First shoot, I feel it went well, spent a few hours there walking around, spent some time talking to local residents who spotted me photographing and a very angry shop owner who thought I was from the local press untill I told her otherwise, then she offered me tea and scones in her shop… But the shoot went well, speaking to the resident who kindly let me photograph in his front porch was a good experience, he and his family were exactly what I wanted to talk to, retired Londoners who moved to Berkeley to settle down and enjoy the rest of their years. Stupidly I didn’t manage to be smart enough to whip out my voice recorder or switch my camera to video mode as I would have loved to shown our conversation. He explained his transition from city to village life, experience with the estate agents and settling into his new house. Was really good talking to him and he was super friendly, as was everyone I spoke to during my day visit.
My favourite images from the day would have to be both the first image with camper van and luscious country style house in the foreground with a glimpse of a few hillside houses spanning the hilltops as well as the road on the way in with the church on the right hand side. This shows a great view of the hilltop houses as well as a sight of the highly sort after country houses. However I much prefer the first of the two as it shows an aspect of British society which I didn’t intent to photograph upon arrival, but noticed and picked up on fast. Which is how we enjoy our holidays, camping and camper vans is more popular in the UK than anywhere in the UK with 1.2 million people camping more than once a year in 2013. Camping is a huge part if our British culture and heritage, appealing for its affordability and exploration of the UK, which has slowly died down as a result of cheap international flights etc, but the camping industry is still very much alive and well. There’s also another oldschool transit camper in one of the images which again comments on the whole notion of camping in Britain.
What was I going for? Well I had it in mind that I needed something visually appealing as the end result is to appear on an exhibition wall. The more eye candy, the better. I also went with the main intention to capture the environmental impact of villages like these as I had not long after done my presentation of modern housing, so all the remaining thoughts and knowledge about the damages of houses loomed over my head. I mainly wanted to capture the way villages are pushing away nature when they expand due to high demand for new and improved housing. I feel like the shot of the cows on the horizon captures this in a subtle but effective way.
When photographing I was trying to keep the following in mind, as I knew they may play a factor when looking at them and blowing one potential image up for exhibition:
- Keep a distinct narrative in the images
- Lighting conditions changing (thankfully it was very overcast with soft lighting)
- Historical value
- THE landscape
- Eye Candy
- Consider output
- Sharpest images possible
- Role of the landcape
- ‘how will this look on a wall?’
- Highest apperture possible to get a good depth within the images (weighted tripod used)