I’ve enjoyed this body of work a lot, a lot more than I thought I would initially. I’ve never really put much thought into landscape photographs in the past, and have never really tried to create a plausible body of work, only the odd snapshot here and there. So to finally make a full body of work within the landscape genre feels pretty good. For this module, the brief asked us to look at Social and Environmental landscapes. I chose to blend the two together and photograph the town/village of Berkeley in Gloucestershire.
Berkeley, is a border town to the River Seven, very close to the Welsh border. The attraction for me with this village is it’s closeness to Wales and how it’s situated in the environment. The majority of the town is placed on the rolling hills surrounding the village centre, this causes a relatively stress and flood free environment to live in for the residents. Another main attraction to the village for me was the ease of access by road. As initial ideas led me to scouting out the A38 as it is considered a fairly dangerous road with over 50 fatalities, which led me down the A38 and into Berkeley Heath, where my images were shot. I still had fresh knowledge and thoughts of Modern Housing from our field lecture presentations where I talked about the ecological impact modern housing entitles and how they are made. With this in mind, I wanted to take a look at how villages such as Berkeley are slowly expanding and pushing out the nature surrounding it as a result of human impact on the landscape.
I went our with very clear intentions of what I wanted to photograph and how I wanted the body of work to appear. I knew what I wanted, I just had to find it and shoot it. I feel like the shots I produced to capture what I was trying to say about the impact of the town and its growing expansion as a result of interest from well off city-goers looking to settle down somewhere quiet. The main and bulk of the body of work evolves around the housing situated in the town. As it is prime real estate for those looking to settle down into the countryside. I wanted to shoot images which very clear and easy to digest, as this work would be going into a public exhibition so I would need to give the audience enough to break the images down easily. Choosing the final big print must have been one of the hardest decisions of the project as I would need to choose something visually appealing that doesn’t give too much information away. I have gone into the reason for choosing such an image in my blog posts.
What could I have done better? A lot of things, shooting more is a bit one that I should definitely had done. Shooting as little as I did was a brave move and I am not proud of doing it either. I was intending to go back to the village to shoot again but got caught up in dissertation writing as a result of poor time management. I am not happy with only shooting as little as I did. Thankfully I got enough shots that I was happy with, otherwise my time management would have screwed me over. I also found that some of my images turned out a bit soft, this is a reoccurring thing that has been happening with my camera/lens combination that I need to look into asap. Even on f10 image seemed to be a tad soft. Nothing that post processing couldn’t fix, but not good enough from a raw file. The settings were good and there wasn’t much wind, so the fault lies within my equipment, which will be rectified as soon as possible.
The end result was great, the exhibition looked fantastic on setup and open night. Well worth all the time, effort and money put into this module. It was great to see images blown up in print rather than just as pixels on a screen. It makes you appreciate photography more and makes all the stress worthwhile. There was a surprisingly good turn out also, the food and drink ran out fast and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and enjoy the company of the work also.
If I could shoot this again I would like make it more of a social documentary piece, mixed with landscape images to give it a more personal feel to the work as well as adding a human element to the work. I’m interested in continuing this body of work on now that the project is over and adding it to my portfolio website with more shots and portraits. I would also like to do this again in the summer time, shooting landscapes in winter is notoriously dull and bleak, perfect to showcase the quint essential British lifestyle. I’d love to shoot this with clear blue skies and beautiful sunshine instead of overcast days in December.
One thing I have taken from this module is the enjoyment from printing images and blowing them up to a specified size. I had never up scaled an image for print from a digital file before, so it was great fun to produce images with the intention of exhibiting them. I am very much interested in continuing to print and exhibit work in the future, it’s so much more enjoyable than seeing them on a screen. I will certainly be printing large images a lot more in the future.