Assignment 3 – preparing for assessment, final post.

14 June 2017

The final thing I want to do on assignment 3 is to experiment with alternative crops of my images to attempt some other-worldly landscapes, as suggested by Russell. His references to the work of  Steven Vaughan have given me some ideas and a link to the NASA post about using  Devon Island in Northern Canada as a training site for the Mars mission was also interesting to read in-between  all of the pop up advertising.

Here is my selection other worldly landscapes which I have produced by a combination of cropping and/or cloning:

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I also tried one or two different effects using the lens filter, channel mixer and posteriser tools:

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Assignment 3 – Preparing for assessment, continued…

13th June 2017

Use of Audio Track 

My tutor thought that I should justify the use of the ambient audio track in my presentation. First of all, I searched for some information on the decisions to be made when choosing to use audio alongside photographs. I came across this article by Casey Frechette which gives tips for using audio in multimedia stories. In addition, I referred back to my course notes and reading for the Digital Film Production (Creative Concepts) course that I completed for level 1. I re-read the section on diegetic sound (sound from within the scene) and realised that my ideas for using ambient sound (both in assignment 3 and assignment 6), originated  from the exercises I completed here.

For this AV presentation, I wanted to provide an ambient sound backdrop which was subtle, fitted into the scene and added the relentless quality that moving water (i.e. the tidal flow) adds to the overall experience of the beach. I hope that sight and sound has helped the viewer to experience something of my exploration of the beach and its constant changes.

 

Assignment 3 – preparing for Assessment

13 June 2017

In 1970 I took three images at the harbour entrance which I have included in my learning log here under the Local Histories section of the Post Industrial Landscapes Project. Also included in this section are most of the links which I used to research this assignment.

Russell thought it may be a good idea to include a diptych of one of these images which is taken from a similar viewpoint as a modern one, as a comparison. I will add this here and maybe to my Introduction to the Assignment once I have updated it.*

The East Side of the Harbour Entrance 1970 and 2016

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1970                                                                               2016

This image is the one that probably records one of the biggest changes. As far as I can recall (47 years is a long time) the breakwater shown in the 1970 picture was an extension of the steel shuttering revetment, the back of which is shown on the right of  the 2016 picture. My viewpoint in 2016 was lower and further back. I would have been standing on top of the bank on the left in 1970. The triangular marker is probably a replacement one and has been repositioned further out in the channel. Both images are looking south and the clear difference is the build up of shingle from the west side of the entrance extending across the mouth, causing erosion of the beach to the east. Although the 1970 image was taken at high tide, you can see that the dark line below the crest of the bank (the high tide mark) on the opposite shore indicates how high the bank has risen since then. I recall that even in 1970 a small spit of shingle was visible at low water to the south and the OS map of the time indicates that this is the case.

I am planning to revisit the beach this summer, one year on, to record the changes that occured over the winter and I will attempt to produce another version*of this particular view.

AV Slideshow Edit

Russell has suggested that I look at three of the images in my presentation that, compositionally are not as strong as the rest. They are shown below with an explanation for their inclusion and a possible replacement:

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Original image

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Replacement image

The   top image was in the original slideshow to show the erosion of the beach crest and the houses beyond. It was felt they this was not a strong image. I looked for another and found this  replacement version which is stronger both compositionally and in terms of impact, the houses being closer to the edge and the barrier showing the perceived threat.


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Original image
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Replacement image

The intention for the original image here was to show the current moving out of the harbour mouth. I agree that it is not strong so I have replaced it with a view westwards towards Selsey Bill from the seaward side of the shingle island formed offshore showing both of the spits formed either side of the harbour channel.


 

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Original image

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Replacement image

The original image here shows the small lagoon that formed sometime in the early 20th century (post 1920) when the harbour entrance was again moved to the SW to protect the village. This replacement image is looking SW. I think it is a stronger image because it  is tighter and the steel revetment in the foreground adds interest.  It is included because it is an illustration of the result of the constant movement of shingle and the artificial fixing of the position of the harbour entrance. From the other images in the series, it is not impossible to imagine the formation of a new lagoon along the line of the current harbour channel if the seaward spit is cut as planned.

A local blogger has recorded the changes to the beach over the past winter (2016/2017). His blog is here . I think it it worthwhile returning and attempting to re-photograph the beach from the same viewpoints, as an appendix to this project.

 

Assignment 3 – preparation for assessment, continued…

 

DSCF82388 June 2017

Yesterday I prepared two edited versions of my audio visual slideshow in response to my tutor’s feedback. The files are on dropbox and I have invited comments from the Study Group.

  • Version 03 is edited as my tutor Russell suggested with three of the images replaced with stronger images.
  • Version 04 is the same as 03 but with the addition of a ticker stream at the bottom of the frame detailing the relevant parts of the shipping forecast for the day of the shoot. This is based on another idea Russell put forward in his feedback.

I am not really sure if the ticker stream adds anything to the presentation beyond reinforcing the idea of the benign weather conditions. (The tide continues to erode the shingle bank and reshape the coastline relentlessly.) In addition I feel slightly uncomfortable appropriating Mark Power’s Shipping Forecast idea.

Assignment 3 – Review and preparation for assessment

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1st June 2017

I have read through my tutors feedback report again and, over the coming weeks I will start to action the points I have highlighted.

2nd June 2017

◊ Include artists using remote other worldly locations and nature damaged landscapes.

My first PoA on Russell’s feedback is to deepen my research into  similar work by landscape artists including Mark Power’s ‘Shipping Forecast’ project, Steven Vaughan’s work in remote landscapes and to further research which relates to natural disasters and if possible, coastal erosion and shingle banks. I will also take a look at ‘other-worldly’ locations.

I looked at Mark Power’s website. I have seen the ‘Shipping Forecast’ before and my associations with coastal walking, exploration and sailing in UK waters as well as my long history as a radio listener (growing up, we had no TV at home) mean that I really appreciate this work and can understand the motivation behind it. I did look into Russell’s suggestion of using a shipping forecast for the day of my photoshoot. I recorded it and contacted the BBC for permission to use it. Unfortunately I received a pro forma stock reply from someone who clearly didn’t read my request which pointed me to a site where I could purchase a licence to use a recording. Having already purchased a TV licence, I wasn’t inclined to purchase another!

One idea I did have was to run a line of text continually across the bottom of the screen detailing the forecast and onshore weather conditions for Dover and Wight for that particular day – 24th August 2016. When I edit the video again, I will look at this. The forecasts for 2014 are no longer available as the BBC iPlayer lists them back as far as 2007 but only the past month is available to play.

I found myself particularly drawn to two projects on Steven Vaughan’s website – Ultima Thule and  Grimsvötn. I have a history of photographing volcanoes, active and extinct, while travelling. Although I originally looked at this work for the first time last year, I am sure that at least some influences rubbed off on me while I was working on Assignment 5 in Antarctica. I have an interest in the formation of landscapes. Volcanoes are thought of as the birth of landscape and to the see the rapid changes that they bring and their awesome unstoppable power, is a rare privilege. I also found his Opened Landscape: Lindow, Tollund and Grauballe fascinating, not only by their particular solitary beauty and rich colours but by his use of a large format film camera. When I have more experience using black and white on my 5×4 camera, perhaps I’ll try some colour film! Some of the photographs of Lindow Moss are reminiscent of parts of Slab Common which I photographed for Assignment 6 although I doubt much peat will be found in this predominantly heathland environment.

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March

5 June 2017

Following my initial reading of Russell’s feedback I did research the work of Frank Gohlke for Assignment 4, in particular his series on the Mount St Helens Eruption and the aftermath of the 1975 Tornado in Witcha Falls, Texas. Here is a brief summary of that research in as far as it formed some of my ideas for subsequent assignments and my approach to environmental photography in particular.

First of all, Gohlke describes himself as a ‘late photographer’ in that he has photographed the after effects of the power of nature. In talking about photographing the aftermath of the Mount St Helens eruption of 198, he spoke of his task as being to recover the shape of the past event from what he observed in the present, that the destructive power of nature was matched or even exceeded by its power to regenerate. This event was so huge in its effect on the shape of the land that the answer to the question “What happened here?” depends on who you are talking to and where you are standing. He contrasts this with the destructive power of the tornado whose effects appear ethereal. The shape of the land is not changed and the destruction wrought to community and property was, as his photographs showed, soon repaired.

When I started this project I had in the back of my mind the constancy of the power of nature in the flow of the tides. There is probably no natural power that can at once be so useful and so destructive. Its power is constant and can go unnoticed immediately but is soon apparent with the passage of time. This is what this project is about. You will see from an appendix to my record of the state of  the beach in August 2016, that just one year can bring wide ranging changes and brings into question man’s interventions in trying to maintain the space as a place.

My search for other photographic work related to coastal erosion continues. While searching I came across this article in the Guardian from 2012 about a similar problem in Dungeness. It is co-incidental that during my 1969 ecological study of Pagham spit, I was referred to papers about the Shingle Bank at Dungeness by my Biology teacher which informed my project into the relationship between microclimate, salinity levels and plant species distribution.

Seaford Beach and Seaford Head in East Sussex also suffer from erosion and the collection of postcards and archive photographs here show the changes over nearly 100 years. Further searches reveal numerous accounts and photographs of coastal erosion on the south coast of England. These are mostly environmental or historical records. Contextually I may have broken new ground, which is why Russell remarked that my research was limited. I’m not sure why this is important given that the project arose from my previous knowledge of the problem and my long association with this area.

Perhaps I should reiterate that this project is about a space becoming a place and also that the power of nature is constantly trying to reclaim the space as its own. That is the lesson here, it’s Canute’s rule, if you mess with the tide, you’ll get wet feet!

While looking at my files I found this image of the beach at low tide, which seems to be a perfect metaphor for this situation, I’m  not sure I could fit it into a landscape series but it would fit into a documentary…

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Assignment 2 – Book finished

29 May 2017

This morning I have finished the Japanese binding for my book ‘Up in the Wind’. I have added two endpapers front and back and used white waxed linen thread to sew the binding. The binding holes were drilled with a 2mm drill and I have kept a template for the book I am planning for Assignment 5.

21 June 2017

Having printed and bound my book I have noticed that there is a variation in the tone of some of the prints. Some viewers are aware of this, some are not. Having discussed this at the last OCA Thames Valley group meeting on 17th June, it would appear that the printer I am using does not use a dedicated monochrome ink set to print in greyscale. I have spent the past week trying various methods to try to produce neutral black and white prints without success. If I have the time, I may reprocess the colour images and try the printing again. If not than I shall submit the prints in the book as they are with an explanation of the problem and what I have done to attempt a remedy.