Hooray! My final piece is done, my sketchbook is complete and I feel like I’ve done as much as I could for this assignment.
I have just spent six and a half hours trying to bind a book that wasn’t binding because the thread was too thick, which meant it kept snapping. In the end I pulled it all out, had a little cry and then felt much more prepared and determined to create a good quality binded book. So lets skip to the beginning. I had picked up my prints from the print bureau and I was really happy with them, once guillotined I could then create a paper template, and I knew from watching the YouTube guide, how to create the guiding holes for you to then thread. I then spray mounted each sheet to the other to create double pages. Once the paper guideline was correct I then paper clipped it to one sheet at a time and pricked the four holes, firstly with a small wall pin and then went on to use a bigger embroidery pin. I chose to start with thicker thread as I was really worried that if I used anything thinner it would snap or the book pages will become looser from each other, as I have previously experienced last term.
So after my melt down with spending hours just watching the thread snap and me trying to create secure knots out of the smallest pieces of thread I gave up and started again. I’m so glad I did, but at the same time I’m kicking myself as it literally took no more then ten minutes to do and it’s a hell of a lot stronger. If I could change one thing though it would definitely be where gloves when spray mounting, its unfortunately created marks on some of the pages which is really disappointing. I’m much more happier with my final piece then I was last term, I’ve definitely improve and done my research, but if there’s one thing that I’ve learnt its that you never stop learning, especially with book binding. I think I’ll cry if I see another book or a piece of thread tonight!
I do feel a tinge of sadness that this project has gone so fast as I’ve really enjoyed it and it became more then a photography assignment for me. I have learnt a lot, from landscape photography to all the research I did about walking to gaining confidence. I can’t wait for my next walking trip and my next assignment!
The photographic side to this assignment was really interesting and exciting, which is surprising to me. I said in my project proposal that I had never previously been interested in landscape photography, but I found documenting it like a narrative really helped.
In terms of research for this project, learning about walking really fascinated me. I know that I have only scratched a tiny surface of this topic, as it is so big, but it truly is interesting to me. The three main authors that I analysed, were Henry David Thoreau, Rebecca Solnit and Robert Macfarlane. And these three all have a huge difference of experience and opinions on walking. I also wisely researched walking guides and walkers themselves. The three main pieces that I explored were Dean Read (YouTube), Roly Smith (A Practical Guide to Walking) and Claire balding (Rambling podcasts). Photographers are obviously an important source for research and learning and if I had to pick three they would be Pamela De Bri, Paula McCartney and definitely Paul Gaffney. I also tried to get some further first hand research so I talked to Joanna Ornowska and her previous work, I talked to walkers as I passed them, and I recorded any information about the place whilst I was there, like leaflets e.c.t.
I experimented with two different digital cameras, the Cannon 5D and the Nikon D700, and I found that I am definitely a Nikon person. It was also better for walking as it was lighter and I found it genuinely easier to use. I also used the analogue camera, Pentax K1000, as I didn’t want this brief to limit me to using just digital mediums. I did, however, made them into digital files by scanning my processed images on the scanner. I also used the scanner to import images of my ‘found’ items. I used an Edirol sound recorder to document my experience and create a narrative.
I found this project a lot more engaging as I used a sketchbook as well as a blog, and I definitely know that this is how I learn the best.
Walking is something I definitely love, and will continue to love. I have developed a huge passion for putting one foot in front of the other, and I will continue to make an effort to explore the land I live on. I am proud of the images I have produced and the information I have taken in, but I have learnt that this is a subject that to fully understand will need years, and I know I will be exploring this work for years to come, and that excites me.
Some of final piece images-