To explore where I wish to take my research project it is worth making a critical consideration of my current practice. Over the past two years I have photographed Tuscany, Andalusia, Valencia and around where I live in Spain. I have enjoyed conceiving, planning, shooting and disseminating my work. My peak pleasure is during the moment of seeing on location and deciding what and when to shoot.
People enjoy my work. Normal non photographers react with words like ‘wow’, ‘amazing’, ‘stunning’ and other positive comments. I really like it if someone says I wasn’t sure at first but as I looked at it I realised I really liked it. Photographers who consider my work say I have an eye for a composition and timing for light.
Now let’s shine the light on ‘what is my photography about?’ To date I would have to say much of the work I have produced can be classified critically as traditional realism and trivial. This image of the Belvedere in Tuscany is an aesthetically pleasing image but it adds nothing to the subject of photography or has any significant meaning in its own right. This subject has been successfully shot by so many people
This image of a sunset near my house throws up different questions. It could be a trivial picture of a sunset. My intent at this moment was to capture a mood and feeling represented by the colour combinations that arose at that moment. I saw clouds and decided I would go out in the evening as something like this might happen. What I see missing from my work is intentionally adding meaning to the aesthetic pleasure I am proposing to date. Meaning arises not just from planning a subject I want to photograph but also asking the question what story I am trying to tell?
My research project is about achieving an authentic photographic style that creates meaning from my work. Repeating what has been done before to a high standard is not enough. I need to find a way of saying something new and in my own way. Now the fun begins. To find different ways I need to explore different approaches. The following image of Benidorm is an example of exploring. I am in the process of capturing Benidorm in this style. It is a different way of telling the story of Benidorm in a vibrant, colourful and energetic way. It intends to challenge the instinctive reaction to the word Benidorm. To be successful with this process I would then need to be able to position this story of Benidorm along with its meaning in an appropriate context.
The following two images of the same place at Falmouth Pier illustrate another process of experimentation. This is a way of juxtaposing realism and abstraction and generating a conversation.
Something is taking shape where I see phase 1 is to experiment with some different forms of representation and as I do so keeping an eye on the story I want to tell or the conversation I want to initiate. This stage will be an enquiry feeding in to future stages where in the Final Major Project I will understand my authentic style and be able to have something to say.
Categories: Positions and Practice