Assignment 5 – Landscape

My aim in this self-directed project is to photograph the diversity of my surrounding area, where I’ve lived all my life and in doing so convey something of myself to my target audience. My target audience would be myself, people who live in my surrounding area and anyone else who would be potentially interested in seeing a reflection of someone through their own photographs but specifically this area. This is because as Minor White suggested: ‘promoting “self-discovery through a camera” – landscape photographs are really “inner landscapes.”’ – (Minor White In. Sontag, 1977).

 

I would aim to include other people living in my surrounding area because I believe it makes each photograph more alive for the following reasons. As the people portrayed in the photographs are indexical to the photographs, as well as photographs to the landscape, this creates a transient paradox where they are present as recognisable figures in a landscape within a photograph of a past time but then also appear in the present/real world too. Moreover, the people become intrinsically linked with the landscape because of these two indexical relationships, becoming a part of the landscape for the duration of the photograph. By including people who live or are passing-by my surrounding area in the photographs, my main target audience (myself and other people who live in the area should be able to relate to these people and places more strongly.

 

My approach to photographing the diversity of my surrounding area is to keep the concept quite simple: draw a circle on a map (somewhere around my local area in keeping with self-discovery through a camera) and walk on the perimeter of this circle (the actual place not the map!) while photographing with the mindset of a flâneur (albeit one constrained to the perimeter of a circle). I have come to discover attempting to walk in my local area in the same way a flâneur usually does (the dérive) does not work as hoped for because instead of walking where my state of consciousness would take me, I’ve found I consciously stroll to the most picturesque locations due to my overfamiliarity from living in the area. By walking in an unbiased way (the edge of a circle on the map), lets me experience my own area in a new way and so I should discover more about myself through the resultant photographs.

 

 

 

References:

 

White, M. (n.d.). In. Sontag (1977). On Photography. 2nd ed. London: Penguin, Page 86.