Week 1 – Strategies of Looking

My main photographic practice is within the genre of conservation photography, but it also includes aviation, landscape, wildlife and festival / events work.

For the duration of this module my focus will be on developing my initial ideas around my main research project. It is proposed that this will revolve around the following.

The river Otter flows for just over 33 miles from its source on the Devon / Somerset border to the sea at Budleigh Salterton in East Devon.

The river is well established and has been part of local culture and communities for many hundreds of years. Along the riverside includes a number of sites of scientific interest, military training grounds, schools and education facilities, festival sites and a range of small and mid size urban areas.

The river is home to many species, some only found in very few locations around the uk. Home to the recent beaver release, the river also hosts many otters, kingfishers and rare fish and vertebrate. It is also the centre of a number of conservation projects focusing on rehabilitation, such as the wolfs at Escot Park.

Within the rural settings many farms exist, some have been in operation since Saxon times. With its agricultural and archaeological history the river Otter has many different avenues to explore through the lens of a camera.

My aim is to develop a set of works that record, showcase and educate people on the river Otter, its history and ecology.

My work will focus on the river as the great connector of all things. Within its flow from the source to the sea, the river  connects many different genres-  or worlds – and it is this connection that I wish to explore with my work. 

The aim will be to produce a number of educational and informative resources that visual show the worlds within worlds.

Each ‘world’ relates to s specific area of the river or part of its ecology – think historical changes (rephotography) seasonal changes (repeat photography) and use of time-lapse to show how the weather impacts the river.

It is so often the case that people go about their daily lives with no idea of whats actually around them. Whole dramas are acted out daily, but on scales that are unseen and completely unnoticed.

Showing these words within words is the main project aim.

The project will result in a. Large collection of interconnected images and media works that are then displayed along the river, within school and education facilities, for use as conservation awareness, books and as ‘pop up’ exhibitions that are hosted within sites of interest within the projects area of interest. This would mean each exhibition evolving each time, so no one event is the same. 

It is hoped that this idea will evolve into a more clear focus during this module.

For the opening week:

This opening week for the new module has seen a focus on the techniques of rephotography .and repeat photography.

Until now I had made the mistake of assuming they were two of the same technique. However I now understand them to describe the following:

1. Rephotography – this has a wide artistic remit and looks to create new images from existing works or through the re-telling of a visual story by adding to the narrative. This can take many forms, but can include physically presenting existing images of a space or scene and then rephotographing them to create a new visual chapter.

Such works resonate well with my chosen practice and I find the work of

Jason E Powell: Looking into the Pasthttp://jasonepowell.com/albums/looking-into-the-past/  the most relevant for me at this stage.

2. Repeat photography – this is more focused on the transition of time and how a subject can change over a short (minutes, hours or days) to a much longer period (weeks, months etc).

This genre resonates with me as it is an ideal method of showing transitions between time of day, effects of weather or showing the changes in seasons. I feel that this model will become an important part of my project and one that will need careful early planning to ensure the most is achieved from it.

Here I find the work of Michael Marten: Sea Change:  http://www.michaelmarten.com/thumbnails.php?catNo=2&gallNo=2  to be of great relevance for this area of my practice.

Using similar methods I can show the changes in day, sessions and weather impacts. I will also look to explore the use of time-laps photography as a way of seeing how the river worlds within worlds change over a range of time periods. 

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