In the past I have attempted to experiment with chance by making images with my camera set to take photographs automatically at set intervals while I walked about a designated area. (See Documentary A1: Local Communities and DIC A1: One Hour Photo.) Beginning BoW, the only thing I was certain about was that I intended to make work in my local area. My last assignment for DIC (See DIC A5: The Loop) came about organically and through experimentation, and employing a similar methodology based around walking and looking seemed a good way begin. I decided to walk the streets closest to my home with my camera set to take images at intervals as a way of kick starting the course – I finished DIC on a high, feeling ready to make the jump to the final part of the course and enthusiastic about being able to make work about whatever I wanted. Faced with this ‘blank canvas’ however was somewhat daunting – there was so much I could do that I was struggling to decide on what I should do. With this in mind, this exercise was designed to be an attempt to get back into the swing of making images. I doubt that the technique will be something I continue to employ but the process itself seems an important starting point.
Camera settings: Interval 0.5 sec, ISO auto, F8, minimum shutter speed 1/1000 sec.
Conditions: bright, sunny winters day
- I set the interval to 0.5 sec to maximise the chances of a successful image being made. The downside of this however was that 4227 individual photographs are a lot to look through and it is difficult not to feel fatigued doing so. Certainly there were many more misses than potential images, but, either missing something looking through or seeing merit in images that do not deserve it is a real concern.
- The benefit of this technique is the element of chance and the occasional feeling that I have arrived at an image that I would not have made traditionally. I continue to be seduced by the idea of introducing chance and serendipity into my work.
- The technique could be developed by pausing at certain points which would also go some way to alleviating problems with framing and focus.
- I am increasingly concerned about the ethics of this approach – although I try to rationalise this with my belief that this is merely a strategy to make images and therefore legitimate, if I am not confident to stand in the street and make images in the traditional way, looking through the viewfinder, then is it ok for me to do this?
- Potential development of the idea: the large amount of images that this technique results in could lend itself to making collages in the style of Penelope Umbrico or Mandy Barker where large amounts of similar subjects are brought together.