Create at least two sets of photographs telling different versions of the same story. The aim of the assignment is to help you explore the convincing nature of documentary. … Try to make both sets equally convincing so that it’s impossible to tell which version of the images is ‘true’.
Choose a theme and aim for 5 – 7 images for each set, depending on your idea.
As mentioned in my Planning for Assignment 1 post, I have decided to do the two views of Capilano Road in North Vancouver. Capilano Road in North Vancouver is 6.8 kilometres long and stretches from the harbor to the uppermost foothills of Grouse Mountain. Traversing its length one passes through various greenbelts, middle to upper class suburbs, a lake, culminating the journey in a First Nations Reservation which is bordered by industrial areas.
I have always been rather fascinated by the discrepancies, eg. affluent or run-down societies, difference in leisure activities, habitation that are found at the upper and lower ends of this road which I will call Upper Capilano Road and Lower Capilano Road respectively. With a mountain at the upper most part of the road, all sorts of sporting activities are on offer. In the winter the skiers and snowboarders flock to the slopes. In summer hikers hit the trails and paragliders take off from the mountain cliffs and tourists ride the gondola to the top of the mountain to take in the spectacular views. At the opposite end sporting facilities are also available, but not in such profusion. There is a paintball terrain and a soccer field. Sadly both stand unused for most of the time. During weekends and long summer days people frequent the lake area, often spending the day there having barbecues or picnics and soaking up the sun. There is no such place at the lower end of the road that entices people to spend any extended amount of time. Tour busses do not frequent the lower road at all. Sadly signs can be seen in the Reservation discouraging “outsiders” from coming in: “Private Land”, “No trespassing” and “Closed”. Perhaps it is these barriers in the Reservation that are partly responsible for the discrepancies that occur.
Upper Capilano Road
Lower Capilano Road
My tutor has requested that I upload contact sheets so that she can see my editing process. As I took over 180 photos I have created contact sheets for my final edit which was down to 35 photos. The contact sheets for Upper Capilano Road are below.
The contact sheets for Lower Capilano Road are below.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills (materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills)
My equipment used for this assignment were my 18-55 mm and 55-200 mm lenses together with my Nikon D3000. I also employed my X-rite ColorChecker Passport for the first time and was quite amazed at the colour corrections it facilitates. I will definitely be using that handy piece of equipment in future shoots.
Quality of Outcome (content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas)
I have to admit that I don’t think this is my best work. I had knee replacement surgery looming and knowing that I was going to be out of commission for quite a while I wanted to get as much shooting done as possible and is also one of the reasons why I have not completed the street photography project yet. Once I’m fully on my feet again, I will complete it. Notwithstanding that fact I believe that I have applied some of the things I observed during my research of photographers to a few of my photographs. I think the work is presented in a coherent manner and my ideas communicated properly.
Demonstration of Creativity (imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice)
This is the area I struggle with the most. Having just received my assessment results for The Art of Photography I was advised to take more risks and to explore my assignments more conceptually. This is obviously something that I’m going to have to figure out and work on. Hints and pointers are most welcome!
Context (reflection, research, critical thinking)
In preparation for my assignment I looked at some of my tutor’s suggestions: Bruce Davidson (110th Street), Gary Winogrand, Jacob Holdt (American Pictures), and Ed Rushca (Every Building on the Sunset Strip).
I also looked at Lauren Henkin: The Park, a project in which the juxtaposition of Central Park and human relationship towards it are at the foreground; Jade Doskow: Red Hook/Repurpose in which architecture and the changes brought about to it by weather, time and light are emphasised. I also looked at Corey George: Alas, Babylon which concentrates on the changing environment of southern Florida. I found this project particularly interesting as it showed the urbanization of a suburb and the gradual decay thereof. I enjoyed Tom Wik’s project on his city’s neighbourhoods. It is a deadpan and also humorous project about the facades of houses in his neighbourhood. Renate Aller’s Ocean and Desert was another project that I found helpful. It is a series where the two views (sand dunes and ocean) are paired side by side invoking a nostalgic feeling of childhood holidays gone by.
I was lucky to attend quite a few photographic exhibitions due to the recent annual Capture Photography Festival. The exhibitions I attended were:
While doing research for part 1, I came across a couple of videos from the Tate Modern in 2008 when the Photography in the Street and Studio exhibition was on. The first video, Session 1: Documents and Pictures, featured various panelists among which was Steve Edwards, Art History professor from the Open University who offered various views on street photography and the history. The second video, Session 5: Celebrities in the Street and Studio, featured Stephen Bull who is the author of one of the reference books for this course and I found this extremely helpful to be able to relate to the man, rather than just the “academic behind the words” especially as his presentation covers a full chapter of his text.