· Subject Matter
o Succession – how the landscape changes over time in a natural way
o Heathland to woodland
o Horsell Common Preservation Society
o Trying to bring the heathland back
o Fergus Heron – building contacts
o Images could be displayed on the Horsell Common Preservation Society website
o Educational purposes
· Like the idea of it being expressionless
· Trees don’t have an emotional feeling about where they are
· Not an emotional subject matter (deadpan)
· Bad to chop down trees
o Both good and bad emotions
· Using a very different visual approach to an emotive subject matter
o Clinical -> emotional
· Experiment with different mediums
· Don’t wimp out!
· Record the process of the trees being cut down and heathland growing back
· Timelapse (box on a stick)
· Use text to indicate what has happened
· Shoot from very low perspective (from the roots)
· Same view point to shoot from over time
· Print huge, like a forest
· Go back over time
· Expand project to look at all different areas
· 10 year project too long for unit
· You can shoot stages, but not in the same place
· Weather – might not be able to do deadpan
· How can you convey subject
· Address and research the subject matter so you are clear about your viewpoint
Positive Reflection and Next Stages
· Weather – shows changing seasons
· Timelapse (could shoot digital)
· Man intervening
· Add text
· Current project
· Keep in touch with contenders
· Edit existing work
· Shoot some 5x4
· Shoot some timelapse
I found this approach to a group tutorial quite interesting and very useful. I got a lot more ideas and help from this type of tutorial than any other tutorials we’ve had so far. I was quite surprised by the emotional response I got from some of the people. They were quite confused about the whole chopping down the trees subject. I never saw that as anything bad because it is in such a restricted area and they are doing such small areas at a time. Also the woodchips are brought to Slough Power station. The reason the trees are being chopped is to allow the heather to start growing again and rare and endangered species are able to live. The group argued that surely when chopping down the trees you’d be destroying other communities and ecosystems. Although that is true, there is much more woodland in the area that those communities could easily move. Also, because such small areas are chopped at a time, it means that not many ecosystems are destroyed and need relocating.
The point that was risen was that although I want to photograph in a deadpan style of photography – which is emotionless, almost clinical – this subject can conjure up quite a lot of emotion within people. Thus, it makes the project more complicated. The solution to this is that I need to do a lot of research so I’m able to have a clear viewpoint to argue.
When we started to discuss the creative options I could possibly do, a lot of people thought about the idea of a timelapse or shooting in the same area over a period of time. Unfortunately succession is a very long process, and if I were to come back every day for 3 months, there wouldn’t be much change other than the seasons. However, Daniel still suggested that I look into doing a timelapse, because even the change from day to night shows the landscape changing and the process of time..
Other things that were suggested during the creative thinking stage were that I should add text in order to explain the photographs. It was always my plan to add text, because I think just having the photos on the wall won’t make people think about succession. And the size of the prints was also briefly discussed. Deadpan is usually printed off very large, so I’d have to use a medium where I would be able to print them off so big. Lastly Daniel came up with the idea that I could continue this project and look at different areas, such as the volunteers who actually help restore the heathland, as well as animal or insect photos to show the ecosystems within the heather.
The critical analysis was quite easy. It’s a 10 year restoration program, so doing the project for 3 months is nothing really. So I told everyone about my idea of shooting the different stages in different areas, but trying to shoot them in exactly the same style to make it flow. The weather and seasons were also discussed. The reason I started the project so early was because in September the heather is beautiful and purple and the trees have bright green leaves on them, if I went back now it would look completely different.