Assignment 1 – Landscape

My aim for this first assignment was to show the sublimity of London’s river; specifically the stark contrast between the lavish new of famous landmarks by the Thames’ side and the old, much forgotten yet still (sometimes) present foreshore of the Thames. I chose to use a subjective, low viewpoint as it has the potential to evoke emotion. My intended audience for this set of photographs would ideally be tourists of London or those less well versed in the circumstance of the Thames’ foreshore appearing when the tide is out. This would be because I felt it would make the photographs more sublime if part of the ‘puzzle’ wasn’t complete within each photograph – that of the foreshore.

I had stumbled (almost literally!) on the Thames’ foreshore quite accidentally a while ago. I was out taking photographs in my favourite place to photograph (London). Of course, I knew the Thames had a tide but it hadn’t occurred to me what this river might ‘reveal’ when the tide was out. I discovered a lot of mysterious objects when I climbed down one of the (conspicuous and hard to climb) stairways leading down to the foreshore, when I decided to investigate. Since then, I have visited the various stretches of the foreshore quite a few times; intrigued by this ‘other side’ to London. I also did a bit of research regarding the Thames’ foreshore and although the amount of information on it was quite minimal on the internet, I was able to discover what the foreshore primarily contained.

My findings were: the larger objects were eroded jetties and wharves. I found it fascinating that some of the history of London was present; although only revealed when the tide was out, which I felt only served to add to the intrigue. Also, I felt it was important to note that a lot of trade in London in those times when the jetties and wharves were still active, was carried out a lot by river, which made them an integral element of trade. So it was a visual reminder of how trade had changed in London; from being a vital part to London’s wealth to becoming ‘badly damaged and eroded, with only the stumps of the timbers protruding from the foreshore’ – (Thames Discovery Programme, 2010), found at: https://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/30513687?access_key=key-7k56o5f8pjba21v0xsa&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll (accessed 4/2/2015).

It was the contrast between these once vital, now largely forgotten jetties and wharves, which made up the Thames’ foreshore and the modern day landmarks residing on the river side which I would try to portray together in a sublime manner. I would do this primarily through the use of juxtaposition between these two elements, along with the use of long exposure to create somewhat otherworldly effects in order produce a set of photographs, which would be linked in a theme of subject matter and viewpoint.

References:

Thames Discovery Programme, (2010). Jetties and Wharves. [online] Scribd. Available at: https://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/30513687?access_key=key-7k56o5f8pjba21v0xsa&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll [Accessed 4 Feb. 2015].