Im not sure how these images will look if your screen isn’t colour corrected as they are quite subtle. I started to use the same technique for every shot I do, basically setting the camera up on a tripod on the centre of the bench, making sure its exactly horizontal using the spirit level built into the tripod, setting the exposure using the top dial on my Nikon D700 and taking the shot without looking through the viewfinder to compose it. By doing it this way (hopefully) the images should be similarly composed and the position of the bench will dictate the outcome of the image rather than myself composing the image within the camera frame.
Now i knew what direction I wanted to take the project I could go out and shoot for it alot more effectively. The next week weeks basically involved gathering as many shots as I could when the light and weather conditions were right. This turned out to be extremely frustrating as the Blackpool weather proceeded to be bright and sunny for 2 weeks straight making shooting for the brief very difficult.
I found that if the light was too bright it was very difficult to expose both the sky and the foreground correctly. I could have got around this by shooting several exposures and merging them in photoshop but I felt that this would undermine the credibility of the work. Instead I decided to persevere to just make the most of the light when it was favourable.
Having struggled so far to create a comprehensive body of work or this brief, I have decided to take it in a new direction.
Wandering around various parks and gardens I noticed the distinct lack of planning in regards to where benches were put within that environment. This made me think that I could imply manmade intervention without necessarily showing it within the frame by taking the photograph from the bench. This in turn could raise questions of space and control within these environments and give me the direction I need to be able to create a more cohesive body of work.
I think I need to rethink this project to give it a clearer sense of direction and subject matter rather than a vague theme.
These two images (above and below) to me feel the most effective from this shoot, I think this is because of the flat light and compositional strong subject matter. I think if I’m going to continue shooting this project I need to use similar lighting conditions and compositions to tie the images together.
I decided to start exploring parks and gardens to try find more man vs nature relationships, but again without a clear sense of artistic direction I found it difficult to create images that worked well together in a series.
The image above is probably my favourite from my shoots so far, and it took me a good 3 trips to get the lighting conditions and exposure right. I think working with natural light on landscape images is going to be quite technically challenging. I’m not really sure why this image appeals to me so much, I guess there’s some hidden element of punctum within it.
I quite like the image below also, as it reflects the suburbs relationship with the natural spaces that surround it.
Again for this shoot I just grabbed a camera and wandered round the suburbs, photographing anything that jumped out at me. I started to think about recurring elements that I could use to tie images together, a recurring element in each image. Although I think this could have worked a whole series/ book of this could end up being abit ‘Wheres Wally?’.
I was thinking these no cold calling stickers could be a recurring element??
I started shooting for this brief pretty much as soon as I had decided what I wanted to do, but I decided to publish my research and ideas first on the blog. To be honest I pretty much lost track of exactly how many shoots I did. so the groups of images in the next few posts may not all be from the exact same shoot.
Intially I wasn’t entirely sure about the subject matter I wanted to photograph, so I grabbed a Nikon D200 and went for a wander around the suburbs of Blackpool hoping that inspiration might strike. Wandering around the terraced houses I concentrated on unkept houses that had started to become overgrown and ways in which people had deliberately interfered with plants/ natural elements.
I liked the composition here, but it doesn’t have much to do with nature….
I think the image above is the most effective from this shoot, as all the others are abit too literal. The wall has a pattern from where an ivy plant has recently been ripped down. I think this is a good example of the kind of relationship I want to explore in this project, the struggle between man and nature in the suburbs.
Gütschow’s work plays with pictoral representations of reality, presenting the viewer with montages build up from photographs to show a idealized view of nature. I guess the apparent realism of the photographic medium adds to the impact of these images, but as I’ve already stated I’m not a massive fan of photography that goes out of its way to emulate painting unless there is a personal relationship between photographer and painter. These images are very aesthetically pleasing and Im impressed with the way they are put together but for me personally overly manipulated photography doesn’t appeal to me as it distorts the inherent truthfulness of the photographic medium too much.
The series ‘Sawdust Mountain’ by Eirik Johnson looks at industries reliant on natural resources and the communities they support. The most interesting imagery follows commercial logging and salmon fishing, and the images reflect on the uncertain future of these industries as environmental issues and sustainability of stock becomes increasing difficult. I really like how the colour palette ties the series together, despite a range of photographic approachs and subject matter.
Peripheral vision is a project by Canadian photographer Timothy Atherton that looks at the division between the suburbs and urban/ rural environments. Atherton photographs what he calls the ‘generic suburban condition’, which is basically the lack of clear cut division between these environments at a psychological level rather than a topographic difference.
Looking at this body of work, I really like Atherton’s choice of subject matter, his subjects are ordinary almost to the point of being banal, yet the process of being photographed has made them inherently interesting to me. Perhaps its because I as the viewer am given as long as a like to consume an image that would have otherwise been a fleeting moment in real life. This extraordinary normality is something I would like to incluse within my own work.