Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Assignment One...Domestic Sublime

Just thought I should update you on progress for Landscape assignment one by way of an insurance policy in the event I've messed up! This may sound pessimistic and I don't like to pre-post, but with the large format camera it really is possible. I have just sent off my 5x4 sheets to Peak Imaging.  I'll get back contact sheets in the next few days, that if I'm lucky, should glean 4 or may be 5 images that I can submit for assignment one...even at best that is a long way off the ten or twelve recommended, but to even get that few has been an achievement in itself. And indeed, if I've made technical errors (which is not difficult to do), I may in fact have nothing to show for my efforts at all!  So that is why I include my progress now...so that when April arrives and no assignment is forthcoming, it is because my exploits have failed rather than sitting on my hands for months. There isn't a plan B as such, so I may have to resurrect all the 'chocolate box' rejects I have so rigorously criticised.

Simply meaning domesticity in the sublime landscape...

Now I am the first to admit that this is stretching the remit of assignment one - 'the season' somewhat.  If my images come back from Peak Imaging as I hope, they will be linked to the season 'winter' in as much as, they have all been taken in winter. But that is as far as I have gone in making any connection back to the season. This may prove a little too tenuous, however without wishing to preempt anything, photography only works for me if I photograph what inspires me and as you might expect from reading previous blog posts (such as Location, Location, Location, Personalised Landscape, Chocolate Boxes, Landscape Photographers Trap) I was not minded to 'capture the winter weather'. If I continue to photograph this concept throughout the year, the seasonal changes will be implicit in the imagery anyway.

The intention of this assignment is to take a view of the Lakeland landscape from one who lives here.  I'm not holidaying here so I don't need to demonstrate its beauty...there are thousand upon thousand of images that do that.

No, perhaps foolishly, I have taken a satirical approach to this assignment...I have used the landscape as a backdrop to a 'domesticity'..there is reason in the madness...but any further explanation or rationale will kill it in my opinion.

But, they did take more than a little time to set up, coming up with the ideas, trying to cajole friends in to modelling, as well as finding suitable locations and props. And indeed stealing the odd supermarket trolley too (well, renting for a pound)!!

...I have repeatedly questioned my wisdom in investing my efforts in to this series and am probably too close to the concept now to judge it objectively...but either which way, this is how I wanted to start the course...

I, once again, forgot to take duplicates with the digital camera apart from this one which I include by way of an example, although the 5x4 may come out quite different:

I have a second piece of ongoing work I may submit to make up for the shortage of images on the Domestic Sublime project which is a time-lapse study. I started it in January and the location is very close to home. It will continue for the full year and is less ambitious or interesting, but I am drawn to time lapse photography!!  I guess there is no harm in posting a link to my tutor when I've put something together. But I may reconsider depending on how far I get with it.

So there you have it...the start of an assignment submission...or may be not...depending on how I have faired technically. I must admit, the large format camera is by no means easy for me and errors are costly.  I am minded to persevere with it throughout the duration of this course in the hope it'll become more familiar...but if it persists in feeling as un-instinctive as it does at present I may retreat to digital and sell it.  It is a beautiful piece of kit that I am 'willing' myself to love more than I currently do...


  1. Very intrigued... Looking forward to seeing the results of this work. I do hope you get a pleasant surprise when you get the contact sheets back from Peak.

  2. This is like breaking the fourth wall in TV and film; challenging one emotional frame of reference with another to create a critique of both attitudes.

    Props to you for shooting on 5x4 too, without the benefit of an instant proof as well I would bet. ' }

    Fingers crossed. ' }

    I look forward to seeing the series.

    1. Just checked on wiki and found out what the fourth wall is!!

  3. I like... fingers crossed!

  4. Sounds very interesting a sort of chocolate box with subversive centres? Looking forward to it. As you know I have thought about LF for a while now, but have decided to re-invest in MF film - camera and lenses received last week - a kind of half way house to the known beauty of LF but as I have years of practice with MF I can slip back into it (hopefully).

  5. Thank you...I have everything crossed too...I really need to nail my processes down a bit more so its less hit and miss. John I think medium format is a sensible option...what have you bought? It'll be interesting to hear how you get on.

  6. I foolishly sold a Bronica and some lenses to help fund the D3 a few years ago. I have now bought another (obviously second hand) SQAi with a couple of lenses. I have been told that since I now have six cameras that enough is enough. However I do really like the aesthetic of film, I like to handle it, to feel the investment in it - the developing, the scanning and, just as importantly the, the time taken all of which I struggle to do with the super clean images of the D3. I'm not sure it will be useful for the course, but I know I will have a lot of fun and creativity with it.

  7. Six cameras...yes that is quite enough!!! I'll be updating my digital for my birthday...my canon 450d has always struggled in low light and will upgrade to canon 5d mark ii. In terms of film, I'm sticking to the Ebony for the clarity and the challenge, I do have a Holga...but I'm still not sure whether film for me is just a development 'phase', the aesthetic is so distinctive with some that it limits its use I think. We'll see. Enjoy your new camera, look forward to seeing the results...

  8. Well - you're casting your fate to the winds/ fortune to the God of the Lakes. A true heroine! If the digital camera image you've posted is anything to go by then even 4 images from the MF will be wonderful I'm sure. I'm looking forward to seeing them.

  9. PS Forgot to say I think it's a wonderful concept. Made me think of those ladies who do actually climb up the mountains/hills in high heels!

  10. Thanks Catherine for the supportive comments...I can sense a new project coming on with the entrance of the mystical Gods of the Lakes...I like the sound of it!! Yes, killer heels...quite literally!!