FMP - Spencer Murphy Workshop 3 Critical analysis LO 3LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 by Chris Chucas

Thinking hard about what I am trying to archive and convey along with the talks I’ve had with Spencer I took onboard his thoughts and agreed that it would bennifit the project if I narrowed down the range of emorions. Taking out the smiling portraits that convey positivity and happiness contradicted the flow of the set. I want to add that it’s not all doom and gloom feeling wise but to narraw a aset down to a small amount of images like 16 its very difficult to portray a continuity with such a vast range. I defiantly want to use those positive looking images but probably for online content ( art collective - online magazine ) or book. Right now I’m focusing on the FMP set and I’m aiming for 16 images. Ive done this as it makes a nice grid with 4:3 format and can be displayed as a set in one screen to be shared which will help with its exposure to have a neat digital home for it.

Thinking about what we talked about my focus was to

  • fix the digital process issues with the lighted blacks ( which I had done)

  • break up with edit with some lighter images to help the flow

  • look at swapping the overly smiling portraits out with others that reflect similar themes of present in the others

I made an attempt to move from this -

trying to fix the darnkess issue with the set.

trying to fix the darnkess issue with the set.

After checking in, we talked and he thought that the process issue has been fixed, the colour is working a better more variety but the smiling portraits could still need addressing.

I talked through the progression I’ve had and how I’ve moved away from a looser approach (something he thinks I should stick with ), into a more conventional editorial style. I’m torn but I’m happy with the informality the text brings to the images and i’m happy with the formalness of the editorial images almost attacked with text in the way I’ve designed it. I’ve deliberately stayed away from conventions that categorize images into ‘music’ or ‘live action ‘ photography because I feel that the message I’m trying to convey would be lost to a lot of people if it were recognised as such. The use of text is helpful in that regard. So I feel like I owe it to myself to my original roots and style to include an image or 2 to pay homage to that and the whole shots that started the journey with this project to begin with. I got the idea from chatting to Spencer and him bringing up the looser style. ( see the start of the conversation here in this post) -


After thinking about options I sifted though images made some choices and sat with them. I finally came to this edit.

Work shop 3 set Chris Chucas 2018

Work shop 3 set Chris Chucas 2018

I’m sure about the subtractions but a little unsure on the live shot with the mic. After speaking with Spencer, I agreed with him that having a live ‘pit’ image would be a cool homage. I tried it above with a front man and the mic but I don’t feel it has the right flow. I sent of some potentials to talk about but the strongest so far is the image that got selected for the ‘Photographers United - open Call’

Photographers United Exhibition selected image, Chris Chucas 2018.

Photographers United Exhibition selected image, Chris Chucas 2018.

Some other selects to choose from -

proofs chucas-1.jpg

Some discussion and thinking about it, I am sitting on these 3 as the strongest -

Final Gallery v5 - I’ve swapped out some of the smiling portraits with the others suggestions. I need to re build a few compositions with them now.

Final Gallery v5 - I’ve swapped out some of the smiling portraits with the others suggestions. I need to re build a few compositions with them now.

Final Edit

Im pretty confident with the latest edit but the one image I’m a tiny bit conflicted on is 3rd from left 2nd down, I like it as an image but I have a tiny nag that the expression is a tiny bit off for the se, part of me thinks that I’m over thinking it so I ‘m trusting my ‘gut’ which tells me to keep it. Now to prepare my FMP doc.

FMP Peer Review recap and Process Adjustments LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 by Chris Chucas

After producing the show getting the zine and shop up and running and speaking to everyone about the work I reached out and got some peer reviews from other professionals. I was really happy that I had the people offer there thoughts. I made a page with a video of me explaining the ideas I have, examples of the work and a button to get in touch that link is here - https://www.chrischucas.com/prock

Spencer Murphy

Aled Hughes

Derek Rigers

Notes from Al Overdrive.

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FMP - Spencer Murphy Workshop 2 Critical analysis LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 by Chris Chucas

Addressing the exaggerated film look discussed with Spencer Murphy.

( https://www.chrischucas.com/crj2/fmp-spencer-murphy-workshop-1 )

Spencer Murphy and other peers gave me feedback on the look of the images. As i discussed in the post above I think i needed to check in on it and evaluate if I had perhaps gone too far without realising.

Here is the original set below with an example of the process used in the link here .

Original Cardiff Exhibition set

Original Cardiff Exhibition set

I sent of a readjusted set from feedback we chatted about, and I also addressed the process ‘film look’ I sent off this

Old Curve - Chris Chucas.2018

Old Curve - Chris Chucas.2018

Old Process, Chris Chucas.2018

Old Process, Chris Chucas.2018

New Curve.Chris Chucas 2018

New Curve.Chris Chucas 2018

New Process Chris Chucas, 2018

New Process Chris Chucas, 2018

Process adjustment, Chris Chucas.2018

Process adjustment, Chris Chucas.2018

2nd adjustment set for Spencer Murphy. Chris Chucas. 2018

2nd adjustment set for Spencer Murphy. Chris Chucas. 2018

Spencer gave some feedback and said that it’s going in the right direction with the process but the set could use a little work. We talked about it a bit and he suggested thinking about why I entered the smiling ones and we agreed it was a little distracting to the overal themes I was trying to get over, it’s something that could work in a book where there’s more room. I got back to work and made some digital ‘working prints to live with’ whilst I organised some ideas. I’m feeling really excited about the potential to make this reach its maximum potential, I feel really lucky to have feedback like this.

FMP - Spencer Murphy Workshop Critical analysis by Chris Chucas

I was really happy that Spencer found time to get in touch with his peer review. It means a lot to me especially as i respect both his practice and career path. I think if anyone asked me “What do you want to do with your practice and caeer?’ It would be to work more with my art projects and get more commissions. I think a healthy balance of the both is nessacary for my well being and I can really relate to Spencers outlook on this, he mentioned it in this talk he gave I found online.

After the initial feedback from the peer review I thought about a lot of the issues raised , and some of them were raised by the other peer reviews as well.

The only place I feel it falls down is the quality and the repetition of imagery. I’d like to see you push on with it even more and introduce some of the looser style you have in some of your other personal and commissioned work and move away from the more staged stuff (see attached).

reference images ( all pre Ma)

Florida,Chris Chucas 2016,- www.chrischucas.com

Florida,Chris Chucas 2016,- www.chrischucas.com

Katchi, Chris Chucas www.chrischucas.com 2016.

Katchi, Chris Chucas www.chrischucas.com 2016.

Katchi, nollie heel flip, Chris Chucas.2016 -www.chrischucas.com
Night event commission, Chris Chucas 2016- www.chrischucas.com

Night event commission, Chris Chucas 2016- www.chrischucas.com

I found this both super helpful and conflicting. At the begening of the course I embraced this loose style, it had been something that I had spent hundreds of hours on perfecting. I had adapted my own process to archive it and developed a style from it. I remember Spencer giving a talk on the Ba Hons course while I was at Falmouth on my undergrad and He had given us advice and that was to ‘ Shoot work that your into, and develop a style so that if someone looks at it they can say ; Chris shot that without asking. I was studying alongside Robbie Chilton and we both embraced that piece of advice.

The reason I love what Robbie Chilton does is there is a technical proficiency but yet an honesty and looseness to what he does. My work is at times more clinical and it’s something I’ve tried to move away from in recent years. I think I’m right in saying that all three of us have come up from a background of music and skateboard photography, so that inspiration feeds itself into our practice and will always have an influence. Try not to fight that. I think it’s good to learn your craft.

- Spencer Murphy ( on my practice)

I think he has a ral point here, that weird losseness and way that I embrace imperfection is something I’ve found and developed for as long as I remember. I think it comes my love of Goldin’s and Parr’s work at the beggening of my photography eduction. I’m trying to think how have I moved away from it. I had shot with this ‘honest evoking’ approach throughout. I gathered some images from the previous modules to look at my progression.

Module 1 - Positions and Practice

Module 2 - Surfaces and Stratagies

Sustainable Prospects

Informing Contexts

I’m a very visual person and I forget how much work that I do. I found it really useful to go back after Spencer mentioned that. I was really surprised and almost a little disappointment in myself that I had abandoned my strengths. Then I reminded myself that it’s not a good move to stay not experiment and push yourself. That’s the whole reason that I’m doing the course, to develop my skill set as much as possible.

It’s clear my approach to the image making heavily changed in the informing contexts module. This was from all the contemporary photography research and a new way of thinking with constructed images and also looking heavily at successful editorial photographers like Spencer Murphy. After trying employ a more editorial and commercial friendly style for selfish reasons ( to get more work) to have the person I look up to to tell me to trust my gut and go back to what I do good is confusing.


I agree to a point. I’m going to put a book together with a combination of the looser and editorial images. I do feel that the addition of text with those more formerly composed images provides a balance between formal and informal that probably wouldn’t work as well with the looser style. It is good to be aware of it and to have the confidence to allow that to become a large organic influence in my work. I’m really grateful and have a new found confidence in it for commercial ( perhaps more lifestyle use).

Spencer’s notes on processing style

I’ve made sure I am competent on as many camera formats as possible over the years. Some believe in one camera and one lens for everything but I very much believe in the right tool for the right job and shoot on everything from little snappy digital rangefinders to Large Format film still. I feel like too many of the images have milky blacks and feel a bit underexposed, which I think works in some but not in others such as the portraits (what were these shot on?) maybe some lighter images might break up the repetition and help it flow better?

I instantly saw what he meant. I base all off my work in a ‘digital film’ way. I use a preset I’ve made with minor adjustments, i wanted to keep a continuity that compliments my approach. It has worked well for me in my commissions so far but I’ve not checked in with more experienced photographers that I respect for feedback until now. My first instinct was to justify the reason why and stand by it but having someone who I look up to tell me this made me consider it with more gravitas especially after he picked up on my style and the roots from which it came from . I looked at the process again and experimented with a less exaggerated look, i brought the blacks back down to a more ‘commercial’ look but still emulating film enough to be in the category of ‘is it film’. I hated it at first but I decided to stick it out. I couldn’t get test prints to ‘live with’ I made digital grids and had them on the TV and Monitors in my house whilst I was working. I slowly came around and eventually liked the new edit more than than the previous.

This is a never ending, forever evolving thing so don’t feel locked to any one edit. And by no means take this as anything other than constructive criticism, I’m in a certain place right now and looking for a certain thing in my work, so some of that will be projected onto what I am saying to you... I’m sure you are aware of them but look at people such as Ed Templeton and Jim Goldberg and how they document life around them and combine text and imagery. 

I’m aware of the Templeton and Goldberg references but I’ve made the choice to concentrate on my outcomes now at this point in the course I am confident on my intentions. It’s been a massively rewarding experience. I’m going to work on my edit and get back in touch with Spencer for some feedback on it.

FMP Zine and Podcast Review by Chris Chucas

It’s been a few weeks after the exhibition and I’m finding it really hard to sell any of these zines. I just think the project needs to be promoted a bit more. I think I will print handfuls out and send them to record labels and shops to bundle in with certain orders. I’m thinking of it as a means of advertising to begin with. I’ll also keep plugging the zine in the podcasts that I am doing. I have just confirmed some really great female photographers that were involved with the 209 female politicians by female photographers project. I’m going to continue to reach out to other artists as well as music people to make the demographic as varied as possible. I don’t want it to become very targeted and niche I like the thought of having crossover and people being put onto different ideas and thoughts, bands and art.

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FMP Show Hang LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 by Chris Chucas

I had planned to have a lot of time to workshop the curation of of images, after workshopping it with artist Aled Hughes I then went into the gallery to do a ‘soft hang’ I placed small test prints up in the place I wanted to place the large ones. I check using a spare frame I had for space and placements and I was fairly happy with the layout. I did have to re arrange 2 images due to the flow of the space. I had anticipated it and planned it accordingly but even so when they went up in the soft hang they were'n’t right. So i fixed it. Lesson learned, always do a soft hang.

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Juno Calypso printing posters / zines review LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 by Chris Chucas

Another artist I’ve been really fascinated with over the last year has been Juno Calypso. I first heard her on the Ben Smith podcast (link below). After hearing her talk about her project ‘ The Honey Moon’ I went and looked at the work and I was drawn in straight away. I feel like she has kind of carried on and built on where Cindy Sherman had started. Born out of a childhood hobby and dressing up and taking images with family cameras and also a gameboy camera.

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FMP Anthony Luvero Case Study by Chris Chucas

Luvero’s ‘Not Going Shopping Project’. he works with the LGBTQ community. His process involved collaborating with the community in Brighton and keeping a public blog with conversations and images made with those involved. Luvero also works with text and I love the human element that the hand writing brings to it. That seems to be his main goal to humanise the participants in very democratic way.

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FMP Professional Activities PU Exhibition Invite LO3 LO4 LO7 by Chris Chucas

Photographers United submitted an open call and I submitted 6 images. One of them has been selected for the exhibition. Which is opening on Jan 10th at the Print space in London. I ‘m really excited, I have noticed that it was the live action stuff that Spencer Murphy would describe as my ‘looser’ style of images. Which is making me really consider my edit for FMP.

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FMP Exhibition show evaluation (LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7) by Chris Chucas

The opening night to the show was in my view a success. I had spend a huge amount of time planning it and I had put a huge focus on all the supporting aspects of it.

I had hung the work as pre planned and work shopped though with local welsh artist Aled Hughes.

I negotiated a free hire of the gallery for a week as it was in collaboration with HATW.

I did have to pay a £50 fee for the hire for the event.

I opened at 6 with a musical act on at 7 playing followed by talks from myself, Hannah Morgan the founder of HATW and Edel Marie a friend and vice principle of a high school in Bristol.

I had donation based entry and work for sale including zines.

I made enough through entry and zine sales to cover the venue hire and make an additional £20.

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FMP ZINES and Big cartel shop (LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7) by Chris Chucas

Richard (Team Beard records): It’s a community that comes together, you know within either a music scene or certain area that starts something off, usually getting the kids involved, cause once the kids are involved things kinda bubble under and build form there before anything become popular.  It may take a yea, two years for something to start, then all of a sudden it’s the next big thing, but you know there’s been a lot of ground work put in.

I feel like i’m fairly lucky with the origins of this project born out of a relationship with punk rock. ZInes have been a staple part of the scene and I’ve explored them through the previous modules
It’s a great low fi way of reaching an audience and it is normally fairly low cost meaning its accessible to the community. Heavily used in the earlier days of punk in the 70’s and 80’s they were normally photocopied. Nowadays there is a rich culture of art in the punk rock scene and I talked about it briefly with Exhume an artist that also tuns a record label an episode of my Never Going Home Podcast.

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FMP working Zine and Print Sales (LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7) by Chris Chucas

I started finalising my zine designs. I think I’m lucky because my links with punk scene make it fairly easy to introduce given that zines were a big part of the earlier movement. I worked out costs and my deadline to get the shipped and and monotone is the only available option. I feel that it’s interesting given that I shot heavily in Black and white at the beginning of the course and begrudgingly y took the advice to work in colour more which I now work predominately in. It’s an interesting concept born out of a forced design out of my control maybe. I thought maybe I could print the zine in monotone and offer a download link to have it in colour ? It might be . a bit messy but there may be room to use it as a creative idea. Right now it’s not an option to print colour so it’s whats happening. It’s almost feels like a tip of the hat to the earlier work, I think I’ll release the earlier developmental work which is mostly monotone through the zine as its both culturally expected and a great way to ease in to the more contemporary photography that it has evolved into. Perhaps I can bring an audience on a journey and print in full colour when it becomes viable.

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FMP working with text Stickers by Chris Chucas


As I’ve been planning on releasing a zine to compliment the prints and the podcast I thought it would be a great opportunity to collaborate with other artists in the punk scene. The previous artists I’ve reached out to have become really tied up in projects but I mentioned the idea to a friend of mine from the The Run Up. I shot a video for them and also did a podcast with Larry the front man. Dan is the bassist and is a really talented illustrator. He made a design for me and I’m going to get a run of them made to add into to the zines for sale. I also mailed a bunch of them out to different bands that tour across Europe and the US, it’s a deep part of the punk rock culture and a great way of low fi advertising.

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FMP exhibition preparation Marketing LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 by Chris Chucas

Organising exhibition with Sho and collaboration with HATW. Getting Brightr involved from the tour before and his work with mental health. I talked to everyone about the opening night and we talked in depth about issues the project looks at and what HATW does. Social media is a great way to reach an audience for this kind of project it took a little bit of learning new skills and disciplines but it was well worth it for the potential reach I feel.

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FMP Aled Hughes Workshop Curation LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 by Chris Chucas

After taking onboard what Aled said in the last meeting I came back to chat with him about hanging work. I have been living with these prints on my office and lounge wall for quite some time. I’ve even gone into the gallery with my test prints to visualise where they would go and how the audience would experience the show. Building on the using of dyptechs ideas ( in a sense that place them side by side as standalone images not as printed dips) I ran through my selection and talked about my thoughts on it

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FMP Text - Stella Feedback Dymo Label ( LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 ) by Chris Chucas

Looking at developing the work, the placement is to long maybe and need to Aled’s advice on the choice of words. His input was to use the words sparingly and in a way that they would not be obviously recognised as lyrics. His thoughts behind that was to enable as much freedom to the viewer to decode the images. That has always been a really important part of the creative process for me to enable such a great degree of freedom in viewing my work.

I checked in with Stella and we discussed my intentions and as well some key issues that I had some reservations on.

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FMP NGH 7 Dave Feltham 21st Oct by Chris Chucas

NGH 7 21st Oct Dave Feltham



F: Since social media and simce the internet basically people when it first came out everyone was just kind like ‘bluegylejfkhdfhaf’

D: Yeah everything they thought, everything that was going through their heads, or I’m eating this, I’m going to vote for so and so.

F: And now, people are like trawling back and digging peoples pasts up and things like that and it becomes like a ‘oh shit’.  People never used to do stuff with like Facebook did they, …and more and more lately as time moves on people are like oh I don’t want everyone knowing me on Facebook.

edel data.png




I tried to talk a lot about mental health and link it in with the project but we also talked a lot about social media and how divisive it can be and other things like echo chambers etc.

FMP NGH 6 Jake 9 (LO4 LO6 LO7) by Chris Chucas


F: Just let them listen to it and they’ll make their own mind up.

J: I totally agree.

J: I love music, I loved music I love playing gigs, it’s literally one of those things that’s incomparable to anything else apart from once when I did a talk about my archaeology project and I got to speak about that and that same feeling, that kind of performing feeling where this is something I’ve worked on, created and putting it up to show and if it goes down well it’s a amazing and if it goes down crap it’s terrible but at the same time you still did it.

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