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A1 C&N – preparation

Concept development

Mind map of assignment objectives and concept (at today’s date):

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Two Sides of the Story

The concept proposed to my tutor was:

I was taken by a comment on Arbus’ work – ‘Our whole guise is like giving a sign to the whole world to think of us in a certain way, but there’s a point between what you want to know about you and what you can’t help people knowing about you’. This made my think of my working environment, which has always been large corporate, and is currently very large multinational corporate – in these environments there is a tendency to encourage conformity and blandness (even if on paper creativity is encouraged!), so the apple-cart is not upset, or individuals with sensitive dispositions are not offended. After a while, individuals are moulded to fit the corporate culture – or fired if they kick-back too much. Perhaps loosing or forgetting who they really are, or desperately finding other outlets to express themselves.

My self-portraits would be based on corporate poses (referenced from company internal imaging) I would then position these against self-portraits showing the creative/relaxed self. I need to test different approaches, but one idea is to use the same corporate poses but in a different context – for example, rather than studying a pile of documents, study the set-up of an electric guitar. In this case, I might create ambiguity by wearing business attire in all of the shots. Maybe I would find the project cathartic!

However, I then spotted ambiguity in the brief – a requirement for the photos to be ‘candid’ (I understand unposed) and reconciling that with self-portraiture (as in one of the example topics in the brief). Now I wait for my tutors advice.

Seven or so days later and no news from my tutor – apparently academics work on a different level of response time to the commercial world. Anyway, decided that I needed to get on and complete a shoot while I have a little spare time. So, I’ve assumed that candid puts self-portraiture out of the game. My re-think arrived at the following concept …

Scenario – residents of small town are afraid to go out after dark because a vicious criminal is on the loose (shots of empty streets at night) but in the day all is normal (shots of the previously empty scenes full with people). The reality is that it is just cold and dark in North Yorkshire in November, so people tend to stay indoors, but the context of criminal on the loose changes the story.
Because of the limited light and colour in the town at night (Skipton), I will shoot in black and white. I also want to use this format to try to capture the spirit of the place – echoes of Hail Hell and Halifax. There will be no decisive moments – just the street scenes against the context backdrop. I’d like to create something in the style of Thierry Girard.

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