Demonstration of technical and visual skills
Like all of my work on this course so far, the Covid restrictions in place have made this more difficult than I expected at the start. I placed further restrictions on myself here by forcing myself to only take photographs at points determined by the pedometer. Like most people I try to follow the restrictions in place as closely as possible but will admit to having broken the rules from time to time. I intend these images to evoke the restrictions by using an artificial restriction that I have placed on myself by only taking photographs at points determined by the pedometer.
I have cropped the images to a 5/4 ratio to imply a sense of stasis, of time standing still. I have presented these images as a PDF document to retain the sense that these are a complete set rather than individual photographs
Quality of outcome
I have chosen the final set from a series I took over seven walks on different days in November. These have been chosen from a shortlist of twenty eight images which are shown here as a contact sheet print.
The selected images are those that most represent both my own mood and what I perceive as a general perception of the lockdown restrictions. I didn’t want to suggest excessive loneliness – not something I felt at all – but rather the idea of isolation, distance and separation. Several of the images are explicitly suggestive of the forbidden, of options and activities that are no longer permitted
Demonstration of creativity
The evolution of this assignment is documented in my blog here
This includes a couple of false starts on this project, work that I felt could not be fully realised in the current situation. The work for this final submission began as an exercise in seeing what was possible and even with doubts as to the potential outcome I continued with this just to see what might happen.
Since the restrictions in place severely limited the scope for contact with other people I felt it appropriate that I would focus on work that both did not require this contact, and at the same time made this lack of contact a major point of the work.
In a Zoom talk on ‘Beyond the still image’ (see https://simon513313documentary.net/2020/12/08/beyond-the-still-image/) Michelle Bogre commented that in recent years documentary practise has begun to blur the lines between distinct categories of mirrors an windows, so that work can be both of these at the same time. I felt this comment to be particularly relevant to this work and encouraged me to continue with this project.
Since I took most of these photographs before I was sure this was to form the actual project I cannot say that I had a formal structure to the work in mind the whole time. However I was aware throughout of being able to utilise the concepts of connotation and denotation, even with my own additional restrictions.
Even with the restrictions I placed upon myself, the primary driver is my own perambulations around my neighbourhood. In that sense I would categorise this as an insider viewpoint (see https://simon513313documentary.net/2020/08/05/insider-viewpoints/); it is my environment I choose to depict.
Richard Long’s book ‘A Walk Across England’ has long been a favourite of mine, both for the idea of photographing a journey and also for the mixture of the poetic and the playful in his work. This combination is something I try to replicate in these images.