the end is nigh

The final hand-in deadline for my MA course is at the start of September, and effectively that will end my two years as a mature student. I enjoyed the classes, the cameraderie with classmates, and the access to university facilities, until the COVID-19 lockdown ended all that in mid-March. I’m still enjoying the coursework.

When I went back to university in September 2018, I decided to try an Instagram project, posting a photo every day to my instagram while I was a student. I’ve managed not to miss a day yet. I’ve done similar projects before, like when I took a photo every day for a year. Besides practice at photography and editing, the value I get from doing this is to make me look around myself more carefully. I knew that there would be lots new to look at, in and around Newcastle.

COVID-19 has got in the way of that. Since mid March I’ve been ‘in lockdown’ in Teesdale and haven’t gone as far as 15 miles away from home in that time. But so late into my two-year project, I’ve looked at most of the things around here already. To help keep myself going, for the last three months I supplemented my local photos with text art. Again, this is an ongoing interest of mine: I’ve been interested in the intersection between words, typography and photography and had done experiments in this area before. There are lots of quotations to be found on the internet which display text on a photograph. What interests me is doing this in such a way that the image and the typography actually relate to the text.

You can put any text in front of a pretty sunset, but I think it’s far more interesting to use an image which works with the text, whether directly or subliminally. Typography, another long-standing interest of mine (I bought books on it in the early days of the web), can subtly support the meaning of the text as well.

Having made 30 new text art images, mostly using stock photography, and posted them to Instagram over the last 90 days, I think I’ll leave it at that. The end of my photo-per-day project, and of my unexpected late-in-life student adventure, will come in 42 days.

“the terrible truth about endings is that they are always closer than you think” - Sai Pradeep