After reading the brief specifications, I have decided to approach this module by experimenting with different techniques within my specialism of photography. One of the first methods I have decided to experiment with is self portraiture. This is a completely new way of working for me as I am usually the photographer directing models then taking the photographs. This was also a daunting and nerve-wracking technique to experiment with as I am not generally confident in front of the camera, however I decided to put myself out of my comfort zone and experiment with a new style of working.
I decided to make a trip back to Scammonden Reservoir because this is a place I have enjoyed walking around over the past few months. Seeing the water and bridge in the distance reminded me of the beach and River Tay back home in Dundee. Walking along the beach is something I took for granted and miss greatly since relocating to Yorkshire. For this reason I choose this location as the backdrop of my photo to portray how the Yorkshire landscape sparks memories of home.
Prior to my shoot I did some research into different photographers and came across some work by Kristy Ashton. Alongside her husband they run their business The Auld Romantics. This passionate couple have utilised their artistic talents and creativity to visually express their love for Scotland. Influenced by old poems and stories from Scottish history, Kristy photographs people at different locations around Scotland, in a way that illustrates a very poetic, emotive and romantic narrative. Using models and different colour or fabrics that represent Scotland, Kristy uses her photographs as a tool to express her personal perception of Scotland. This is something I am very keen to portray through my own work. A sense of belonging, happiness, love and passion can be felt through Kristy’s images, which is the type of narrative I aspire to portray through my own work, as I too hold similar feelings towards my home country.
(Ashton, 2021) (Ashton, 2020)
To carry out self portraiture, I purchased a wireless flash trigger, which would allow me to capture photographs of myself at a distance. Setting up for this shoot was more difficult than I originally anticipated as it took a lot more consideration and time to set up my lights and camera settings. Using a Nikon D850 camera and tripod I was able to set my camera up for self portraiture. I decided to use artificial lighting for this shoot as it was a bright day, so I knew I would need the lights to combat the powerful rays from the sun.
Behind the scenes:
I was influenced by Cindy Sherman’s photograph I discussed in the last blog post and so opted to capture myself looking off into the distance. I think this pose helps add a narrative to the image, encouraging the viewer to think about the correlation between me and the location. It also sparks interest for the viewer as it makes them wonder what is catching my gaze outside of the camera frame. Capturing a photograph in this way portrays a narrative that goes beyond just what is shown within the frame, highlighting a wider context and narrative.
After this I decided to drive further up towards the Marsden Moors. This was a walk I took last month with my friend and whilst wondering around this location, I started to think about the walks I would take with dad when I was younger. As a child I would spend most weekends at our family caravan which was located at a campsite in Aberfeldy. One of my dad and I’s favourite pass time was to explore highland areas around Aberfeldy. Since this location in Yorkshire sparked this memory, I felt it was important to also carry out a self portraiture shoot here too. I decided to make direct eye contact with the camera for this shot as I thought it would grab the audiences attention and create a more emotive response.
I think self portraiture is a good technique to apply to my project as it helps portray my personal perspective of Scotland. Using the outdoors as my studio space has been a great way to adapt to the restrictions of Covid-19 and has enabled me to continue making work. For my next shoot I would like to experiment with a range of different poses to add variation to my images.
Ashton , K [kristyashton]. (2021, February 24). [Photograph ]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CLr8XgXF3tq/
Ashton , K [kristyashton]. (2020, December 9). [Photograph ]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CIlFagdlTpz/
Ashton , K [kristyashton]. (2020, December 2). [Photograph ]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/B8EXxlhlnzk/
Galloway, L. (2021) Peaceful walks around the Yorkshire Moors. [photograph]. Leeds.
Thomas, S. (2021) Behind the scenes. [photograph]. Leeds
Thomas, S. (2021) Behind the scenes.