Week 7 – Experimental

This weeks experimentation took me underwater!

I have long been inspired by artists such as Tanja Deman and her works on Saltwater and Sunken Garden. I have spoken about her works before in my CRJ, and I have always found them to be an inspiration.


Figure 1

I find such images to be tremendously calming and that they draw you into the frame and into a very different world, one where we as humans can not exist.

My aim for photographing under the river waters has been to show a new, often alien view of the river that very few ever see. Despite how deep or shallow the water is, you find such a diverse landscape. The camera can go where we can not and as a result, often achieve images that – despite not being technically perfect, often produce relatable scenes that others find compelling.

Similar the works of Derges has taught me that the use of natural light and being underwater can create images that both inspire and draw question to the reality of the scene.

For the River Bovey’ exhibition, Derges used photograms, a light-sensitive paper that is placed under the surface of the water. A flash then exposes its image onto the paper. The effect of this is some very surreal views which observers often equate to surreal images.

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 20.58.17

Figure 2

This use of alternative photographic methods has interested me, and I am considering exploring these as part of my FMP. For me, these methods go beyond regular photography and help bring to life the river’s energy for the observer.

While both approaches are very different, the resulting gazes upon the river are unique in some scenes, and more so when their construction is taken into consideration.

My exploration work initially followed such an idea, but then identified that time and capacity did not allow me to develop such work for this WIP. It was felt that this would be better suited to my FMP.

To move forward, I went back to consider the sills images I had started to collect as part of this modules work. It has been noted that individually they are good images, but without a binary narrative, they are just that, underwater images.


Figure 3


Figure 4


Figure 5

The above three images demonstrate the current position of my practice and the direction I had taken over the last three modules.

I now feel that partially due to the equipment I possess, and partially due to the limit such a photographic process can achieve that I have come to a natural holt with such images.

I have identified that, until I can afford a full underwater housing for my SLR and also until I can develop a more moving story to go with such images, then to submit such stills images as shown above for my WIP within this module would not take me anywhere. I do however see the potential for such still work as part of my FMP and any exhibitions.

However, I do want to use this module to experiment more with video. It has been pointed out to me on a few occasions that these still images could work more effectively as a video piece. It is still capturing scenes from underwater but as a moving image instead of a still.

I am very keen to try and develop this concept along with a suitable narrative. The idea of studying one location on the river over a period of time does lend itself to the possibility of using video in such a way. I could review the scene underwater at different times of the day and different angles.

I shall look to start exploring this concept over the next few weeks.





  • Figure 1 – DEMAN, Tanja. 2015. Saltwater. [Photograph] (source media) 
  • Figure 2 – DERGES, Susan. 2008. River Bovey photogram. [Photograph] (source media) 
  • Figure 3 – JONES, Rob. 2019. Under the river water. [Photograph]
  • Figure 4 – JONES, Rob. 2019. Under the river water. [Photograph]
  • Figure 5 – JONES, Rob. 2019. Under the river water. [Photograph]