Hi everyone!

As part of my photography course, I have to track my development on a blog. The posts from September 2011 until January 2012 are part of a module called Project Management, for which I was required to work in a group of eight students to create an exhibition. The blog followed every step we took in order to create a successful gallery. The blog posts starting from September 2012 follow my final year on the course. I'll be documenting my research and analysis of my final year projects, as well as include notes of my Professional Practice unit - which prepares us for a range of post graduate options. Finally it also looks at a project called New Creatives, where I'll be working alongside an artists to help college students get more involved with art.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fergus Heron

"Fergus Heron's photography makes visible connections, discontinuities and tensions between architecture and landscape, artifice and nature, the modern and traditional. His subjects are commonly experienced places that embody real and imagined histories. Heron's working process is highly researched and involves long - term engagement with his subjects, rather than successively working from one project to the next. In his work, the photograph itself is considered as a complex image, between document and picture.

Working always with available light, Heron's photographs are absent of human activity, emphasising stillness and a sense of extended present time. Often a single photograph of each subject is made. Otherwise, where similar views are possible, photographs are made in pairs or sequences. This technique complicates the subject, and, more importantly, the process of seeing, posing questions about how elements between and within the photographs are related. Working with a view camera, Heron's work aims to decelerate and distil the process of photography, through slow picture making, and concentration upon some of its most basic principles." From http://www.fergusheron.com/

Fergus Heron is quite an obvious link to my work, mainly because he takes photographs in Horsell Common too. I have sent him an email asking whether I could send him a quick interview about this project so I have a better understanding about why he has done the project the way he has.
All of Heron’s work makes use of deadpan photography. He has 7 categories: Charles Church Houses, Forest, Shopping Centre Interiors, Motorways, Coasts, Common and Pond. For this project I will mainly research and analyse Forest and Common. Forest has photographs of Horsell Common – only the woodland – and Common is another location quite close to Horsell Common. Although it isn’t the same area or has anything to do with succession, the style of photography and how he decided to capture it will be interesting to learn about.

The text above is from Heron’s About section on his website. I found it quite interesting how he writes about “connections, discontinuities and tensions between architecture and landscape artifice and nature the modern and the traditional”. Before I started University I was interested in tension and contrast within my photographs. Since being here I have been busy trying out so many different styles of photography, I sometimes forget to backtrack to what I was initially interested in.

When Fergus Heron came in to speak to us last year I remember him explaining to us that he always used an overcast or cloudy day for his photographs. I don’t quite remember why, so I am hoping he will reply to the interview! However, I do remember him explaining to us that some of his projects take years to finish. His common project would have taken at least a year as he came back every season to take photographs of the changes in the landscape. I would love to be able to do a project that takes me a couple of years – such as this succession project. It would be fantastic if I could come back to the same location every year for 10 years and see the change the same place has made. Obviously that would be impossible to do now, but I think that might be something to consider (If I stay in England that long!) It would be a lot stronger than the project I am doing now, although I think this project will be strong if I make sure each picture is almost identical.

Just like Fergus Heron, I will be working with available light. Although Heron likes his photographs to be overcast or cloudy, I much prefer the sunlight creating intricate patterns on the trees. From the photographs I have taken so far, I prefer the photos with blue sky and the purple heather. However, as the year goes on and autumn is coming I am sure I will have to reconsider whether I want to have blue skies or cloudy skies. Having a cloudy sky, on the other hand, will add to the deadpan style of photography - emotionless and clinical. 

When looking at his Forest photographs, on first glance they look very similar, however as you look at them more closely and for longer, you start to notice all the small but complex differences. Seeing all three photos of Bracknell 2000, it shows that Heron has made sure the horizon in each photo is the same. It almost looks like a panorama.

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