Major Documentary Project Evaluation

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Final Major Documentary Photography Project Statement

Do Red Squirrels need our help?

I have designed a KS2 Education Pack for schools, that looks to inform the next generation about red squirrel conservation efforts and its national importance. Following extensive research I have targeted my work for a specific age group (7-11) that is the most appropriate for the project and will have the biggest impact. The pack is designed to gain the children’s interest and engage their attention by asking questions and providing hands on activities, working both individually and in groups. This will develop the children’s confidence, speaking and listening skills and also help with developing opinions and explaining and reasoning techniques. My photographs are used in the pack to captivate the children and provide opportunities for them to link images with facts and information that they have learnt, widening their skill set. The images contribute to discussions and questions about what the children are seeing and allow for more in-depth insights whilst also appealing to their love of animals.
I have had to collate my extensive subject knowledge and channel it into one simple pack that children aged 7-11 can access and engage with but are also able to retain the information. I have not been able to simply relay facts to them but have had to find ways to include them in teaching each other and finding out facts for themselves. By always asking questions, I am making the children think about what their own opinions are and challenging their perceptions of the conservation world. Whilst my photographs are a contributing factor to the piece and an allure to teachers who can use them as classroom resources (along with my audio piece), the main focus is the subject. Photography is utilised here to inform and educate. I have a specific audience for my project who I have a responsibility to educate and engage;  the future of these native mammals in the UK is relying on this generation to understand the issue, connect with the conservation efforts and ultimately help save the British red squirrel.

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Risk Assessment

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Class Presentation

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I’ve found it really hard starting my education pack. I feel very out of my depth and doubting if I can do this. However, after creating a powerpoint (baby steps towards the real thing in InDesign!) and receiving some encouraging feedback from my peers, I feel confident to carry on with a similar style for “the real thing”. I need to change my font from Comic Sans. I’ve done some research and have decided on Sassoon Primary – reassurance is in the name! I am going to stay in contact with the primary school I visited and Vic from Camp Wild to test certain pages on whilst sending the information I am using to red squirrel experts so that I know I am doing the right thing for all angles of this project. I need to be careful with my image selection and need to edit down about 4 hours of recordings into less than 5 minutes to have as accompanying audio for my work – the children voices and engagement with the activities are priceless and I feel compliment my images extremely well.

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Future Prospects…

http://conservationphotographers.org

I feel like I am on track to becoming the type of photographer I want to be, or at least in the field I want to be in if not a photographer. I want to have a purpose for my images and make a difference on this planet to help the wildlife and environment. I believe that this red squirrel project is the start of something new and exciting in my life that I hadn’t ever foreseen or could have predicted. In the video they talk of NGO, photographer and scientist working together, I feel I am half way there as a photographer working with a charity and conservation experts on a project. Once I have developed my work I am confident that there are many platforms out there that I can use and promote this conservation issue through photography, there are many options for this project and various different audiences to direct it at, I can just change elements of it. The message is still the same. For now though, educating the next generation is the most important thing. I feel very positive about the future.

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AOP Student Awards

http://www.the-aop.org/awards/aop-student-awards-2015/briefs

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I also entered the AOP student awards with 3 images. I chose these 3 as I felt that for social media and web use, you could have the image on the left and have text on the right in the blurred backgrounds. As a cover photo on Facebook that would work perfectly. I entered the third image as after looking back at the middle picture, I wasn’t happy with the composition and so cropped it in tighter which I feel looks much better. The first image represents not turning your backs on the red squirrel conservation efforts and the other image touches on their hunger for survival. Again, even if my entries don’t come of anything it has been a really good habit to get into, entering lots of competitions and looking at previous winners so see what judges are looking for. Now that I am working on a project I am passionate about and want to continue with, I feel I can create a body of work that I can take around the world with me and keep developing and expanding on… it can be an archival documentation of the reintroduction of red squirrels back into Britain! I’m capturing history in the making and encouraging a positive future. As my subject knowledge develops, so will my images and my aim is to enter the 2016 wildlife photographer of the year competition with a stronger set of images than I have so far. This is just the beginning…

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/wpy/competition/adult-competition/categories/index.html

Documentary

14. Wildlife Photojournalist: Single Image Award
15. Wildlife Photojournalist: Photo Story Award

Investigate the complex relationships between humans and the natural world through the narrative power of photography. Challenging or uplifting, provocative or revelatory, submissions should remind us how our attitudes, decisions and actions impact the natural world.

TIP!
Enter photo stories of up to 10 images from which our jury will use its collective experience to select a maximum of six.

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Education Packs

Looking on the internet for education packs (and not finding any specific to red squirrels available online) has proven there is definitely a gap in the market for what I want to produce. It has also shown me that there are many different ways of approaching education/resource packs. The colour/vibrant ones are the most engaging and the ones with actual photographs are the best visually – many are quite dull and unimaginative! I need to hook the children from the start with my mine and keep them engaged with images and activities right until the very end whilst following the national curriculum at all times. I need to remember to also include notes for teachers, else they are unlikely to want to use my pack!

http://ngkids.co.uk

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http://www.wildwoodtrust.org/files/ks2-habitats.pdf

http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/biodiversity_teaching_pack.pdf

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Example national curriculum resources sent to me from primary schools:

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