Research for Beauty and the Beach…

Where am I up to? It is time to recap as there has been so much going on in preparation of the assignments for the Sustainable Prospects Module that I have paid less attention to organising the masses of information that is and will continue to be useful for the development of my Final Major Project. With two modules to go it feels a little early to be talking about this but as they say time flies and it certainly has with this module.

I have been mostly using Lightroom and on occasion Photoshop until recently. I still do but I have also been trying out the in-house MacBook Photos processing. It is limited but is also quick and easy to use. Overall the Adobe processing wins for control and quality but I appreciate the latter is great for prompt uploading to social media when used on the phone (I have not tried the Adobe packages on my phone).

I think my ‘taking’ of images is improving and hope that others see a difference from those at the start of the course too. I ‘feel’ more automatic in the process of taking in that I seem to be subconsciously setting to camera and point from where I shoot in relation to the light and composition with greater ease and more quickly. Although this may be technique emerging there is a downside in that I will have to be more consciously aware to avoid just repeating a formula and losing creativity.

I have begun to use my iphone (a ‘darkside’ acquisition this summer some might say!) to repeat shots taken with my DSLR for comparison and also when I have the wrong lens on the DSLR say for landscapes. I have not done anything with the macros lenses on the iphone recently or invested in a zoom lens for it so that will be an experimental activity for the break.

My dilemma in the past few weeks about veering more towards landscapes that I find debris in rather then the debris itself, has been subsiding a little. I am not sure if this relates to the weather and having fewer good days to get out and about and marvel at vistas or whether it is my inspiration and understanding developing in relation to articles that I find through having learned about other artists, sculptors and photographers. It is possibly a combination of both.

I have mentioned elsewhere about endless images of debris having the potential to be boring after a while and the need to develop my own unique style of presentation. To that end I have taken that thought to the beach and got down low (in the style of Andy Hughes) and found circles ( in the style of Andy Goldsworthy). I am now feeling that further experimentation ‘in the style of various artists will be formative in aspirations for my own style or niche.


Bottle Neck Sarah Newton 2017
Plastic tube on the seashore Sarah Newton 2017



It seems that I have a growing reputation for rubbish. I thank all of those who have through webinars and Instagram and other means directed me to artists, photographers and campaigns relating to debris and the environmental impact on land and in the sea that it is having. In the past few months the topic has escalated in interest with politicians and in the media. I cannot see and hear everything relating to it all of the time so such tip offs are very welcome and are being followed up.

Edward Weston’s iconic Cabbage Leaf (1931), Andy Hughes beach debris (2006) and Keith Arnatt who turned a mouldy loaf into a revered image (2014), all focussed in close on individual items, the former to show the natural beauty in food items and latter two achieving a raised public awareness of the environmental impact of rubbish through creating beauty in things that would perhaps be considered ugly and distasteful to focus on.

I am attempting to create some beauty with some of my finds. For example, having taken a green beer bottle in situ where I found it I then took it to the shoreline and watched it get knocked over by the incoming tide. The shimmering light on the water and through the green glass were mesmeric to watch as it slowly fell. I then put the bottle on a rock turning it around several times to see how it would look presented from different angles. Although not hugely successful in terms of correct exposure for strong light and blurriness as the bottle fell I was pleased. I have decided that I will continue to photograph in situ and experiment with changing locations for the items I find.


Tipping Point Sarah Newton 2017
Bottle and Rock Sarah Newton 2017

















Other people I have been following collect and display rubbish in images as one might arranging samples from a wild flower meadow for example. This approach has resulted in huge stunning and thought provoking displays by Mandy Barker whose Plastic Sea exhibition is currently showing in Dubai (2017). Mandy Barker explains in the About section of her website that:

“The aim of my work is to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction along with the subsequent message of awareness…..”.

Paul Kenny (2017) creates beautiful thought provoking images with a story. Capturing things that we often pass by in land and seascapes which we have been and should take continuing responsibility for he subtly delivers impactful messages.

Doubtful of my own creative talents I cannot at this stage see myself being able to create more than very rudimentary arrays of collected debris. It is easier to envisage just focussing on individual items. However I should not avoid a challenge as it may present opportunities in directions I cannot envisage at this moment. So onwards to further experimentation with rubbish I have collected.

Sharing and Displaying
I have written about and posted here possible outlets in terms of saleable products in an task during the Sustainable Products module. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of some actual tangible examples. I am aware of needing to ‘exhibit’ as part of the work in future modules and have been collecting inspiration for this this activity.

In Amsterdam at the Unseen exhibition I was drawn to several exhibits with my future displays in mind. In addition I saw billboard displays on the coast near The Hague that informed passers by about the problem of debris in the oceans.

Much more research is needed in this area and my views will no doubt change with enlightenment garnered through the course, visits to galleries, communication with others and depending on the debris I find in future expeditions.


Artsy. 2017. Mandy Barker-Plastic Sea. Available at: [accessed 14-12-2017].

Barker, Mandy. About. Available at: [accessed 14-12-2017].

BBC Bitesize-KS2 Art and Design- Andy Goldsworthy- Art. (2009). Available at: [accessed 14-12-2017].

Beetles and Huxley. Edward Weston’s ‘Cabbage’, an Icon of Modernist Photography. Available at: [accessed 14-12-2017].

Carson, David and Hughes, Andy. 2006. Dominant Wave Theory. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions.

Goldschmidt, Michal. 2014. ‘Keith Arnatt Pictures from a Rubbish Tip 1988-9’. December 2014. Available at: accessed [2/12/17].

Goldsworthy, Andy. Natural sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy. Melt. Available at: [accessed 14-12-2017].

Kenny, Paul. Home. Seaworks. Available at: [accessed 14-12-2017].

Week 7 Challenge: Innovative Distribution

Before this course I have made T shirts, calendars, photobooks and canvases, cards, hessian bags and jigsaws. Thinking about my research project images from Beauty and the Beach I have been experimenting with new ideas, some of which may become Xmas presents with a twist! A selection of beautiful images intermingled with more alarming ones but all taken with the intention of raising awareness.

I have decided that some will not be commercially viable in terms of number sold if the wrong images are used. This would include for example mugs and other food items with dirty/disgusting images on them. Perhaps I should get a range made as a test set and see what a few people think.

Because the project is about reducing and recycling rubbish I would prefer to set the images on recyclable materials. An obvious choice are Jute bags of different sizes. More difficult to find are the fabrics used for cushions covers and internal padding. Less obvious, but perhaps obvious when thought about, is beach footwear and swimwear (e.g. @DavyJ and @oceanzen_bikini ). I am not sure if Surfers against Sewage would purchase new boards with my images on them. It might be worth a try especially if they could customise them by choosing the image and sizing and positioning and if there were only a few of each image that could be used in this way (thereby adding exclusivity as photographers and artists do I in saying 1/25 for example). Although I have not yet managed to source them all yet I have made mock ups using options currently available.
Then there is the packaging to consider of course!…..
Seascapes by ©Sarah Newton 2017
4 Rubbish images ©Sarah Newton 2017
Rainbow weed and plastic ©Sarah Newton 2017
Blue in the Bottle Bank ©Sarah Newton 2017
All in knots ©Sarah Newton 2017
Jelly fish on Jellies ©Sarah Newton 2017

Attending to Andy Hughes

Andy Hughes has been recommended to me many times as people have got to know about my Beauty and the Beach… project as he has and still does create works with beach debris. He is also a leading light in Surfers against Sewage and happens to live in Cornwall, my neighbouring county. Looking for his material on line I was impressed by his website layout and the images therein. I found a second hand Dominant Wave Theory, a rather large tome produced with David Carson and illustrated with Andy Hughes images of beach debris. I understand from Instagram that he sent a copy to David Attenborough and has today posted that he received a lovely letter in thanks.

I was disappointed to have found out about Andy Hughes recent London exhibition too late to attend. I have however emailed him to introduce myself as we may meet at an event for the MA Photography course  early next year. He was kind enough to reply and say that he did not require and assistant at this time (I had enquired about gaining experience with him).

I appear to be going over old ground in the sense that I have taken images and then find that others have taken similar ones a long time before mine. Andy Hughes is another example. I wonder which I should do first, instinctively take my images then read up about other photographers or visa versa. The latter way would be to sub consciously veer toward plagiarism perhaps. On the other hand armed with knowledge about composition, light and other details of settings used by the more experienced photographer I have a greater chance of taking a better shot and the potential to take a similar object or scene with a new twist as to how it was taken and/or how it was processed.

Since viewing the images in Dominant Wave Theory and on the galleries on Andy Hughes website I have begun to get down low when taking some debris as he seems to have done. This has the effect of making a very small object large in a vast landscape and it is also interesting to see the landscape providing the context from afar rather than being a focus which happens to have a piece of debris in it. One example is of a red lighter on a beach which is lit up by natural light and possibly additional lighting to enhance its colour and form.

An image that immediately stood out for me was that of Radion 1991 taken by Andy Hughes. I took an image of a Jeyes cleaning fluid can on the beach and then in grass earlier this summer just after starting the course. His image is clear and carefully set as an orange plastic container against a dark brown background. Mine is photographed as found with not enough thought given to where my focus was when taking it. It was also tin not plastic apart from the top and to my mind very old as I have not seen a can like this since I was a child. I wonder what the back story is to its arrival on this specific beach?

I took my image again on grass having risked taking it home (it still has fluid in it). I think my second image works better, although not on the beach. It makes me challenge my self-rule to date to photograph debris in situ without disturbing it (i.e. to view it in its abandoned stage where I first spotted it) rather than setting it up to showcase the item itself.

I have noted that Andy Hughes is posting examples of new works. Some images appear to have been drawn or painted on and do have the effect of drawing me in wanting to know more about the processes he is using. Maybe I will be lucky enough to meet and ask him soon.

Sources: [accessed 2-12-2017]

Carson, David and Hughes, Andy. 2006. Dominant Wave Theory. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions.


Jeyes Fluid as found Sarah Newton 2017





Jeyes Fluid in grass Sarah Newton 2017


Finding Fay Godwin

Since starting this course I have had several people recommend Fay Godwin to me in relation to the images I have been taking and the element of activism in the messages they convey for clearing our oceans and beaches of debris. Fay (1931-2005) famously took portraits of famous authors and landscapes becoming a significant figure in the Right to Roam movement. Thus land and seascapes and contributing to raising awareness and encouraging action to redress problems are what we have in common.

I wanted to know more and after searching the internet for publications settled on The Edge of the Land published in 1995. Immediately I could see some major differences, her images being in black and white and mine in colour, but also many similarities. Her Beadnell Bay, Northumberland images and my Beautiful Beach shared a lower third of beach, upper third of sky and midline of horizontal sea. I have compared and contrasted her Zig-zag groynes, Pett Level, East Sussex with my wooden pillars on Wembury beach in my oral presentation and have noted her plastic bottle on Camber Sands, Kent as demonstrating plastics having been a problem for many years.

Putting my preference for colour aside I have been looking more closely at Fay Godwin’s compositions and use of light. A few images appear to adhere to the rule of thirds (such as the beach and sea on the horizon images). However in the main she uses leading lines to take you into and through her images (e.g. Lewis, Outer Hebrides; Umbrellas, Dungeness, Kent). I do not know enough about the equipment and exposure settings she used but can see that she has achieved a good balance of light and dark in many images. There is still visible detail in the sky and the land. This is something I need to work on and perhaps in theory should be finding this easier with a DSLR. It it is all to do with weather conditions and time of day as well as filters and exposure times and having these all come together in the right location at the right time to get the right shot is my challenge, and will need to be planned for.


Godwin, Fay. 1995. The Edge of the Land. London: Jonathan Cape, Random House.


Beadnell Bay, Northumberland Fay Godwin 1995







Beautiful Beach Sarah Newton 2017


Post script: How helpful it is to share images with others. Since publishing this post my omission in not comparing my portrait view with Fay Godwin’s landscape presentation of beaches in these image has been pointed out. Overlooking the obvious is something I must try to avoid!.

It does raise an important point for me in so far as images should  give an indication of the photographer’s viewpoint and intentions to convey some meaning or story and this may mean that at times these are at odds with the viewers expectations and prior experiences and preferences. For example, I was attracted to the lines and patterns in the sand that lead to the sea and wanted to portray these. I cannot say what Fay Godwin’s intentions were but if I may suggest an interpretation, her images of Beadnell Bay may have been taken with the intention of depicting the vast breadth and depth of the vista before her rather than the more immediate details of the surroundings. Something to bear in mind on my  future seascape adventures.

What is in a bubble?

While preparing my images of Amsterdam for a presentation I took a closer look at the details in one image of the Rijks Museum where I had briefly stopped to watch a street artist make huge bubbles. I have also taken bubble images in other destinations in the past. To my surprise I noticed I had captured the faces of other onlookers in the bubbles, some of whom were taking photographs of the same man and his bubbles. The afternoon light and my positioning appeared to be conducive to bringing out a range of colour effects that made the images intriguing. I was fortunate to have reasonably exposed images which allowed close cropping of an otherwise large image. Enthused by the discovery I went onto look at other images taken at the same time. The result of the search for faces in the bubbles produced a small collection of images.

One of my favourites from this discovery is this young man and the Real American Hot Dog advert with stars and stripes of the flag in the background. It reminds me of images of James Dean in the 1950s. The passers by and the photographer (who may well have caught me in their images!) ground the image in the genre of street photography and not just portrait. The Moviepix image for the film Rebel without a Cause 1955 shows a striking resemblance to my image.

In trawling for faces I also noticed that there were some bubbles containing reflections of the landscape. I was amazed to see how the landscape was distorted in different ways according to the size and shape of the bubbles and the wide range of colours each one contained.

I love the colours and the swirling landscape in these bubbles and the more neutral background. Unfortunately there is some fogging on the lower left corner and across diagonally from left to right which may have been a bubble but could also have been an effect of light on my lens.

I have shared these images for comments with my tutor and friends who have been similarly intrigued and positive about the effects. I had been a little apprehensive in sharing them as I had felt a child-like excitement with this discovery and wondered if the images would be seen and dismissed as child’s play not worthy of accolade as good or even great photography.

Since then I have been researching the internet for bubble making tackle. My intention is to take this to the beach and see if I can take images of debris and landscapes through bubbles. As I and my tutor noted the oily effect of the bubble liquid on the images has a level of symbiosis with the movement of water on the shores.

During this experience I wondered whether others have created portraits or landscapes in this way before. I had noticed images where a glass or crystal ball has been used to capture landscapes on Instagram and liked these. I had also experimented with taking images through a wine glass briefly some time ago. There are plenty of sources for crystal balls some of which claim to have healing properties as well as being an asset for photographers (added value!). In addition, the large multiple bubble makers are available as multiple bubble garland wands or try string if you want to make one huge creation. I hope to try making a garland wand an am realising I may need an assistant to operate it while I take the photographs.

I have now discovered Richard Heeks who has found fame with his bubble photography. This article gives a couple of his tips relating to the consistency of the bubble solution, the time of day with regard to light and the background for the bubbles, all good information for my future experiments. His images include landscape as do mine and are taken in natural light as mine will be on the beach. His are carefully composed to include the immediate surroundings (e.g. patio doors) as well as the landscape in the distance. I like the way many of the bubbles contain a double image giving a symmetry and reflective feel to the composition. In contrast my interest is not just in perfect sphere shaped bubbles but the long undulating and distorted shaped ones. In his interview he explains that he takes thousands of images to get the exact moment he strives for. I will have to be well prepared for my experimentation with extra batteries and memory cards.


Yoo, Alice. 2013. Magical Reflections on Soap Bubbles. My Modern Met. 20th January 2013. Available at: . [accessed 04-12-2017].

Rahman,Khaleda. 2015. Is James Dean’s ‘cursed’ Porsche about to be found? On the 60th anniversary of the actor’s death, man claims he saw wreck of the car that killed the star being hidden away when he was a boy. DAILYMAIL.COM. 30th September 2015. Available at: [accessed 04-12-2017].

Week 8: Tell a story

This week we were asked to submit 5-7 images that tell a story and receive and give feedback on our own and those submitted by others..

I chose to use images I took recently while on a visit to the Incinerator in Plymouth (research for my project on beach debris). I asked permission of the tour leader and the attendees explaining that I was taking images for my project. I was then asked to take images of the tour for the visitors who were all members of a U3A group with it in mind to be shared and used on their website. I thought about this as the introductory talks were going on and realised that my intentions for images were somewhat different to those that were being asked for by participants. In processing the images I selected out those for participants and those I was personally interested in which roughly divided into those with people looking at things and those that were looking at the interesting structures in the buildings and technology therein.

In selecting images for this exercise I have thought about story telling as in a local newspaper. There was a lot of contention when this Incinerator was built, especially being so close to housing. MVV Environment Ltd have opened the doors to visitors and regularly run educational visits in part consolidating acceptance of the plant in the community. My intention is to depict a visit in a way that will encourage others to visit as well.

Initially I was conscious of making images with people larger for local human interest and found that subconsciously I was positioning controversial aspects of the plant (the air filters and chimney where noise and poisonous pollutants and were thought to be potential hazards when it was built) as smaller images and lower down in the story. Perhaps this stemmed from my own enjoyment of the visit and the great job the leader did in explaining that these potential hazards have been minimised to acceptable levels. I have since reviewed the sizing to be less obviously differentiated.

Thinking about captions, as local newspapers seem to like these, I have thought of the following.

Togged and ready to tour

Bringing your rubbish in

Dropping rubbish into the incinerator

Fascinating control centre

In the turbine hall

Very quiet air filters

17 stories of high-tech processing




Week 4 Challenge: A marketing plan

Week 4 Challenge: A Marketing Plan
Anna-Maria Pfab

Marketing can be challenging for photographers. A marketing plan is basically a plan for the success of your business, and there are two main points to think about: your objectives and your strategy.

For this week’s activity, we will create a marketing plan for your practice which covers the next 10 weeks. Think about what you want to achieve with your photography during that time, and how you will make it happen. Your plan should include your objectives and weekly actions. Below are a few points you might want to think about.

Your objectives
To raise your profile in the photography industry
To earn a certain amount of money from your photography
To develop your skills and knowledge
To arrange regular meetings with clients
To add a certain number of new contacts to your database each week
To increase hits on your website by a certain percentage
Your strategy
Think of this as a list of weekly actions, such as:

Editing your portfolio
Updating your website
Preparing a PDF portfolio presentation
Sending out a newsletter
Researching a new personal project
Spending 10 minutes a day on social media sharing posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
Making three appointments to show your portfolio
You can discuss your plan within your tutorial this week but for now, share the draft with your coursemates below, and comment constructively on each other’s documents.


Here is one I have drafted but I have not added times/weeks yet. I am going to try and Gantt chart it to keep on top of time scales! Apologies for the length. It just seems to be an activity list at the moment rather than a proper marketing plan with all the Ps….product, placement, production, personnel, performance, profit and for photographers add, photographs, portfolios, publications, portraits, projects, projections, paraphernalia etc!

Week 4 Challenge: A Marketing Plan

My objectives

•To raise my profile in the photography community concerned with beach debris including plastics

•To seek advice about contacting a stock agency to earn a certain amount of money from my generic and MA project photography

•To develop my skills and knowledge in image taking (using my iPhone and DSLR) and making (printing, paper, mounting, framing, displaying)

•To attend meetings with a local photography group and gain experienced advice on technical and aesthetic aspects of my images

•To increase visits, followers, likes and comments on my WordPress, Squarespace and Instagram accounts by 5%.   Set up since June, August and October 2017 respectively totals to date on 19-10-2017 are WordPress= 32 visitors 91 views; Squarespace= 7 visitors 13 visits; Instagram= 117 followers from 38 posts and my following 308 others

My strategy


  • Preparing, Editing and Promoting my portfolio 
    • Twice a week review and edit images taken that week collating those of better quality into a folder ready to be considered for inclusion in the module portfolio
    • From the portfolio folder select images taken since the previous module that best reflect my development and relate to the project and current module teaching.
    • Prepare a panel of images to evaluate how they fit together aesthetically as well as telling a story about my learning and development. See how they would best be collated and presented on Squarespace
    • Share my portfolio with the local photography group and with course colleagues and tutors online through Canvas in a pdf in a webinar and in a discussion.
    • Make improvements to the selection and processing  and chosen layout of images taking into account advice received from others and my personal preferences
    • Upload to Squarespace
    • Upload and submit Squarespace link to WordPress blog and to Canvas before the deadline of 15th December 2017.
    • Prepare a paper version of the portfolio to share this and the online link to Squarespace with people and organisations who may be able to offer future assistant work experiences/invitations to events as a photographer/gallery space/display opportunities


Oral Presentation

  • Prepare a story board and script
  • Relate the content to my project and additional work since the previous module
  • Relate the content to the current module teaching and readings and how the activities have impacted on my thinking about my work
  • Relate the content to the additional activity and advice offered by course colleagues and tutors, the photography group I attend and the responses I have received through social media
  • Decide whether to use Adobe Spark or Camtasia (with additional cost) or powerpoint with voice over
  • Draft the slides both with text and images
  • Add the voice over
  • Refine the content, voice over and overall presentation style  working within the time limit of 10 minutes
  • Upload to the word press blog and link to Canvas to share with course colleagues and tutors as a draft.
  • Refine according to comments and additional images taken since draft made
  • Finalise references at the end (check these can go beyond 10 minutes of presentation as per fist module)
  • Upload to WordPress and submit link to Canvas before 15th December 2017


  • WordPress. Add to my WordPress blog at least twice a week, with a minimum of one entry relating to course content that week and one entry to project progress. When time permits add additional blogs describing additional research and events/activities that have occurred that week relating to my photography
  • Spend time each week improving the presentation of the WordPress site including seeking technical advice and support from others who know how to do this
  • Upload a link to share with course colleagues for their views and advice.
  • Make final improvements to the site and the contents and upload link (which will include the links to Squarespace and the Oral presentation) to Canvas before 15th December 2017


  • Spend 10 minutes a day learning about Instagram and sharing posts relating to my project on my account
  • Consider setting up two more accounts on Instagram. One for a viral post (anonymous) and one for me to upload images not relating to my project but to test the reception of a new project


  • Spend up to an hour a week learning about Squarespace and how to use the site to best advantage to display my images
  • Consider uploading non course images in separate galleries
  • Consider whether to set up a way os selling images from this site


Other social media sites

  • Consider setting up a Facebook page and/or Twitter Account to promote my images

Having posted this on the course site I realise I have not specified time to take images and how, when, where and with what equipment to hand. I am still thinking about what to focus on as a specialisation so detailed planning and preparation is not uppermost in my thinking at the moment. However I did say in my Research Project Proposal that I would be keeping an open mind this term and not narrowing my focus too soon.

Week 2 Challenge: Let’s talk business

Week 2 Challenge: Let’s talk business

In this week’s presentations you have learned a little bit about the importance of running your business properly to be successful. For this week’s activity therefore, I want you to think about the following three areas in relation to your own practice:
• A Mission Statement
• The Product
• The Market
You will have thought about these things previously in the course but this is an opportunity to consider them from a more commercial angle.
Write 150 words for each of these points. You will informally present the outcome in this week’s webinar. Feel free to post your thoughts below and discuss amongst the group.

Week 2 Let’s talk business

4 Oct 2017

Business Plan
Prepared for: MA Photography Prepared by: Sarah Newton
4th October 2017
Version: 1

To explore beaches and waterside locations noticing and recording both the beauty of the landscapes and the potential for harm that debris can cause to animals, humans and the environment.
• Images are of three types:
• Landscapes
• Debris
• Landscapes with debris present
◦ The photographic images are presented using and on a range of materials. The materials include various papers, wood, canvas, foam, aluminium, glass, light boxes and billboards.
◦ They are accessible in both physical and digital forms for to the public consumption as free information as well as being available to purchase. 
◦ Market research of similar businesses state their existing customers and interested parties include children and adults, males and females, local, national and world-wide populations and corporations.
◦ This business attracts new audiences and potential customers through information drops (paper and digital), media coverage and illustrated talks in schools, to local organisations in villages, as well as at beach festivals and cleaning events.
◦ Exposure routes include exhibitions, online gallery and blogs. Exhibits are displayed on beaches or in towns (open air mobile display) with appropriate council permissions.
◦ Agreements are in place about copyright and payments with reference to the use of the images by organisations involved with promoting visitor numbers (e.g. Councils, National Trust) and others directly tackling coastal debris (e.g. Surfers against Sewage, Marine Conservation Society).

Week 1: Looking Back

Anna-Maria Pfab
“This forum activity is an opportunity to discuss project work produced during the break.

In the space below, please use the following structure to tell us where you are with your projects:

Introduce the topic of your project
Introduce the area of concern or your angle
Summarise work made in previous modules
Describe the intentions you had for the break
Share work produced during the break: three – five images is enough
Make sure to look at the work of your peers and comment, help, brainstorm together.”

week 1- My project and work achieved in the break

My project is Beauty and the Beach…

The three dots signify that it is not all that the words in the title may convey as I am photographing debris, including plastics, on beaches and waterside locations. Having monitored in situ and collected some rubbish from various locations in Devon, Cornwall, London and now the Netherlands I am starting to think about how to process, present and display in ways that capture attention.

The visit to Amsterdam and Unseen gave me some ideas as did my subsequent visit to the Dutch seaside where I found a huge set of billboards on a public walkway at the beach all showing data and images of the damage to animals and the environment that debris can cause. Several images promoted taking rubbish off the beach whether just visiting or attending a beach clean event. One of my ideas in my proposal was to do something similar at the entrance to beaches and in city centres in Devon and Cornwall so finding such a display has been helpful.


I have started to experiment with processing but as yet I only seem to make the images interesting and to invite discussion about the back story but with no impactful message to avoid littering in the first place.


In July I attended the 5 day Adobe Photoshop course at Falmouth. I have not spent as much time practicing what I learned over the break as I had hoped. However, I have managed to visit more beaches and waterside locations both taking visitors and on my own. I have also attended two formal Marine Conservation Society/National Trust beach cleans recording and collecting debris. On each visit I have found debris or wildlife or views that I had not “seen” before. I am keeping an open mind as to the final direction and focus of the project as it is offering up so many possibilities.

Landscape: In Amsterdam I presented a landscape image taken on one of the beach cleans, this having been taken because I liked and wondered about the structure in the foreground. I am planning to gain experience as an “apprentice” next week and in December with a local landscape photographer.

Products: I attended a one day workshop on Product Photography on 25th August at Plymouth College of Art and Design with the intention of improving my ability to present my beach finds. Interestingly I was the only “photographer”, others were producers of things wanting to take better images, mainly on phones, for their websites. Hopefully the contacts I made will lead to some collaborative work.

Portraits: I am pleased to report having taken an image of a person (with their permission) facing me. My previous images of people have tended to be at a distance or with people with their backs to me.


Wildlife: I am still drawn to my pre course love of nature and wildlife photography albeit mainly associated with watery locations now. This image was taken on the same Dutch beach just after dog walker passed me. It is a seagull dive bombing a seal for the fish s/he had caught.