Supervisor Meeting 4 – August 24th

Meeting with Wendy McMurdo. We focussed on audience outcomes with MS Society and Dignity in Dying and the challenges of combining image, text, sound and video. On both points Wendy was clear that for the MA what is important is the delivery of a PDF with 12-20 images and evidence of a public outcome. She sees the project as bigger than the MA and something that can continue with an important public responsibility beyond the timeframe of the MA. An MA edit plus clear evidence of public consumption in progress is sufficient for a strong MA submission.

Wendy encouragement is to focus attention on the editing process. She likes the idea of creating visual sentences as one set and verbal sentences as another set. Then combining them will be what can give the project impact. She is encouraging me to keep shooting to fill in gaps. Her strong advice is to avoid learning new skills such as video during this period.

Wendy feels the project fits really well with the current FORMAT21 open call for work under the heading ‘Control.’ This needs to be submitted by September 14th.

This all fits with work in progress. I have meetings with the MS Society and Dignity in Dying this afternoon to get in to more detail about what is possible with them. My ambition is a publication from them in November but Wendy advice is this is not essential for the MA. I am working on the visual and verbal sentences with an intention to complete a set by the end of next week. I will prepare a submission for FORMAT21.

The actions agreed are as follows:

  1. Keep focus in MA on the requirement for a PDF with 12-20 images and a public outcome.
  2. Consider three possible edits – one for the MA, one for the MS Society and one for Dignity in Dying.  Alternatively, one edit for the MA with a story/interview around it for each of the MS Society and Dignity in Dying can work.
  3. A photoessay with voiceover and evidence of commitment to a public outcome with the MS Society and/or Dignity in Dying would be a strong summission.
  4. Submit an entry of the project to FORMAT21’s current open call on the subject of ‘Control’ before September 14th.
  5. Focus attention now on the visual sentences formed with images and text sentences that can go with the work. 
  6. Consider putting 30 second clips with images and voiceover out into the world.  Create interest in the project.
  7. Look at Jeremy Nicoll’s ‘My Beautiful Cancer’ as an example of a photoessay with a public outcome.
  8. Avoid spending time learning new skills such as video at this stage.

Categories: Final Major Project, Project Development FMP


I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.