Collecting – Initial thoughts and ideas

I am undecided on which to choose: Crowds, views or heads?

My first reaction was to choose crowds, as I live on the outskirts of London I thought this presented the best opportunity for me. I explored the idea of visiting train stations as there are many that would provide me with excellent vantage points. I also like the idea of taking crowd views of animals to lay out side by side with the crowds of humans who seem to commute in a herd like fashion in and around London.

I also have looked into up coming events in London, I have an opportunity to test my crowd skills at the Lord Mayors show as well as the more sombre crowds at Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph. Usually as a St John volunteer I would be on duty at these events which would then make it inappropriate to take photographs despite my excellent vantage point. Then I remembered Santacon, one day in London when hundreds of people convene dressed as Santa. A fantastic opportunity but it does mean that I have to make sure that I get the shots on that one day, whatever the weather. This idea has grown and I have visualised ways in which I can present this work, I am thinking that I can try to use it to show the commercialism or tacky side of Christmas, surely there is only meant to be ONE Santa! I have thought of presenting the work as a kind of advent calendar or perhaps as Christmas cards.

My plan is to try to use an opportunity at the Lord Mayors show , if presented, as a practise run and then hopefully capture the commercial spirit of Christmas at Santacon.

My second thought was to choose heads as my subject, after looking at the work of Tim Walker and his portrait photography I really liked the portrait images against a white backdrop, however on further reflection I am not sure that I can convey all that I have learnt in this module with this idea and they are not exactly a ‘natural’ look. So I think within my Santacon images I will try to capture that elusive headshot or two to enhance my crowd images.

However after visiting the study trip at the Brighton Biennial and listening to a ‘Desert Island pics’ with Brett Rogers I was introduced to the work of Fay Godwin, whom I now  realise is listed as a research point in the later pages of project 2. I really liked her images taken at Pett Level and Dungerness and the portrait of herself entitled ‘shadow’. Strangely I have already been experimenting with taking shadow pictures of myself whenever I have noticed them, I am always behind the lens as I never like being in front of the lens, so it stuck a chord with me.

I have decided therefore to experiment with a visit to Dungerness between now and Santacon , at least it will be a good opportunity to practise two different approaches and test out the skills covered in part two.


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