Week 1 | Repeat Photography

Comparing Images

At present, my understanding of this field of work is quite basic. However having engaged with making work of this nature I am developing an understanding of the challenges and motivations for making such work. In making work I am drawn to the intrigue and and change in the relationship an audience has.

Figure 1: Repeat Photography | Armoury/Greek Street Roundabout by Drew Findlay

My initial attempt to making repeat photography was both interesting and challenging. Figure 1 is a photograph I produced last year with the image on the right being my recent attempt. The first challenge I faced was concerning the vantage point. When I revisited the vantage point I was referring to a copy of the image taken last year which I had as a reference on my phone. This was useful in a very general sense however due to the vantage point being an elevated position, it was difficult to look at my phone, hold the camera whilst composing the shot. From this experience I quickly learned that considering the vantage point is pivotal in taking on a task of this nature. Klett (2011) suggests that a vantage point can never be exactly replicated and that unintended juxtapositions may be created as a result of this. In my own attempt, the approach was to use the black and white building as an anchor point whilst thinking that if I am accurate then the rest of the photography would fall into place. It is fair to say that this approach was unsuccessful in terms of vantage point however the result may still be interesting. The success within this experience is that an audience would be able to recognise where the photograph was taken and in looking at the image as a pair, the audience would be required to engage further to contemplate the differences within the images.

Figure 2: Repeat Photography | Turnstile, Edgeley Park. Stockport

My second attempt was closer in terms of vantage point to figure 1 although still some way from being accurate. As in figure 1, this image dominated by the absence of people which leads to a much quieter experience for the audience. The colour temperature was also a dictating factor when composing. Shooting in hard light served to make the orange brick structure appear much darker as the vantage point dictated that the photographer was required to shoot into the light. Klett (2011 p120) reaffirms conclusions made by stating ‘Together, careful replication of vantage point and lighting duplication provide the best visual evidence for monitoring changes over time’. Further elements suggest the shift in time such as the growth of the trees in addition to the cyclist who appears to be riding for leisure due to lack of safety equipment suggest the photograph was taken in Spring/Summer.

Figure 3: Repeat Photography | Castle Street. Stockport

I feel that figure 3 is the Mose successful of the combinations presented within this post. Again the vantage point is slightly different again in being a wider shot. In this case I feel the absence of human presence changes the not only the genre of the photograph but also the relationship a viewer has with the image. The tree to the left of the image points to a shift in time while the anchor point to the image rests in the centenaries of the frame supported by other layers of interest such as the junction in the road in addition to multiple entrances and such as windows, gates and doors.

I feel figure 3 represents personal development as current research in the direction of Alec Soth, William Eggleston and Steven Shore.

Working with Multiple Photographs

Figure 4 is the first engagement with working with multiple photographs and combining them to produce an image. I did have some knowledge of this technique through my commercial work within the wedding industry. The method is often used by Ryan Brenizer who utilises photoshop in order to produce dramatic portrait photographs. My first experimentation is an image of a food bank collection organised by my partner. When engaging with this technique I was unsure of what the outcome would be or if the attempt would be successful. In terms of the result, I am pleased that the technique appears to work in a technical sense in addition to being slightly amazed by the seamless result.

The intention of this technique allows the photographer to include more of the context within the image in order to invite the viewer to better understand how the subject has been depicted (Klett 2011). In anticipation of utilising this method further. I will research and experiment in further depth the presence of the context in addition to the lens distortion. Major questions at this time beyond experimentation are where, when and how I would use such a technique.

Technical considerations:

Vantage point, light and context.

Having experimented with compositing techniques I have furthered this approach and attempted to relate the work to my own project. The image below was taken at Edgeley Park in Stockport. I feel the image does have some interest and the effect is quite novel, however the photograph does appear stretched and distorted. This I suspect is because the focal length (24mm) is probably too wide for such a technique. Therefore the next stage of this trial and error project will be to shoot images using an 85mm lens which may offer further compression adding to the authenticity of the image.

Books

Klett et al (2011) The SAGE handbook of visual research methods (Repeat Photography in Landscape Research), New York, SAGE.

Websites

Brenizer. R. (2012) Fearless Photographers, [online] Available at: https://www.fearlessphotographers.com/photographer/953/ryan-brenizer (Accessed: 5th June 2020)

Published by drewfindlay82

Photographer based in Stockport, England. This website is for the purpose of my personal work, currently studying MA Photography at Falmouth University.

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