract or manipulated.

Here are some photographers discovered as part of course research and I’ve found inspiring:

24 of the best – oldies but goodies 2014

From this set of series I particularly like the daring photos of illegal access of London’s abandoned underworld.

The diverse set of images are both abstract and classic in their creation. I like these three especially as they highlight the skills of each photographer explorer.

This essay is a collaborative work from 12 anonymous photographers who are fixated by getting in and capturing the forgotten tunnels under London and there is a book published of the work  curated by Bradley L. Garrett Subterranean London: Cracking the Capital

I am also not really a fan of the surreal but appreciate the craft of essayist Todd Baxter. His construction, planning and effective use of techniques from paintbrush to composite are masterful.

Two favourite images from his owl scouts collection are

Owlscouts Lost in the woods –
His attention to detail is amazing, every  aspect is individually crafted to ensure the desired image from concept to completion