EYV Assignment 1 post-task analysis, The Square Mile

Having at first felt excited by the prospect of capturing my surroundings, something I have been doing for years, I then found that being expected to move out of my comfort zone, and try something new was, to say the least, slightly intimidating. What was I expected to do that was ‘different’? And how far could I go with this experimentation seeing as it was only a pre-course warmer?

I didn’t find any immediate inspiration from the suggested links (other than the thought of how subjective objectivity is). However, what they did give me was a need to flick through a few books to try and gather and add to my own preliminary thoughts (which, I suppose, is an inadvertantly subtle way of actually inspiring me).
I toyed with a few ideas that I’d put down in my notebooks (anagram of Y Filtir Sqwar; “Why Filter the Square?” being a series of squares found locally in my surroundings with or without a “filter”; B/W shots) before settling on the ‘day in the life’ idea. It felt relevant as I was supposed to “communicate something about you” with a series of photos that “…comminicate your idea.” All within the square mile in which I find myself.
I sketched a mini storyboard with captions of the route I was hoping to capture.This soon changed into a series of snapshots of moments throughout my day. A dull way to present an insight into my photography and possibly my character? Surely that would depend on what, and how I photograhed those moments?

Some acute observations by Peter C. Bunnell on Clarence H White (Inside The Photograph, Aperture Foundation, 2009, pp48-9) helped me focus and  substantiate my ideas: “Half of the photographer’s work is in the discovery of his subject.” and while I may not be living in New York at the turn of the twentieth-century, the discovery and subsequent credence of my subject (being ‘me’) was nonetheless valid and beneficial.

I tried different lenses to create the desired effects which were mainly shallow depth of focus and relatively close crops with my zooms. Having seen many photographers use the slow shutter speed whilst zooming in, I thought I would give this a go too, as I had never done so before, something I really enjoyed. I felt that many of the shots were crammed in, claustrophobic even, which prompted me to try the desk shot (not used) and finally the night shot with the 25mm to add some variety to the sequence of images.

Overall, I am happy with most of the shots, and I believe they are not too tenuously linked when viewed as a whole. I would like to try this project again with slightly tidier crops, possibly just using a square crop to create a large square composition that reads from left to right. I would also love to try this as a purely monochrome series; that otherworldiness and eerie ambiguity that those tones evoke would be striking, I believe.


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