Jose Navarro produced a series of images about crofting communities in the Hebridean Island of North Uist. His work entitled “Passing Place” documented the harsh life of a crofter and the impact of weather and particularly wind on their daily lives. Although most of his images are portraits I picked out a couple of landscape-type images that formed part of his work. I like the way he photographs a sense of the everyday lives of these people and captures the hostile and bleak environment in which they live:
Another photography that was suggested to me was David Goldblatt, a South African photographer working largely in monochrome captured the harsh realities of apartheid.
Although not directly relevant, what I did find inspiring was his ability to capture light and how he focused upon the narrative, through a concentration of light on the key elements of his images.
I then had a look at the work of Elina Brotherus. Her portfolio “Contemplative Self Portraits” is a series of self portraits photographed in the landscape. I found her work interesting given the autobiographical element to my own work and wonder whether I might learn something by photographing myself in some way in my images (perhaps as a means of gaining perspective and also adding an emotional element) as I move forward with my Research Project. I like the ethereal and lyrical tone of her images and the sense of mystery in the final image.
I also had a look at Jenny Cameron’s fine art work. Jenny works from the Highlands of Scotland and occasionally presents her images in black and white although most of her work is in colour. Her work has a painterly and fine art quality and in my view refers back to some of the painting of the Romantic period.
For example, the third image to me bears an uncanny resemblance a painting by John Turner above:
Interestingly, following diagnosis of a serious illness Jenny in her own words spiralled into a dark place and found her solace in landscape photography. The autobiographical backdrop to her images is similar to mine.
Finally, I reviewed Alec Soth’s “Niagara” project who used the neighbourhood and Falls at Niagara as a backdrop for a story and metaphor of love. I found his images of the Falls themselves mesmerising and also think I can learn from the technique of story telling to accompany imagery.
So, lots to think about as I make the twelve-hour journey to Skye on Sunday. I asked my tutor for any last minute tips. She said she thought I should spend my time thinking about what the Road to Elgol means to me. Is it just about the mountains? What else? What is the story that hangs everything together – this will lead to me identifying my photographic voice. I intend to find it. . .