Assignment 6 – Landscape

My aim for this assignment was to show change taking place at Lewisham roundabout through a series of photographs, each one very similarly composed but with the land features gradually changing throughout the photographs. Lewisham roundabout is in my local area and so I was familiar with the roundabout, having lived nearby to it for a lot of my life. My target audience would be primarily people who were affected by the roundabout’s development. I knew the roundabout’s development to be quite a contentious issue because the whole flow of traffic had been altered, as can be seen in my series of photographs incidentally. This was in addition to the alteration of the public walkways around the perimeter of the vast roundabout. Both these alterations meant people travelling through Lewisham and in and around Lewisham had to cope with the changes. This included heavier traffic near to the roundabout and longer, less direct routes in and around the roundabout for pedestrians. The other, more positive side to this was that in my opinion the developments were necessary for Lewisham’s continued development. Either way, I chose to adopt a high, objective viewpoint from which to record the changes in order to remain as unbiased about the developments on the roundabout in my photographs as possible.

 

While it would have been possible to photograph Lewisham Roundabout without the inclusion of people and moving objects, I felt it was more accurate and overall better to include these within the frame. This was for the reason that it showed that life still did go on around the roundabout, albeit in a more restricted manner for the residents of Lewisham in the immediate area, while all these works were being carried out. The works being carried out were still largely visible behind the inclusion of people and moving vehicles in the frame either way so I didn’t feel this distracted too much from the obviousness of the change taking place. However, I was also of the opinion that a lot more character was added to each scene through the inclusion of these people/objects.

I chose to employ a high vantage point, inspired by the work of Simon Roberts in particular but also John Davies, in order to better show the change taking place over time. Specifically I looked at Simon Roberts’ Pierdom (2010-2013) series and John Davies’ Agecroft Colliery, Salford 1983 (1983) photograph. As well as showing the change taking place more clearly, I felt the high vantage point depicted the change more objectively. Had the viewpoint(s) been lower down amongst the activities the effect would have been much more involved and subjective according to the people in the frame and how they related to the changes. I wanted to approach the potentially contentious changes taking place to Lewisham roundabout in as ambivalent and unbiased a way as possible, to allow the viewer to make their minds up about the (vast and drastic) changes themselves. Choosing a high viewpoint seemed the obvious method for doing this.

 

References:

Davies, J. (1983). Agecroft Colliery, Salford. [Photograph] London: Michael Hoppen Gallery.

Roberts, S. (2010-2013). Pierdom : Simon Roberts. [online] Simon Roberts. Available at: http://www.simoncroberts.com/work/pierdom/#PHOTO_0 [Accessed 30 Aug. 2016].