Emma Critchley

Today Emma Critchley came to give a talk about her work, this was mainly for third years, she spoke a lot about the presentation and how the scale and size of images are very important, this can completely change how the audience will react to your work. Although I may not be preparing for an end of year exhibition like the third years this is important for me to hear at an early stage to allow me to incorporate this into my work early and get my head around it. I have already done a few exhibitions in the past for college and although I really thought about how to exhibit my work the scale of my work was never something at the top of my list when considering how to do this, in the future I will definitely think more into what size I want my work to be whilst it is being displayed.

Emma took a gap year before doing a foundation followed by a photography degree at Brighton, during this she took a diving course, this led her into her niche area and what she has continued to experiment with ever since: underwater photography. This is something that I have tried before but not to this extent, with the shoots that I done the models were underwater and I was photographing them through this to capture different effects. Much like Critchley said, they were in a different world which is something I wanted to capture. Below are a few images that I created in this series…

When Critchley was showing her work it made me think of this series and how much I enjoyed shooting it. It really made me want to get back into it, but more into it. In the future I hope to be able to be underwater myself as well as the models, so we are both in this different world that Critchley mentioned. ‘Absolutely everything changes underwater, it’s a different space and environment to be in.’ I found it interesting how Emma was able to carry out so many different projects all underwater, many with a similar thought behind it, of ‘the breath’. Whilst doing the work I have underwater I had never even considered this, there are so many routes you can take: communication, visual images, distortion from reflections and more. She used both still images and moving image to display her work, some may have been a mixture, and when she used video you could tell she has come from a photographic background, the way she composed her work and what she included in the videos strongly hinted towards this. Below are a few images showing what her work is all about…

After listening to Emma Critchley talk I am definitely inspired to take my ideas further from my initial shoot using water, there are so many paths to be taken and explored! Unlike Emma I don’t want to just market myself as an underwater photographer, there are both pros and cons to this, but at the early stage of my degree and career I am still exploring many possible avenues.  I love the effects you can achieve using water and that you can’t initially see what the photographer is trying to get across, I like that it takes more than one look to see what is really going on. This also leaves the audience to decide for themselves what they really think and create their own opinions, there is no forced view on them.

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