Site Specific Project- Photographic Experiments

After doing photographer research and looking at a more poetic side of rivers, I decided to experiment with a few different ideas to see which would and could be used in my final presentation of work.

After looking at the work of Philip J Brittan and his body of work, Autumn River, where he looks at rivers in a more abstract sense, photographing the movement and textures within the waters reflections, I have decided to take influence from some of his imagery and ideas in my own work. Also taking influence from the visual descriptions in the poems I looked at, I wanted to photograph the flow of the river and its journey, capturing more of the movement rather than just area shots. I thought that these images would give a greater context to the river as well as showing the flow of the river’s journey.

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In my images I tried to capture as much movement and flow of the river as possible, I wanted my photographs to echo the idea of the journey of the river. I would not want my whole body of work to be like these images, however I do feel that these combined with area shots and shots of the river will allow my viewers to create a sense of experience and will transport them to these locations, they can begin to picture and experience the flow of the river as it makes its journey through the landscape.

After Sian MacFarlane came in to talk about her work, I was influenced by her use of sound combined with imagery to give a greater sense of ‘being there’, transporting her viewer to her location not only visually but also by the use of sound. Even though mine and Sian’s work are looking at different subjects, we both aim to take our viewer on a journey of discovery, and so I felt that by experimenting with sound, I would create a greater sense of ‘being there’. I came up with two possible ideas, the first was to record the sounds of the surrounding area as I shot my photographs at each location, I would then be able to accompany my photographs with sound clips of the surrounding areas in hope that this would transport my viewers on my journey down the river to give them a true experience of my journey and the journey of the river through the landscape. My other idea was to record my thoughts as I travelled and explored the river, this would not so much transport my viewer to each location however they would get a greater sense of my journey and my experience as I travelled down the river.

Sound- my voice and surrounding area

I experimented with both ideas; I feel that the recording of my thoughts is not as strong and does not fit as well to my overall aim of this project. I wanted to show my viewers my journey of discovery down the river, however by doing so I also want to allow my viewers to create their own journeys of discovery; by having the recordings of my thoughts accompanying my photographs I feel that my viewers would not be able to ‘explore’ the environment as much themselves and that they would become too involved and distracted in my own journey.

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