Assignment 5 – General Evaluation

Perhaps this was not the best time of year to be undertaking a project about the tidal ebb and flow of the sea, although there have been some dramatic seas to photograph, but on occasion the wind and rain has been so ferocious that there was no way I could get out to take photographs. Then on other days it has been dull and grey, with the light so flat that very little highlights and shadows were apparent, a dead boring scenario! Not only has the weather been against me, but the ever shortening daylight, with the high spring tides occurring when it has been dark or at least barely daylight. As a result many of the photographs I have included were actually taken back in October, before the clocks changed. The third problem, if you can call it that, is that many of the fishing boats have been brought up for the winter and so in some bays there is not as much interest in the scene, particularly in the middle ground,  as there could have been.

However, it has not been all negative, on the good days the light has been great with the sun low in the sky casting some superb shadows and reflections. The clouds have been big and bold, adding drama to the scene, and there have been very few people about to intrude in my portrayal of the expansive Guernsey coastline at high and low tide. It has been interesting to record the same area at the tidal extremes, for the most part I have found the topography more appealing at low tide, but in my endeavour to artistically portray the coast at high and low tide I have bent my initial rules a little –  moving vantage points, shooting on a neep tide rather a full spring tide.

The background study has also been enjoyable, studying the tides and phases of the moon, reading further about black and white seascape photography, exploring the work of Ansel Adams and his photographic techniques. This included a visit to his exhibition of work staged at the National Maritime Museum where I learnt much about the emotive value of photography.

I think I have fulfilled my aim to emulate Ansel Adams ‘near – far’ style of landscape photography, most of my images display a wide tonal range, and hopefully all display a good depth of field. I certainly like the graphical feel of black and white landscape photography, an aspect of this art which is evident in much of my work.

Selection of the final 12 has been hard, indeed doubly hard as I chose to present the project as a set of six diptychs. I have tried to display a variety of skills , techniques and formats whilst maintaining a ‘near-far’ ethos. Ansel Adams was right when he said that photography is in two parts the taking of the photograph and the printing, mounting and displaying of the final image. To that end I will have my images professionally printed, the standard shots will be A4 size on A3 paper, and the panoramics  will be printed A3 width. I did intend to use textured paper for printing, but have now decided to use lustre.

If I were to be exhibiting this portfolio, which maybe one day in the future I will, I would have the mounted photographs framed with a white frame and hung in pairs, with details of the images and the tide information on a small card alongside.


~ by francessmithlandscapes on December 23, 2012.

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