ASSIGNMENT 1 THE BEAUTY AND THE SUBLIME: THE PROCESS
I was initially influenced by my contact with Edward Burtynsky and though to take a technological look at the theme using and industrial location; I had to drop this idea because the location that I would have used was many hours from me so it wasn’t practical and there weren’t any alternative industrial locations near to me.
So I moved on to considering interesting perspectives such as vanishing points. I spent time scouting locations but discovered for vanishing points to be inspiring they needed to straight over a long distance and whilst railway lines were good, roads and paths proved to be less inspiring. I also investigated a variety of bridges from unusual perspectives; this is when I came across railway bridges. I was fascinated by their construction, the beauty of their arches and the uncanny details lurking beneath them.
I found several interesting railway bridges but having spent time with one particular bridge I decided that there was plenty of material within this one subject; I contacted my tutor who agreed it had potential.
Brainstorm mind map:
I set out initially to shoot a variety of images of the bridge, trying to cover its geography from both sides and underneath, returning to capture it in different light conditions and directions. I found the colours of the structure changed their appearance in the different light conditions, and that there were particular times of day to best shoot from certain sides.
Encouraged by my tutor I returned again to adopt a less angle approach to my shooting, however this proved difficult as one of the arches is over a stream and the bridge is at an angle one side to the path under the other arch. I found it impossible to capture many of the shots I wanted on my “shopping list” in this way, however I was able to achieve a predominantly straight on approach underneath one of the arches. I expanded my shooting here, looking really closely at the various naturally occurring patterns overlaying the bricks caused by running water, limestone deposits, algae as well as human interventions such as graffiti, drainage and signage.
I really enjoyed shooting the bridge and felt myself becoming attuned to the location and that my seeing eye developed enormously. I felt the shudder of he trains passing over and often had to wait for them to pass before I could take a shot because of their vibrations. I became used t being asked what I was looking at, most commonly passer-by’s thought I was shooting bats. I felt gratified when people who stopped to talk to me said that they’d not looked at the bridge before in detail but could see when they stopped how beautiful it was.
I tried to keep at the forefront of my mind my intention, to reveal the beauty and the sublime in a place and to communicate through my photographs my response to it. After shortlisting images I realised that I was still short of a couple of close up that had a straight on approach so shot a few more images. I also decided to keep to a series of landscape images and eliminated the portrait images. Then I thought about how I would sequence the images. I decided to open the series with a long range shot of the location. After this I have taken the viewers to the underneath of the bridge where I present a mid-range and then a close up shot from the same location; I repeated this method 5 times.
These are the last images that I Eliminated:
This was the first time I have printed my own photographs. I bought a printer (Canon Pixma Pro 10) from a colleague and angst for a long time before choosing paper and attempting to use it. In the event the basic set up and initial use was fairly simple. I did a 4×6 test shot of one print first and found it to be darker than what I had on screen so have done crude brightness adjustments by looking at the images with the backlighting my screen lowered and printed these. I am sure there are many refinements to the printer I will find that I can do but I have left them as they are after their first print as I am sure that my tutor will have suggestions for reprinting. I have put borders on the prints that I am sending to my tutor; I know the borders are too slim but will adjust this on my next printing.
What I have learnt by printing the images myself tis that the printing exposes a lot and helps me to look at the images more critically.