More of a project update this week as some work comes to it’s end and new work begins to take shape. My landscape series ‘Peninsula’ is almost ready for release. The book layout is complete and the edit selected. I will be officially putting the work out online next week along with details on where to purchase a copy of the self published book.
It’s been a long time coming and at times I’ve struggled to get this series to a place where I’m truly happy with the final selection. On reflection a lot of this was linked to a lack of confidence in my work and also a need to focus on more commercial pursuits in order to put food on the table. I am however pleased with the resulting series and it’s been an enjoyable experience reflecting on the reasons behind the creation of the work and including these musings within the project.
The renewed sense of enthusiasm that working on 'Peninsula’ has contributed to the beginning of new work. I’ve started to really get into the thick of creating images for an as yet untitled project that utilises the cyanotype process alongside digital processes.
Although abstract in their aesthetic the images are, in my mind still linked to landscape. I’m considering the universal landscape, our connection to the creation of the entire universe and our place within it. The connections that we all have with the natural world and with each other and considering the importance of this interconnectivity through the creation of imagery that can invoke thoughts and responses from viewers that are personal to them. I’m also currently exploring suitable accompanying text/poetry that can compliment the images. As a result a lot of my research of late has been focused on 'camera-less’ images. Some of which I’ve included below:
Time of late has been filled with lots of freelance commission activity, workshop delivery and some design work for regular clients. Still I’ve made time for personal work. In terms of the ‘Peninsula’ project the layout for my self published book is complete aside from adding the finishing touches to the layout of the text. I plan to sell these on a print to order basis online through a site such as Blurb.
Alongside this I’ve also been keeping one eye on future projects. I’ve been considering wider and more abstract aspects of landscapes and I’ve considered our surroundings more universally of late. I’ve started to express these thoughts visually and have begun to experiment with the Cyanotype process to try and capture these musings without the use of a camera.
I’m enjoying experimenting with the medium, mixing traditional and digital techniques whilst allowing objects and materials to react with each other.
Whilst researching as I formulate new ideas for project work I’ve come across a few articles and projects I’ve found interesting:
Niagra was a huge influence on me both during and after my degree study. I looked at this work many times whilst creating my series 'Ways to Begin’and I still return to Soth’s work often.
What next for photography in the age of Instagram? via the Guardian
A hugely interesting article discussing the role Instagram has to play in the landscape of contemporary photography. As someone who makes a lot of use of the platform this was well worth time and attention.
Finally a stunning series, 'Love Bites’ by Tim Richmond via the Guardian
I made a promise to myself that this year I would put my work out into the world more, and whilst I think I did this with my commercial work it’s time my self directed projects took centre stage. After some help and guidance from someone I now consider a mentor I am close to officially releasing my latest series.
I have however been entering images from my upcoming series ‘Peninsula’ into relevant competitions. I’m grateful for opportunities to submit my work. I’m incredibly grateful that currently I am in a position to be able to afford the cost of entry and I’m proud to be alongside some amazing photographers in the Peoples Choice Category of Feature Shoots Emerging Photographer competition. This stage of the competition is based around an online vote, the images gathering the most 'likes’ winning a prize, before the official competition judges start the task of selecting grand prize winners. You can vote for me if you wish to at this link
I’m pleased at my current progress with the 'Peninsula’ project, especially that the end is in sight and the work will soon be seen and out in the open. Currently I’m fine tuning a book layout which will no doubt be self published and also making plans for exhibitions.
So as one project draws to a near plans begin for new work. I’ve been busy enquiring about spaces and generating budgets and promotional material for a small portraiture project which will take place in the village in which I live. As a result a lot of the work I’ve been reading about or seeking has been portraiture based. Two of my favourites are featured below.
Another busy two weeks has been and gone, soaked up largely by delivering workshops and documenting workshop activity taking place. As a result documentary photography has been on my mind of late. I’m busy planning approaches to take during my new project whilst documenting the communities/groups I’m interested in. Speaking of which I’ve made contact with a local football club and made test shots. I’m just in the throws of organising days to go and shoot…thankfully gaps in my diary are starting to appear.
Also I’ve made contact with a local artist (after working on a contract together) who will hopefully act as a mentor as I move forward. This is hugely exciting as I had told myself to network more this year as I begin to build up to a masters application for the 2019/2020 academic year. I’m interested to see how we may benefit each other’s practice going forward and I’m also looking forward to being pushed a little more!
So to projects, as I mentioned earlier documentary styles have dominated my interest over the last two weeks and the following articles have provided some good visual research material. I’m building a catalogue of approaches and hoping to incorporate these types of styles in my own work until the series begins to find its own voice.
‘Documentary photography stars in the Distinctly show’ found at BJP Online.
'One Season at the Emirates’ found on the Guardian website.
'Bill Stephenson’s photographs of Hyde Park, Sheffield’ featured on Huck.
I’ve had a long break from newsletters/blogging/journal writing (call it what you will), largely due to a family holiday away in France, a holiday that turned out to feel long overdue. I’m creaking the researching part of my brain back into life in between freelance work. My interest has been pulled in the direction of articles detailing more project work by other photographers. Mainly this is an attempt to gather a catalogue of approaches and styles to experiment with during my new body of work.
The first project was featured on the Huck Magazinewebsite and is concerned with people and their personal passions.
The passion in the case of Robin Mellor’s project is Cliff Richard, and the series of portraits details the clothing and fans found awaiting a concert in the UK. I’m drawn here mainly to the repeated way of capturing the subjects, a cataloguing of both the person and their garments (hand made in some cases).
I saw another portrait project on the Guardian website which whilst photographed beautifully struck a chord with me in that it also details testimony from its sitters.
“What is Love?” is a simple (or not) question posed by photojournalist Stefania Rousselle and the resulting images and responses are a fascinating insight into the lives and thoughts of strangers on the subject of love and the part it has played in their lives. I’m very interested in the ways I can supplement images with text or sound in order to deepen the connection that a viewer has to an image. This is something I intend to experiment with during the creation of my new series.
I’d rather not say too much about the work, I really feel though that through the interview and looking at the images the approach, style and standard of Nicholas’ work is where I am aiming to get to. I love this work, I can not praise it enough.
The final word goes to Lenscratch who for the month of August have begun a series 'Photographers on Photographers’. It features biographies, images and interviews by photographers with “photographers–image makers who have inspired them, who they are curious about, whose work has impacted them in some way.” It’s definitely worth a glance as I’m sure there is and will be something for everybody’s tastes.
That’s all for this week, in a fortnight I’ll hopefully be using this as a space to share some work in progress from the new project and invite some feedback. For now if you want to connect please feel free to get in touch.
Thanks to a combination of friends living in France, good timing and the fortunate position of being able to afford the trip I was lucky enough to take in the sights of two stages of this years Tour de France. As the race comes to it’s conclusion this weekend I thought it might be a good time to reflect on the experience.
I’ve photographed at cycling events/tours in Britain before but the sheer size and scale of le Tour is amazing! It was such a buzz to photograph the top riders in the world and the intensity of such a short period of time to capture images as the groups pass is like no other type of photography I’ve experienced. I’d love to get out and photograph at another grand tour in the future if the opportunity arose.
I also managed to shave off around three seconds of my fifteen minutes of fame by popping up on Eurosport’s coverage (Well famous in my household at least!).
This is a small selection of some of my favourites from the days shooting, I’ll be uploading more over the next few days.
A very short post this week as I wind down for a family holiday and busy myself with finishing some freelance contracts so I can lay off the emails for a few weeks! I’ve begun shooting new project work and made some progress in terms of getting in touch with new groups and people to photograph. I’ll no doubt include some of this work in progress in future posts. For now a couple of projects for you to browse that caught my eye on Huck magazine’s website.
The first, ‘Remains of a Soviet Utopia’, a project by Piepke and Nolting documents a housing estate that was once a Soviet utopia. The series features a range of portraits of inhabitants of the settlement and also images of the environment that they find themselves in. Interestingly for me at least is the inclusion of the stories of the inhabitants that caption some of the portraits. Is photographing a group of people’s situation and surrounding locations simply enough? This is something I am starting to investigate in my own practice.
The second project, ‘The First Time’ sees photographer Matteo de Maydacapture Icelandic footballers and fans as they prepare for one of the biggest sporting events in their country’s history.
As I begin to make plans to photograph my own series around local football in my local area it’s strange to see a project that quite literally depicts the sort of imagery that I had in my mind when considering my photographic approach. I think that if I can incorporate personal story telling or interviews from the subjects of my images I can ensure my work is slightly different in its outcome.
So as I mentioned, a short post this week but I’m sure that there is enough in these two fabulous series for you to mull over during your Sunday morning. I’ll be taking a little time off from posting during my aforementioned family holiday but I’ll be back with more projects and articles soon, hopefully with some work in progress material of my own too!
The last two weeks have flown by, not a lot of time to devote to my own personal work but here are a few articles that caught my eye that will go some way to contribute to my research.
My Twitter app buzzed me this week saying that ’Mull it Over’ had uploaded new content.
This blog run by Jonathan Cherry delivers insightful articles with contemporary photographers and is an absolute treasure trove of wonderful projects and responses that give a real insight into the practices of fine art photographers from many backgrounds. It’s well worth looking through the posts, although I’d advise making sure you have time set aside as it’s easy to lose a lot of time reading.
Next a couple of posts over at Lens Culture, the first looks at the importance of portfolio reviews and why they should be a part of a photographers practice. I’m still a little undecided on the whole discussion of portfolio reviews. On the one hand I see the obvious benefit of having someone unconnected to you give opinions on your work. I am however slightly dubious as to how much can be gleamed in such a short space of time and some of the prices for the service are also a lot higher than I would expect for emerging/student photographers to have to pay. I certainly feel that I benefit more from mentor style guidance. The chance to ‘check in’ over a period of time as a project develops, that way I think both parties are more invested in the practice and will have more of an opportunity to reap the rewards of the mentor/mentee relationship.
The second article presents 'Wilted’ a series by photographer Dylan Hausthor. Inspired by the subject of storytelling the images “question and bring to light the frenetic nature of visual memory.”
The images are still and at times feel quite empty allowing for the viewer to piece together the narrative elements of the series. The accompanying essay does give some context to the story being told and the images reflect the events whilst not too explicitly so.
Storytelling or narrative in photography is the subject of an article on the UN of Photography website.
Often a difficult approach to work with Grant Scott discusses the pitfalls of making work with a narrative approach and the ways they can be avoided. The overriding message being not to overcomplicate things as this can contribute to a loss of structure and direction. Advice for life too you could say!