Category Archives: Personal Professional Development

Feedback from people about my street photography.

From my last experience of street photography, I decided to ask people if they thought I did the right thing. A lot of people in my class said they wouldn’t know what to do. And if they were in the same position as me they probably would’ve done the same thing. From speaking to my lecturers they said that the man had no right to take in my film and that he had robbed me.

As a photographer we have the rights to photograph in a public place. If you wanted to take photographs of children you would have to ask permission of the parent or guardian. But on the streets as long as you don’t pervade someone’s personal space (by pushing a camera in someone’s face) or block a public path with tripods and camera equipment so the public can’t use the path, then you have the right to photograph whoever you like.

As well I decided to to contact my photographer friend Marcus Bleasdale to see what he thought about my experience, and this is what he had to say,

what you should have done is gone and developed it

OR taken his name and telephone number and told him you would develop it and show the results. he had no right to demand the film, in fact what he did was illegal

worst case you give it to him and take his number and get it back when he developed it himself

NEVER give away your film

best of luck next time


From all of this feedback I feel more confident in taking photographs on the streets. Even though this was unfortunate it happened to me at least I have now learned my rights as a photographer, as well this has helped my classmates understand their rights to.

link to first photo on street photography experience if you have not read it already!


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Final letter to self.

Dear Larissa,

I am coming to the end of my first year and I feel that I have achieved a lot. I have made a lot of good friends that I think I will be good friends with for a long time to come. I speak to everyone in the class and it is really good to be around people that share the same interests as me.

I have learnt a lot of new skills, I have learnt how to use film cameras, medium format cameras, dark rooms, and various types of programs on the computer such as adobe photoshop, adobe dreamweaver, and adobe premiere pro. And at the moment I am learning how to use the studio and lighting.

You will be happy to hear that I have passed two modules and an advantage course. My last module at the moment is very hard work but I am enjoying it. I love learning new things.

Aswell as this I got all my dyslexia support in place in the end. It was hard in the first term as I did not have any dyslexia equipment or note takers. But once my support came through my work has got better and I feel more confident.

Throughout the year I have grown more in confidence with my friends and lecturers about my dyslexia, and I feel that I have been very reflective over the year about my problems that I had in my past.

At the beginning of the year I was getting upset in class because my support was not there, but now I feel that I can hold myself together in class when maybe my note takers are sick, or they put a subtitled film on, and this is a big step. I can even ask my friends to take notes.

The one thing that I really enjoy about this degree is having lecturers in the industry. They have taught me a lot of new skills and really want us to succeed.

I feel in my photography now, now I have the skills that I can go out there and photograph what I see or what I want to portray. I still feel that I have a lot to learn, but this will all come in time. All I know is the more I learn, the better my images and knowledge will become.

I feel I have the skills now to be more confident in taking out projects than I was at the beginning of the year. Also I feel more confident in giving feedback to my peers and talking in discussions in class.

University has inspired me to reach for the impossible and to do things I never thought I could.  It has taught me never to give up and just try and give it a go.


Larissa Grace

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An artifact that explores the subject of under-represented groups within the media.

The subject that I am going to look at for my under-represented groups within the media is going to be dyslexic people.

Dyslexia comes from the Greek word meaning ‘difficulty with words’. It’s a symptom of a number of different information processing disorders in the brain. It is difficult to define Dyslexia because it affects people in different ways and there are many possible problems which can affect an individual. But in most cases it affects the individual’s ability to read, write, spell and process information. By scanning a dyslexic person’s brain while they are trying to process information scientists have concluded that their brain works differently to that of a non dyslexic person. This has nothing to do with intellect or teaching but is caused by a difference in the area of the brain that deals with language.

From talking to a person who supports students with dyslexia as well as from my own experiences as a person with dyslexia I have learned that people in the general world are not well educated about the condition of dyslexia.  Most people think that dyslexic people just can’t read or write and may be a bit thick.  This is completely wrong. Dyslexic people can have really good visual skills and can be hugely creative.

People who have dyslexia have often had negative experience of classroom environments and have awful stories to tell. Schools are getting better at helping people, especially in schools where pupils are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In the workplace you are given a job and some people with dyslexia who struggle with writing can fail in a job without support.  If I go into the workplace I now have lots of equipment and feel I can cope.  However, if I am put on the spot with reading tasks and no time to prepare, I may struggle.  I am worried about the older generation workers who may not have even heard of dyslexia – they may well be managing me.  People with dyslexia appear to be under represented in Education and in the workplace as people tend to hide their problems.  Their self image is poor and due to negative experiences they had when younger, they tend to hide their problems.

Having spoken to a Note taker who works for the University I was informed that before they had completed their note taker training, they entered the job with a very limited amount of knowledge about dyslexia. This is because dyslexia was rarely brought to their attention in their everyday life, including in the media, and it was only due to the needs of this specific career that they fully studied it.

One in ten people have dyslexia and it is shocking that this amount of people are dyslexic and it is still widely misunderstood. I found on twitter some dyslexic support groups which have lots of information aimed at helping dyslexic people, but ironically dyslexic people find it difficult to read this posted information, at least in the media the British dyslexic association are trying to spread more knowledge of dyslexia via the media but there is still a long way to go.

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Reflection on the 3 things that inspired me most and how they affected my approach to my discipline.

1. John Lewis. I think that since starting uni study has made me more knowledgeable. And I am starting to learn how to reflect on my practice and be objective.  Going into my part time job I can see how my improved skills can be used commercially to help me get a job in the future.  John Lewis have told me that they value my skills and would be happy to take my part time job further after my degree by offering me a post grad training course. This is great because it shows that the skills I am learning at uni are working in the workplace and inspires me to carry on.

2. Working with professional photographers and having teachers who are actually out there doing photography has also inspired me.  Before I started uni to study photography I had never had a photography teacher as I came up through the art route.   The one thing that I like about Coventry lecturers is that they give honest answers and good feedback and push you to your limits.  As well, they encourage me to contact famous photographers and give me the confidence to pester them to help and contact me.

3. Being able to use the equipment and darkroom has been a real inspiration to me.  This is because before starting this course I had never used any photography equipment and really didn’t have a clue. From working with the equipment, tutors and my peers I have become more confident and more excited about my photography practice.  From using complex equipment I now want to get out and experiment more and use new things.  Whilst I am in the experimenting phase of mind I am producing better work and really hope to carry this on and develop further.

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Irving Penn Exhibition

At the National Portrait Gallery I observed the work of Irving Penn. He has been one of my favourite photographers, even though I didn’t get the chance to see his work with food. I was still impressed with his black and white portrait photography, and it was good to get more information about him and to see his photographs in real life, and to observe their actual size and the way they have been printed.

Irving Penn has been one of the most influential photographers of our time. The exhibition that I visited was compiled from major international collections, and includes work from his Vogue magazine in the 1940s to some of his later work from his long, outstanding career. Penn captured photographs of a range of various people, from differing mediums. Such as literature to other areas such as visual and performing arts, famous people such as Salvador Dali, Grace Kelly and many others. The Exhibition I visited showed Irving Penn’s ability to communicate with a visual language and it provided me with a chance to observe his composition of innovative techniques to convey lighting and printing.  The experience of visiting London to observe his work, has allowed me to gain first hand insight into one of the most outstanding photographers of our time.

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Ori Gersht Exhibition

I went down to London to the Mummery & Schnelle gallery, where they had an exhibition of Gersht’s 2008/2009 work. I found that it was good to observe his work up close on the walls and the size he had printed in, I find this work difficult to understand. Gersht refers back to the conflict between the Nazis and the Jews in his photographs of landscapes. The Evaders collection was photographed in the Pyrenees. I find it quite difficult to understand the reasons behind Gersht’s work but it seems he is trying to show that countries may have borders but people also have cultural and psychological borders.

‘Hide & Seek’ shots were taken on the borders of Poland and Belarus showing place of refuge during political conflict. As I mentioned I sometimes find it difficult to understand Gersht’s work so I found it quite helpful when I spoke to Wolfram, the Art Director of the gallery I visited. He told me the work was ‘dealing with questions of landscape, memory and history in relation to photography’. I asked him what his impression was of Gersht. He said ‘You have to imagine the knowledge and ability to see and discover the world’. He went on to tell me about a future piece of work planned by Gersht that includes a film about a Holocaust survivor and also a visit to Japan to look at the culture and identify.

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Have you ever been haunted by your younger self?

Have you ever been haunted? Have you ever been haunted by your younger self? I have. I am being. I think I will always be haunted by her. I don’t know if haunted is the right word to use but I see my younger self sometimes. I see her standing there looking straight at me. Sometimes smiling, sometimes waving and sometimes just looking. You probably think I’m a nutter, I did when it first started happening. I thought I was going mad. She stands there with long blonde hair, with this big blocked fringe, with her grey school boots on, her grey plaited skirt, with her white summer shirt on and her big oversized grey cardie. She comes at funny times, I can be in a busy room, and she can just be standing in the middle of it all. I have come to the conclusion that she comes when maybe I’ve done well at something, or I’m finding something really hard, and am thinking what’s the point in carrying on with it. I think she’s there to support me and to say ‘look how far you’ve come’, and ‘don’t stop now’.

When I look at that little girl I’m so proud of her, of how much of a fighter she is, and how strong she is, she will always be a part of me and I will never forget her. She made some hard decisions at that age, that have got me where I am now. Maybe one day she will stop visiting me, maybe when I have achieved all that I can achieve. I don’t know, we’ll just have to see.

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