Topic 2 Methods and Meanings
This week firstly came around too quickly and the content sat a little easier with me this week. As a management consultant of many years standing concepts, methods and methodologies have been a staple part of my work although in the field of operations management rather than photography but I’m a system driven person and at I use a range of methods to capture a well exposed and composed image and then to process that through a consistent workflow to produce the final image. Where I fall is in the concept-why am I taking that image or set of images, what do I want it to show, how will I present it, what story do I want it to tell? In all honestly nine times out of 10 unless I have a specific tight brief for a commercial client, I only ever have a vague notion of the concept of why I am taking images more often it is driven by a planned visit to a railway or a location. It is however put more succinctly by Victor Burgin (Campany 1998, 2003:281) “Shoot first, ask questions later”. This approach has probably been my preferred way of operating over my whole photographic career!
The exception to this has been my ongoing project at the Talyllyn railway documenting the behind-the-scenes activities of the volunteers and staff who work at the railway. The original concept was to use this as a vehicle to achieve my ARPS. The intention was to visit a few times, collect sufficient images to pull together a panel of 15 images and then move on to something else.
However, the reality has been that the concept has evolved the more times I have visited and got to know people and whilst this work will still form the basis of my ARPS it has become a bigger, more public facing visual story of how the railway works.
In terms of strategies going forward listening to the guest lectures and also to photographers such as Rankin (at the Photography Show) and Brian Griffin and Suzi Larke (at the Northern eye International Photography Festival) suggest that for me going forward scatter gun shooting isn’t the way forward and planning what I want from a shoot, what images and how they go together as a story will bring a more cohesive approach to my photography and allow me to develop discreet bodies of work.