I had a 1-2-1 with my tutor, earlier in the week, about my Final Major Project and we discussed whether it would be interesting for me to research how the Isle of Skye has been visually represented and depicted through history and how photography might have influenced the way we see Skye today. As a historian I needed little persuading that this would provide some interesting contextual data for my project – The Essence of Skye. I also decided that I might return to rephotography as a visual output from this research. I had done some rephotography work in Surfaces and Strategies and produced some rephotographed images of the town of Tetbury, Gloucestershire, for the History of Tetbury Society (HOTS).

At the time of undertaking the work I wrote in this Critical Research Journal about the possible application of rephotography to my project The Road to Elgol:

“I am fascinated with the area of repeat photography. I find it interesting to understand, see and record how places, people or other things have changed with the passing of time.  I can see a number of potential applications for my research project although I need to ensure this element of my work does not detract from my research aims. I am already taking and collecting images from my favourite viewing points on The Road to Elgol at different times of year and in different weather. I enjoy capturing the change in mood and feeling of the landscape through the seasons and how it impacts on my experience of the road. There are also potential applications in seeing the human impact on certain locations that form part of my project, particularly the tiny fishing port of Elgol that is overrun with tourists in the summer months, whilst in the winter only the brave face its isolated and forbidding weather.” (Price 2018).

From a photographic point of view I enjoyed trying to capture the current day scene as closely as I could in terms of framing and the use of lens, although this was not always possible.  In some cases I thought I knew where the original photograph had been taken but when I found the spot I realised that I had been mistaken and I needed to seek local help as to where I needed to explore.  At the time I identified the following list of questions and issues I might need to address should I return to re-photography:

Questions and issues for my Rephotography project

  1. Should I replicate as faithfully as I can, with the lenses I have, the perspective and framing of the original image?
  2. Should I try to replicate the season and time of day when the original image was taken?
  3. Should I include the inevitable large number of cars and people in my images or do I seek to remove them by photographing for example on a Sunday?
  4. Should I just make a modern day take on the original image?
  5. Should I choose monochrome or colour for the retake?
  6. Should I replicate shortcomings with the original image – for example in the image of West Street the church spire is cut off?
  7. Should I wait until the leaves have fallen to attempt to take similar images to the original – for example in the view of the Cutwell Valley the church is completely obscured by a tree which had not even been planed in the old image.
  8. Should I remove distractors like power lines or do I leave them in as a true representation of current everyday life?
  9. May need to use a step ladder to minimise converging verticals
  10. How might the work be presented – should it be like the original version in a photograph album or should it be viewable on-line?

As part of the experimental aspect of this work I produced a current day image in both black and white and colour. The old image is displayed first and then my images follow:

Image 1 – Cutwell

Image 2 – West Street

Image 3 – Bath Bridge

Image 4 – The Market Place (original image provided by Gloucester Records Office)

Image 5 – Chipping Street

Image 6 – The Chipping

Image 7 – Northfield

All current day images taken by Alison Price, August/September 2018

I am excited to be returning to rephotography and the historical research involved in supporting this work.

 

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Skip to content