Test Images: The Forest / Materials from the Forest
I’ve been thinking; instead of using photography to explore a subject, can I use a simple subject like ferns or trees in a forest, to explore photography? They have this repeating pattern that I feel I can make use of. Does that work? Or is this just an excuse to spend the next few weeks hiding in the forest out of the heat?
My tutor has said that I need to make sense of my need to experiment. I don’t want to stick to digital images, I want and need to experiment and make things to learn. In a way I feel that I can’t fully make sense of photography if there are aspects of it that I am not using. I need to make images using different techniques as a way to learn about their strengths and weaknesses as a method of communication. And I want a physical outcome.
At the moment I’m going through a hard time emotionally and I may need to move away from the intensely personal for a while. So for me, exploring different aspects of the medium might be a good way to end the course. The assignment wants a clear progression; I suppose in this case it would be a progression of the medium through time that would reveal aspects of both photography and the plant material that seems to be the subject (although it’s not).
Throughout the course I’ve been wanting to explore and experiment more, but studying distance learning makes it hard. I don’t have a darkroom, I don’t have access to lots of equipment be that chemicals or various types of camera. There is a certain amount of frustration around that for me. So cyanotypes have been easy enough, and I am now making anthotypes and a lumen print. I’ve tried some Polaroid emulsion lifts in the past so I am adding to those now, and I am still making use of monochrome film – I’m yet to move to colour as I can’t develop it myself. I am also planning on constructing a camera obscura that I could use to make images for this assignment.
It’s not that I won’t make use of digital images. I’ve started thinking about different ways I could make and use those too and I would like to include film of the forest in the final version of the assignment.
At the end of July I am attending the cross discipline Art and Environment study weekend in London, so hopefully that will give me further material to work with for this subject.