Human Presence- Own Photographs

After thinking through my ideas, I have decided to focus on the idea of empty spaces and how these buildings represent human presence on the land; I had the idea to show shop windows in the community, these windows give the viewer a slight insight into the lifestyle of the people who own it, and represent their hard work and human presence. I have taken influence from the photographers Verdi Yahooda, Lee Friedlander and Walker Evans, each of who shows the idea of human presence in shops in a different way.

I have gone out taking my own photographs of my idea; I have mainly taken the photographs at night time as this is when these shops are empty and so the main focus is on the shop and not the people who often occupy it with their presence. I also decided to do my photographs mainly at night as the light from the shops illuminate the space and highlight the human presence within each individual shop, showing the different lifestyles of each owner. I have taken most of my photographs straight on or centred, like Yahooda and Friedlander did, as I wanted the shops to be the main and not have the surrounding area distracting the viewer.

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I think each of these photographs show human presence of the people who own the shops and their lifestyles, the light highlights this human presence of each individual shop showing the wide variety of shops and lifestyles. I am unsure which photographs to do for my final set and so I plan to test my photographs using my selected alternative process and also looking at them on the computer thoroughly in good detail, before deciding on my final set. I have decided to use salt printing to create my final prints; I will print each image onto a sheet of acetate then use these sheets to print onto the salt solution coated paper. I will do a test of some photographs using this process to make sure the process gives the best results and shows the photographs in enough detail, before deciding on my final set of photographs. I have chosen this method as salt printing creates a warm brown tone to the photographs, making them look dated, this will show how shops have been around for years and even though these are modern ones, there has always been human presence in shops from the different people running them and the shops representing their lifestyle.

I plan to print my salt prints slightly smaller than A5; I have decided this as I want to allow enough detail to be seen of each shop and to show the personality, however I do not want to give too much away so the viewer is prying into the world and presence of someone else. I want my photographs to echo the feeling of going into the shops; you can look from afar and adventure into the shop, however you do not get to know each owner individually and part of their life is still kept private. Furthermore by having smaller prints it means that for display they will be easier to line alongside each other, I want this positioning as it would echo the idea of lines of shops seen throughout the world.

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