Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Behind the Image: research in photography - Anna Fox, Natasha Caruana

Behind the Image: research in photography

This book discusses the importance of planning when it comes to photography projects. The authors explain that keeping a workbook and the use of mind maps and lists to keep track of ideas and explore them further is fundamental to the process of photography. The book explains how ideas can be traced to their origins and expanded outwards into new areas that may not have occurred at the time of the original thought.

I did this myself for my last assignment. I found the reflective process to be very useful as problems occurred and new avenues of thought opened up that allowed me to continue and complete my project.

The importance of research is discussed highlighting the use of archives and assessment of the project against current theoretical photography practice to put a project into context. Material that has been collected along the way should also be carefully collated into a personal archive for future use by the photographer as this can also be reflected upon and at a later time lead to new awareness and projects.

I did some research into prefabs for my last assignment and found the process of obtaining books from the library and internet to be invaluable when it came to adding some depth and background to the project.

Constant re-evaluation and reflection is crucial to the success of the project and this can only be done when a written log is kept to help assess where the work has begun and where it may be going.

As well as the need to keep a workbook which of course is just a broader version of our learning logs another useful idea was to use a voice recorder or the option on most mobile phones to keep a record of fleeting ideas that come to us at odd moments.

I checked to see if my mobile had the facility and within ten minutes of stopping at a chapter to make a cup of tea I was recording some thoughts into my phone that had occurred to me. I will transfer these to my workbook in due course.

This is a very useful book that sets out how to organise the mind and keep track.


  1. I did some mind-maps from the book and posted them as DFs on my blog here:

    Feel free to use them if you think they might be useful to remind you what was in the book.

  2. Thanks Vickim. Anything to help order my disordered brain is a bonus.