Assignment one: Two Sides of the story – First Draft

Brief

Create at least two sets of photographs telling different versions of the same story.

Concept

Taking inspiration from different types of documentary photography namely, the vernacular, aftermath and documentary I wanted to create sets of images which captured the final stages of the cover-19 lockdown. One showing how we have been socially motivated to celebrate the sacrifices and diligent hardworking of the NHS, another, showing that at the same time essentially becoming ever more inward in isolation. In a way the isolation and risk attached to strangers, proximity, touching and cleaning. The immediacy of driving the obvious risks to the forefront of everyones minds has created an excuse for disregarding all other societal norms.

Research

The main influence for this work is the knowledge gained and outlined in Part 1 of the course work Exercise 1-5. I also further wanted to refer to the specific type of vernacular photography highlighted such as Alphonse Bertillon, “Murder of Madame Veuve Bol, Projection on a Vertical Plane,” 1904.

The idea of including photographic equipment within the frame has been an idea I have toyed with previously, the early use of these cameras and techniques were for the purpose of documenting forensic evidence, the aesthetic being secondary to the main goal and therefore the inclusion of the legs which would usually be considered a defect is disregarded as a necessity to achieve the framing needed to capture the body in place. I find it an interesting concept that the inclusion of the legs reminds us that that this is a photograph being staged and captured to a specific requirement yet being a forensic document we know that it is essentially ‘truth’. A contradiction in modern times where the inclusion of the equipment would be seen as peeking behind the curtain or breaking the fourth wall and suspension of disbelief. We see this in film, when a boom mic drops slightly into frame it can be distracting and highly derided for the amateurishness of the production. When utilising these types of ‘mistakes’ as a tool within the frame we can lend credence or doubt to what we see as either document or construction.

During preparing for Express Your Vision, I had a similar thought with the use of forensic scales and measures which I felt would support the style of images within one of the sets.

Contact Sheets

Selected Images

Reflection

Due to the recent lockdown and movement restrictions I have found myself increasingly struggling to find the drive and enthusiasm to concentrate on developing my image output. the research has been helpful and the reading has been engaging but I feel as though my lack of creativity has come through in these sets. I like the concept and feel the final 5 images are the best of the lot as it was an idea I have wanted to try and develop for a while. The use of on camera flash, tripod and measuring scale all achieve the look I was striving for but the other images seem to lack he same level of effectiveness. I believe this may be partly due to my own bias towards thinking that generally everyone has actually become more selfish during the lockdown and that the Clap for NHS is just another way to make people feel like they are contributing and keep their conscience clear, whilst simultaneously wasting PPE and creating mess and potential transmission hazards on the very streets in front of their homes. Potentially, if I had made an effort to invite the people to pose and perform for the camera to heighten the effect it would have been more satisfactory. Also as we are reaching the loosening of the lockdown less people are taking part in the clap which lessens the impact of the images. This is one of the reasons I decided to include three sets instead of just two as I felt a couple of the good images were more ambiguous about the intention as they included both celebratory points and disillusionment such as image 6 where we see the parents clapping and beeping horns whilst their small child looks on sullen and bored.

I look forward to the further assignments and exercises as we relax the restrictions which will hopefully help with freedom to work with others and spend more time out exploring and developing new ideas.

References

Consider a career in forensic photography (s.d.) At: https://www.policeone.com/police-jobs-and-careers/articles/consider-a-career-in-forensic-photography-4n4FDoedmJvtF2ym/ (Accessed 25/05/2020).Schwartz, A. (s.d.) The Long Collusion of Photography and Crime. At: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/the-long-collusion-of-photography-and-crime (Accessed 25/05/2020).

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