This body of work uses metaphor through simplification, abstraction and reduction in nature to convey my feelings, emotions and experience of my subjects to others. My work is autobiographical and through spending time in the natural world I hope to lay the ghosts of my early photographic career, as a police photographer, to rest. I use photography as a window but also more predominantly as a mirror – reflecting the camera’s gaze back at me and my life experiences – I truly believe the camera looks both ways. Working primarily in black and white and focusing on shape, form and texture, avoiding the distraction of colour, I aim to be authentic in my work – this is my story and monochrome enables me to strip away the elements in order to reveal the real object or essence of my experience.
This is one of my final images. By choosing to make this image at night I was able to hide the surrounding landscape and distracting elements of the scene to focus only on the tree. By painting the trunk and canopy of the tree with a torch I was able to reveal its shape, form and texture and give a sense of the essence of being a tree in this hostile environment – it is delicate and vulnerable, but also resilient and resistant – this is the essence of the tree that in turn represents my feelings of vulnerability and adversity in life.
This image, on the other hand, is less successful. I was trying to give the viewer a sense of the environment in which the tree is located and the sense of calm that can sometimes prevail, but rather than focus on the tree, the image gives a sense of the tourist postcard vernacular – a coloured and picturesque landscape of which the tree is only one element. This is an aesthetic I have been avoiding as both the colour and approach detracts from the key elements of my image making.
I also produced a panel of images as a slide that my tutor felt was a great way of presenting them:
Next week I shall continue to draft both my script for my Video Presentation and my Critical Review of Practice.