Learning Agreement

Simon Burrows

MA Photography

October 2017

What is your subject of study?

Experimental photography practice to show how I see the world having colour deficiency

What is your research question?

Do you see what I see?

 Research aim (s):

 Using my own experiences, I will demonstrate through photography how I see the world around me.

Gather stories from other colour-blind people and explore the ways they see

Research objectives (s):

 To become a reflective practitioner in the Fine Art of photography through reading, practice, research and communicating with others

To expand my knowledge in a variety of photographic processes and techniques.

To inspire others to see more deeply and question what they see.

“Everything I have accepted up to now as being absolutely true and assured, I have learned from or through the senses. But I have sometimes found that these senses played me false it is prudent never to trust entirely those who have once deceived us…Thus what I thought I had seen with my eyes, I actually grasped solely with the faculty of judgment, which is in my mind.”

René Descartes


 What is the wider context of your project?

My personal journey of seeking a truth and gathering knowledge

Demonstrating the status quo is not necessarily static

Seeing more deeply

Questioning vision

How does the project relate to your previous experience practice?

I have been fascinated for a long time by people and how they view the world or how they view their world. The complexity and diversity of individuals thoughts beliefs and actions is as rigid as it is fluid. Some decide to believe and have faith, others decide to explore and change and adapt. I am one who explores and asks the question, do you see what I see?

Having been interested in photography from the age of 13 my parents would ask me why do you take photographs of waste chicken bones, fag packets and half eaten food, it’s a waste of film? Having spent hours with my sister recording a range of sounds on an old tape recorder to see if other people could recognise them, to be told by my dad it was rubbish. Then in later life to see that these types of “Art” are celebrated, showed me that my parent’s thoughts, beliefs and opinions are to be questioned. If my parent’s thoughts, beliefs and opinions are to be questioned then everything has to be questioned? To photograph is to show.

How does it relate to current practices, debates and theory?

The most exciting knowledge I currently have is that of the acceptance of change in thought, practice, debate and theory. Or rather, a more flexible methodology is a better way of looking at it. Plato’s philosophy of Form teaches us that the best method of creating something is to think of the best way it could be. I get a sense from my short time at university so far that Plato’s philosophy is surfacing again and maybe some old boundaries are stretching and reshaping.

On a practical level, colour-blindness I believe is one of the least known disabilities in today’s society and is still hidden by those who have it. By uncovering superhero status such as enhanced night vision in those who suffer quietly, this will skyrocket their status to such a degree it will instil a confidence to say, “I am colour-blind”

Why is the intended research significant? (So What?)

8% of men (1in12) are colour-blind 5.08 million men in the UK alone, are colour-blind

Very little is known about enhanced night vision in the colour-blind, I have researched extensively for information about this and currently, the only evidence I have is the first-hand experience of Oliver Sacks on colour-blind island, some online forum discussions, but most importantly my own experience

How does this project relate to your plans for the future?

When I first started my degree in photography it became evident that the course was split into two camps, one of commercial photography and one of fine art. Having decided to do a part-time course it was evident that this choice had been made for me as the part-time course was and is fine art. My previous career as a cabinet maker has taught me that there is an overlap between the two camps. I believe my future sits somewhere between commercial and fine art photography. I come to this conclusion because of my experience of running a business, it’s hard work. I, therefore, see myself either teaching photography, continuing research for a PhD and producing a book. However, I believe this will become clearer as my degree progresses.


Outline the research, creative and intellectual methods you will employ to develop your research project.

As a starting point to firmly establish my roots I plan to use an experimental research approach. This will give me the opportunity to observe with reflection and construct my final methodology. However, I am interested in collecting stories from other colour-blind people so I shall be conducting a number of recorded interviews and combining those with a photographic representation of that story.



Road to seeing. 2014. San Francisco, CA: New Riders.

15 Tools If You Are (Not) Colorblind | Colblindor.

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, Colour vision deficiency (colour blindness)2017/11/15, .

, Designing for colour-blindness by using safe web colours2017/11/15, .

Living with Total Color Blindness —Documentary Island of the Colorblind | Colblindor.

, myPANTONE – the island of the color blind2017/11/15, .

, Scanner Profiling Theory2017/11/15, .

, Seekey, the tool for the colour-blind2017/11/15, .

, A significant percentage of the population is red-green colour blind. Why, then, did these two colours become accepted as safety signals? | Notes and Queries | guardian.co.uk2017/11/15, .

What do colour-blind people see? .

ANDERSON, B., Colorblind simulation model testing revisted.

BARTHES, R., 2000. Camera lucida: reflections on photography. London: Vintage Books.

BELL, J., 2010. Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science. 5th edn. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Open University Press.

BERGER, J., 2008. Ways of seeing. London: Penguin.

BERGER, J. and BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 1972. Ways of seeing: based on the BBC television series with John Berger. London; Harmondsworth: British Broadcasting Corporation; Penguin.

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RITCHIN, F., 2013. Bending the frame: photojournalism, documentary, and the citizen. First edition edn. New York, N.Y: Aperture Foundation, Inc.

SHORE, S., 2006. The nature of photographs: a primer. London: Phaidon.

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SHORT, M., 2011. Context and narrative. Lausanne: Ava.

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States of America

Exhibition Visit, Carol Jones

States of America

Photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era

Stephen Shore 'Ginger Shore, Causeway Inn, Tampa, Florida, November 17, 1977', 1977/2011 © Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore ‘Ginger Shore, Causeway Inn, Tampa, Florida, November 17, 1977’, 1977/2011 © Stephen Shore

Art – Exhibitions

16 Sep 2017 – 26 Nov 2017

States of America focuses on a generation of photographers that experimented with innovative approaches to documentary photography. Drawing from the collection of the Wilson Centre for Photography, the exhibition includes key works by Diane Arbus, Louis Draper, William Eggleston and Bruce Davidson, as well as Stephen Shore, who in November will be the subject of a major retrospective at MoMA in New York.

This timely exhibition stretches from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era, three decades that shaped the polarised landscape of Trump’s America, and will explore tectonic shifts in American society and politics, from the decay of city centres and the decline of industry to suburban sprawl and the development of mass advertising.

Artists included in the exhibition: Diane Arbus, Dawoud Bey, Mark Cohen, Bruce Davidson, Louis Draper, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Jim Goldberg, Danny Lyons, Mary Ellen Mark, Nicholas Nixon, Bill Owens, Milton Rogovin, Stephen Shore, Joseph Szabo and Garry Winogrand
States of America has been curated by Irene Aristizábal and Abi Spinks, with Polly Fleury, Director of Special Projects, Wilson Centre for Photography.

This exhibition is a collaboration with the Wilson Centre for Photography.

This exhibition has been supported by Sprueth Magers.

States of America | Nottingham Contemporary (no date). Available at: http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/art/states-america (Accessed: 17 January 2018).Staes

States of America Reflection, please click to view

Pre-Arrival Task

A presentation about my project followed by a reflection



Friday 29th Sept.        click to see reflection on my presentation

Task 2

We were asked to take 3 photographs, any photographs, I chose 3 of my colleagues. What do these portraits say, here’s my wife’s response


stereotypical, Lawyer, Banker. Trustworthy Could be a little shy

Looks like a nice guy, easy going, Trustworthy, could be a little shy

Trustworthy (Maybe) womanizer, Confident, drug dealer

My Nottingham

Presentation about My Nottingham and what it means to me

Reflection to follow


First presentation in partnership with Stephen (a classmate)


My NTU reflection, please click to view