Preparation, preparation, preparation. I’ve reflected very carefully on the briefing for this first assignment and was careful to avoid the temptation to rush out and take some pictures just to get started on my course. I use mindmaps for note taking in my day-job, but decided that for them to be readable to anyone else, I’d better find a computer based solution! (Simplemind chosen as allows wireless transfer of maps between desktop and iPad, for travelling) Embedded here is a png of my Square Mile mindmap – no interactive functionality like the software though.
The ‘my square mile’ concept, plus Professor Mike Pearson’s reference to how one may never truly know somewhere again like a child or play and create fantasy landscapes like a child adds a dimension to the brief that I think could easily be over-looked. The output seems to need more than a story through a series of photographs that says something about the photographer. It calls for something ‘fresh and experimental’ – perhaps with a child’s sense of adventure and imagination.
In choosing a subject matter for the assignment I was inspired by Venetia Dearden’s work and her connection to the Somerset landscape (where I also grew up) and by Gawain Barnard’s work, born to burn, with close-ups of objects within a scorched landscape. My initial though was to make pictures during a circular walk in the Yorkshire Dales National Park on my doorstep, and very important to me. However, I didn’t feel ready to add something ‘fresh and experimental’ to something already so widely photographed – too many preconceived ideas about how it might be photographed.
In the end, I choose ‘my square mile’ of my home and its surrounding landscape (a small holding). At this time of year decay and renewal are always on my mind – what has broken and needs to be fixed after the harsh dark days of winter and the first shoots of spring appearing in the garden. Looking to approach objects using unusual points of view and camera settings.
Finally, having noted that Photography 1, Expressing Your Vision, course is focused on the fundamentals of camera technique and photographer’s vision, with a bare minimum of post-processing, I’ve made the decision to shoot everything using straight out of camera jpeg, rather than RAW (my normal preference).