Tuesday, 23 March 2010

In Situ

Just when I'm settled I start looking again at those askew images I have started taking alongside the straight ahead pictures... I kind of like the heroic quality of the stick when seen from this angle!

The Confluence of Two Rivers

For better or worse the final shape of the project is now coming together. I suppose there may some revisioning as a result of the last crit before Easter (tomorrow) but it's hard to see how, at this stage, a dramatic change is going to take place in the concept or the form of the final work. This piece is, I'm pretty sure, now complete - it's title is "The Confluence of Two Rivers" and it (along with the other four pieces in production at present) means that the idea has travelled a fair distance since starting out last autumn. There will a paired image of Dimminsdale as part of the project but will be simply titled "A small piece of English Woodland" in keeping with the other titles indicating typical landscape types. Behind the images and their titles stands a melange of ideas around landscape photography and more widely landscape as a historical genre in art. This in itself is hardly a new or original idea although accordingly it makes it easier to write about as quite a few other photographers have recently been working the same seam - albeit I trust a little differently than myself. In a way its a calmed moment - I have decided on what it should be and am putting it into effect - the hysteria will return I guess as I wrestle the final selection of 12 to 15 pictures to the ground and try to subdue them...

At the Confluence...

of two rivers this morning - the Trent & the Soar - with the Radcliffe Power Station in frame. Funny how the Power Station's around the UK (and Radcliffe in particular) have exercised so many photographers over the years and funny how I've come back to it myself. I'm now using the filtering device - just occasionally - without the filter! Have also taken to placing it off centre and at the margins of the frame - all symptomatic of a growing desire to free myself of the obligation to use the damn thing at all...but as it has been the idea that seems dangerous as well as perverse. However at 6:30 in the morning (having risen at 5) you find yourself easily distracted from your purpose!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Driftin' & Driftin'

Sometimes the will just leaves you. Being rather poorly hasn't helped either. But there's a definite whiff of ennui surrounding my endeavours at present. I've got a couple more images that will make it into the sequence for the submission so that at least will make next Wednesday less embarrassing than I expected a day or so back. And who knows there's still the weekend and early next week to go - though Tuesday is being given over to a trip up north - this time to view the Simon Roberts exhibition at the NMM.

Instead I've rather got taken with looking over some of my other pictures, there are others! and I've decided to have a go at a first competition for photographers...risky but fun. Not least as its getting me to print some of my other images up. All this singularly the fault of my friend Simon...whose blog alerted me to the deadline for the RPS print show that he was privileged to have a print in last time around. I very much doubt I'll get anywhere with my efforts but we shall see. My wife, bless her, suggested that one of the images "was the best you've ever shown me"! It's here for other's to judge!

Friday, 12 March 2010

All in the light...

At least that's the sage advice I've been given. It has to be generic landscape types now... so moorlands, formal gardens, beaches, and other types will join the woodland and forest to try and capture a set of worthwhile images for the final submission. And it's all in the light - the device needs to be pushed into the unfocussed foreground - so that it has more ambiguity and so that the light - either the early morning or late afternoon light it has to be - is captured inside the device. So I just have to go and do it! Alongside which of course there has to be a text. But given the length of journey, and the distance travelled simply recording the twists and turns will pretty much demolish the word count so its time to buckle up and get on with the final lap!

Monday, 8 March 2010

First Forest Picture

Here is the first composite forest picture - it was taken near Darkhill in the Forest of Dean - not far from the site of David Mushet's Foundry at which his experiments with iron founding and the discovery of steel took place. A key issue is whether or not this is at all important or interesting in the context of the work? If it isn't (and to be frank the visual evidence isn't at all compelling!) then the key issue has to be whether I should focus on the generic landscapes as a way forward. A first step needs to be taken so I'm planning rapid trips to locations that can furnish very different visuals including several that I'm fond of and know reasonably well. First up the pool on top of the Roaches in the south west of the Peak...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Back from another woodland

A trip to Monmouth was an opportunity to get into the Forest Of Dean. Now that I'm decided on a course of action that will take my filtering apparatus around the UK I immediately hit a fairly obvious problem - viz. one bit of woodland can look much like another - especially when using the kind of device I am. Hopefully when I get to the coast it will all look a lot different.

Another fairly obvious issue is the associative nature of certain kinds of imagery - and because I made it with the very specific purpose I didn't stop to look hard enough and understand how others might view it and the pictures taken with it. A good friend looked at one of the images and immediately thought of a music stand... and of course it is an altogether obvious referent - along with a lectern maybe. And that is interesting to me as if I go back a fair few years (around the early 1990's) I made several works that paired up abstract painted elements with photography and in addition used a lectern as part of the structure (see the photo of the work called "As I walked Out One Summer Morning"). So now I have to do some more thinking through of the whole thing and how and what these aspects say about what I'm trying to figure out with this work.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Moving On...

At last some decent late afternoon light! So down to my favourite riverside location to try out the filter stick approach at a different site - hopefully the first of many. Although I'm now thinking of choosing a variety of sites for their significance in terms of their attributes as sites of acculturation this one just about counts if one accepts the disused and dilapidated boathouse that makes an appearance in the lower right hand corner of the image (not that you would necessarily see it!). Anyway it was an opportunity to make some more images and to develop the idea in the camera and afterwards on the screen. This is really vital at this stage - simply to keep on making the pictures, thinking them through visually and assessing the overall impact a selection of times, lighting effects and locations interact to make a picture that has a real resonance.