Saturday, October 22, 2011

Assignment 3: Ideas

Last weekend I started a thread looking at how I might develop a concept for Assignment 3, looking at the interaction of light with mist in a small section of the southern Englischer Garten.  This is a more classically aligned theme for a landscape course, but one for which I am finding a great deal of affinity, enthusiasm bordering on obsession.  Twice a week I am getting out of the house early to catch the dawn in the park hoping for rising mist and clear skies, necessary conditions for what I am trying to do here.  Yesterday the elements combined to provide ideal conditions, today low cloud and a light breeze made for a bracing walk but limited photography.

The frost of the past few days has given rise to a marked change in the trees, Autumn is now in full flow, although the mixed planting of the park means that the trees will change over a long period of time.  In any case the selection of shots above is very much looking at Autumnal colours, but still with a strong emphasis on how the light, mist and trees interact with each other.  I am still keeping my focus low, cutting off the trees.  Only one of the above images shows the trees in fullness.  This creates a distinctively different sense to the shot, when the trees are fully imaged we look at the tree, it is a familiar shape and one we can understand.  Cutting off the trees changes this understanding and pulls the eye into the frame, we look under the trees.  It generates a sense of being in the picture, rather than looking at the picture.

I am also looking at horizons within my photographs, horizontal lines running across the frame.  The next three shots all explore this idea looking at the Eisbach:

Each is taken in roughly the same place looking in the same direction.  The shot with the mist offers much finer tonal variation and asks questions about what we are looking at and where we are, the others also work to a degree, but are much more defined in what they say.

My reason for working with the early morning mist is two fold.  Firstly it adds a substance to the air that allows me to image the light as it penetrates the mist.  Secondly it obscures and changes the definition of features in the landscape, yielding mystery and asking questions as to what we are really looking at.

As with all of my work this will take time to develop, however, I am already comfortable that my number 1 goal of generating material for a book by the end of November is achievable.  I also feel good about this set as a thematic response to assignment 3, too good in a sense as I have yet to complete assignment 2 and may be too hasty in my approach to the course.  However, when the muse hits it must be acted upon.  These lighting conditions and colours will not last for long, deep winter will change the world once again, possibly bringing new opportunities as snow covers the park, but also limiting those days when the sky is clear and mist rises.

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