352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Location Research

 As discussed in my one-to-one session with Anthony (on 14th January 2015 and 11th February 2015), I will be splitting my research into five suggested research groups (and three groups I feel may be appropriate): Academic, Location, Photographic, Technical, Representation of the Land, Personal, Equipment and Editing Software, and Presentation Options. (Please note: some of the resources included within these research sections can link to more than one of the research categories stated above. In this case, I have simply included them in the research section that suits the aspect of the work that I am looking at for my FMP).

This blog post is therefore dedicated to the research that I have conducted surrounding different photographers that use the Lake District as photographic inspiration. Within this research section you will find the name of the photographers that I have researched, examples of their work, a link to their website, and brief reflections on their work followed by how I may use them as inspiration for my FMP.

 


 

Joe Cornish:

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  • http://www.joecornishgallery.co.uk
  • I have always been a fan of Joe Cornish’s work, and I think it’s safe to say that he has been one of my main inspirations for Landscape photography
  • Having gained an interest in his work towards the beginning of my photographic career, and remaining up-to-date with his new images, books and exhibitions, I have been able to identify his preferred, recurring photographic aesthetic techniques
  • One of his main photographic signatures is his use of perspective to create dominant foreground features (including aspects such as boulders and shrubbery) that leads the viewers gaze towards the dramatic landscape in the background (this has lead to the idea of including a ‘JCB’ or ‘Joe Cornish Boulder’ within landscape images which has become a buzzword in the photographic community)
  • Cornish also likes to incorporate dramatic lighting within his images, often photographing during the ‘Golden Hour’ at dawn and dusk and at times of impressive cloud coverage resulting in the unique diffusion and spotlighting of natural light
  • Cornish also focuses on capturing a wide range of colour palettes within his photography, including dramatic contrasts and subtle tones, which is usually distinguished by both the time of day, and time of year, in which his photographs are created (more dramatic colours are usually found within the months of autumn, whereas softer tones can be captured, all year round, in the earlier hours of the morning – depending on weather conditions)
  • He also takes time to search for varying natural conditions (including mist, haze and cloud coverage) that allows him to diversify the atmospheric feel of his images – through looking at his more atmospheric works (that include weather conditions such as mist and haze) I noticed that the use and manipulation of these beautiful conditions creates images that elicit a more dreamlike state
  • Although Cornish mainly focuses on landscapes, he is sometimes known to create abstract nature images by photographing aspects of nature that elicit an illusion of movement and flow through its interesting texture (for example, layered rock formations)
  • As for his equipment, Cornish used to work with film (shooting on 35mm and 6×6 film before switching to the Horseman SW612 wide-angle camera and 5×4 format), but, as times have changed, he has moved to using digital medium format field cameras such as the Phase One 645AFD, or the Linhof Techno (which helps him to preserve his link with large format) for his landscape photography – he also uses a tripod within the landscape allowing him to capture deliberately long exposures whilst also photographing in low light conditions (taken from http://www.joecornishgallery.co.uk/about/equipment)
  • In regards to Cornish’s Lake District work, although he offers aesthetically pleasing and often dramatic landscape photographs, I feel that his pieces can be considered the stereotypical photographic work that individuals associate with landscapes (and the Lake District) – he spends time documenting the landscape in a beautiful manner but doesn’t experiment with the creative representation of the location in question

 

FMP Inspiration

  • By looking at the work of Joe Cornish, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP by gaining an understanding of how to create aesthetically pleasing landscape images in terms of compositional and lighting techniques
  • Through looking at his more atmospheric (and painterly) works, I have also gained knowledge as to how to manipulate varying natural conditions to create more dreamlike images
    • However, although the aesthetics of these more atmospheric and dreamlike photographs could be used to symbolize the overarching theme of (fading) memories within my FMP, I also feel that there are more creative techniques (including deliberate blurring and double-exposures) that could be used to create a stronger symbolic representation of the same theme, which I would much prefer to experiment with (I would also be incredibly impressed, and therefore know that it is highly unlikely, if I could successfully create such beautiful documents of the Lake District landscape)
  • Nevertheless, with all of this being said, although I will attempt to create images with Cornish’s aesthetic quality I know that I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography) in order to reflect the personal aspect of the project: it is not a conventional project, but a personal one

 

Whilst researching into Joe Cornish, I soon came across Cornish’s gallery tenants that included both Ted Leeming and Morag Paterson (who work together as collaborative landscape photographers). Whilst viewing their work, I soon noticed that they created representations of landscapes by focusing on pictorial and painterly techniques. I have therefore decided to revisit their work within my Technical Research section (please see the blog post entitled “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research”).

 


 

Adam Burton:

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  • http://www.adamburtonphotography.com
  • When looking through Adam Burton’s Lake District work, I soon realized that his photos held very similar aesthetic qualities to that of Joe Cornish’s work
  • By favouring the manipulation of natural light in times of dawn and dusk, Burton also tends to incorporate the use of dramatic lighting (including unique diffusions of light) and rich colours within his photographs
  • Burton also tends to enjoy capturing beautiful natural conditions (including mist, haze and cloud coverage – like Cornish) that allows him to create soft yet dramatic imagery
  • In terms of equipment, Burton shoots primarily on digital but used film in the beginning of his photographic career which resulted in his strong desire to record the landscape at its natural best
  • Burton also believes the same principles as myself, in terms of computer manipulation as “He uses equipment to enable him to capture magical moments authentically at the picture taking stage, rather than relying on computer enhancements afterwards.” (Taken from http://www.adamburtonphotography.com/profile)
  • Again, very similar to that of Cornish’s work, although Burton offers aesthetically pleasing and often dramatic landscape photographs, I feel that his pieces can, too, be considered the stereotypical photographic work that individuals associate with landscapes

 

FMP Inspiration

  • Similar to that of Joe Cornish, by looking at the Adam Burton’s work, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP by gaining an understanding of how to create aesthetically pleasing landscape images in terms of compositional and lighting techniques
  • Through looking at his more atmospheric works, I have also gained knowledge as to how to manipulate varying natural conditions to create more dreamlike images
    • However, although I would be incredibly impressed if I could create such beautiful documents of the Lake District landscape, I feel that I want to experiment with more creative photographic techniques (including deliberate blurring and double-exposures) to allow me to create unique representations of this familiar location, whilst also symbolizing the themes I am looking at within my FMP (including primarily memory, but also reconnection, reminiscence and association)
  •  Nevertheless, although I will attempt to create images with a similar aesthetic quality, I know that I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape (either through the experimentation of different creative techniques or more documentarian style photography) in order to reflect the personal aspect of the project: it is not a conventional project, but a personal one

 


 

Charlie Waite:

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  • http://www.charliewaite.com/gallery
  • When looking through Charlie Waite’s landscape images, I soon realized that his photographic aesthetics seemed to vary slightly from both Joe Cornish and Adam Burton
  • Focusing on the Lake District examples of Waite’s work that I have included above (highlighted through the inclusion of “Lake District” name), Waite tends to focus his photographs aesthetic on the use of dramatic lighting through the visual interpretation of dense cloud coverage – often creating a more ominous atmosphere in comparison to Cornish and Burton
  • Waite also tends to experiment with interesting compositions (that veer away from the tradition rule of thirds) and often incorporates the use of panoramic and square formatting within his photographic outputs
  • In regards to his landscape that were taken in other locations (i.e. not in the Lake District), I soon noticed that his photography seemed to focus on the capturing of contrasting form and shapes (including the use of trees, shadows and reflections) that often elicited an illusionary, dreamlike atmosphere through it’s seemingly unnatural precision and abstract sense
  • In terms of equipment, from what I have found, Waite tends to shoot using film but later uploads his images digitally – although I am unsure as to which camera he uses (although he does use a Hasselblad – taken from http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Interviews/CharlieW/cw6.htm), I managed to find an informal interview with him where he discusses the types of film he uses: Velvia and Kodak VS (taken from http://www.uklandscape.net/interviews/waiteint/New%20Waite.htm)
  • In regards to Waite’s Lake District Work, although he offers slightly more ominous representations of this beautiful location, in comparison to Cornish and Burton, I, once again, feel that these particular pieces of his can be considered stereotypical landscape photographs – he still documents the landscape (rather than experimenting with a creative representation) but chooses to document it more dramatically

 

FMP Inspiration

  • Similar to that of Joe Cornish and Adam Burton, by looking at Charlie Waite’s work, I have been able to gain inspiration for my FMP by gaining an understanding of how to create aesthetically pleasing landscape images in terms of compositional and lighting techniques
    • However, the greatest inspiration that I will be taking away from Charlie Waite is his use of contrasting form and shapes to create illusionary, dreamlike and abstract images of the landscape that vary from the stereotypical representation usually associated with landscape photography
  •  Now, although I may attempt to create images with a similar aesthetic quality, it is this idea of differing from the stereotypical that I will take forward in order to create a collection of images that reflect the personal aspect of the project: it is not a conventional project, but a personal one
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