Intent: I knew this was going to be the final shot of my project. We were due a super moon and I had the visual in my head that there would be a breakthrough image – The super moon reflecting onto the sea. It would be representative of the light at the end of the tunnel.
Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro, Tripod, iPhone
Methodology: I spent a good few weeks studying the timings of the super moon, along with fitting this around my work schedule, and also the weather reports. The full affect of the super moon was to be the 19th February, but the weather was not looking to be working with me so I decided to go and get the test shots so I could make sure my equipment and set up was correct. As it turned out, although my lens was the right one for the whole of the project – every single image taken with the same set up – it was not the right one for the night time shoot – I needed to have had a wider angle. That was one lesson learnt! So I took out my trusty iPhone, and took some shots so that I could see the basic set up. So that if the shot worked I can come back the next day with the correct set up for the real event.
Research: For this shoot I did reading around night time shooting as I knew that this was something that I had never done before so it would be a new challenge to me.
Reflection on the shoot: This was always destined to be the shoot that I struggled the most with. As I had no prior experience of night time shooting. I am really glad that I carried out the research into the moon, and how to shoot at night, although I didn’t get my initial set up right. The saving grace is that I did check the weather and take my iPhone as on the 19th the weather clouded over and we saw nothing of the actual super moon, and I learnt a very valuable lesson of doing your research. What did make me happy though is in my test shot and I do understand that some won’t be happy that I have an iPhone image in my final collection, but I got the shot that I wanted the one I had envisaged and it did feel that on the computer screen, my collection of images for this project was now complete. I did have a level of anxiety as I didn’t predict how spooky the beach is in the pitch black!!! Although I did take a assistant to help me. On a personal level also, I was starting to feel better in myself, which means that my mindful photography journey had helped me, it had been therapeutic, and I was starting to enjoy it again.
I went to visit a location for my workshop/exhibition and this was at the newly refurbished Spanish City in Whitley Bay
The room I was hoping to use was right at the front of the building overlooking the sea – which would have been perfect.
A major drawback to the space was that I would not have been able to mount anything to the walls at all. Although I had planned to use large sketchbooks so that my diary entried could be mounted along side like a giant diary – i think this venue would be extremely limiting and they kept changing the times of the room.
Whilst the view from this room is perfect I don’t feel it is the right place for my work.
There are several of Derges’ work that I have been able to connect with.
Shoreline – 1997-98
Waterfall – 1998
Ice – 1996-97
Atlantic Ocean – 1997
River Taw – 1996-98
In the period 1996 – 1998 much of the work appears to be focused on water in some form or another. Whereas Horn and Sugimoto focus on the top of the water Derges work is under the water looking up.
I think this is appealing to my work as sometime you can feel like you are drowning, that you cannot survive, like you won’t ever make it to the surface, and i think it might look like this to an individual under the water.
Whilst I don’t think that this is the intention of the work, to present itself in this way, it is certainly the way that I can link this into my thinking of my project.
Particularly the work with the ice, it looks to me like the light at the end of the tunnel and quite often this is the the hope that will eventuallly lead you our to the light to draw you out of the depths and show you the way to find your way back.
This is one of the reasons that I hope to be able to capture a moonlight image so that on the surface I have a metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel image.
When I brought together the images that I wanted to use my initial thought was that they couldn’t sit together and say to an audience that this was the story of a single person. Due to the constant light changes and weather changes there was nothing that really linked them together and said this is me!
Through the duration of the course I have always found myself drawn to black and white – I feel that it has more impact.
I decided to put colour and black and white side by side and see how I feel about them – I also took this to tutorial as in my head I knew I was going to go black and white but I think I was seeking confirmation that I was making the correct decision.
I felt that the black and white just had more impact and fitted with what I was trying to say.
Intent: I felt my project was missing some shots – it just didn’t feel like I had the right number nor did it feel complete. This shoot was to try and fill the gaps, make it complete and also to continue with the mindful techniques.
Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro
Methodology: As I didn’t take the tripod I had to be very focused on my breathing which assisted in the mindful techniques. I just wanted to get out with the camera and capture what I saw.
Reflection on the Shoot: I didn’t start this shoot with a definitive list of shots I wanted to complete – but I think this helped me to complete the mindful side more fully. I was more aware of my surroundings and I paid more attention because of this. This enabled me to notice water patterns so defined and also to capture then with amazing detail. It also made the surface of the sea glitter in a way that I have never seen before and I also got some shots which actually showed this. I did get a little distracted by the seals sunbathing on the rocks as this is something else that I hadn’t seen before. I can definitely feel that the techniques of mindful photography is showing me how to look again, and this is allowing me to make beautiful discoveries along this journey.