Overall I feel I produced a good body work for Assignment 5 and had begun to find my own personal voice within the landscape practice which featured including human figures in the landscape settings, thereby adding meaning through observing the indexical relationship between them and the landscape. I was also able to explore issues of impermanence in the landscape which was brought about either by the presence of these temporal figures or their indirect human intervention on the land; leaving traces of their use visible on the landscape photograph. To establish these issues of impermanence I returned at night to photograph all the same scenes as the daytime counterparts with similar composition and framing which in my opinion made this trait more powerful. A lot of my project was built around the idea of a lack of permanence through human presence in the landscape around my area. Although the people were permanent for the duration of the photographs, they were largely transient outside of this and so the landscape as a consequence was transient as well, something I tried to reflect through the use of corresponding day and night shots. Not only did the human presence change but also often the physical use value on the landscape itself changed. I felt the night shots were the obvious way of portraying this change, which otherwise would have been lost on the viewer.
By researching other artists and styles of photography; most notably Stephen Shore’s work: Uncommon Places (1974-79) and then ‘Drift Photography’ – (Luessen, C., 2012), found at: http://arthopper.org/the-flaneur-psychogeography-and-drift-photography/ (accessed on 14/7/2016) respectively, I was able to draw upon some of their techniques which helped me to overcome some of the problems I’d been having with the project. The main problem included photographing the banality of suburban areas effectively. The way I overcame this included the use of colour in landscape photography and the signs of wear and physical use present in often overlooked elements of land features and how this can affect how we view the values of an area. In fact, I found this enabled me to photograph the less suburban (and so less banal to my eyes) parts of my local area more incisively in terms of human presence, either direct or indirect, inducing meaning on the photograph.
I found by looking at the landscape in a new way; through signs of physical use and impermanence rather than just what looked most picturesque, my visual observational skills improved a lot. I noticed the way the land was utilised by humans more and what effect this had on the landscape and then I had to use my awareness skills to draw attention to these factors through composition and the placement of people in the frame effectively to suggest use of their surrounding landscape. My techniques ranged from handheld to tripod use and I discovered shooting handheld allowed for much more spontaneity for including people in the frame in the daytime shots. With the nighttime photographs in contrast I reverted somewhat necessarily back to a more deliberate approach of tripod use.
I felt the presentation of the project was of a good quality with interactive maps on the website but I felt the overall creativity was lacking a bit. The approaches taken to arrive at the eventual photographs were appropriate in my mind with good sources of inspiration. However, there wasn’t too much variety within individual photographs compared to the creativity for the themes of the project. On the other hand this made the project consistent and more obvious to the viewer the themes in play. Lastly, I did indeed feel I discovered something more about myself through these landscape photographs and I would suggest my target audience of people living in the area might also.
Luessen, C. (2012). The Flâneur, Psychogeography and Drift Photography. [online] ArtHopper. Available at: http://arthopper.org/the-flaneur-psychogeography-and-drift-photography/ [Accessed 15 Aug. 2016].