I'm not sure how I will take to this particular genre of photography but I guess the following provides a list of the sort of things I am hoping to explore. Although I know as soon I start studying I may go off in an altogether other direction!!
- I am hoping to experiment more with 'landscape portraiture', there probably is a proper name for it but I don't know what it is. But what I am meaning is the relationship people have with and in their environment. For example Alec Soth's Sleeping by the Missisippi Project where the photograph is part social documentary but also landscape is a significant contributing factor to the interpretation of the portfolio.
- Conversely, I would also like to experiment with 'landscape-less' portraiture which seems to be ever-present in contemporary photography at the moment. For example Rineke Dijkstra's Beach Project where the landscape is purposefully 'absent' in so much as it offers little to distract or add meaning to the photograph. Another quite harrowing portfolio by Izabella Damavlys of victims of acid attacks takes this confrontational approach (read this interview on eyeteeth with her). Another example is Kathryn Obermaier's Ashray School where she purposefully omits any background. She speaks of her approach on this website:
I choose to focus mainly on their faces eliminating distraction, or clues to their surroundings, leaving only the details of their faces to tell their stories.
- Another approach I have enjoyed viewing is less objective, but nevertheless has had extraordinary results. Two examples are Richard Renaldi's Touching Strangers and Manjari Sharma's In The Shower. Both photographers created the environment in which their subject's posed, in quite unusual situations. I love the awkwardness and surprising results from these projects. I would like to explore 'awkwardness' further.
- I want to pick up on something my tutor said in the past about a piece of work. I am not quite sure what or how I can achieve this but will be giving this further thought:
. . . I think you could make much more from a close, personal reportage assignment where this kind of subject was handled objectively.
- I would like to explore my local environment and its inhabitants and try to find the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary.
- I would like to gain confidence in photographing in public and be comfortable to ask subjects to 'sit' for me.
- I would like to explore 'more objective' photography than I have tried in the past. See previous post for more info on this.
- Eventually, when I lay my hands on a large format camera I would like to experiment with contemplative portraiture. See this previous post for more info on this. Many of the photographers I have highlighted above use a 5x4 large format camera.