Photography MA Falmouth – collaborative project

Photography MA Falmouth – collaborative project



{ Falmouth University MA in photography – CRJ }

In June 2019 I started my MA with Falmouth university as part of an accredited education programme.


Photography MA Falmouth – collaborative project Extinction Slide8

This week we had to form small groups of 2 to 3 people to deliver a collaborative micro project. On Friday we were asked to upload a piece of prose, poetry, a quote or an image to the forum, and then to contact people who’s referenced work we were *drawn* too once everyone have uploaded.

On Monday, I contacted Ilya & Amy, & we decided to create a group together for the project, as we felt not only did our images/text speak to each other, but the three of us tend to be online at the same time, and we have interacted well during the webinars that we have had together, which we hoped would make collaborating easier, we were also intrigued at how our individual practices being quite different would flow together when working in unison.

Once in our groups, we were asked to come up with a theme to work on together to create the micro project. We were free to choose the content, structure & creative direction of our project, it just had to be presented in digital format, and be a collaboration.

On Monday Ilya created the canvas group for us to upload all our images too and to discuss the project on, we used this, and WhatsApp to connect through. That day Ilya attended a local meeting on climate change and species extinction, whilst discussing this, Amy suggested we could use the theme of extinction as our project, which both Ilya & I also feel very strongly about as a cause, so we settled on this for our ‘theme’.

We agreed we would all do some test shots that evening/ the following day, that we felt were our expression of the theme, and upload them to canvas and see what we all came up with. I was quite apprehensive about how this would work, would our tones, colours, etc work ok with each other if we didn’t ‘decide’ what to photograph first. Also lighting, being we are at different ends of the UK and the world pretty much, how would the images work in harmony. Ilya was very calm and collective about this an advised we could always do some post production work, or reshoot etc (I can’t remember her exact words now but it was definitely placating,) and put my mind at ease that we should just see what we come up with first before worrying, which as it turned out was perfect advice!

By Tuesday afternoon we had all uploaded some photographs. I uploaded a poem with mine that had been in the forefront of my mind since we decided on the theme extinction. It was important to me that we had a theme we could all work with, but that I was still true to my practice of working with children, families, and alternative education. The Poem is an extract from the book Wild Child, by the author Jeanne Willis, and is about how all the wild children are missing from the woods today . It is pretty much universally adored within the alternative education community, as I know I feel, as I am sure others do as well, that it encompasses many of our thoughts about the loss of childhood for this generation of children.When I explained my reasoning for me including this poem I think it was Amy, that suggested we all include a piece of poetry along the lines of extinction to accompany our images. Amy found a beautiful piece by A.E Stillings called the extinction of silence, and Ilya composed her own poem about the rising of the sea.

It was also suggested that we keep the images black and white so they all work well together. Ilya contributed some images that she went and took of the sea in Cornwall, Amy contributed the images of the match being extinguished , and I contributed an image of Oska, my youngest son walking in the woods.

I asked Oska if he would come and help me with this photoshoot, running barefoot in the mud in the forest, he was rather excited to say the least. My original idea was actually to take images of him playing on his Nintendo switch in the forest, as a commentary on the loss of nature and ‘wild’ in children, as it is replaced by electronic devices, and online play. But when I looked through the images, I loved the simplicity of the one of him just running wild and free in the forest, and felt it fit the narrative of extinction, and the poem perfectly, so I chose this one instead, which Amy & Ilya agreed with fit the theme better.

After a bit of back and forth on Canvas , on Tuesday evening we attended a webinar for the three of us to go through the images, layout, and iron out any small detail issues, we recorded this incase we needed to come back to it, or reference it.

Amy put our images and texts into powerpoint, ironing out issues such as page size, border placement, font size etc. She was then able to work out how to do a screen share, so we could make ‘live’ adjustments to the design, which was really helpful in the whole process, in making it much quicker.

We decided the best way to present our images would be in a book format, with one double page spread each. Our image on one side, and our poem on the other.

My image was originally landscape, and although I do prefer the un-cropped image (as it shows the flood of sunlight on the right, and the contrast of light and shadows was my take on the theme extinction), as a collaboration it definitely worked better having a square book, so I cropped my image square (keeping as much of that light and shadow as possible) to complement the design more.

We made many minor adjustments collaboratively, that made a big difference to the final feel of the book, such as extinction having a full stop at the end of it, but not the other wording. Then converting that full stop to red to ensure it was a message, and obviously deliberate.

After we finalised the design of single pages, and new we wanted it to be in book format, I suggested using issuu to convert it into a book as it is quick and easy, and I already had an account with them. We then had concerns over copyright, as although we know we can use the text with appropriate references, and made sure it was apparent it was part of an accredited educational programme, issuu is for publications, and as we weren’t 100% on this we decided not to go this route, and just present it as a pdf instead.

We then all created slideshows in WordPress for our various CRJ’s so we can show it as it was intended (double pages) as a book format, but will be presenting during the live webinar as a pdf so that people can have it full screen, and zoom in on the text etc etc.

Here are the alternative images I captured for the project, that I ended up not using. The one at the top is the uncropped image from the book. Followed by the poem from Wild child by Jeanne Wallis.

Rebecca Caroline childhood photographer

Photography MA Falmouth - collaborative project Extinction Slide2

Photography MA Falmouth – collaborative project Extinction Slide2


I’ve been really busy this weekend/week with the oral presentation, so I am only just now getting to sit down and look back and what was said at the live webinars, and do this reflection.

I think the main thing that came from the tutor during these webinars was that working collaboratively with your peers, and doing peer assessment as well, is a crucial part of getting the most from the course over the next two years. That this collaborative work allows us to draw on each others strengths, and help us with our weaknesses (like Ilya helping me chill out , when I was thinking I had done something horrendous with the issuu book copyright wise, and then wondering whether copyright infringement, if it even was that, would get you thrown of the course!) Another benefit that was discussed was how it helps us to have a quick turn around, as no-one wants to let there peers down. Although I normally work quite quickly anyway, we definitely found this was the case , even more so, with our group as I think it was Monday just after lunch that we formed our group, and by Wednesday evening we had uploaded our presentation. Part of this was , yes, not letting each other down, but mostly, I think it was just really enjoying the process, and the novelty of working collaboratively.

The feedback from the tutor and peers, on our project. was very positive. Comments were made on the fast turn around, the simple, but effective layout of the book format with how we had included the poems on double page spreads, and that it had been a pleasure to look at and read. All in all, the icing on the cake to a really enjoyable week.



Oh my lord, what an interesting thing observing is ! I managed to join each of the webinars this week, and after the end of the last one, I commented to our tutor about how it was more like a study on anthropology, rather than a photography project, which I had envisaged at all. It was so interesting how at their roots, we had pretty much all done the same thing, but put our own twists, and spins, and individual stamps on it. Also interesting was all the work that entered on home and habitats, including our own project,  almost like a ‘oh this group collaboration thing is going to be uncomfortable , so lets put a safety net around us all and look inwardly towards home.’ As I say, very very interesting, watching it all unfold, and wonderfully beautiful, seeing how all these people, from all over the world, had these beautifully mundane moments in our lives, that connected us all, and gave us all an anchor in our practice, to each other.




Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



F a c e b o o k
I n s t a g r a m