Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Assignment 1: Selection Challenge

Presently I am struggling to assemble a set of 12 images that work with the narrative I have in mind, but that also meet my aesthetic purpose.  This selection is compounded by the fact that 3 of the images in this set will become part of my course portfolio, so have a life beyond this set.  Another challenge is to balance images between the games site and the athletes village, the former presents a more natural flowing style, the latter a more urban architecture driven set.

Stylistically I have not tried to develop a commonality for these images, preferring to explore different framing and scale.  This makes the set look disjoint, which would not be an issue if I was submitting a larger body of work.  However, the limit on 12 images makes this harder than I expected.  With a large number of images I could start with one approach and gradually merge to another, with 12 this is far more difficult.

I keep thinking about returning and working up some more photographs, but at present I think this would be counter productive, my problem is choosing from a large number of images, adding more would simply compound the problem.  I am constantly moving images in and out of the 12 then walking through them as a slide show - so far I cannot make it work.  The photographs jump from one style to another, it feels very disjoint.  Individually any one of the photos works, collectively not.

My outstanding challenges can be summarized as:

  1. How to include people using the site, without eroding the landscape element in favour of Social Documentary.  Use is a key element of the narrative I am trying to develop.
  2. Balancing between the topographical structure of the games site, versus the architectural nature of the village.
  3. Weaving a narrative about the hill - the cross acts as a great metaphor for the death of the city, but the photograph is stylistically very different from the rest of the set - perhaps it could be used as a full stop to the set.
  4. Whether to include the site of the attack on the Israeli team.  This has great narrative potential, but is not terribly interesting photographically - however, the same can be said of many of Stephen Shore's images, without the joining narrative they are simply snapshots.
  5. How to end the set, on a high or a low - currently I have the Israeli apartment as the final image, does it matter where I leave it - not sure.
  6. The overwhelming desire to include images that I think are cool, but are not such a part of the set - an example could be the BMW pictures.  On the other hand BMW is a fundamental element of the way Munich sees itself and is a vision of future.
One way out of this may be to group the images into 4 sets of 3, each with either a similar narrative or visual style, My thinking is the following:
  1. Landscape - illustrate the structure of the Olympic Park, the hill, the stadiums
  2. Use - illustrate people using/enjoying the site
  3. Student Village - explore the unique architecture of the student housing area
  4. Resident Village - similarly explore the bizarre world of town that now occupies the athletes village
My only concern here is that the balance has shifted too far towards the village, which also brings to mind  a 6 x 2 approach.  I am very much interested in having a rhythm within my presentation, which is why I try to group photographs in twos or threes.   This helps with narrative development and adds a degree of visual coherence to the set.

OH, how I wish the brief was publish a book of 80 images with a strong integrated narrative...

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