352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Representation of the Land 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 into different photographers/artists in relation to how they represent the land within their projects. Within this research section you will find the name of the photographers/artists and the projects that I have researched, examples of their work (if applicable), a link to their website, and brief reflections on their work followed by how I may use them as inspiration for my FMP.

 



 

Motherland” by Simon Roberts (suggested in Formative Feedback Session by Anthony Luvera on 4th March 2015)

In the Formative feedback Session that I had with Anthony Luvera (and the rest of the class) (on the 4th March 2015), he suggested that I look at Simon Roberts’ “Motherland” series

  • Within this session, Anthony suggested that I should focus my research of this particular project on the representation of land and how I could apply this to my FMP
  • Below you will therefore be able to find reflections of his representations of the land (including information that I gained from the projects accompanying text – link included below – as well as ideas of my own) followed by a brief look into the projects images, and how this research will be used for inspiration within my FMP:

 

http://simoncroberts.com/work/Motherland/

 

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Representation of the Land:

  • Whilst reading the introductory text that accompanies Roberts “Motherland” project, I noticed that there was a section that discussed his methodology in the representation of the Russian land that he was documenting:
    • His images are not clichéd representations of a Russia ground down by poverty and despair; rather, he presents a beautiful and awe-inspiring land, with a dignified people empowered by a growing optimism and a deep rooted sense of national esteem.”
  • After reading this piece of text and understanding Roberts representation of the land from the viewpoint of a professional within the photographic industry, I then decided to look through his images and see how I interpreted his chosen representation
    • Although he is an “outsider” to this particular piece of Eastern land, Roberts has taken time during the creation of his project to research into the history, culture and native viewpoint of the landscapes that he is documenting, which allows him to create a photographic project that represents the positive opinions that these individuals associate with their homeland
    • This allows Roberts to create and present a project with a refreshing outlook on the country of Russia that is not normally experienced in the Western world (due to the affect the Media has on our knowledge and opinions), which challenges our preconceived idea of this particular Eastern region

 

The Photographs (Brief Reflection):

  • Briefly reflecting on the photographs included in this particular project, Roberts’ images differ in photographic type from urbanscapes/landscapes and portraiture
    • This has enable Roberts to create a photographic project that is diverse in styles which can be used by the viewer to suggest that this positive view of Russia (that we as Westerners may not be used to), actually stems throughout the country and culture and has not simply been stumbled upon through the visiting of a particular Russian area
  • This project also includes Russian sayings and proverbs at varying intervals throughout the photographic aspects which also enhances the positive representation of the land that he is depicting
  • Finally, Roberts also uses a documentary style of photography which can be seen through the choice of subjects that he has chosen to capture
    • However, differing from other documentarian style images that I have looked at throughout my previous research (included in the works of Wilcox, Gossage, Gaffney, Seawright and Sternfeld), these documentary photographs that Roberts creates also include aesthetically pleasing characteristics (such as more creative compositions, the use of dramatic lighting, mystical conditions, and the contrasting and complimenting of the photographs colour palettes, etc.) which has allowed Roberts to create images that represent the “modest beauty” suggested in the accompanying introductory text

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • After looking through Simon Roberts’ “Motherland” project, although I was told to focus primarily on the representation of the land within this particular collection, I not only gained inspiration for my FMP surrounding this particular concept, but also through my brief analysis of the projects images
  • The main inspiration that I gained from this specific project was the idea that Roberts conducted research into a particular location that allowed him to change the way in which he represented the land (even as an “outsider”), which in turn has created the ability of the project to adjust the viewers preconceived ideas associated with the place – this concept of representing the land can be applied to my FMP as I can use my own experiences with the Lake District landscape to affect how I represent particular locations, which in turn will offer a varied opinion on the landscape that viewers may have experienced through more stereotypical representations
  • In relation to the photographs included in this particular project, as suggested above, Roberts used a documentary style of photography (that varied to previous examples I have researched into through the inclusion of slightly more creative and aesthetically pleasing aspects) which has provided me with another visual example that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images because, as stated before, 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
  • Finally, after looking at Simon Roberts’ “Motherland”, I will also be taking away inspiration regarding the way in which text has been used (as an aspect within the collective project) to provide the viewers with a greater contextual understanding and increased accessibility to the collection, whilst also being used as a tool to enhance the overarching concept of positivity that has been chosen to be portrayed throughout the narrative of the project (please note, I will be conducting further, more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post)

 


 

From Here To There: Alec Soth’s America” by Alec Soth (suggested in Formative Feedback Session by Anthony Luvera on 4th March 2015)

In the Formative Feedback Session that I had with Anthony Luvera (and the rest of the class) (on the 4th March 2015), he suggested that I look at Alec Soth’s “From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America ” exhibition (held at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) from 13th September 2014 – 4th January 2015)

  • Similar to Simon Roberts’ “Motherland”, within this session, Anthony suggested that I should focus my research of this particular project on the representation of land and how I could apply this to my FMP
  • However, as I was unable to attend the exhibition in person, I decided to conduct some brief online research into the exhibition and soon found an accompanying essay written by MMoCA that discussed the works included within the exhibition (the link to this can be found below)
  • I have therefore decided to use this particular resource as my main insight into the “representation of land” concept that Anthony wanted me to look at (as well as ideas of my own), and have decided to briefly reflect on the aesthetics of some of his works that I feel are slightly more relevant to my FMP (these can be found below followed by the inspiration it has given me for my FMP):

 

http://www.mmoca.org/exhibitions-collection/exhibits/here-there-alec-soths-america

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Representation of Land:

  • After reading the accompanying essay to the “From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America” exhibition by MMoCA, it provided me with information suggesting that all of Soth’s photographic projects have come together to create a travelling survey of the United States
  • Bearing this in mind, when continuing to read this essay, I soon noticed a section that discussed possible ideas surrounding Soth’s representation of the land where it suggested he spent time capturing “the American road and [his] images capture the individual I an everyday setting
  • When I read this particular section of the article, I then decided to take a look through his photographs in order to try and understand how I interpreted the way in which he represented the land
    • After doing this, what I took away from the accompanying essay and photographic projects is that, although I agree with the idea that Soth has created a travelling survey of the United States, he has been able to capture (and represent) the American land from a viewpoint of a doting citizen, even though he was not native to some of the lands that he photographed – this varies from the types of images that the viewer would expect to find from a travelling survey (they would expect them to be more documentary and less emotionally engaged), which means that Soth has been able to create a collection of images that challenges an individuals preconceived idea of the land by bringing to light the views and opinions of the native culture

 

The Photographs:

  • As you have seen from the images above, when looking through Soth’s photographic projects, I decided to focus my attention solely on the landscape images from the three collections “Broken Manual”, “The Last Days of W”, and “Sleeping in Mississippi”, as I thought that these particular types and aesthetics of photographs would provide me with more relevant research for my FMP
  • Although these images are all from different collections, Soth has a continuous photographic style that he embeds within all of his landscape images
  • Similar to Roberts, Soth uses a documentary style of landscape photography which can be seen through the choice of subjects that he has chosen to capture
    • However, differing from other documentarian style images that I have looked at throughout my previous research (included in the works of Wilcox, Gossage, Gaffney, Seawright and Sternfeld), these documentary photographs that Soth creates also include aesthetically pleasing characteristics (such as more creative compositions, the use of dramatic lighting, mystical conditions, and the contrasting and complimenting of the photographs colour palettes, etc.) which has allowed Soth to create images that represent the natural beauty experienced by the natives of the land
  • In relation to the subjects that he photographs (in regards to his landscape images), Soth focuses on aspects of the landscapes that appear unusual to a non-native or “outsider”, but through the documentary style that he employs, Soth’s images suggest to the viewer that these unique aspects are mundane and everyday in the eyes of the natives
  • Finally, Soth also experiments with the composition and perspective of his images in order to best focus the viewers attention on the “unusual” aspect of the landscape that he is documenting, but uses colour and mundane, natural conditions (that are natural to that specific environment, including lighting and weather conditions), to enhance the idea that the unique and the unusual are seen as mundane and everyday in this particular section of the world

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • After looking through Alec Soth’s “From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America”, similar to Simon Roberts’ “Motherland” project, although I was told to focus primarily on the representation of the land within this particular collection, I not only gained inspiration for my FMP surrounding this particular concept, but also through my brief analysis of some of his projects images
  • The main inspiration that I gained from this specific project was the idea that Soth was able to produce photographs of a landscape that he wasn’t necessarily native to, in such a way that allowed him to represent the land and portray the ideologies shared by an “insider”, which in turn has created the ability of the project to adjust the viewers preconceived ideas associated with the place – this concept of representing the land can be applied to my FMP as I can use my own experiences with the Lake District landscape to affect how I represent particular locations, which in turn will offer a varied opinion on the landscape that viewers may have experienced through more stereotypical representations
  • In relation to the photographs included in this particular project, as suggested above, Soth used a documentary style of photography (that varied to previous examples I have researched into through the inclusion of slightly more creative and aesthetically pleasing aspects) which has provided me with another visual example that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images because, as stated before, 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

 


 

William Eggleston (suggested in Formative Feedback Session by Anthony Luvera on 4th March 2015)

In the Formative Feedback Session that I had with Anthony Luvera (and the rest of the class) (on the 4th March 2015), he suggested that I look at the work of William Eggleston

  • Similar to Simon Roberts’ “Motherland” and Alec Soth’s “From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America”, within this session, Anthony suggested that I should focus my research of this particular practitioner on the representation of land and how I could apply this to my FMP
  • I therefore decided to conduct some brief online research into Eggleston and soon found an essay written by Thomas Weski that not only discussed Eggleston’s history as a photographer, but also brief ideas on the concept of representation of the land (the link to this can be found below)
  • I have therefore decided to use this particular resource as my main insight into the “representation of land” concept that Anthony wanted me to look at (as well as ideas of my own), and have decided to briefly reflect on the aesthetics of some of his works that I feel are slightly more relevant to my FMP (these can be found below followed by the inspiration it has given me for my FMP):

 

http://www.egglestontrust.com/hasselblad_weski.html

 

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Representation of Land:

  • After reading the essay by Thomas Weski, it provided me with information suggesting that, similar to Soth, the projects Eggleston had created can be seen as a travelogue or travelling survey
  • Following on from this, the essay then went on to discuss the fact that Eggleston’s work in “combining colour photography with ordinary, everyday impressions” was one of the defining aspects considered during the original approach to colour photography
  • Bearing this in mind, when continuing to read this essay, Weski suggested that Eggleston’s photographic approach differed from the classical sense of using photography as a documentary medium, and instead provided him with the opportunity to express his “own personal, unconventional view of the world
  • Taking all of this into account, I then decided to look through Eggleston’s photographs in order to try and understand how I interpreted the way in which he represented the land
    • After doing this I soon noticed that, although his work references that of a travelogue through the variety of places that he documents, as suggested above, he tends to place his own personal views on the locations that he visits and experiences – he doesn’t photograph the area in terms of an “insider” or a designated “outsider”, but simply creates pieces of photographic works from a neutral point of view through capturing aspects that he feels are photographically appealing and interesting (which was also suggested in the essay that I researched: “I don’t have anything to say in any picture…I photograph to find out what something will look like when photographed.”)
    • This therefore allows the viewer to experience and observe a unique and personal perspective associated with the documented land which can be used to challenge an individuals preconceived idea of the land

 

The Photographs:

  • As you have seen from the images above, when looking through Eggleston’s photographic projects, I decided to focus my attention solely on the landscape images taken from seven different collections (“14 Pictures”, “Cadillac”, “Eggleston”, “Los Almos”, “Severn”, “Southern Suite”, and “Troubled Waters”) as I thought that these particular types and aesthetics of photographs would provide me with more relevant research for my FMP
  • When looking through Eggleston’s (landscape) images, I noticed that the compositions and perspectives utilized within his photographs tended to differ from the stereotypical photographic techniques (including “rule of thirds” and the use of “leading lines”, etc.) which can be used by the viewer to highlight the fact that (as suggested in the essay that I read) these images have been created to represent Eggleston’s personal view of the land he is depicting
  • Another aspect that I noticed throughout his projects was the use of dramatic and vibrant colours that can often be seen to overshadow and overpower the subject matter through it’s seemingly enhanced importance within the images – this is because, as Eggleston was one of the first photographers to “successfully” use colour within his photography, I feel that it has deliberately been included to symbolize one of the most important aspects of his projects and career
  • Finally, in relation to the lighting and natural conditions that Eggleston’s images include, as you will see from the images above, although they are all aesthetically pleasing, they tend to vary depending on the subject that he is photographing – however, this is most likely because, as suggested in the essay by Weski, Eggleston liked to photograph interesting aspects to see how they would translate in a photograph, meaning that Eggleston would simply have chosen aesthetically pleasing lighting and conditions in relation to the subject that he was interested in

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • After looking through William Eggleston’s works, similar to Simon Roberts’ “Motherland” and Alec Soth’s “From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America”, although I was told to focus primarily on the representation of the land within this particular collection, I not only gained inspiration for my FMP surrounding this particular concept, but also through my brief analysis of some of his projects images
  • The main inspiration that I gained from this specific project was the idea that Eggleston was able to represent the land from a neutral perspective (rather than an “insider” or an “outsider” point of view) by placing his own personal views on the locations that he visited and experienced, which in turn has created the ability of the project to adjust the viewers preconceived ideas associated with the place – this concept of representing the land can be applied to my FMP as I can use my own experiences with the Lake District landscape to affect how I represent particular locations, which in turn will offer a varied opinion on the landscape that viewers may have experienced through more stereotypical representations
  • In relation to the landscape photographs that I analyzed for my research, as suggested above, Eggleston “stepped away” from stereotypical photographic techniques in order to create images that show his own personal interests surrounding the areas that he photographed – this can be applied to my FMP because, as I am exploring the documentation of a personal narrative, I could experiment with this technique (photographing aspects that I simply feel are interesting in relation to the land that I am documenting) because, as stated before, I want to create a piece of work that differs from the stereotypical representations of landscape in order to reflect the personal aspect of the project: it is not a conventional project, but a personal one

 


 

The Road Not Taken” by Bobby Mills (suggested in Formative Feedback Session by Anthony Luvera on 4th March 2015)

In the Formative Feedback Session that I had with Anthony Luvera (and the rest of the class) (on the 4th March 2015), he suggested that I look at the Bobby Mills’ “The Road Not Taken”

  • Similar to Simon Roberts’ “Motherland”, Alec Soth’s “From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America” and William Eggleston, within this session, Anthony suggested that I should focus my research of this particular practitioner on the representation of land and how I could apply this to my FMP
  • However, differing from the three previous practitioners that I researched, after conducting some brief online research into Bobby Mills’ “The Road Not Taken”, I couldn’t actually find any accompanying texts that could provide me with information regarding his representation of the land
  • I therefore decided to take time looking through this particular project in order to see how I personally interpreted this concept of the representation of land, before moving on to analyze and reflect upon his methodology and the aesthetics of his images (which I thought would be relevant to my FMP) – these can be found below followed by the inspiration it has given me for my FMP:

 

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Representation of Land:

  • Differing from the previous three examples where I have looked at the representation of the land, in “The Road Not taken”, Mills photographs a landscape that has not really been explored before, meaning that the viewers who observe this particular project do not have any preconceived ideas of this specific landscape that can be adjusted and challenged by his images
  • However, with this being said, the viewers can associate this newly explored place with it’s neighboring landscape (the concrete M25) which offers the viewers a refreshing insight into the specific landscape that they have experienced time and time again – these photographs allow the viewers to associate the mundane M25 to the beautiful landscape situated on its border
  • Also, the fact that Mills has decided to photograph this piece of landscape enhances it’s importance as a place, which can be used to suggest that this project has been deliberately created to challenge the viewers preconceived idea of the more well-known, neighboring landscape (the M25), whilst also suggesting that Mills is trying to expand the gaze of the viewer from the mundane and everyday to the aspects that are seen “outside of the box”

 

Methodology:

  • In relation to Mills’ methodology throughout his project “The Road Not Taken”, I decided that I wanted to include some brief research into it as it greatly related to my own methodology that I am undertaking throughout my FMP
  • Mills walked the sister route on the banks of the M25 (that took him 29 days), which not only allowed him to photograph some of the more interesting landscapes that he came across, but it also allowed him to experience the landscape and immerse himself within it
  • This methodology can therefore relate to my FMP as I am also walking down different paths (within the Lake District) that allows me to experience the landscape (through the things that I encounter as well as the memories that it triggers), whilst also taking images for my FMP; both Mills and I are using the “Art of Walking” (discussed in previous research) to produce a photographic project

 

The Photographs:

  • In relation to the photographs included in this particular project, Mills mainly focuses on the creation and capturing of landscape images that depict the places he has encountered whilst on his journey
    • However, as the viewer continues through the reading of the project, they soon notice that Mills has also included images depicting more close up details of the landscapes (including piles of dirt, moss, etc.), as well as portraits and still-life images
      • Symbolizing the fact Mills has stopped to photograph aspects on his travels that grab his attention, the inclusion of these images therefore enhance the methodology and concept behind the project (that Mills is on an explorative journey)
  •  However, focusing primarily on the landscape images that Mills creates, similar to the works of Wilcox, Gossage and Gaffney, Mills uses a documentarian style of landscape photography (rather than more dramatic aesthetics observed in stereotypical landscape images)
    • This can be seen through his “straight-forward” photographic composition and documentation of the landscape he is encountering (that places the main aspect of the photograph in a specific compositional position that focuses the viewers attention), as well as his choice to photograph mundane, everyday landscape subjects
  • Finally, in relation to the natural conditions that Mills photographs (including the use of colour, lighting and weather), similar to the work of Gaffney, Mills captures some of his landscapes in very atmospheric, misty conditions, enhancing the aesthetic quality of his images
    • Now, although when viewed alone, images that incorporate this particular type of natural (but dramatic) condition are often associated with the symbolization of something mystical, as these particular images are included at varying intervals within Mills’ collection, the viewer not only use this natural condition in a logical sense to suggest the time of day that the walk was taking place, but they can also use it to symbolize Mills’ purpose of creating these images (to challenge the viewers dull and ugly preconceived idea of the more well-known, neighboring landscape (the M25))

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • After looking through Bobby Mills’ work, similar to Simon Roberts’ “Motherland”, Alec Soth’s “From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America”, and William Eggleston, although I was told to focus primarily on the representation of the land within this particular collection, I not only gained inspiration for my FMP surrounding this particular concept, but also through my brief analysis of his methodology and some of his projects images
  • The main inspiration that I gained from this specific project was Mills response to the representation of land and how he created a piece of work regarding a landscape (that hadn’t really been photographically explored before) in order to challenge the viewers preconceived idea of a place that can be associated with the landscapes that he depicted, whilst also using the project to expand the gaze of the viewer from the mundane and everyday to the aspects that are seen “outside of the box” – this concept of representing the land can be applied to my FMP as I can use my own experiences with the Lake District landscape to affect how I represent particular locations, which in turn will offer a varied opinion on the landscape that viewers may have experienced through more stereotypical representations
  • In relation to the methodology, as suggested above, Mills used the “Art of Walking” to immerse himself in the landscape whilst also producing a photographic project – this provides a clear similarity to the methodology behind my own FMP, as I am also walking down different paths (within the Lake District) that allows me to experience the landscape (through the things that I encounter as well as the memories that it triggers), whilst also taking images for my FMP
  • Also, similar to Wilcox, Gossage and Gaffney, as suggested above, Mills uses a documentary aesthetic when capturing his landscape photographs which has provided me with a visual example that I can aim to achieve throughout the creation of my own landscape images
    • Because, as stated before, 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)
  • Finally, similar to Gossage and Gaffney, another thing that I may consider experimenting with through the development of my FMP is the inclusion of photographs depicting more detailed aspects of the landscape that I am photographing (that I have noticed on my journey), in order to enhance the methodology and concept behind my project (and therefore the audiences understanding)
    • Please also note, that this may also be done through the inclusion of the natural materials I am planning on collecting natural materials whilst conducting my FMP (as suggested above)

 


 

Elina Brotherus (suggested in Formative Feedback Session by Anthony Luvera on 4th March 2015)

In the Formative Feedback Session that I had with Anthony Luvera (and the rest of the class) (on the 4th March 2015), he suggested that I look at the work of Elina Brotherus

  • Within this session, Anthony suggested that I should not only reflect upon the aesthetics of Brotherus’ works, but that I should also research into some of the personal concepts she explores within some of her projects (including how she represented the land), and how I could apply this to my FMP
  • After conducting some brief research into the collections she had completed, I thought that her collections “Large de Vue Hommage a Erik Satie”, “The New Painting” and “Harmaat Paivat” all offered very interesting aesthetics that I could analyze and possibly relate to my FMP, but, when looking at the (personal) concepts (as well as the aesthetics) of the collections, I soon noticed that the project that provided the most relevance to my FMP was her “Suites Francaices 1” series
  • I have therefore decided to focus this particular research on her “Suites Francaices 1” project as it will allow me to save time with my research whilst still providing me with the relevant information and inspiration that I can apply to my FMP – however, please note that, although I am focusing on the “Suites Francaices 1” series for this particular section of my research, many of the ideas discussed below can also be related to some of the other projects mentioned above, and, if I thought it was relevant, I have also included some brief analysis of some of the landscape images within her other stated projects
  • Below you will therefore be able to find reflections of her projects personal concept, including the representation of land (including information that I gained from the projects accompanying text – link included below – as well as ideas of my own), followed by a brief look into the projects images, and how this research will be used for inspiration within my FMP:

 

http://www.elinabrotherus.com/photography/suites-francaices-1/

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The Concept (The Representation of Land):

  • After reading the “Suites Francaices 1” accompanying text (which is actually a section of an interview with Elina Brotherus, that was taken by Jan Kaila in 2001), it provided me with information suggesting that this particular piece of work was created in order to document a new and unfamiliar country, and that Brotherus was therefore more interested in the visual representation of the place rather than the symbolic
  • Taking this into account, I then decided to look through this particular project by Brotherus, in order to try and understand how I interpreted the way in which she represented the land throughout this projects concept
    • After doing this I soon noticed that Brotherus created a personal representation of the land and she attempted to create images that suggested she had immersed herself in the landscape (through the use of composition to symbolize the idea of travelling or exploring a different place – discussed in more detail below)
    • However, as the viewer continues through the collection, they notice that the images she has created still suggested a sense of detachment from the landscape – this is because, as stated in the interview, the images that she created feel as though she has simply photographed aspects that she thought were interesting, rather than those that contain an important (symbolic) significance
    • Her photographs therefore very much suggest the view of an observational outsider that has just moved into this particular city and is taking her time to explore the unfamiliar location
    • All of this then allows the viewer to experience and observe a personal perspective associated with the documented landscape whilst also gaining an understanding surrounding the concept behind the projects creation (exploring a new and unfamiliar place)

 

The Photographs:

  • As briefly stated above, I decided to focus my research on Brotherus’ “Suites Francaices 1” collection (as well as very briefly discussing some of her other projects), as I thought that the personal concept surrounding this series (exploring a new and unfamiliar place) and the aesthetics of these images would provide me with greater inspiration for my FMP compared to some of her other collections
  • As the viewer looks through this particular collection by Brotherus, they notice that a majority of her images are depicting town landscapes (in a very particular manner, which has been discussed in more detail below), as well as the fact that this project also includes a couple of vaster landscapes, a singular “street” photograph and a singular semi-nude portrait
    • When looking at these varied types of photographs that have been included in this primarily dominant landscape collection, the viewer begins to gain a greater understanding of the concept behind this photographic project (as stated above, the exploration of a new and unfamiliar place)
    • In relation to the vast landscape images (that are different from those taken in the middle of the town), these photographs can be used by the viewer to represent the concept of exploring a new place, as well as symbolizing the overpowering sense of unfamiliarity Brotherus may have experienced throughout the new, vast landscape – this is because, within these particular photographs, Brotherus appears to have chosen to simply document interesting aspects that she has observed in the new location (which can be seen through the faint use of a snapshot aesthetic and lack of considered composition) as well as the pure overpowering sense of the landscapes vastness that she has decided to capture within the image
    • When looking at the specific singular “street” image (that includes silhouettes of people looking up at an array of fireworks), as suggested in my analysis of the projects concept and representation of the land, I think that this particular image can be used by the viewer to represent the idea regarding the fact that she has attempted to immerse herself in the landscape but that she still appears slightly detached from it – this is because, although in this image there are a number of silhouettes that are framing the firework display, there appears to be little or no interaction between her and these documented people
    • With regards to the singular semi-nude portrait image included in this project, the careful consideration related to the background, positioning of the (unidentifiable) subject, composition, and the lighting, elicits a great sense of loneliness and detachment, which can therefore be used by the viewer to further enhance the projects concept of this individual exploring an unfamiliar and new place, alone
  • However, focusing primarily on the town landscape images included within this particular collection, as you will be able to see, the main subject (and theme) of these images are different bridges found throughout the documented town
    • As suggested above, each of these bridge images have also been captured using a very particular composition which, providing a similarity to the work of John Gossage, Paul Gaffney and Richard Long (all of which I have previously looked at for research), capture the bridge using a “middle-of-the-road” methodology
      • As previously suggested, this particular compositional methodology, with it’s incorporation of leading lines, can be used by the viewer to symbolize the idea of travelling towards a particular destination which, in combination with the fact that the horizon is blocked from view (due to the curvature of the bridge), can be used to represent the projects concept of “exploring a new and unfamiliar place” – elaborating on this idea, this is because, as the composition leads the viewers attention through the landscape to an unknown location (referring to the space beyond the hidden horizon) they can use these symbolic, compositional aspects to provide reference to the concept of moving to a new and unfamiliar place which in turn is usually associated with an unknown and distant future (represented by the hidden horizon in the images)
      • Briefly taking time out to reflect upon some of the landscape images included within a number of Brotherus’ other collections, this compositional technique relates to an idea discussed within the interview with Kaila, where Brotherus suggested that she was interested in photographing these “edges of the world” locations
        • Looking through Brotherus’ other collections, she tends to experiment with the composition and subjects of her landscape images (including the incorporation of a tiny amount of the landscape, the use of other landscape features to “cut through” another, and the use of natural conditions such as diffused light and misty conditions) in order to create a unique perspective on the land she has documented, whilst also creating images that reference this historical “edge of the world” and outer-worldly concept
        • Now, although I appeared to have travelled down a tangent, the main reason I decided to include this particular piece of information within this section of research is that, through looking at a range of her work, I thought it was really interesting to see how she adapted the aesthetics of her images in order to portray a particular concept (including this overarching theme of the “edges of the world”, as well as more specific concepts associated within individual collection)
      • Another aspect relating to the subject of these particular bridge landscapes (as well as the other vast landscapes incorporated in this project), is Brotherus’ choice to exclude any human subjects, creating what appears to be an abandoned city landscape
        • Although this “lack-of-people” methodology is usually used throughout landscape photography (in order to enhance the natural beauty of the landscape through the exclusion of possible people-related distractions), this creative decision can be used by the viewer to further enhance the concept behind the project (exploring a new and unfamiliar place, alone) whilst also symbolizing possible emotional states in which Brotherus may have experienced through the moving process (i.e. a sense of abandonment and loneliness)
  • Looking back at the whole of her collection, in terms of the colour that she has included to incorporate within this particular project, as suggested in the interview with kalian, she has included much more vibrant colours than in previous works
    • This considered element of the images therefore enhances this previously suggested idea of using a faint snapshot aesthetic to capture aspects that she observed through her exploration, whilst also adding another symbolic aspect to the project – what I mean by this is that the colours can not only be used by the viewer to represent the emotional excitement she experienced throughout the process of moving to this particular place, but the incorporation of this new colouration technique can also be used to reference the newness of the location she is exploring
  • Finally, in relation to the natural conditions she has captured within her landscape images throughout this particular project (including weather conditions and lighting), Brotherus has decided to incorporate very mundane and everyday conditions (including the capturing of rain-drop smudges on the lens)
    • This enhances the faint snapshot aesthetic, which emphasizes the ideology discussed above relating to the fact that Brotherus has simply documented interesting aspects throughout her travels, whilst also creating a symbolic reference to the emotions she was feeling throughout her exploration, at the time of this documented landscape experience (for example, the rain could be used to represent a saddened and depressive sense)
    • However, differing away from this particular project, when looking through a number of her other landscape collections, brothers captures a variety of natural conditions including both the mundane and the dramatic – the inclusion of these conditions appear to have been carefully considered not only in order to enhance the landscape the she is depicting, but to also create a symbolic representation that can be used to reference the (emotional) concept of the projects

 

FMP Inspiration:

  • After looking through Elina Brotherus’ work (mainly focusing on “Suites Francaices 1”, but also referencing other collections such as “Large de Vue Hommage a Erik Satie”, “The New Painting” and “Harmaat Paivat”), although I was told to look into the personal concept behind the project (which included the representation of land), I not only gained inspiration for my FMP surrounding this particular concept, but also through my reflection of the aesthetics of her projects images
  • The section of inspiration that I gained from looking at Brotherus’ personal concept (and the representation of the land), was how she was able to adopt the use of photographic techniques (including the type of photograph created as well as other aesthetic aspects such as the composition), in order to create an observational and subjective representation of the land which was then used to enhance the personal concept behind her project – this notion of representing the land in order to enhance a personal concept can therefore be applied to my FMP as I can use my own experiences with the Lake District landscape to affect how I represent particular locations, which in turn will offer a varied, and slightly subjective opinion on the landscape that viewers may have experienced through more stereotypical representations
  • As suggested above (although this is only a very small piece of inspiration that I am taking away from this particular individual), the information that I gained surrounding the concept of this project was provided to me by a piece of accompanying text – this has therefore once again enhanced my knowledge surrounding the importance of accompanying pieces of text, which can be used to provide the viewer with a contextualized understanding of the project they are witnessing
    • Please note, I will be conducting more in-depth research surrounding this idea of enhancing the contextualization of different projects through the use of textual techniques, which can be found under “Text” in the “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Technical Research” blog post)
  • Also, as mentioned within my research, (similar to Gossage, Gaffney and Long), Brotherus used a “middle-of-the-road” composition within her landscape path photographs, which can be used by the viewer to suggest the travelling towards a particular (unknown) destination – I could therefore apply this particular compositional methodology to my FMP as I could use it to symbolize this idea that, whilst visiting these different locations within the Lake District, they are triggering my psychological journey to the memories of my Grandpa
  • Brotherus’ inclusion of varying photographic styles (including differing styles of landscapes, street, and semi-nude portraits) to enhance the concept of the project (and therefore the audiences understanding) has also provided me with another form of inspiration because, as suggested in each of my proposals (please see in my please see the blog posts “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Original Proposal”, “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Revised Proposal”, “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Second Revised Proposal”, and “352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Final Proposal”), I am planning on collecting archival and natural materials whilst conducting my FMP and could later experiment with the inclusion of these aspects (in a still-life or physical form) in order to see if they enhance the narrative of my project
  • Finally, the last bit of inspiration that I am going to take away from Brotherus’ work is her use of carefully considered aesthetics of the images (including a slight “snapshot” and observational style) in order to enhance the personal concept surrounding the project – I could therefore apply this particular technique to my FMP as I could consider the technical elements of my photographs in order to represent the overall feel of the memory that I associate with the landscape
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