Falmouth Masters

Sustainable Prospects // Next Chapter

As we start Sustainable Prospects, I am excited to take a new approach to my work. In both method and presentation.

At the end of Surfaces and Strategies, I felt that my work was not really where I wanted it and was not feeling very inspired by it. I think that the work I produced was fine, but laked in depth and style, partly because I was not shooting or approaching the project truly how I wanted to and that led me to overlook a look a lot of details.

Over our time off I took time to rethink my approach and asked myself what I really want from this project.

  • Do I want to be looking beyond digital photography and what are the pros and cons of doing that?

Yes. I think working with film, both 35mm and 120 will not only allow me to obtain the image style and quality I want, but It will make me slow down and truly think about my shortlist, my approach to my subjects and allow me to have more ways outside of the camera and computer to experiment and create - which I very much need.

  • How do incorporate more of a physical aspect into my work?

    I think by using film, producing prints and finding different ways of printing and utilizing a sketchbook will help me produce a clear sense of narrative, help with my photo selections, give me a better sense of what I should be shooting, which will then allow me to have a clear idea of how this project will best be presented and consumed my an audience.

  • How many locations do I want to shoot at? Will focusing on just one or two allow me to build better relationships in these chosen communities?

Now we are coming into winter months and travel is not as easy cost-effective, I have decided to focus on two locations in Colorado, One being, my current hometown of Jamestown, an old mining town up in the mountains and Alpen Glow Cohousing in Ridgway CO. I also plan to head back Arcosanti in the spring with a refined approach and direction.

I also feel like I need to include more visuals of the land of these locations, to help tell the full story of the connection of land and people in these places.

I did shoot a roll of film while I was at Arcosanti focusing on just that, without really meaning to and liked the outcome of the photos, but did not include them in my WIP, as they did not align with the aesthetic.

Seeing these made me realize, that if I had put more thought and direction into shooting this way I would, but have been satisfied with the overall outcome of my where my project was at the end of Surfaces and Strategies.

I did get out a few times with this new approach in mind and I am really pleased with the results. I focused on shooting landscape that has been added to or changed by people in some way.

I then developed (and scanned) my film at home, by hand which gave some interesting results as my tanks were not completely clean I got some bubble marks on the negatives, not something I would want moving forward, but I am not disappointed it happened.

Overall I’m happy with how these turned out and excited to move forward with this approach. It has definitely given me fresh inspiration and confidence in moving forward with my project.



Surfaces & Strategies // W. Seven // Thinking about pages //

Louis Reith

I originally saw this work as a serious of photos published in a beautifully simple bound book. However the more I think of my work displayed beyond a single or series of framed images, the more I want to book to relate to how my work is presented. Louis Reith was the first to grab my attention. His monochrome Décor - made from old book pages and assembled to function as a new visual story that he wants to represent. I don't feel the need to do that, I am more drawn to the collage style and printing methods he uses. I like the very basic approach of the printing, that allows there to be more freedom when creating the layout and images, without it being too overwhelming and messy.

Though I have not had much of a chance to start putting a book, I intend to experiment in the next few modules.

reference : http://shelter-press.org/louis-reith-decor-sp071/

I have also started to think about layering and using different page sizes and papers for my publication. I think by combining different, sizes and paper, it will give the book a unique feel to it, and possibly a very direct extension of certain buildings and Land I visit.

Reference: Grant-Harder


Surfaces and Strategies // Project Development

Arcosanti:

My last two trips I have been keeping a visual travel journal, (That I post to my instagram highlights) with photos mostly taken with my phone. I find that it helps me think about how I want to approach the space and the people within it and when using a phone, especially when I first get to a new location I find that it is less intrusive and a little more discrete.

Full WIP gallery can be found here.

High Desert // Project Proposal // First Thoughts

I was originally going to submit my project idea called Gray. It's one I have been coming back to on and off for quite some time, but have not really found the right way to approach it.

The Gray project dives into my family history and is centred around the disappearance of my great grandfather Ben Gray. He went missing in the late '70s and the project explores the impacted it had my family. There is a lot of family folklore around this story, which I find interesting and think it would make an intriguing photo essay.

My family were (and some still are) ranchers in Gunnison and the Uncompahgre Valley in Colorado. Ben Gray was quite the cowboy. Along with being known for his rodeos, he was suspected of rustling cattle and horses, which as you can imagine made him not so popular with some people in that community. There are two main stories that I have heard over the years. One is that he was murdered by a hit man hired by his brother, and two that he had a dispute about land, and horses with neighbouring Ute tribe members at the time that lead to him disappearing, and again possibly murdered.

I have found it hard to dive into because there is a lot of hypothetical situations and a lot of family, and somewhat social politics involved that I am not sure I want to approach yet.

How does this relate to my current project proposal?

Two of the biggest themes I find myself drawn to consistently are spaces and landscapes... and the people that inhabit them.

Documenting my surroundings and the people in them became a very natural way for me to communicate and connect my UK and US friends and family. Over the years I have noticed that I have always been drawn to the run down, the abandoned, the somewhat lonely looking structures, wild landscapes that paint the picture of the American West and the people that live there or once did.

Above is early GCSE and A level work. This is when I started exploring the idea, but at the time it was more reflective of me searching for identity and being an angsty teenager. Naturally.

(Photos 1 & 2 of an abandoned motel and cars Blue Mesa, CO. Photos 3 & 4 an abandoned house in Langdon North Dakota)

Jumping to current time, this theme is still prevalent and is a strong foundation in all my work. However, now what I am drawn to when I see these places and people, is the impact we have had on the environment and how it has affected past and present generations.

High Desert is a project about life in western America, starting in Colorado and exploring other high desert areas, such as New Mexico, Utah and possibly parts of California.

What I want to delve into with this project is:

*The Utopian / Dystopian balance in this environment

*The history of our relationship with the land and how is it now. Is it evolving?

*The extremes that come from the high desert environment and how we react to it.

-such as the structures we create, and what materials we use

-the emotional response we have to it

*How can we improve the way we use the land, and can we make amends for what we have already done?

My initial research and inspirations:

Jason Lee - A plain view

Source // Instagram //    @jasonlee

Source // Instagram // @jasonlee

''My aim isn’t to make it depressing, but there is a little bit of a loneliness to it,” Lee says. “In a way, that’s kind of interesting, because it makes you want to stop and maybe pay a little more attention. It’s isolated, in a way. There’s something isolated about it, so you’re focused on what the thing is as its own piece, but then hopefully there’s a cohesive overall piece.” - form a format article

I love the gentle stillness in his work, and the very classic representation of the abandoned American dream, which I think is hard to avoid when approaching this topic.

Morgane ErpicumVolatile Permanence

Her focus on the environment itself is what really draws me in. Also very attracted to the stillness and the sometimes abstract point of view she has of the landscape.

Source // Instagram //    @ morganeerpicum

Source // Instagram // @morganeerpicum

Eduardo Cerruti / Stephanie Draime - www.cerrutidraime.com

Source // Instagram //    Stephanie Draime

Source // Instagram // Stephanie Draime

They use the abandoned, dystopian backdrop to emphasize a product or lifestyle. The duality of that intrigues me. 


Blue Sky Center - About

An organisation building resilient, thriving and inclusive rural economies.

Source // Instagram //    @ blueskycenter

Source // Instagram // @blueskycenter


Andrea Zittel - About 

Artist Andrea Zittel created a number of pods inspired by NASA mars space tents on her property in the desert near Joshua Tree CA.

Source // Instagram //    @ andreazittel

Source // Instagram // @andreazittel


Other research /inspirations: Ghost Ranch NM, and Mesa Verde national park, CO


W.Three // Rethinking Photographers //

 Manufacturers and Developers

In relation to your own practice and professional activity:

What is the impact of ever changing technology

I think we live in a world where the novelty of photography is still very much present as it was back when it was becoming more accessible in our daily lives. We just happen to live in a time that gives us the ability to build cameras that we can carry around with us, cameras that can produce still and motion all in one - which leads us to produce more images and spend more money on the ever changing gadget, which seems to lead the consumer to believe that there is a need to constantly update, because I feel some believe its the technology that makes the photographer.

What challenges has this presented you with?

When I first made the leap into the digital photography from the analogue world I did get overwhelmed with the amount of other photographers out there. It was daunting and a big investment, to begin with, but after committing to it and realizing I still had something to offer as a photographer and did not have to give up shooting analouge it was less overwhelming.

How have you embraced (or rejected) changing technology?

Though I have not given up shooting analouge, I have embraced digital and what comes with it.

How do you think the way cameras are marketed affects people’s perception of the value of professional photography?

I feel that some people will buy a camera (or use one they have) because they see that as a better way to spend their money and take their our photos, thinking, again it’s the camera that makes the photographer, and sometimes it works out, but by doing that they dismissing the value of your time and skills as a photographer.

I think that point of view will always be around, and I feel that it spreads beyond photography. There are a lot of people do understand the value of the professional photographer and are willing to invest.


W.ONE // POSITIONS & PRACTICE // GLOBAL IMAGE

A World Wide Medium 

Do you see any parallels between the historic spread of photography and the transmission of digital imagery today? 

Can you think of any problems associated with the speed at which the photograph moves?

I often think about how photography has been used in the daily lives of people since it became an accessible medium that most anyone can use as a form of expression and documentation. 

In my opinion, photography, to this day still has a grasp on us the way it did when in the 1800s and I feel that, it is very much human nature to want to share our lives be it curated, an honest documentation or a projection of a lifestyle that we want to be associated with, with people within and outside of our social groups.

The difference today is that we have the technology that allows us to produce and consume images faster than before that the value and impact of the image, I feel can sometimes be missed. Which makes the subject of the photo easy to be overlooked or misunderstood.  


Windows on the world

What do you make of the mirror and window analogy?

As a practitioner do you identify more closely with one or the other?

As a photographer I use my work mostly as a window.  I have always been interested in using my camera as a way of communicating from day one. My interest came mostly out of a desire to connect with my family, friends, and myself. I was born in the US and raised in the south of England, two very different worlds that I wanted to understand each other, and photography was a very natural way for me to form that connection, by capturing small parts of that daily life from each side.

I still aim to do that with my work now, but I realize that the photo you want to create as a window, is very much a reflection of the situation you create as the photographer.

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A gathering to say goodbye to my father in law, who passed away a few months before. // June 2016 // Wyoming USA.