Posted in Assignment 2 - Preparation, Assignment 2 ~ A journey, Coursework, Research and Reflection

Assignment Two – Plan B – The Trees

I know what’s been missing from my Assignment.  All this time I have jumped from one idea to another, the reflections in the water, the path of Moss Road but that little cog of inspiration hasn’t slotted into place. And until it does I never stop searching. As I stood in the wild I felt the comfort of the trees, I needed the trees. My exploration of trees was not to stop at Assignment One, it was to become the roots of all of the assignments, guiding me.  It was then I realised what had been missing. My assignment needed a story, something dark, something different that I always include. It needed psychology and emotion. That was what it was missing.

Sometimes to find the path you’ve been searching for, you have to wander down many, right to the end if necessary before realising that the destination is not the one you had planned. And as with this assignment and the last one I have explored many ideas, wound down many roads before arriving on the forest path that I find myself on now.

Researching the Edgelands I felt excited, inspired and motivated. However, when I arrived there, they were beautiful and wild but I realised I was missing something. Trees. It was in that moment that I realised what trees mean to me. They are a safe harbour, they are friendly giants, I feel at home among them. I reflected on my thoughts during this unit, of trees and how they may be seen as a place of danger but are actually a place of safety, I thought of what the trees meant to those who took a different path in the suicide forest and the passage I wrote below 

 I often return to my tutors comments on our first skype call, “We come from forests – that is the place where we store our fears”  It is the place where we store our fears yet it I also feel that the forest calls to them, the fear is overidden, they return to nature, from where they’ve come, perhaps there is a feeling of safety, the trees like comforting arms there to take away their pain, to shield them from their suffering and that of the outside world. Whilst the forest may bring others fear, the way the branches close in on each other blocking out the outside world, that is in a way it’s appeal, it is a place where you can hide, a place of escape, it is like the journey undertaken by the souls of the departed in Greek Mythology. Instead of the winding river Styx, they tread the path of the forest.  The forest is not a scary place, it is named Mother Earth for a reason and it provides the comfort they need, whether it’s to send them back to their lives or for them to start a new journey in a new layer of the world.”

I felt that the trees were saying something different. I want to create images of a journey (not of the suicide forest, purely, seeking the trees as comfort)  What if the trees were trying to help, saying  ‘Why do you fear, leave your fear behind, come escape the light, the light is isolation but there is comfort in the dark, you’re alone in the light, we can hold you, come deeper, we are friends. Now you are safe. I can see with every image the trees getting darker, closer together as you go deeper, it’s a journey both physical and psychological. Each tree would have a sign on it saying the words.’

With these ideas flashing in my mind I recorded a quick audio note to clarify my ideas with a rapidly drawn mind map. When my mind is wandering, sketching down ideas and pictures leads me to clarity.  Everything came together as I drew. I could see the assignment images so clearly in my mind.

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Questions to ask myself.

I wonder what the signs on the tree should look like. Is pure white too stark, not natural? Do the words need to be physically in the photo or manipulated in later. I can see it as a video with music. The trees are not witches fingers. They are comforting arms of mother earth and they hear you. They are there for you. Why is the light always positive and the dark negative? I think there is comfort in the darkness. I wrote about my thoughts earlier in my learning log when I was looking at Jesse Alexander, the course writers sublime cave images. I will scan them and include them in the next blog posts. I feel excited for this. This is what I’ve been searching for.

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Posted in 11 Psychogeography and 'edgleands', Coursework

Exercise 2.6: ‘Edgelands’

Exercise 2.6: ‘Edgelands’

Read ‘Wire’ and ‘Power’ from Edgelands (see ‘Online learning materials and student-led research’ at the start of this course guide). These short chapters will help prepare you for some of the themes in Part Three. Record your responses in your learning log.

Part Two concludes with a brief investigation into Psychogeography.  This brief exercise immediately changed the path of Assignment Two. I bought the book Psychogeography earlier in the unit and have been reading it and using it to approach my assignment especially in regards to Plan B of Assignment Six.

What I’m learning is that psychogeography is the social identity of a place, yet it is more than that, it’s said that that is merely the beginning of what it represents. When I first investigated the topic it seemed no-one had a definite answer as of its purpose, indeed it seems a mirror of the sublime, a concept that is felt yet not understood dwelling in a place of the unknown, whilst not as mystical as the sublime, it is an abstract thought, or idea. Psychogeography seems to be determined by two things, Derive and Flaneur.

Derive – It’s spontaneity, heading out into the wild with no plan, no idea of what you are seeking or wish to explore. Your surroundings and mind collaborate to guide your feet. The geography of the area, architecture, even the ambience. It seems almost an act of mindfulness, allowing your emotions to guide you, being in the present moment and feeling the world around you. Coupled with the flaneur, the character of the journey, the main protagonist, the psyche. I have the book on Edgelands and at first scrolled through it, waiting for deep insights on photography or photo graphical theory, I was confused as the book was devoid of such things. But it was not devoid of knowledge, the wonders and minutiae of life beautifully observed and translated through prose, the writing takes you to a place beyond the present moment. For myself, it was especially beautiful reading as I do notice all the precious things that go unnoticed in life, I always have. The bloom of colour across a dark moor, the delicate raindrops on a leaf, the little sparrows chittering in a twisted bramble on a road side, the tangled limbs surrounding it yet at the same time protecting it. Reading Edgelands I felt like home, sharing my experiences like a minded person.

From thoughts on the psychogeography, next in turn is the Edgelands. The definition seems to be areas on the edge, places of industry, where barbed wire snakes around abandoned military builds as in the series the Hush House by Frank Watson. His work was mentioned briefly in this unit and I explored his website. Watson captured images of abandoned buildings left over from the Cold war; the buildings squat, filling a void somewhere between man and nature, clashing with the environment yet somehow fitting in in a strange mix of worlds. It’s a place where mythology and legends breathe out of the walls into the mind, whipping it up into a raging sea of imagination. They remind me of prehistoric or alien beasts left over after an invasion. To come across one would be to envision the shadows in Plato’s cave, you would put your own imagination and stories to it, you wouldn’t see them as military bases but as alien tech from another world (as a note to self from the beginning of this course since I came across Plato’s cave theory in a book of philosophy I was intrigued, soon after I read it in Susan Sontag’s book in regards to photography; I will discuss this later as it’s quite easy to become diverted and whilst I have written of Plato’s cave in my learning log I haven’t yet posted a study here.

The Edgelands; they are not merely physically but also metaphysically, the place where there is a feeling of danger, a feeling of being a stranger in a distant world. Perhaps you could go as far to say they are uncanny, they are known, these places you pass in the car, our of the corner of your eye you see the pylons holding up snake like wires across the countryside, the overgrown verges, the wild brambles, dark ponds, things that both capture the imagination and deter bravery. They seem to be a place disconnected from the world of safety (to a degree) that we know, off the beaten path. In that respect it brings me back to my investigations of the Suicide Forest, the images I saw and the passages I read were so dark I keep coming back to them, like a one-way path that eventually makes you pass under the dark branches once more. There, you can visit the forest and stay on the path, but if you wander off the path then you will meet some grisly sights. Could the Edgelands, whilst appealing to the brave, or curious, also be a place for the lost to find some comfort.

In the passage, Wire, the authors write of the tiny details all linked to a place surrounded in wire on the Edgelands. They are the stories that are a part of our lives, the stories overlooked and the stories lost. The wire is a barrier yet at the same time it is a draw to those who want to close to it’s barrier for the thrill of danger. The Edgelands are a place of imagination and danger, fear and excitement. Brought up on horror stories of the past these stories and the wire become a part of people’s lives who live near there, beating each other to tell the worst stories, a cocktail of anxiety and bravado, each trying to outscare the other.

When the buildings were shut down and their insides left empty and devoid of life the wire remained. Left by history they are now anintriguingg echo of the past with the same feeling of fear, now they can get closer without a police car monitoring their movements but there is still that unrivalled sense of adreneline and fear, like going through a door marked no entry.

Journalist Frances Spalding wrote when reviewing Edgelands by Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, “We may drive past such places, or through them, in the security and warmth of an airtight car, but they get to us; they have “edge” and seem to challenge the way we live. This book’s authors astutely observe that “Beneath all our worldly dealing, all our getting and spending, run deep, unspoken channels, drumlins of guilt.”

I understand that feeling of guilt and I think it’s poignantly said, we all see these places with the abandoned shopping trolley and the dark pools clogged with litter, the hulking forms of pylons in an idyllic countryside but we pass by, feeling that guilt, yet not allowing it to the surface. It takes me back to Plato’s cave, when the prisoner finds their way out of the cave, sees reality as it is, their whole perception is changed and they can not go back to that life anymore.

As this point I’m seeing Edgelands as a place on the edge of life itself, it’s a place that we perhaps are aware is there but are quite happy to pass by, thought we feel the guilt in ourselves, we overlay it with positivity or distraction. We know this place is the back door to our reality. I didn’t coin the term back door, I came across in in a series of the Edgelands by the photographer, Tom Owens, he wrote, “every designated area of outstanding natural beauty has a back door to it.” For me, and my thoughts on the Edgeland, this sums it up perfectly, it is the back door to our lives, to go through it is to find a new pathway, something different. It could also be described as standing in a muddy puddle in a wasteland feeling miserable as rain pours into your shoes. But I’ve a feeling it’s a lot more special than that.

I feel motivated by my studies into the Edgelands, I feel that I haven’t done Assignment Two justice, capturing images of a beautiful river is aesthetically pleasing, but it doesn’t tie in with the dark themes of Assignment One, I look at it and like it but I feel like it stands alone as a project. I want to discover an Edgeland near where I live and I know just the place.

 

Posted in 10 Land art, Assignment 6 ~ Transitions, Coursework

Exercise 2.5: Text in art

In a similar manner to Richard Long’s ‘textworks’ (see http://www.richardlong.org), write down 12 – 24 brief observations during a short walk or journey by some means of transport. This may be the journey you intend to make for Assignment Two, or it may be a different one. You don’t need to take any photographs.

Consider how you might present your observations.

Richard Long’s textworks were surprisingly miminalistic. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, perhaps some poetic stanzas, some sketches of the walk. However the writing were quite basic. At first I didn’t quite see the art in them. I could feel a sense of the place, the feeling of a gap in the rain and the triumph at that. It seemed more a note to self, a passing observation.

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Textwork by Richard Long

But I found myself smiling when I clicked on the heading of ‘A cloudless walk’

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Textwork by Richard Long

Something so simple as being on a blue background is visually beautiful, gives a pleasant feeling as you connect the images to the background and sum up the words.

To go even more abstract I created the following images as an abstract way of viewing elements in a day. These simple colours and shapes create the feeling of the day described. Photography could be used to create the same thing and it was rather fun to create something quickly.

A Cloudless Walk

Untitled design

 A Rainy Day

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A Rainy day –

The more I looked at his written works there were some that appealed more than others, some seemed more general statements whereas others brushed into poetry. I, in particular, enjoyed this one. It’s still much like a statement, but it serves as illustrations in a book. It even gives the viewer/reader a feeling of his incentive to place the cairns. I can feel myself itching to draw the images.

 

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Walk of Seven Cairns by Richard Long

 

For this exercise, I thought of my ongoing personal project/Assignment Six Plan B ‘Snippets‘ using the snippets of the discourse of the area taken over a period of twenty minutes to show the psychogeograpy and a sense of place.

Ohh that one...do you remember, there was such a hoo ha it went

With that in mind, I went to sit on the seafront and capture the Snippets. It was a darker day than last time and this is reflected in the conversation of twenty minutes, there isn’t much discourse, very few people. I myself know the age group of the people who were there but I wonder whether viewers can tell that. It would be interesting to hear any thoughts. I  feel very touched by the two friends discussing the betrayal of another friend, ‘you’ve been a friend seventy years and been a friend more than anyone else.” It’s so fascinating getting a glimpse into these people’s lives, learning a bit of their story, of what their thinking, what they choose to share with others, the amusing, the moving, the sad. It’s humanity playing out through these images.

Ohh that one...do you remember, there was such a hoo ha it went

I’m loving this project the way you can capture the feeling of the place. Without the image could you guess the weather, the season. Whether people are talking about ice creams or muttering about the cold. I also feel the way in which I placed the writing gives a sense of a time-lapse of people rushing by, leaving behind just snippets and echoes of their lives.

 

 

Posted in 09 Mapping and other technologies, Coursework

Exercise 2.4: Is appropriation appropriate?

Have a look at the artists mentioned who appropriate images taken by other people and write around 300 words describing your response to artists and photographers working in this way.

A person walks into an art exhbition showing original photographs of Ansel Adams. They capture macro images, walk next door and hold their own exhbition of these macro photos passing it off as their own.They argue that they found this new viewpoint. Do people flock to see these images and praise them of their talent and vision…no they are arrested in violation of copyright and sued millions. The latter is of course truth so I don’t understand why someone can make profit taking screenshots of the images that Google Earth streetview provides.

It’s simple black and white thinking, ‘Do these images belong to you?” “No.” “Then they’re not yours.” The appropriator didn’t trek around the world with a camera mounted on a car winding down all the back streets No, they sat in their home scrolling tirelessly with a mouse. While Google Earth were recording images in dangerous places, they were sat taking screenshots. Yes the effort was theirs to go around these places, there is a commendation that they discovered such unusual, striking or shocking images that woud have otherwise remained undiscovered; for personal use it’s interesting but for profit it’s completely copyright infringement. If that is allowed then I believe that artists who create fan art (such as creating Harry Potter wands and other props) should be allowed to sell their products instead of being tracked down and having their shops closed.

Yes the appropriator made the effort but they didn’t make the initial effort which enables the images to be there. Without that there would be nothing.

Perhaps the Google Earth appropriator would argue that an artist or in the case of Marc Quinn is allowed to create an image from another image so why shouldn’t they, yet it’s quite different. The artist is creating something from scatch, starting with a blank canvas. I don’t see an issue with obtaining the rights and creating a tapestry based on a photo. Just as an artist may use a photo reference, there is no less skill, in fact there may even be more creating it from scratch.

I struggle to think of an argument against this; perhaps some would believe that these images raise awarness of a world where everyone is being watched, where the word privacy is a myth and we see the realistion of 1984 in our everyday. For instance ‘Mishka Henner’ whos disturbing images taken from google images show prosititutes waiting by roads on the outskirts of cities, he infuses those images into a clip to create the feeling that you are glancing at the women as you drive by.

So it may be argued, should these people be allowed to steal these images to raise awareness of exploitation? Perhaps if Google were to allow them, but in all honesty they could just go out and take the same images. I understand what they’re doing and why and it is imporant to raise issues but is this really the way?

I recently watched the Netflix movie, ‘The Circle’ with Emma Watson which gave quite a chilling insight into a world ruled by technology which we are rapidly shunted into. It feels more like this is a reality than whether or not it will happen.

Some would believe that Google Earth is just a documentation of the earth, anyone could go searching for these images…but they didn’t go out and create those images. They appropriated someone elses.

Edit –

A fellow course mate, Emma Pocock and I engaged in a friendly debate of appropriation which you can read in the comments. She brought up the use of people creating music parodies and as that is permissable should Google photography be too? I didn’t feel so as the Street view ‘photographers’ are taking an  image of an image, a direct copy just like Mishka Henner, he didn’t even create the journey himself, purely using the scrolling function. It should be allowed, just not for profit. A parody however is creating something new based on something else, it isn’t a direct copy as with the photo as the artist recreates it adding their own style and unique flair to it,

Posted in 08 Typologies and new topographies, Coursework

Exercise 2.3 Typologies

“Write down your own responses to the work of any of the practitioners O’Hagan mentions in his article, and describe your thoughts on typological approaches.”

Before I started this unit I was driving in the countryside and as we reached a junction and stopped we slowly drifted by the hedgerow, instead of filled with chattering sparrows I saw an old glove hanging from a branch like an urban leaf; just along a can was crushed between two branches. I decided to go back and create a photographic collection of the items found in the foliage. In a strange humanised way they almost seemed to belong there (though obviously littering is horrible) It just felt like they had adapted to their surroundings.

Then in the course, I come across Typologies and the Collective photographer which fitted perfectly with my ideas. From never doing personal projects alongside the photography course suddenly my mind is filled with them.

“A typology is a collection of a single type or class, with the collection itself being more important than the individual components.” 

Key points

  • In 1975 the New Topographics exhibition was held featuring 168 photos of the ‘mundane’ captured by revolutionary photographers such as  Robert Adamas, Lewis Baltz and Bernd and Hilla Becher (famous for their collective images of German water towers) images such as streets, urban areas, parking lots challenged the the world’s perception of beauty, twisting it and turning it on it’s head, pulling it away from contemporary ideas of beauty such as Ansel Adam’s images of the National Parks and instead focusing on seemingly inconsequential and banal images of real life. It was met by intense negative reviews yet it also created a new wave of photography echoed in many images created after the exhibition.
  • Despite being an unconventional perception of beauty it carried a warning message of mans ongoing urge to rapidly take over the country, expanding urban areas and eating up the surrounding beauty like an environmental game of PacMan.

I find it quite interesting that the exhibition should have been met with such negativity especially when it reflected their own lives. Perhaps this was one of the reasons they didn’t like it, perhaps they didn’t like the way nature was being eaten by the urban landscape (though it continued)

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Bernd and Hilla Becher 

Personally, I do find beauty in the collection and the images are visually appealing. They reflect real life in quite an evocative and moving way, throughout their images, especially the Becher water tower images; you see rhythms echoed through the architecture just as such echoes appear throughout nature. They are fascinating in an unconventional way, not merely for collections, but for aesthetic appeal on a larger scale. The images are also a time capsule for a time from before. How many of these water towers still stand? They may not phsyically be there, but their presence will always be felt and documented through these images. Then again that brings it back to a collective use when the aesthetic is also felt. I think it is something in human nature to want to categorise, we categorise people into friends and enemies, enemies into rivals and nemisie. Food is into groups, animals into classifications. So it seems natural that photography goes the same way, it is visually pleasing to see such images grouped together, there is a link between them all, it’s harmonious. We see several images of similar things, they may share similarities but also their appeal is in their uniqueness, just as every fingerprint is different, so too are these images. Even if you had two identical towers you would still probably notice some discrepancies. The couple quoted that they photographed ‘buildings where anonymity is accepted to be the style’.

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James Mollison – James and Other Apes

Such images also raised awareness of the outspread of the urban landscape, watching places dissapear before your very eyes but they also raise awareness of issues in the animal kingdom. James Mollison was touched and in awe of the similarities between the faces of man and primate. He travelled the globe to meet orphans of the bush meat and pet trade capturing close up haunting images, ‘like a passport photo’ The name of the typology ‘James and other Apes’ serves to show the connection between man and primate and the similarities are powerful, their eyes call out to you, they are a reflection of our features. For an animal lover like myself I know the empathy they have, how all animals think and feel and are not at all different from us. I do not need to see such images to raise awareness but it calls out to others who feel something stir inside of them. The typology is visually appealing, aesthically beautiful and yet it’s imporantnce is those two factors coming together to create a physical, internal reaction.

Bibliography

http://jamesmollison.com/books/james-other-apes/

https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/95?locale=en

http://infinitedictionary.com/blog/2015/10/21/photographic-typologies/

https://blog.redbubble.com/2012/04/photographic-typologies-the-study-of-types/

Posted in 07 The road, Assignment 2 - Preparation, Assignment 2 ~ A journey, Coursework, Research and Reflection

Assignment Two – Contextualisation

I feel I’ve really found the pathway or waterway I wish to take for Assignment Two. I’m so passionate about it, the images are quite different to my usual style yet it is the different images, such as the abstracts that I feel most connected to. I will research some photographers who photograph wide open places in an abstract way.

I do plan to return but perhaps I will return with the same lens. Or perhaps I will just see where the wind takes me and the assignment. With my photography, I had a different lens and that enabled me to experiment and create images I wouldn’t usually. Now I feel very drawn to the abstract portrayal of a landscape. Is abstract photography the onomatopoeia of the photography world? I remember my joy as a GCSE student to discover onomatopoeic words such as ‘crunch, crackle, fizz’ that perfectly imitate the sounds of the words they are describing. I only need to read the word crunch and instantly I feel as though I am hearing someone walking on dry leaves or chomping through their breakfast cereal. And in that respect, abstract photography captures the details, the sounds, the feelings of that place. Perhaps not all abstracts, some may be to challenge the perception, to tell stories but in regards to my assignment, I feel these images below that I captured, illustrate the feeling and senses of the river trip.

 

ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY – Contextualisation 

Nadav Kander created a series of images for his book, Dust where he photographed abandoned and restricted areas wrought by the desolation of man creating photos that are an oxymoron, they are devoid of people yet they are seeped in humanity, their very essence and destruction and responsibility is tied to humanity.  Two small towns that Kander photographed, Kurchatov and Priozersk were not even known until Google Earth discovered them.

He heads his work with the stanza from TS Elliot’s poem ‘The Wasteland’

‘I will show you fear in a handful of Dust’ TS Elliot

I’ve read many thoughts on the meaning of this line, but just like art, poetry is subjective and one meaning may not resonate with another. My personal opinion of this quote in regards to his photography is the dust and the ashes of the place that have been destroyed or been left to rot by man, “I will show you fear” your mind is consumed by what has gone before, here is a handful of dust of all that is left. Let your terrified imagination fill in the terrible gaps. Yet could the quote also be taken to mean, you may be terrified of the world and the darkness and the huge scheme of things but I will show you the fear in the little things, in a handful of dust.”

Illustrating a series with a poem brings me back to my own assignment, I referred to my river trip with Robert Frost’s poem, ‘The Road not Taken‘. Perhaps I myself should illustrate my journey with a poem (written by myself) In fact the more I think about it, the more the rhythm of the river seems to echo the words of poetry. As in the poem Limbo, a powerful tale of the African slaves, the poem echoes with repetition until you feel you are almost swaying with the backbreaking rhythm of the boat as the slaves work the oars.

 

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Photograph by Nadav Kander

 

 

One of the images on his website that grabbed me is reminescent of an abstract painting, a blur of blue and sienna, the raw colours of nature. The image is split into two layers, the sky and the earth, both whipping by as though as though you are viewing it from a moving vehicle. It feels like two stripes of paint, a unity of the sky and earth with no details or barriers to disrupt the rhythm. “My landscapes are really honed to the palm print of man, mans effects on their surroundings…it’s really about the endeavour of man which is behind those pictures.

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Photo by Brett Weston

Brett Weston – He captures the landscape around him in such a flawless abstract style, taking a small square from a vast place and making that the main  His images remind me of the mantra in Rudyard Kiplings, ‘The Jungle Book‘ The strength of the pack is the wolf, but the strength of the wolf is the pack.” So as to say, he takes a very small portion of a vast landscape, turns it on its head to show the small portion is just as powerful as the landscape around him. The landscape draws its power from the details yet the details draw the power from the landscape. The undulating waves of the desert rising like tumultuous waters of the deep. His images can appear as multiple things at once, Is it trees and branches jutting out of still waters, or reflections of overhanging trees. Or are they bent and warped pieces of iron filing or paperclips, a modern piece of art.

Franco Fontana

I first came across Franco Fontana’s wonderful images whilst watching Masters of Photography where Fontana was a judge. Some of the wisdom he offered was so powerful that it has buried itself deep into my mind and often speaks those words in moments when I am studying. I wrote about him here  His images pack a punch of intense colour, the saturation so powerful you can almost taste it. I love the way he sees the landscape, in bands of colours, seeking out the beautiful masterpieces created by nature. Indeed his mantra is ‘to make the invisible visible’

 

 

 

 

Posted in Assignment 2 - Preparation, Coursework, Part Two ~ Landscape as journey, Research and Reflection

Assignment Two Preparation

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After my studies of Exercise 2.2 and my study of the road in the form of an ocean, I took a trip to the local nature reserve, Martin Mere. Created by the WWT which was in turn founded by Peter Scott, an incredible man and a wonderful naturalist responsible for bringing back many species from the edge of extinction such as the Hawaiian goose, which now populates Martin Mere. There are several centres around Great Britain but I am lucky in that this one is not far from home.

I took many photos as I plan to enter the WWT annual photography competition.

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I headed to the dock nestled deep inside the woodland where I proceeded to take a rowing boat on a guided tour through the reedbeds. The boat man, a cheerful volunteer provided a fascinating narrative as we drifted slowly through the waterway. I knew instantly as we glided softly away from the sounds of the duck filled ponds and into a still silence that this was the place I wanted to use for Assignment Two, my only regret, I had chosen to take my 80mm lens (due to the heavy rain as we left I had decided to leave my other lenses safe at home)  therefore I didn’t have the right lense for landscape shots. However, what dicattes that only certain lenses can capture specific things, why can’t a portrait lens be used for landscape? Perhaps I should use all the images that I took that day to provide a different insight. Certain things were harder to photograph, landscapes, for example, yet other opportunities arose that would perhaps not have been presented with another lens. For instance these two abstract images. IMG_9416.JPGIMG_9419.JPG

I hung over the edge of the boat as several mallards swam alongside for secretive swishes of bird seed I offered who unsurprisingly followed us the entire way. There were so many pathways and we reached a part in the river where the water parted and led down two routes. It reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road not Taken’

“Two roads diverged in yellow wood, and I

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.”
It is a poem about a man who is faced with two roads, one is worn with footprints and broken branches, and the other clearly has not been used much. He ponders which to take and eventufully decides on the one less travelled by. We do not know whether the difference it has made is good or positive, what happened on the path, where it led him or even whether it’s a physical path or a choice in something less physical.
In CBT they say how your mind believes what you think and the more you keep going down the same path the more you will get trapped in a vicious circle. But to step out of the trampled grass and to cut away into some new grass will provide a different route, a way out which will soon become the way your mind naturally thinks.
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We faced the two routes before heading down the left side one. It was eerily quiet, yes eerie doesn’t somehow seem the right word, it was still, it was beautiful, so mindful just the gentle hum of the boats engine and the sound of the ducks cutting through the water while the marsh grasses grew taller than us occasionally waving their arms in our faces.
This was what my tutor had recommended, just getting out there, going on a journey somewhere, just me, my camera and my imagination and to see what happened, no prior research of the area, just spontaneity and a camera.
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I would love to return with my 18-125mm lens and my iPhone and capture some landscape shots to add to the selection. But perhaps with regard to my thoughts above I will just stick to my 80mm images.
I better put my head down and start thinking.
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