Turning to trees has allowed me to work on a different strategy in my work – reduction.
Reduction can mean many things in photography such as converting images to black and white to reduce the dominating influence of colour, reducing the field of view through framing, reducing the number of objects or points of focus in the image (through techniques such as control of depth of field or intentional camera movement/slow shutter speeds) and cropping in post-processing.
In terms of the 10-Signifier Diagram, I have continued to work on my camera skills and have branched out to work on subject commitment (ie the trees that I have worked on before), temporality (working at different times of day, seasons and weather conditions) and spatial persistence (focusing on the depth and layers of the space).
In Skye, it is difficult to plan, in terms of what a particular photographic shoot might focus on. This is because of the unpredictable weather between minutes, hours or days, and the unreliability of forecasting in the north-west of Scotland. It is often the case that I need to revise my plans quite significantly as the weather changes. The weather also creates practical challenges, in terms of keeping the camera dry. While professional cameras can cope with inclement weather, it is still important to keep equipment as dry as possible and ensure the lens is clear of rain spots. Strong winds can affect the stability of the tripod – as I found out this week – and it is important to be aware of safety issues – in my case, the possibility of unstable and falling trees.
Having said all of this, it has been a productive week and I feel my work has moved on from the successful images of trees that I submitted as part of my Upgrade Document. Here are some of this week’s images that I believe were successful.
Where do I go from here in the second week of Practice Period 7? I will continue to focus on trees but, intend to change my location to the small woods along the edge of Loch Cill Chriosd. The trees in this area are deciduous and the ground sodden and covered with moss and ferns – it is uneven from the continuous occupation of the woods by sheep too. The trees are gnarled and misshapen. With the proximity of the loch there is always the opportunity for swirling mist. I plan to try out a new multiple exposure combination too that will hopefully give a sense of mystery to my images – a different type of reduction technique.