After a long set of 9 hour darkroom sessions across 4 days I’ve finally found 10 images and printed those 10 using Fibre based paper. I’m happy with the results even considering how much time it took. I wanted to show, in my opinion, the negativity of society on the streets, how people walk past others without even acknowledging the other person. I felt by finding people who have experienced social isolation was too obvious and it would make their experience define them as an individual instead of show their bright personality of which they are scared to show to society. Instead I found an everyday occurrence that has more of a universal studium. After asking peers where they feel isolated from society when their walking alone, the majority said yes and felt uncomfortable in that situation. After I’d explored with urban landscapes inspired by Paul Graham’s book ‘Troubled Land’ and portraits inspired by Melissa Cacciola, I worked with the idea of photographing two ‘strangers’ in the same frame, with slight inspiration in visual of Lee Friedlander. After merging this visual with other influences such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Piet Mondrian, Alexander Rodchenko and Lewis Baltz, I’d arrived at my own, distinct visual that I felt gave the message that I wanted. Every photograph shows people who are on their own walking past someone in the same position. In the background there is different lines and patterns selected to give a modernist idea of togetherness by deliberately showing interlinking lines to create different shapes. I’ve selected my 10 strongest images, and developed them some darker and some lighter to show different interpretations on society, and with deliberate blurred people to show no regard for the individual in this current state, to make the images more thought provoking with the viewer trying to make out the individual with trouble. I was initially unhappy with the scratches and blotches that appeared on my prints, but It also adds to the negativity of the whole situation, adding to the feel of isolation and that there is something wrong with the situation
Here are some of the images:
I’m happy with the outcome of this project and feel like all the research has guided me to these ten images, of which I’m really pleased with. I’m content with the learning outcomes that I got from this assignment as well, I got to experiment in the darkroom for the first time, learning different techniques through the project. Throughout I was making resin based prints to show the progress of the assignment, but for the final pieces I used fibre based paper for a more textured look. This process took a lot longer, but the prints worked really well for the aesthetic that I was going for. Furthermore, I’d developed techniques like dodging and burning, and used them frequently in my prints to bring out the people more in my images.
Before this assignment I was always anxious to do street photography because I wasn’t comfortable taking images of strangers, which like my project on isolation says something about the current society. But as I really got into taking these images, I became a lot more confident and comfortable in front of the people I was photographing.
Choosing my 10 images was a difficult process because I’d taken a lot of images with various locations, and various styles. My final prints were in fact 12, so I had to choose the right images to cut and which images to keep, and I felt the editing lecture with Jonathan Worth and Carolyn Lefley helped with this. Actually, all the lectures were incredibly useful references for me, especially the ‘what is a photograph’ and ‘what is fine art’ lectures. I understood so much more about photography from those lectures, and all the different workshops, my images would not be the same without them.