LANDSCAPE JOURNAL

27.1.20

The end of this course seemed to come upon me at pace. My work is now all bundled up and sent off to the assessors. It seems I completed assignments 5 and 6 without posting in this journal, though it wasn’t because they were completed without reflection – far from it, but my reflections were in real time and included in my learning log.

M final reflections are on my blog at: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/2020/01/11/landscape-overall-reflections/

I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and in particular engaging with landscape in very different ways than I first imagined and my photographic practice and confidence has grown enormously. In terms of assignment 6, I wish I knew at the beginning what I know now as I finished assignment 6 knowing that it wasn’t finished; my ideas developed as my photographic practice did leaving me in a position of where I want to go rather than with finished quality images and prints. I am slightly nervous what my assessors will make of this but I have taken my Tutor’s advice and submitted where my practice is now taking me, so the images are only preliminary sketches in fact of how I will develop this project.

So now onto Documentary: fact or fiction!

7.10.19

When researching for assignment 5 today I was very taken with Joshua Cooper’s description of how he photographs with slow looking, and gazing rather than glancing, a gaze which is a piercing looking.

I was also particularly struck whilst researching at how Golding describes photograhing whilst walking through the landscape as a passage through a series of thoughts:

“I begin the day’s walk with an intention – conscious or otherwise – to explore beneath the surface. I stay a moment, experiencing the solid complexities, the impenetrability of the place where my journey begins. Once this has made its impression, there’s a surfacing, almost as if I’m breaking the surface of the water (or the dream that is conscious life) to gather breath – and perhaps light, or imagery – for the time beneath. Then I begin a descent into the unconscious self, gradually at first, then becoming more fully immersed. Illuminations shift, different possibilities becoming visible” (Brydon, 2016).

All of this helps me to feel better about having become so much slower in my photography recently and the concentration that getting the right picture takes. It also helps me to justify my work with a tripod in low light in the woods for assignment 6, as I am aware that it really slows me down. I am finding now that I concentrate much more before taking a picture; I might find the subject and space easily but may spend a long time moving the tripod around to get the vantage point/perspective that I want.

See research post: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/category/learning-log-research-and-reflection/research/a5-research/further-research-assignment-5/

Reference:

Brydon, A. et al. (2016) A DAY’S JOURNEY INWARD | J.M. Golding – Inside the Outside. At: https://www.inside-the-outside.com/jm-golding-days-journey-inward/ (Accessed on 4 November 2019)

27.10.19

I was surprised about the layers of meaning that photographing food can uncover, for instance how we live, values, traditions, as well as be used for abstraction, form, and aesthetics. I will look at food as a subject matter quite differently from now on and of course what I’ve learnt will transfer to other subject matters.

25.10.19

I went on a few exploratory shoots for assignment 5 before deciding that I want to walk and shoot in rural rather than industrial edgelands to give an organic feel to my Brexit landscapes. After more experimenting in rural edgelands I know that I’ll shoot mainly close ups with a shallow depth of field to achieve the intensity and ambiguity I want.

It is good for my assignment that Brexit is still at the forefront of the news and conversations in the UK, as when I go out walking it is very much on my mind. I’ve had a good week experimenting this week whilst shooting; it’s been mainly dry and sunny so I’ve been able to immerse myself in shooting.

Tonight I made it to a Google Hangout with some of my landscape colleagues (see separate post) as usual it was really useful seeing and commenting on their work and inviting critiques and ideas on my developing work in assignment 5.

1.10.19

I’ve had my feedback and finished assignment 4 and am looking forward to working on assignments 5 and 6. My initial idea for assignment 4 is to photograph edgelands landscape in a conceptual/abstract way as a response to my feelings about the effect Brexit is having on the country.

Whilst out running I had the thought that “dead ends” could be too restrictive and that I should keep my mind open and go out walking in “edgelands” and simply see what presents itself in terms of having Brexit on my mind, possibly, stagnation, unpleasant turns, dead ends, conflict, blockages…

21.9.19

It’s been a busy week. I booked but hesitated to go to a photography symposium on photography and place because of its location, but I am so glad that I spent the time travelling to it. I was able to meet and learn from many experts and the event both helped me to join up some previous learning and introduce me to new landscape photographers and new directions in landscape photography.

The next day I was taken by a friend to an exhibition at the V and A of Tim Walker’s “Wonderful things”. It’s not something I would have chosen to see but it was interesting to see his creative process, his imagination in practice in his photography, films and installations. I was particularly interested that included in the exhibition were examples of artefacts from the V and A that have influenced his work.

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNAL

10.9.19

Finally I’ve been able to post my work on part 4 and assignment 4.

Reflecting on this period, it’s unfortunate that I’ve not had as much time with my peers as usual – This is simply because both OCA Thames Valley Meetings and Landscape photography google hangouts were cancelled for various reasons during this time.

I am also aware that I’ve not yet captured on my blog all the reading and research that I’ve done during this time, probably as I spent so much time reading and researching for my critical review. In particular I will shortly add a review of an interesting book that I’ve read “Landmarks” by Robert Macfarlane and a landscape photographer whose work I’ve discovered, Helen Sear…more to come.

6.9.19

Feeling a little frustrated as I’ve worked hard and enjoyed writing my essay and have learnt a lot. I am keen to get my essay to my tutor but find that before I can I need to make my proposal for assignment 5 as the final part of part 4 coursework – I now need to take a little time out for some creative thinking, this wasn’t in my plan!

23.8.19

Life seems to have been getting in the way of my essay writing; I have been reading researching and collecting material over the past few weeks and now I’ve now got a window of peaceful time will be able to give the writing of it some sustained time which is what I need.

30.7.19

I sent my essay for part 4 proposal to my tutor and she has approved it as a rough plan, which is great as really fancy doing some research into Minor White and his peer group of photographers – It will be quite a challenge as I find his and Steiglitz’s work interesting and aesthetically pleasing but I’m not sure that I understand the depth of it well.

19.7.19

More time in “my woods” this past couple of weeks. I’m really enjoying closely observing though not much is changing recently, however this is forcing me to look at things in a different way which is good.

5.7.19

I have had my video feedback with my tutor on my 3rd Assignment and was pleasantly surprised with my Tutor’s reaction to my work. This was mostly as it was my first ever assignment in black and white and I had always thought that Colour photography was my thing. I was pleased with the outcome and my Tutor was surprised that it was my first time with black and white and thought it effective, so I will definitely do more black and white work. I have some work to do now on finalising the images and more particularly in sequencing them

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNAL

13.5.19

So here I am a month later still working on part 3 but despite domestics and rowing training and fixtures I have nearly worked through it. I have deliberately not rushed thinking about assignment 3 as I wanted to finish the coursework and start my own research before locking onto any ideas.

I have been photographically active though in particular with my new prime lens. I have spent quite a bit of time in my chosen spot in the woods in Hampshire when there, exploring what I can do with various lens for assignment 6. I have also for the first time in ages been photographing for pleasure whilst getting to grips with this lens.

Having done all this I will be running behind on my deadline for assignment 3 but I am happy with this as I feel I am now ready to begin testing my ideas for images on location and my mind is now working creatively again for the first time in weeks. I am looking forward to exploring and looking closely at my chosen space and place in Tredreath when I return this weekend.

LANDSCAPE JOURNAL

11.4.19

I’m back in Pembrokeshire and starting to work on Landscape part 3. Despite having done some reading whilst I was travelling in the Philippines during March I’ve no strong ideas yet for assignment 3, or assignment 4 so have set aside the next couple of weeks to work intensively on part 3 and see what this stimulates and what pops into my head – I’m usually quite creative here, so fingers crossed.

Talking of creative I attended a craft workshop today where I made a landscape picture using Yarns (see below, though not framed yet). This was actually a useful learning opportunity about tones, harmonising and contrasting colours, as well as learning to look at colours in an image in an abstract way – for instance looking at an image or scene the wrong way round/up to see colours without form to help your eye to logically interpret it – this could be useful to me when composing photography shots I think. It also remind me of a successful photographer (I can’t recall the name immediately but it will come back to me) who recommended turning your image around, away from the intended aspect, just to review the space around the main object i the image, without the logic of the subject – just to review it for it’s spatial effectiveness. I now have two reasons to turn an image around to review its effectiveness!

15.4.19

I have just invested in a Canon EF-S 24mm f2.8 lens. This is the first prime lens that I’ve owned and I chose it as it will most closely emulate the 35mm on a full frame, which my tutor suggest is closest to what the human eyes see in their field of vision. I took it out for the first time today and I already love it! It’s light and compact, which is really helpful when shooting on the move outdoors; I do like the way that I’m not zooming to compose, but moving instead and the results are very sharp and it’s great to work with in lowlight conditions.

Next entry: https://wordpress.com/view/nkssite4.wordpress.com

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNAL

21.2.19

Once again I’ve been so busy beavering away that I’ve forgotten to post in this journal. The past 10 days I’ve been mainly photographing roundabouts for assignment 2. More about this process in my learning log: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/category/learning-log/assignment-2-a-journey/a2-learning-log/

This has culminated in me sharing my work at two groups. Firstly the Thames Valley OCA Group (17.2.19). There were only 5 of us present and no tutor this time but it was useful to share each other’s work. One member has just started landscape, and One has just finished. More about this in my write up: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/thames-valley-oca-meetings/

Tonight I also participated in an OCA Landscape hangout. I’d revised my assignment 2 draft images slightly so it was good to get feedback on this and from other colleagues, again more in my learning log. It was also interesting to hear and discuss other parts of the landscape course with those in a different part of the course. Most especially tips for further reading and ways to present work.

I’ve also visited two photographic exhibitions, this time because my family wanted to see them, but the Don McCullin exhibition at the Tate Britain was definitely on my list anyhow– write up to follow later. My son enjoyed the wildlife photographer of the year exhibition, but I was disappointed to find that this year they’ve removed the landscape category.

I’ve also added a Spyder Pro to my kit to calibrate my screen and have printed my draft images. I think the colours are better than my assignment one attempt and I have managed to create useful borders around the images this time but I still have some work to do to improve the brightness of the prints. It’s a journey me thinks!

9.2.19

Well I’ve been beavering away on coursework and research for part two and realised that I’ve not posted anything in my landscape journal for a while.

I’ve been continuing my work on assignment six, and though I had written off my 2nd location, I’ve brought it back into play now; as I discover more landscape photographers (Paul Seawright who my suggested is particularly inspiring) and am gaining an understanding of the broadness of the area, my creative juices are flowing now on this location (the British Legion building), so I’ll run both locations for a while longer to keep my options open.

I attended a study day on the 12th of January: LIVING WITH BUILDINGS – HEALTH AND ARCHITECTURE Welcome Foundation with the tutor Jane Taylor. I found the exhibition very thought provoking and enjoyed the multi discipline attendance and approach to it – I too would like to attend more study days with a “thematic “ approach; I think it encourages you to see things from a new perspective and think outside of the box. I believe it will be very relevant to my work in assignment 3 so will post my complete write on my blog after I have completed assignment two, but for now my takeaways from the exhibition are:

  • The impact of lived audio accounts as opposed to documentary evidence.
  • A more open consideration of “place”, trying not to make assumptions and pre-judge by my experiences.
  • Areas of further research.
  • The benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach to study days and working.
  • To use the above in my practice, which is especially pertinent whilst I am studying Landscape, and possibly to return to some of the ideas particularly when addressing my assignment 3 “How space becomes a place”.

I’ve begun some exploratory work for assignment 2 and hope to complete the shooting next week

8.12.18

So I’m back from my travels in India. Before I went I had nearly finished assignment 1, so I have used the time that I was a way to begin the reading for part 2. Indeed my travels were useful as I completed many journeys during them…but more on that in my coursework.

I have reviewed my final images for assignment 1 and re-shot a couple I felt that I was missing. I now just have to complete the reflective writing and take the plunge to print my first photographs on my own printer!

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LANDSCAPE PHOTORAPHY JOURNAL

8.11.18

Today I went to London to attend an event at the Photographer’s Gallery “Look again: group looking session” a small group session run by photographer and neuroscientist. This was quite revealing and fed my desire for knowledge on how our brains work visually. I will post more details on this after I’ve finished assignment 1.

Prior to this I popped into the Flowers gallery in Cork Street to see the work of Edward Burtynsky first hand, this was even more beautiful that I had previously realised, the detail in the large scale works was unbelievable – even though I’ve heard him speak about how he achieves this. These two images struck me the most. This one because of the detail revealed when looking close up at the vehicle track portion of the picture compared to the smoothness of the phosphor tailings on the right:

Phosphor-Tailings-Pond-4-Near-Lakeland-Florida-2012

Phosphor Tailings Pond #4, Near Lakeland, Florida, USA 2012 (Gallery, 2018)

Seeing this work first hand gave me a better understanding of how effective his method of stitching many high resolution exposures together is (122 in the case) , and how it renders extreme detail in all parts of the image. And of course the statement the sheer size of it makes/ I can understand why Burtynsky said that he’d thought about offering binoculars to view his works like this in galleries.

Edward-Burtynsky-The-Human-Signature1_181030_172525

Carrara Marble Quarries #2 (Gallery, 2018)

Carrara-Marble-Quarries-Cava-di-Canalgrande-2-Carrara-Italy-2016-c-Edward-Burtynsky-Courtesy-Flowers-Gallery-London-and-Metivier-Gallery-Toronto

Carrara Marble Quarries #2, Canalgrande, Fantiscritti Basin, Carrara, Italy 2016 (Gallery, 2018)

I wasn’t so taken with his newest finds but the magnitude of the landscape and his method of capturing and showing them is still amazing; they look like fossils but are in fact excavations:

Uralkali-Potash-Mine-4-Berezniki-Russia-2017-Courtesy-Flowers-Gallery-London-and-Metivier-Gallery-Toronto

Uralkali Potash Mine #4 2017 (Gallery, 2018)

I followed this with a visit to the Huxley Parlour gallery to see “Masters of photography 2018”, a showing of an eclectic mixture of 30 photographs from 20th and 21st century photographers, each chosen for its significance role in the history of photography.

Although I had seen this in books many times viewing it first-hand gave me a true appreciation of not only the decisive moment but his command of perspective:

hyeres-1932-by-henri-cartier-bresson-BHC0318

 

Hyères, 1932 Henri Cartier-Bresson (Huxley-Parlour Gallery, 2018)

Below another image I have seen in books and studied but first hand I could appreciate not only the poignancy and intimacy but the way that he handled the challenge of the lighting conditions and contrast.

eleanor-port-huron-1953-by-harry-callahan-BHC3293

Eleanor, Port Huron, 1953 Harry Callahan (Huxley-Parlour Gallery, 2018)

As a landscape I found this work interesting, the way that he captured the patterning, the darkness and yet detail and the caption he applied to it:

coal-miners-houses-without-windows-to-the-street-northern-england-1937-by-bill-brandt-HM0244

Coal Miners’ Houses without Windows to the Street, Northern England, 1937 Bill Brandt (Huxley-Parlour Gallery, 2018)

See my separate blog post on these exhibitions: Burtynsky and Masters of photography exhibitions

Then I visited the Barbican to see London nights, over 200 photographs by 50 photographers capturing the life of the city after dark – this was well worth the visit and made me reflect on the challenged of photographing without much light. I will post on this in detail later.

References:

Gallery, F. (2018). Uralkali Potash Mine #4 – Works – Flowers Gallery. [online] Flowers Gallery. Available at: https://www.flowersgallery.com/artists/works/view/67467-uralkali-potash-mine-4 [Accessed 10 Nov. 2018].

Huxley-Parlour Gallery. (2018). Masters of Photography 2018 | Huxley-Parlour Gallery. [online] Available at: https://huxleyparlour.com/exhibitions/masters-of-photography-2018/ [Accessed 10 Nov. 2018].

7.11.18

Following an email exchange with my Tutor I set out to photograph for assignment 1 some more, in particular to shoot from new perspectives, especially straight on. This proved difficult as there are two arches and one is over a stream which doesn’t run perpendicular to the bridge, However I shot where I could straight on and concentrated on shooting some close abstracts of the bridges structure.

I have now also researched some of the photographers that my tutor suggested that I look at, Jem Southam and Robert Adams for perspective and Brassai for his work on abstracts in architecture – this has helped to focus my mind.

I am really starting to feel a strong relationship with my subject the bridge now. This time it had been raining most of the day when I visited and it was saturated and quite different colours were apparent.

I have also enjoyed an increasing connection with the people that pass by; they have become accustomed to seeing me there and some now stop to talk to me and ask what I’m looking at – they’re quite surprise when I tell them pattern texture and colour! It’s interesting to me to notice how my photographing causes them to stop and look and I’ve had several conversations along the line of “I walk under this bridge often but I’ve never stopped to look at it before”, “there’s a lot to see if you really look”.

Next entry: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/landscape-photography-journal-5/

Landscape Photography Journal

1.11.18

Assignment one

I still have some coursework to finish and research to explore and add to my blog however I was anxious to shoot my subject before I lost my weather window, as rain is forecast for the next 10 days. I have spent a lot of time at my railway bridge over the stream, much to the amusement of passer-by’s who can’t fathom my interest! I now feel sure that there is plenty of material in this location to concentrate on this as a subject for the beauty and the sublime and have shot at different times of day and light conditions to be able to capture various aspects of the subject; and have enjoyed returning to explore aspects that I hadn’t captured effectively initially. I’m adding just a few images here as a taste of what I’m exploring and I do plan to return to the bridge whilst it is raining as well. These are just crude samples of material that I’ve gathered:

I am hoping that my tutor will be happy for me to proceed with this as the subject for assignment 1.

In addition to posting work onto the blog and finishing coursework and research, I am also now seeking advice on printing, as although I have bought a photographic printer I’ve not used it yet; I am currently deciding what paper to try first.

See my blog link: Exercise 1.5 Visualising Assignment six transitions

I’ve now decided on my location and and a back up for assignment 6. I am drawn to the landscape of the tatty British Legion Club nearby and am interested to observe how that evolves over time. It sits by fields with some trees/hedges behind and to the side of it so it has the dimension of some natural vegetation as well as being a man made structure. It will be interesting to see not only the effects of the seasons/weather/time of day on the building in its environment, but also to observe how the smaller details change over the period.

 

As a backup I am also photographing a spot in the woods I regularly run by. It is a completely natural habitat but I have observed the changes in the landscape here throughout the year already first hand, in particular its tendency to transform into a pond through the winter and spring so it could be an interesting landscape to record.

 

Next entry: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/landscape-photoraphy-journal/

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNAL

28.10.18

I’ve realised that I’ve been mulling ideas through for my assignment and for the transitions project without adding them to my journal.

Assignment 1 Beauty and the sublime

I’ve been considering, researching and testing various options, including disappearing lines (alleys, railways lines), industrial beauty and brick railway bridges.

I think I’ve now discounted the first two options.

Disappearing lines will be very hard to find enough good locations for in the time I’ve got and I have explored this locally quite a bit. From the test shots I’ve taken they’ve got to be very good with exceptionally long straight lines to be effective and are very hard to find.

I like the idea of Industrial beauty but I have a location problem for this and it isn’t an option at this time.

I’m going to e mail my Tutor and make a start on my always preferred option of the beauty and the sublime in a brick railway bridge nearby. I have and will continue to scout for other brick railway bridges I could also use, however my feeling this morning is that there are none like this particular one and I think that there is enough material for me in this one bridge.

I’m still exploring options for my transitions project but have been testing and considering:

  • A view over the common with houses in the distance – no very exciting?
  • A view to include part of the tatty British Legion club – difficult to get vegetation/natural landscape as well.
  • An area by a small stream and old road bridge.
  • An allotment – a bit one dimensional and obvious?

I’ve got further explorations to do in the next couple of days and then I’ll make a decision.

Next entry: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/2018/11/02/landscape-photography-journal-4/

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNAL

Landscape Journal

18.10.18

I’m feeling inspired having just spent an evening immersed in the work of photographer Burtynsky. First I attended a session where he was in conversation with a journalist about his new work The Anthropocine project, (The human epoch) as well as his previous works, Water mark and Manufactured Landscapes. Later I viewed his previous film Manufactured landscapes in the cinema. I attended as I’d previously seen and been intrigued by his photographic work at Photo London earlier this year. I will write more detailed reflections on this artists talk and film shortly in my research area.

It was useful to discover the partnership that the Photographers gallery has with the Regent Street cinema and to experience visual art at what was a new venue for me.

I’m planning this weekend to firm up my choice of a place, or two to use for assignment six transitions and have begun my research into beauty and the sublime.

Next entry: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/2018/10/29/landscape-photography-journal-3/

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNAL

4.10.18

At last I’ve had a few days immersing myself in landscape photography. I’ve enjoyed working through exercises 1.1-1.3 and just have to post them on my blog.

In the meantime I’ve been considering spaces that I might use to record the changes on throughout this course, but I’m holding off deciding/putting a couple to my tutor until I’ve got a little further on with the course work. On my short list at the moment are:

  • A woodland space, shady and with varying degrees of bogginess/water level throughout the year.
  • A view from a railway bridge down the track.
  • A space around a railway bridge by a stream.
  • The local allotments.

None of these fulfill my initial idea of using a space part rural and part urban, but it is difficult to find this on my doorstep and if I am to repeatedly photograph the space and I am to take advantage of spur of the moment urges to photograph then I do feel it should be a space close to home. I will try some exploratory shots of them all and continue searching also.

Next post: https://nkssite4.wordpress.com/2018/10/19/landscape-photography-journal-2/