Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Easter Project

No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film. -Robert Adams

Since "finishing" the book project (everything short of sending it off for printing and finishing the sketchbook), I have been able to finally start thinking about the easter project. The title of the brief we have been given is "Defining & Re-Defining a Photographic Image", where we have to research a photographer and, as far as I can gather, attempt to work and produce work in a similar way to our chosen photographer. We are also asked to "Start thinking about what makes your approach different to other practitioners and why?"

The photographer I have chosen to look at is Robert Adams, in particular his series The New West.

The focus of this work is a sort of documentary series, following the introduction of new housing developments in the western states of America. I find something particularly interesting about the way in which Adams chooses his subjects to reflect the idea of expansion across a natural landscape, and the lives of the people who inhabit them. I recently read an essay (here) about Adams' work which raised some interesting ideas, primarily the idea that these developments were not a result of America becoming "full up" but rather that America had become rich.

Now, how to use this series of work as a reference in my own practice?

I have been wanting to do a project involving housing developments for some time now (sounds a bit crazy I know). However, there is a simple explanation for my interest. I have noticed in the past few years that there are a vast number of housing developments being built in the areas around where I live. Whenever I ask anyone about why people are getting rid of the countryside to build what seems like an unbelievable amount of houses for the space they have I seem to get the same response each time, "commuters", "affordable housing" etc. I guess this makes sense given the proximity of where I live to Basingstoke and Reading (and then on to London via the train), but honestly I still can't understand the need for so many of these places.

Sherfield Park is the closest of these developments to where I live. Barely a couple of miles down the road it has been inhabited for roughly 5 years now, yet whenever I venture down there I am constantly overcome with a sense of quiet and a lack of community. The houses themselves are very easy on the eye, the place doesn't look bad at all. There are expensive cars in the driveways, and everything seems to be very well kept, but it all feels quite fake. I suppose it is this that has drawn me to the place as a subject for some photographs and when I saw that brief I thought it would be the perfect opportunity.

I'll start posting up some images in the next few weeks.

Johan Willner

I came across the work of Johan Willner on We Love You So whilst i was browsing a couple of days ago. There is something i really like about his work, there seems to be a strange sense of the unknown in each of the pictures, particularly in his Boy Stories series. I strongly recommend checking his website out here.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Thin On The Ground

Came across this work by Gregory Halpern on Jörg Colberg's blog Conscientious. They are from his Thin On The Ground series but i recommend looking at the rest of his work too.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Book Project.

I've felt as if i've been making some good progress with my book project images over the last week or so. I have decided to take my focus away from the media and news and have decided instead to look at speeches from throughout history, which i hope is a bit less broad. I find the expressions on peoples faces most interesting when they are giving a speech, and this has dictated the area that i am photographing. I am still trying to distort the images somewhat. I feel that if i do not do so, then there isn't anything to be gained from the images, i like the idea of attempting to break up the flow of communication through distortion of the visual image.

I hope now i have a little bit more time i will be able to post more on here. I did have the idea of posting a new photograph each day, but i don't think i'm ready for such a commitment yet. Maybe one day i will...

Genuinly forgot how good this is:

Friday, 5 March 2010


Going to have to buy this book...