Bring together a series of 12 images in which a particular motif appears again and again, you may use found images or images found online. Select an appropriate way to display your series and present them on your learning log.
Having looked at various presentations of the series of Joachim Schmid, Corinne Vionnet and Derek Trillo, I have decided to use images from Flickr with beach huts but without people as the recurring and dominant motif. Working back-to-front, I came up with the following ideas before analysing what I had picked up from the four photographers whose work had inspired me:
Initially I had thought of working on a ‘roots’ motif but found it too restricting. Then I started working on beach huts because the UK has such a long coast line … and produced these layered image combinations bringing the strident-coloured, playful / toy-town elements which I associate with beach huts
Then I went back to my research and analysed what had inspired me in my reading and why.
From Joachim Schmid I got the sense of ‘seeing the role of photography as evidence of broader social impulses’ and ‘we can use photography as data to build a more democratic picture of any given point in time.’ Since the UK is a collection of islands and peninsulas, the beach hut has a lot of scope to develop and morph into different duck forms , but it doesn’t: it remains stoically and steadfastly shed-like and invariably built of wood / plastic made to resemble wood. Its function remains the same, its form follows its function and so it too is invariable. If I were to present beach huts selon Schmid, I would present the images from the top left image above formally in an album/ photobook because that is where they would be today.
From C.Vionnet, I appreciated how she had created her own single image of an iconic structure using many images made by others of that same structure but which had its own atmosphere. Using beach huts as British iconic structures that everyone photographs, I tried to emulate Vionnet’s idea:
I used 12 images of beach huts, photographed facing the viewer, found on Flick’r, reduced the opacity of each one to 40% but found that some were still dominant. I then had to play with their position in the stack of layers to create my own image which turned out as an anti-strident-coloured beach hut concept.
Derek Trillo maintains that architecture without people would be ‘starchitecture’ because buildings were made to be used by people and so photographing buildings without them is pointless. He also supports his claim to use people because they give the building a sense of scale. In my search through Flick’r for photographs of beach huts with people, I found very few, the overwhelming majority had no people at all. From Trillo, I would get the idea of extracting beach huts from their landscapes and show both reflecting an absence and a presence together:
Although the absence images show an abnormally large gap in the image, the extracted images appear to be relatively insignificant.
All the experiments have their merits and demerits and I have great difficulty in deciding which I would choose to meet the requirements of the exercise: the playful sets reflect the leisure aspect of the function and form of the beach huts; the Vionnet-inspired image reflects an example of art photography; the album reflects the idea that these are found items collected under a unifying theme, and the Trillo inspired extractions have the deeper function of making us reflect on the significance of the objects in our landscape.