Sunday, July 31, 2011

Assignment 1: Success and Frustration

3 day weekend, plenty of time with my camera, and then a foot injury stops everything.  I am very frustrated and running out of time to complete the assignment with the weather I need.  There are 5 weekends coming up, only 1 is free to work on the assignment.  The challenge I have is that I want to go to the Olympic Site during the weekend when the park will be full of people enjoying themselves.  An early morning trip during the week provides good light, but is not so great for shots of people lounging in the sun.  Perhaps this is not going to be for this assignment.

Am hoping the injury is minor and that I can recover quickly and get out again this week.  However, I feel as if I am closing in on the end, each trip now is yielding high quality material that works with my narrative, if anything my current problem will be trimming to 12 separate images.  During the past week I have made 2 visits to the site, each time in interesting weather.  With this blog entry I simply want to group some of the images that are working for me into a visual essay, with 32 shots this may be a few too many, but they are a record of my developing theme at this stage.

First of all I am trying to develop something that works with the legacy of the village as a place where people now make their homes.  In this I am torn between doing something very graphic, influenced by Michael Wolf or Andreas Gursky, or something more vernacular along the lines of Stephen Shore or William Eggleston.  The following 3 photos have elements of these ideas within them

I am still very much intrigued by the overhead pipes and the lead in that they provide to the photographs, here are a few new thoughts on that.  The challenge is to include them in a way that adds to the photograph and is not simply an image of pipes

A simpler problem is that of creating an introductory panorama to set the stage.  The first shot uses my 17mm to create a single shot landscape.  The second also using the 17 stitches two images together for a broader viewpoint.  I clearly prefer the second as an individual shot, the sky is dramatic and the foreground figure adds some scale, however, colour wise the first fits within my current approach.  Final choice will be influenced by the other images in the set:

From the easy to the tricky.  I want to make the hill a major thread within the image set, several shots will be taken from it, but how do I actually represent it.  The first in this sequence is a different slant on answering this problem, showing a tiny but poignant aspect of the hill.  The hill superimposes on the city out of which it is built.  Maybe...

The next two are more conventional shots that try to encompass the hill:

An important feature of all of the photographs in this set will be the presence of people, either directly or implicitly.    These 4 shots are examples of placing people as onlookers or participants, the subject is never the person, rather what they are looking at or even where they are going.

Curves, the entire area is a set of interleaving curves, here are a few visual musings:

I still have a fascination for the architecture of the site and in particular the roofs of the stadiums.  In these two I am pulled to the second by the quality of the sky, an ominous almost inky blue.

Getting underneath the canopies also creates some interesting shapes, the final image in this section being the most interesting to me, the cyclist adds scale and direction to the photograph.

To the side of the site BMW has one of their largest factories adjacent to which and within the park is the BMW museum.  The first of these shots shows the HQ taken from within the park, superimposing against the bridge.  The second two show the museum and HQ.  I feel the shot with the two girls in it is strongest, once again the presence of people is important to my concept.

Returning to the hill, here are a couple of photographs looking south away from the games site.  I am unlikely to use them, but they are truly characteristic views of Munich, making the alps look a lot closer.

Finally a couple of shots that contain some risk for me.  I want this set to portray the use of the games site 40 years on from the Olympics, both of these illustrate that element, just not sure if they will fit with the rest of the set and whether they are of high enough quality.

As I mentioned in the preamble, I have had some success with the camera and like many of the images I have shot, the problem I wrestle with is still where am I on the spectrum of bad to good for a second year photography undergraduate - never had this problem in Physics, it was obvious if I was right or wrong, whether I understood or not the material.

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