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A5 EVY – preparation

[Recreated from pdf after blog crash]


The mind map for the preparation of A5 is attached below – in the Simplemind application, online references are hyperlinked.

The brief requires 10 shots of any chosen subject, with each containing new information and presenting a unique view of the subject. The shots are to be presented as a series, with a narrative that explains, ‘what is it about?’ I considered the meaning of the words. Subject could be interpreted as a specific object within the context of presenting a ‘unique view’, but I am reading it broadly to include a topic, concept, figure, thing or person. Information then is concerned with facts related to the chosen subject. Unique can be read as ‘one of a kind’ or ‘special / unusual’. So here, I interpret it as relating to a view of the subject, offering a different perspective on it or different information.

In choosing my subject, I considered options for photos that could be taken during a Greek holiday with my family; a historic site, a local village, the villa where we were staying, or the family holiday itself. A challenge was to avoid producing images that would look like a clichėd tourist brochure, since photos of the blue and white of Greece are ubiquitous. For this reason I dismissed a number of my initial ideas. I initially tried some test shots around the villa – to present perspectives on this, but felt it was too broad a subject with many possible POVs that may not fit into a cohesive series. I was also concerned it could create a perception that it was a tourist brochure for the villa – as we are frequently exposed to such images. Moreover, I did not like the way the shoot was progressing. Here are a couple of example images:

In the end I decided that the swimming pool of the villa would be a more rewarding subject – both because of the quality of the light around it and in the water and the di!erent human activities around the pool.

Considering other photographers for inspiration:

  • Susan Dergres work of the moon viewed beneath the water, researched during my previous assignment (see here) came to mind, with the effect of refraction on the subject.
  • I was aware of David Hockney’s paintings of pools (A Bigger Splash) and found that he’d also photographed pools, with work shown as part of an exhibition, The Backyard Oasis (the catalogue can still be purchased). I also located a YouTube video of the gallery curator and photographer, Michael Childers, discussing the exhibition. The minimal visual density of the images and the square format seems to create a clarity that echoes the clarity of the pools. Michael Childer’s photographs also feature in the exhibition.
  • I uncovered a couple of other photographers of pools through online research – Marieke van der Velden, a Dutch photojournalist, who produced a series of photos of hotel pools from her travels; and Slim Aarons an American 1950s society photographer.


My preliminary idea for my shoot was to:

  • Use square format to reflect a more abstract composition (rather than landscape or portrait). Selected in-camera with the Panasonic LX100 I was using as a light travel camera.
  • For low POV shots around the pool, use a Gorilla-pod and remote shutter control of the camera with the Panasonic iPhone app.
  • Show different perspectives on the uses of a pool throughout the day and into the night.

However, I found that the varying light throughout the day, combined with some night shots did not sit well where the photos were placed together as part of a series. They lacked coherence. therefore, I reshot some of the images to create a series that shared bright afternoon light, with one night image as a full-stop to end the series.


Getty Images [website]. Slim Aarons archive. Available
from: http://www.gettyimagesgallery.com/collections/archive/slim- aarons.aspx [accessed 4.9.15]
Marieke van der Velden [website] http://www.mariekevandervelden.com/#/swimming-pools- worldwide/ [accessed 4.9.15]
Palm Springs Museum. Backyard oasis
exhibition. http://www.psmuseum.org/palm- springs/exhibition/backyard-oasis-swimming-pool-southern- california-photography/ [accessed 4.9.15]
Palm Springs Gallery [Youtube]. Michael Childers –
Backyard Oasis Exhibition. http://youtu.be/RsIVWc9TfFI [accessed 4.9.15]
Dergres S [website]. Susan Dergres/Moons [online gallery]. Available from: http://www.susanderges.com. [Accessed 21.8.15]
The Telegraph (nd) [website]. David Hockney and the Californian
Swimming Pool. Available
from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/photography/9022598/David- Hockney-and-the-Californian-swimming-pool-in-
photography.html [accessed 4.9.15]
Tate Gallery [website]. A bigger splash by David Hockney.
Available from: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hockney-a- bigger-splash-t03254 [accessed 4.9.15]
V&A. Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography – Susan Derges.
Available from:https://vimeo.com/13149808 [accessed 4.9.15]

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