352MC First Trip to the Lake District (Saturday18th – Sunday 19th October 2014)
On Saturday 18th October 2014, I travelled up to the Lake District with my Dad for our first weekend trip. Below you will be able to find information regarding the weather for the weekend (researched prior to departure), the original plan for the weekend (including a brief introduction to the plan, the equipment I took with me, the locations I wanted to visit, and a rough idea of the shots I wanted to take), whether the plan for the weekend changed (and the reasons why it changed), a contact sheet of the photographs that I took on the weekend, and, finally, a reflection on the images and the trip:
Plan for the Weekend:
As seen in the one-to-one with Matt Johnston (please see the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Getting the “Go Ahead” (One-to-One Tutorial with Matt Johnston)”), he suggested that my first trip should be dedicated simply to visiting some of the locations (without taking any photographs), in order to gain a “feel” for the place. However, although I am planning on using this weekend as a way of getting my bearings (to gain an understanding of the logistics of visiting each of the places on my list), as I was conscious that visiting these locations may be difficult to arrange in the future, I decided to make the most of my trip by creating possible images that I could “fall back on” in case future trips don’t go according to plan.
- Canon EOS 600D (with charger and 32GB Memory Card)
- Tamron SP10-24mm (wide angle) lens
- Canon EFS 18-55mm (standard) lens – to be used for possible still lives in different urban environments that I visit (as suggested in the one-to-one with Matt Johnston – please see the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Getting the “Go Ahead” (One-to-One Tutorial with Matt Johnston)”)
- 77mm Ultra-Violet Filter (for the Tamron SP10-24mm lens)
- 58mm Ultra-Violet Filter (for the Canon EFS 18-55mm lens)
- Kenneth Cole Reaction Instant 600 Polaroid Camera – to be used to capture the collaborative methodology behind the project (as suggested in my original proposal– please see the blog post entitled “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Original Proposal”)
- PX680 Impossible Project 600 Colour Polaroid Film
- Sekonic L-308S Flashmate (light meter) (with spare batteries)
- Low-Pro Waterproof Camera Bag
As this trip was mainly dedicated to getting my bearings (as a way of finding out the logistics of visiting each of the locations), prior to our departure, I therefore had a discussion with my Dad regarding possible options of the locations that I wanted to visit. This allowed him the opportunity to explain to me the positioning’s of the locations in comparison to each other (including an estimate of the times that it would take to travel from one place to the next), which allowed me to plan out the weekend so that we could make the most of the time that we had.
After this discussion, as I was planning the locational structure for the weekend, I then realized that I managed to plan in about half of the places that I wanted to visit. These can be found below, underneath the day that we visited them:
Please note, italics include places (from the list) that we managed to fit in, which weren’t originally on the weekends plan.
Day One (Saturday 18th October 2014):
- (Derwent Water – although this wasn’t originally on my finalized list of locations, as we had time, we thought it would be a good place to visit as it allowed me to take photographs of Catbells overlooking the water)
Day Two (Sunday 19th October 2014):
- (Ashness Bridge – this particular place was on my finalized list of locations and, as our B&B was located just up the road, it provided me with a good opportunity to take photographs of it without affecting the schedule of the day)
- Chesters by the River
As I feel relatively comfortable with landscape photography, and due to the fact that this weekend was dedicated only to creating images that I could possibly “fall back on” in the future, I therefore decided that I simply wanted to create landscape images that were aesthetically pleasing through their subject matter and composition (this includes the type of mountainous landscape I photograph, the inclusion of dramatic skylines and lighting, the possible use of the rule of thirds, etc.). I was also yet to undergo any form of research in regards to landscape photographers and techniques, so therefore relied solely on my previous landscape photography knowledge and experiences.
In regards to the possible urban landscapes and still-life images Matt suggested I experiment with (please see the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Getting the “Go Ahead” (One-to-One Tutorial with Matt Johnston)”), looking back at the plan for the weekend, I would only experiment with these types of photography on the second day at the Chesters by the River café and restaurant. For these photographs, I am simply planning on taking architectural images of the building (including the exterior and the interior), as well as documentary still-life photos of a number of aspects that I will encounter within the café (these will most likely include the food that I order, the ornaments on the table, etc.). As I have had to adapt my landscape photography to fit in with the urban environment of Coventry, I feel relatively comfortable with the idea of architectural and urban photography, and like I stated above about landscape photography, I will be relying solely on my previous knowledge and experiences. However, in regards to the still-life images, as I am yet to really use this type of photography, I will simply be experimenting with the creation of these images whilst drawing on my previous knowledge of photographers that use this type of photography (including Stephen Shore who was also mentioned in Matt Johnston’s one-to-one session – please see the blog post “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Getting the “Go Ahead” (One-to-One Tutorial with Matt Johnston)”).
Unfortunately, as you will be able to see from the contact sheet I have included below, the weather on the weekend was extremely poor (which actually resulted in some of my technical equipment, including my light-meter and my phone, attaining water-damage). Now, although I still decided to visit all of the places that I had planned for the weekend (meaning that this aspect of the plan remained the same), it unfortunately meant that I was unable to take as many images as I had hoped (due to the fact that I didn’t have the correct waterproof equipment), and those that I did take were lacking in aesthetic quality.
Photos – Contact Sheet:
As for the editing of the images, as they were all digital and shot in RAW format (as a way of capturing as much visual information as possible), I decided not to edit them (or remove any of the photographs) and simply created a contact sheet from the original files. However, if I decide to revisit them in the future, I will take time looking through them and selecting the stronger images before appropriately editing them to a high standard.
Reflection – The Photographs and The Trip:
Looking back over the photographs from the weekend, and as stated above under “Changed Plan”, unfortunately, the weather greatly affected the quality (and quantity) of the landscape (and exterior architectural) images I created. This was because the gloomy conditions not only decreased the aesthetic beauty of the landscapes, but the lighting it created was incredibly poor (and “undramatic” – also affecting the landscapes aesthetic quality) which often resulted in slightly underexposed and low contrasted images. However, the poor quality of the images may also be due to the fact that I am yet to undergo experimentations with different photographic techniques, and I am therefore planning on improving my techniques prior to my next trip up to the Lake District. Finally, although I created these images as “back-up” photographs for my final exhibition piece (in case following trips don’t go to plan), when reviewing these images, as they are of such a poor quality, I therefore don’t think that I will be considering them any further.
However, in regards to the interior architectural and still-life images I was also planning on taking over the weekend, unfortunately, (after leaving the Lake District) I actually realized that I had focused all of my attention on taking photographs of the places (including landscape and exterior architecture images), and that I therefore completely forgot to experiment with these particular photographic styles. However, depending on the development of my project and the plan for the following trip, I will most likely take the time to experiment with this type of photography during my next visit.
With all of this being said, although I feel that the creation of the images was relatively unsuccessful, looking back at the trip, I personally feel that it has been incredibly beneficial. This is because it allowed me to enhance my understanding of the geography of the Lake District, as well as the logistics of visiting each of the places, which in turn increased my knowledge of the importance of planning future weekend trips. Finally, due to the poor weather conditions we encountered over the weekend, it has therefore shown me the unpredictability of the weather, and how I will need to take this into consideration (as well as adapting to it if required) when planning future trips.