Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Richard Ross: Waiting For The End Of The World

These images are from Richard Ross's series 'Waiting For The End Of The World':

Ross has traveled to many different countries and photographed different bomb shelters and the people who own them. Ross has also photographed lots of different styles of shelter from different times. I like these images very much. I have chosen to include these images because I feel that they are similar to my own work. Ross has photographed both the people and picked out aspects of interest within the places he has visited. Again I feel this is very similar to my own work, Ross has picked out repeat aspects of the shelters to document. Although the bunkers are unusual compared to many of the things I have looked at I still think they similar to my own work in the types of images Ross has taken.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Latest Shoot

These are the first images I have taken with my new idea in mind:

I asked each subject which area they thought would change the most over the next few months and got them to pose near it. I also decided to get some closer up shots of the areas that things will grow. The subject in the third images was very keen to show me the flowers he has grown, I really like these images, I hope that the plots have changed on my next visit. I would also like to visit the site again and find some more subjects. I plan to still continue working on the shed images as well. I do like these images, but I feel that they will be far more interesting when paired up with the images that show the change.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Daniel Meadows: The Bus

As I have been discussing I have been thinking of ways of making my portraits more interesting, and have been looking into the idea of documenting the passage of time. Daniel Meadows project 'The Bus' is perfect example of the use of this technique in documentary photography:

Meadows started the project in 1973 when he converted an old double decker bus in to a moving darkroom and living space in which he toured the UK. He intended to offer free portraits to members of the public in the hope that he may be able to gain an insight in their lives. In 1994 Meadows found his forgotten portraits which shortly became critically acclaimed. However Meadows wondered what had happened to the people in the photographs and embarked on mission to find them. The book features the then and now photographs as well as interviews with the subjects. The project was completed in 2001.
Although my time scale is no where near that of Meadows the principles are very similar. Meadows has documented the change and growth of people where as my own work is more concerned with the change of space and the growth of plants in order to portray the real character of these people and their allotments. I like the idea of including interviews of the subjects, something I had intended to do. I also like the way Meadows has displayed the images side by side so you can really see the change. This idea of documenting the passage of time and revisiting changed space is something that is used quite a lot in historical practice but rarely in photographic, I think this is why Meadows images are so striking.

New Ideas

As I mentioned in the previous post I have been thinking of ways to make the portrait aspect of the project more interesting. During my recent tutorial we discussed the idea of visiting the allotment plots on separate occasions and documenting the same people and plots each time. Allotments are places where people grow things, whether it be vegetables or flowers, the places change dramatically season to season. I would like to visit the plots as soon as possible and ask the subjects to stand in an area that will go through some kind of change over the coming months, whether it be through growing plants or the area being cleared, burnt etc. I would like to photograph them in these spaces, and then visit a few months later when some kind of change has taken place and re-photograph the subjects in the same position. I feel this idea will not only bring the portraits to life but will also be a perfect way of showing the reason people have allotments and have such a passion for growing things.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Brian Griffin: Power

During my recent tutorial we discussed ways in which I could make the portrait images more visually interesting. At the moment they are very straight portraits, which is the style I had initially intended to use, however I feel that I could get more out of the subjects. These images are from Brian Griffin's book 'Power'. The book features portraits of business men and executives:

The reason I have included these images is because of the way in which Griffin has made each of his subjects look so dynamic. Business men are usually considered boring but Griffin has shoot them in such a way that has made them appear facinating. By using different techniques and props, angles and lighting Griffin has made an extremly interesting set of portraits from which was potential quite a boring subject.
I have included these portraits because I feel that it is a similar concept to my own work, both subjects are something that many people would consider to be dull. I would like to make my portraits more dynamic, possibly by using similar techniques to Griffin, but I feel this may be difficult due to my locations and limited resources, it is more the idea of taking a subject that to many could be potentailly boring and creating a facinating body of work.

Combination of Portraits

I have decided that I would like to combine both the different types of portraits I have been shooting together. I would like there to be a portrait of the person along side a seperate image of their shed as well as some text. possibly from questions I will ask the subjects. I feel that this will make for an interesting visual combination. This is an example of my idea:

This is an example of the kind of combination I have in mind. I like this concept of combining the two types of image as I feel they work well as a set. The text here is just the name and location of the site the images were taken on. I plan to write up some uniform questions to ask the subjects, just things like how long they have had their plot for and the reasons why they have their plots. I think that this will add to the stories of each individual. I would also like to try and find out what each of the sheds is made from, I think this could also bring up some fascinating stories.

Simone Niewig: Gardens

These images are taken from Simone Niewigs' series 'Gardens':

I came across Niewigs' work when looking through a book about the 'Dusseldorf School Of Photography' and chose to include these images for obvious reasons. Niewig studied under Bernd Becher in 1984 and went on to produce this body of work around 1986. It focuses on the anonymous architecture of gardens: the self-made toolsheds, garden cottages, or pigeon houses. Niewig states that she was drawn to these places 'where people use the land that is at their disposal, free of the city planners’. I feel this is similar to my own reasons for choosing my subject as I was first drawn to the hand made structures that are so often found on allotment sites. I feel that Niewig has chosen similar subjects to my own, and has captured the same wonky charm and character that these places have. Unfortunately the only copies of her work I could find where the various very poor quality images you can see above.

Brent Cross Portraits

As I mentioned in my previous post I recently revisited the Brent Cross site in order to capture some more sheds and portraits. Because of the poor weather recently there were very few people on the site which has been a major hindrance to my work. However I did manage to shoot one portrait of Carol, the lady who I have visited with on both occasions:

I chose to shoot this portrait in from of the shed. I think this has worked out well, however I like the idea of shooting the portraits of the people and the sheds separately and combining the two as I feel that the shed images are portraits in there own right, they have a huge amount of character. In hindsight I should have taken a number of different shots from different angles, however we were just leaving so I didn't really have the time. Carol was kind enough to give me a set of keys for the sight so I can visit whenever I like. This should help me enormously. Not only is this site the most interesting of all, I now have unlimited permission to be there and shoot. Also as the weather starts to improve they should start to get busier which will mean I am able to make far more portraits which is something I feel is integral to the project.

More Brent Cross Sheds

I recently revisited the Brent Cross site in order to shoot some more of the sheds and portraits, and also re-shoot the sheds I shot before but on 120mm film:

These are the images that I produced on this most recent visit. As I said I have recaptured some of the sheds I shot on my first visit but in the more uniform style and on 120mm film. I also found some new interesting sheds, such as the one made completely from old doors. It is these kind of images that I really like and this site is by far turning up the most interesting subjects.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Brain Morrison: 'Our Aim Is To Survive'

Brain Morrison's portraits of the Blackpool pistol and Rifle Club are an exploration into the dwindling world of gun clubs and a challenge on the idea of masculinity and firearms:

After a 1997 firearms amendment outlawed all but muzzle loading and single shot pistols, the membership to these clubs dwindled. Morrisons image are a documentation of this particular gun club and the way in which it harks back to an earlier era of popularity. The images are as much about the surrounds of the of gun club as they are about the subjects. He is making a comment on the fact that these places are stuck in a strange sort of time warp.
I have looked at these images for a number of reasons. The first is because I feel that style-wise they relate closely to my earlier portraits. The images are shot in a very straight manner and have a very desaturated feel to them as with my images. The other factor that drew me to these portraits is the fact Morrison has chosen an aspects of life that many people would ignore, and one in which the people involved have a real passion for. I feel this also relates to my own subject, I feel that the allotments are very similar in the way that they are an overlooked aspect of life that I find fascinating.