How did you decide on the subject for your work in the first brief?
I first started to look into my subject matter after the Landscape lecture given by Katy where I was introduced to the trio ‘The Beautiful, The Picturesque and The Sublime’. During the lecture, I was brought to the picture by Richard Misrach from ‘On the beach’. I instantly thought about an idea to photograph ‘elements’ to give myself my own brief or word to work around and give myself direction. Perhaps it came about due to my fear of swimming and anything water related. This brought me to the path of death which is already well documented predominantly by Joel Sternfeld ‘On this site’, Antonio Olmos, Jack Latham and Melinda Hunt. After a significant amount of research, 1-1’s and a group crit, this documenting death idea came to light the opposite, purpose and aspirations. This has then grown to documenting aspiring people who choose to do sport, start as a pastime to something much more worthwhile, and how we can depict an individual with the sport they choose to practice and become ‘good’ at it.
The visual approach was mainly decided subconsciously looking at the works of Joel Sternfeld, Alec Soth, Stephen Shore. Having looked up to these photographers for over half a year, their style and signature has been imprinted in my head. It’s these visual references, my own ideas and how I see the world that has led me to choose the visual approach for this project. The project also has a hugely documentary feel to it, therefore the visual references felt right to apply similar styles.
I think to rate the success at the moment for me personally is too early until the final works are complete. I think the colour toning, compositional landscape elements and visual elements I have picked up on from photographs all around me and artists I have looked closely at/ keep looking back at, has been a strength in this project. It has brought me to think much carefully at the time of capture and also post production. A weakness would definitely be documenting this research and subconscious visual referencing. I look at photographs whether it be in the library, one a friend shows me, Instagram, Facebook, an AOP email, TV, general photography research. All of this constant visual bombardment of imagery is a struggle not only to seek motivation, but to document all of this around me. To improve, limit the amount of photos I’m exposed to and record the ones I like. The ones I like will inevitably be the ones I take more visual approaches from.