“At times failure is very necessary for the artist. It reminds him that failure is not the ultimate disaster. And this reminder liberates him from the mean fussing of perfectionism.” (1972).
I head out in a negative frame of mind. As I follow the well-trodden path, I realise that I have not packed my earphones so I will not be able to listen to music to activate my senses and attenuate conscious thoughts.
My plan today is to work on hi-key images. Although, those that I produced yesterday were not very good, I had not intended to use this method when I took the images – I processed them to achieve the effect. I hope that by over-exposing the images by a couple of stops in camera I should produce better quality images.
I think that using a hi-key aesthetic will accentuate the presence and absence of the trees and emphasise the isolation of those that remain and converting the images to black and white will focus on the solitary trees rather than the chaos between the trees. In the new reality of this landscape there is no longer a collective of trees connected via various networks, rather there is a clear sense of a lack of connectedness.
I am using lenses that I do not usually use – a wide-angle 12-24mm and a 24-70mm. I am finding the landscape difficult to photograph. I do not have the luxury of being able to clamber into the best locations to take my shots and am limited by fallen trees, holes in the ground and not being able to stand back far enough to capture the tall trees at close quarters. I am looking for simple compositions, shapes, and forms and because of the undulating topography it proves difficult to get into the right positions and levels to achieve this.
Added to all these challenges, it is pouring with rain and the wind is blowing straight into the camera.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I am again disappointed by my efforts but I have time to perfect this method and skill in my practice.
Berger, J. (1972). Ways of Seeing. London, Penguin Books.