Edit – a Review

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

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Figure 1

I have spent today, 20th April, tuning images in readiness to print onto the decal sheets. I have chosen to leave a margin for each print, to provide enough surface reveal the concrete face on each tablet, after the test earlier this week.

The prints have been created at A4, 297x297mm square and 210x210mm square, as per the concrete tablet sizes, minus the margin noted above, fig 2 (a domestic scene).


Figures 2, 3

I then trimmed the images on a guillotine, fig 3, before grouping them into the series groups I have been working with since the last edit.

I photographed each group at the same scale and dropped the 6 images into Keynote so that I could compare the whole edit in one place once again but also achieve a visual equilibrium, in terms of sizes.


There are two;

I am not wholly settled with the battery image in series C and I may make both images in series E larger to increase the visual presence.

I have placed an order for additional tablets as I now know which images will work and that the decal process is a convincing and compelling strategy to show the work.


Edit : Phases Three and Four

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

IMG_2582 2

Figure 1

The process of editing is both a solo and shared action in my experience. It is possible to be over-familiar with one’s images leading to a mental/visual battle with the fond ones on one side and faulted ones on the other.  For the concrete images; having grasped 132 images and divined 57, 75 had fallen away.

I printed six images per A4 sheet and chopped them into individual images.  This small scale takes away a minor amount of detail and allows a table top (mine is white translucent glass which suits this process well) to be used to set out all of the images, figure 1.

Phase Two

Time to finesse and filet; I used one morning broken into two sessions via a walk away from the viewing to move all of the images around, sliding them around.  I was looking for clusters, for interlinked stories, for objects that created a frisson, to colour similarities.

Clustering seemed to occur without too much stress, fig 2; the greater challenge was taking out images that were not making the strongest sometimes too strong a graphic (such as a bright circular light fitting), to a dullness, to an over-brightness.  I kept all of the ‘outtake’ images still visible for potential reselection by using a 5p coin to distinguish them, fig 3

Figures 2, 3

Phase Three

Three days later I spend an evening reviewing and asked a neighbour who teaches art and who has a series of my images hung in his house, came along to discuss the approach and edit to date.  Jointly we selected a ‘final’ 25 images, figs 4 – 8.

Figures 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

The images are now stored digitally and in paper form as clusters, fig 9.

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Figure 9

Edit Phases 1 and 2 – as if Preparing Dinner!

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5


Figure 1

Phase One

The first phase trawl to select images was dual purpose; to achieve a long list of images for concrete work and a longer list which I chose to entitle ‘ephemeral’ for projection.  My ultimate target was 15-25 for the former and 60-80 for the latter.

I created new folders for each shoot from my MA work, the Pause Project.  This represents some 16 buildings and circa 2,500 images.

Using screen work I wrapped up 132 images on the concrete long-list and 90 in the ephemeral list.

Working with Freinds – Phase Two

I asked my photographer friend Stephen Morgan for his opinion on my long list of 132 and he offered to host a session for half a day where I could reprise my purpose behind the project and the dual selection of images for the two media selected.  I expand on Stephen’s background and practice in the footnote below.

The session was challenging (my favourites were deliberately dissected) and highly informative (we found pairings, fig 1, and groupings by sliding images around in groups on the screen, figs 2, 3) and included some minor post-production helping me size up the Capture One software I adopted 4 months ago.

Figure 2, 3

I describe this second phase of editing as somewhat raw, as if preparing a meal with a large, if sharp, knife; the finessing and fileting was yet to come (see phase three and four CRJ entry).

I ended up with a folder of 57 images representing a cull of 75.  A good few hours of productive looking, talking and thinking.

I enjoy Stephen’s company, perhaps indulgently as in this instance, I came away feeling as though I had a strong set of images with numerous interlinks.  I find image making as a solo practice the purest form of work, yet I notably feel an emotional disappointment as I rarely fall in love with my work, the self-criticism pervades too often and I strive to do better; thus I seldom feel affection and strength from the work.  Having as the second opinion can help, as if refining the fishing net, to pursue the food analogy, letting the good ones go for another day and the dead ones sink.


Stephen Morgan is a Brummie by birth and followed in his father’s footsteps as a photographer.  He has lived in his home city, Amsterdam and London.  His website is http://www.stephenjmorgan.com/

He has a melancholic style reflecting on historic memories, nationally and personally.  His work blends people and spaces, often inviting one to inform the other.  The images of the ordinariness of place invite the viewer to contemplate what is captured and why.

Morgan takes enormous care over his process with a real focus on the printing selection. It is something of a privilege t meet him over the last year and I have been able to introduce him to the owner of Argentea Gallery which resulted in him holding an exhibition there this year and latterly to the Director of Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, so I have been able to give something back.

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Figure 4

Morgan has descriptions of his practice in both Carroll, fig 4, and Phillips books;

Carroll H. 2014. Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs. Laurence King Publishing. London
Phillips J. 2012. Collect Contemporary Photography, Jocelyn Phillips, Thames & Hudson, London