Demonstration of technical and visual skills
People featured in this set are largely family members, apart from two that I came across while out and about. Those featuring myself and family are deliberately staged to illustrate the project concept. I staged these images in a way that tried to make it plain that these are staged; I wanted to avoid trying to replicate snapshot aesthetics as I wanted to be clear that life comes to a standstill at times.
As the subject of this part of the course is specifically about colour, I looked to create photographs where colour became as relevant to the result as the subject. During the final collation of this set I produced B&W contacts to verify that these generally work much better in colour. The B&W contact sheet is included here.
Quality of outcome
I wanted to show the transition from initial optimism, through disillusionment, and then to a middle reality. I have positioned the images within the page to emphasise these differences in mood; from left to right as pessimism to optimism. I had initially tried to sequence them to follow this linear narrative but decided against it as it seemed to be too forced. Instead I have sequenced them to try and show the changes of mood as constantly changing sense of wellbeing. Included here are PDF documents showing the initial and revised layout sheets for the set.
The initial work generated many images that I then cut down to a short list of twelve. The two that were not used in the final set are shown below.
Demonstration of creativity
The evolution of this assignment is documented in my blog here
Although I had thought about using my own home life as a subject, I felt this would be bound to be too self-centred and of little interest to anyone else. It did then occur to me that expanding the theme to a more general view of how we adapt to the significant change in lifestyle was much more appropriate. Some of the photographs here were taken while out in search of a subject and became useful in suggesting a set.
I have been influenced here by Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s project “A Storybook Life”, in particular by the way his staged shots show the idea of time standing still. His work also shows that a project can allude to an idea through images without people; an inanimate subject can also show the idea. In his essay on diCorcia, Geoff Dyer says “people remain stuck at the level of noun without recourse to the appropriate verb…..it is not that time has stopped; it is just nowhere to be seen”(Dyer,2013:21). This sentence resonated with me as directly relevant to the idea of our own impetus in life coming to a halt.
Hannah Starkey’s work also influenced these in the sense of showing people being at some sort of crisis point. I realise that her images are more visually complex than mine but the suggestion of a moment of decision is relevant to this project.
I did consider the idea of humour but decided against it as inappropriate for what I wanted to depict. Although there is much to admire, I did not want to go down the route of either Peter Dench (too cruel) or Martin Parr (too superficial).
Dyer, G. and Ribbat, C. (2013) Philip-Lorca DiCorcia. (Bilingual edition) (s.l.): Kerber Verlag.