Assignment 5 – thoughts and timeline

05 July

Well I have just finished discussing my recent assignments with my tutor, which I will discuss in another post once my written feedback has been received. The one thing that is clear is that while I can research a piece quite competently, I don’t communicate my thought processes enough to make this evident. Its something I need to address.

Soooo, I have been thinking over the  last few days what Id like to do for my final assignment for this unit. I’m thinking I would like to do something with landscapes that explores the counties of Yorkshire, perhaps coastal or country but something that explores my favourite mode of photography. So to that end I will start looking at practitioners of Landscape photography and I wont be surprised if Ansel Adams ends up in there somewhere. Having purchased “Ansel Adams 400 Photographs”, the work is breath taking and is certainly the hall mark of landscape photography.

Next steps research and location scouting….

I’m  thinking along the lines of some Landscape work to incorporate some of my favourite spots across Yorkshire

  • Lady Bower Reservoir
  • Canals that lie along our local area
  • Sprotbrough Falls
  • Aysgarth Falls
  • Whitby
  • Saltburn
  • Robin Hood Bay

It may change, I may not even use any of it, but it will be nice to get out and do some photography outdoors at last and I might even get to fly the drone this time, we’ll see, it would be nice though.

12 July

Well it has been a gruelling week of work, so haven’t had much time to do anything except read. I have been looking at the work of a British photographer Michael Kenna who along with Ansel Adams and Sebastiao Salgado seem to epitomise the type of photography I like to do at a standard I would love to attain albeit with my own voice. The images they produce speak volumes:

When I think of landscapes personally they conjure up memories of travel especially moving from place to place with my fathers work, the times I spent visiting relations on the south coast, the holidays I spend with friends and family involving a tent, caravan or cottage which extends from family vacations as a child. It also reminds me of my time working in the scouts, cadets and subsequently army reserves as well as the work I used to do in Youth services. All of it retains a memory of something good. This is surely where my love of landscape photography comes from. There is a peace associated with it, getting away from it all.

17 July

So the plan is to go for a walk on Sunday and retrace the route of a local cycle trail and see what comes to me. I have some ideas regarding water as a general theme, but don’t want to force it as I may find something that leads me elsewhere. In the meantime I will finish typing up my notes on exercise 5.3, which was  interesting as it is probably one of the first times I’ve really sat and explored a photograph, interesting…

19 July

Took a walk along our local canal to take some photos and I am reasonably happy with what I have come away with, in the meantime I will continue my research into Michael Kenna and David Brookover. There is not a lot of information on David Brookover, yet I do find his work quite interesting and he was quite enjoyable to listen to. I may do a separate piece on him or perhaps use it to discuss some of the developing techniques he talks about. In terms of the assignment I have chosen Michael Kenna, Franco Fontana and Sebastiao Salgado as my practitioners, 3 very different styles for the same subject matter.

This was one of the images I snapped today that probably will not make the final edit, but I liked the way it looked in this format and the layering between this bridge in the foreground, the trees and those big beautiful clouds in the distance.

24 July

Talk a trip further along the canal today as I wanted to get a few shots of the Aqueduct and I was very fortunate to snap a lovely barge crossing as I arrived. Next stop was Sprotbrough Falls to get some longer exposures and experiment a little with my pinhole lens (not for this assignment). Again fairly happy with the results, though I wont be sure until I do some post processing. Sunday I plan to take a trip to Lady Bower Reservoir, but it may change into a trip to Robin Hoods Bay, Saltburn and Whitby. I’m letting the wife decide on this one as we are taking our social bubble along with us.

25 July

Came across some You Tube videos named the artist series on “The Art of Photography” channel

26 July

I’m definitely feeling my age today, finishing the night shift for the week, home, shower and an hours kip before shooting off to the Lady Bower Reservoir. Its either a combination of the sleep deprived state I’m in and the drive and nightmare of trying to find a parking space, when it feels like half of the country has descended on the place. Lets just say I wasn’t feeling it and felt totally underwhelmed by my work, though it was nice to get out and enjoy the air and take in the surroundings. I imagine another time of year it may be a different story altogether. It almost feels like I am looking for something in the landscape I cannot quite put my finger on, though it feels better just getting out with the camera and even the smartphone one. I have managed some images, so well see how they turn out after post processing. On a side note, I finally got to use my camera backpack today and have to say it was quite comfortable, so It will remain packed and ready to grab and go now. Here are a few image grabs captured today:

I like the panoramic shots this phone can do and these two above I was very pleased with and as much as I am tempted, they will not be in the final set, I should try this on the camera at some stage. I also like the first image of the steps inside the overflow quite abstract.

27 July

Lots of research to type up, well lets see how much I actually get into the assignment this time. Its always concerning when I do this bit, because it can often feel way too pretentious in trying to render an opinion on someone who I consider to be an artisan or Master of their craft and use that to justify my approach to a brief with images by a photographer still searching for his voice. Does that make any sense? I’ve also asked for an extension to the assignment today and I don’t expect to get this one finished off until after the weekend. I have Friday booked as a holiday so that will give me time to reflect on the what I have done and plan for this weekends shoot. I’ve decided to get the assignment finished first before tackling the remainder of the tasks I have left to do before I am happy to mark this unit as complete.

29 July

Just finished going over the research for Franco Fontana, 3 landscape photographers each with very distinct approaches and very unique voices. I could sum up as an artist, a minimalist and a dramatist. Time to get ready for work and finalise my to do list for next week.

2 August

Wrapped up a lovely weekend of walking, taking in the sights of Robin Hoods Bay, Whitby and Conisbrough. I decided upon early morning for Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay as these places for one tend to get busy during the day. It would also give me a perfect chance to capture sunrise at Whitby, which to be fair turned out to be a little bit of a disappointment. Nevertheless I made the most of what we had to work with and captured  some nice shots in both places before heading home. I have added the ones that didn’t make the final cut to the end of the post. This reminds me of why I enjoy this mode of photography, I can just find something to shoot that interests me and go.

10 August

I have spent the last week selecting, editing and finalising the details on this assignment, including adding a PDF viewer to my site to make it easier to add and view contact sheets. I just hope it was all worthwhile and if not I enjoyed it anyway. The one thing I have noticed in reflecting on the images I take is that there are competing elements I look at beyond the landscape, it could single elements such as stones and rocks to the abstract. I have considered whether it would be worthwhile documenting this process for future reference.

 

References

irastehmann.com, Michael Kenna – Series. [online]. Available at: https://www.irastehmann.com/artists/37-michael-kenna/series/ [Accessed 9 July 2020]

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 11 July, 2020
  • Focal length: 70mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/6s

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