This week we focused more strongly on Landscape photography and its characteristic appearance and elements. We briefly discussed the history of landscape photography and its relations to artwork, painting and scientific documentation. Landscape photography represents an exploration and illustration of compositional tonality often through dynamic colours or black and white variations whereas artwork predominantly focused on the flatness and verticality/horizontal nature of its composition. Landscape photography often embodies simplistic forms that focus on the aesthetics and picturesque nature of landscapes through tonality. Traditional landscapes were often shot with large format cameras that produced high quality, wide compositions that typically appear ‘topographic’ (focusing on geographical forms and shapes of and within the landscape). They must also appear ‘Pictorial’ (imposing and embodying a recognised set of ideals or archetypes whilst exhibiting metaphorical qualities, e.g. fertility). In class, we also discussed a wide array of landscape photographers ranging from J.M.W. Turner (1835) to Ansel Adams (1941). Landscape photography is often bound my metaphors of the sublime, ownership, access, class and wealth illustrating the pictorial and culturally fueled nature of landscape photography as an art form. Topographic landscape photography often features on the capturing mundane, banal experience of the every day, minimising aesthetics and conveying authentic actuality within the scene that is often demonstrated through ‘lines of desire’, urban architecture and industrial landscapes.

Using our practical workshop on Tuesday to go out and conduct some shooting within the local area of Stoke Park. This provided me with an initial/preliminary shoot in which I can explore composition, technique and method. I have now discovered that shooting with a high aperture allows me to minimise depth of field that achieves constant sharpness throughout my composition. Here is a selection of images taken from that shoot, these images have been slightly tweaked and adjusted in Camera Raw allowing me to achieve a more vibrant and lustrous appearance within my images.

1st Landscape Shoot

Following previous discussions along with this week’s classes, I decided to conduct a further shoot around industrial spaces around Bristol on Friday the 27th January 2017. I began my shoot by photographing various areas of the docks that demonstrate and embody Bristol’s cultural Heritage with images including cranes, boats and railway tracks focusing on an exercise set this week. I feel that my selection of images taken from the industrial shoot begins to unpick and explore historical discourses whilst examining…

  • Non-places, liminal and transitional areas
  • Public/Private Spaces
  • Geographic redevelopment/Convergence
  • Ownership, Barriers, Access and Psycho-geography

The Dock area in Bristol was once a hub of trade and commerce. Although, now it resides peacefully as a cultural exhibition of heritage that echoes and converges both its past history and present existence. It is interesting to mention that this area is, in my opinion, a liminal, non-place due to its transitional and fast paced nature. Large amounts of traffic pass through this area as it bustles with its through-fare. Runners, Tourists, Commuters and pedestrians all pass through this area at varying speeds. This area especially is transitional as it features multiple attractions that are both independent and state-controlled such as the M-Shed, SS Great Britain, Bars, Nightclubs and Boats and Cafes.

 

Photographic Task/Excercise –

  1. Find and photograph topographic features of the designed environment that surround this building (S Block).
  2. Using your knowledge and understanding of compositon and framing, explore what these features can be 'made to say'.
  3. Hedges, deviding spaces; something hiding? Paths to knowhere? Lines of 'desire' made across grassed areas? Permitted or prohibited spaces? How are they demonstrated? Or has a more 'subtle' alternative to demarcated? or has a more subtle alternative to demarcate been used? Planting, Passive Aggression?

Images relating to this…

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Industrial Spaces Shoot – Friday 27th January 2017

Whilst on the topic of access and ownership around the Dock area, it is interesting to mention that whilst shooting, I managed to gain access to a historical artefact (boat) named the Balmoral due to my father (rather impulsively!) asking a fellow onboard. Although this was an incredibly awkward, to begin with, this experience was also incredibly enlightening experience also, that enabled me to primarily achieve some great shots from on the top deck, whilst also pushing me out of my comfort zone. This was also a very special experience for my personally, as it allowed me to immerse myself fully within Bristol’s historical development.

Being present on board the Balmoral transported me in time due to its rustic and aged appearance and damp, musky smells which were an experience I enjoyed massively as it enlightened me! Whilst onboard, I also had a charming discussion within the men on board who informed me of the Balmoral’s history, and their roles in maintaining its Cultural artefact. To thank these people for allowing me to shoot on the Balmoral, I donated them a small amount of money that was added to their kitty. This experience as a whole was very inspiring, it was incredibly satisfying to immerse myself in my own heritage and become an active participant within the urban/industrial landscape rather than a transitory spectator.

This experience alongside class discussion has inspired an interest that surrounds discourses of control and geographical hierarchy in relation to urban psychogeography. Providing me with a possible project idea that could explore how we interact with our surroundings as passively guided spectators that represent the urban landscape, controlling/regulates our movement, behaviour and intentions through psychogeography and signage (E.g. ‘No Access’, ‘Private Property’ etc.).

 

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