I have spent a lot of time this week reflecting on my first attempt at taking images on The Road to Elgol given my now clearer brief. I only had two days of taking photographs and it was hard to focus. The advice from my tutor was to treat this first shoot as a “Road Trip”, looking at the “taxonomy” of the road, and taking twenty images of trees, sheep, signs, etc. To a certain extent I did this but I found myself being drawn back to the same viewing points and taking pictorial images. Indeed, the images I have put into my Work in Progress Portfolio thus far are mainly of this genre. Having said that I did include images of the marble quarry, gravestones and some pictures of where people live and work, but I feel I need to extend this approach further by adding people, or traces of people, cars, camp sites and more evidence of the life and heart of the road.

I am finding the concept of working towards a long-term project and spending the next eighteen months developing and changing my thinking and approach daunting. I am used to projects with clear goals and milestones to achieve them. May be I should take a project management approach to the Research Project?

I have decided for my next photographic shoot (that will be my last before my Work in Progress Portfolio is submitted) to spend more time walking the Road. I hope this will allow me to experience the road for myself, enable me to see subjects and viewpoints I would not see from the car, and talk and engage with people who might then become subjects for my images or contacts for future interviews.

I am also struggling with the breadth versus depth issue in terms of building up my stock of images. My tutor suggested that I focus according to the module I am currently working on and use that to provide the intent of my images during that period. That would suggest a depth rather than breadth approach but I am wondering whether I need to demonstrate a range of approaches and subjects for my Work in Progress Portfolio.

My other main concern is about black and white versus colour images. My original and current thinking is to do them in black and white. The reason for this being that if I use colour images then the pictorial nature of the backdrop may detract from the people or other subjects of my images. I am not sure this is something I necessarily need to decide now but I will need to continue to reflect on this. It may be that as I make choices about the images I believe best match the Research Proposal then the answer to this question will resolve itself.

Finally, I do think I need to learn some patience and how to work a scene extensively and effectively. I need to be prepared to return time and time again depending on light, weather and activities in order to get the best images.

At the moment my “likes” are the following images:

As an aide memoire to me, the shooting list below are some ideas to develop when I return to Skye in a couple of weeks:

  • Camping and campers at the head of Loch Slapin
  • People at the Blue Shed Care
  • Parking chaos at Elgol
  • Activity around the harbour at Elgol
  • People waiting at bus stops
  • Activity at the marble quarry
  • Passing place image with people or cars passing
  • Looking back to the head of Loch Slapin and across the Torrin
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.
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