Final Major Project · Research

New Year, New Ideas

Firstly, I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and that you’re planning to celebrate in style tonight for New Year! I’ve been very busy these last 2 weeks since being back at home for the festive season, and I’ve really got my FMP going with some new ideas.

I had previously decided to try doing some more self portraits inspired by Elina Brotherus but I ran into a few problems with this idea! Firstly, I was encouraged to try shooting on a medium format camera so I hired a Mamiya from the photo studio in uni. However, it had been a long time since I’d used one of the Mamiya’s and I’d forgotten just how heavy and chunky they actually are! Not to mention the size of the bag needed to fit in the camera plus 2 lenses is ridiculous! Despite this, I thought I could probably fit the camera into one of my walking rucksacks when out shooting to make things a bit easier for me. But then there was the problem of a tripod. I don’t usually take a tripod when I go walking in the fells as they just get in the way and they aren’t very comfortable to have over your shoulder if you’ve also got a rucksack on, but I was happy to make an exception for the purpose of my FMP. The problem is, my own personal tripod wouldn’t be sturdy enough to hold the Mamiya so I hired one from uni but once again the size and weight of the tripod I was given was just so impractical for taking up mountains!

I had a job fitting all the gear in my little car to drive home for the holidays but once I got back safely I had another look at the gear. I came to the conclusion that it was physically impossible for me to carry the camera, lenses, and tripod (plus my usual walking gear) without doing myself some sort of injury, and as I often go hiking alone these days I wouldn’t have anyone there to help me out with carrying stuff.

After much deliberation I decided instead to pursue my other idea of photographing details of a landscape to give more of a sense of experience and a taste for what the place is really like, not just what it looks like to tourists. This idea was much more feasible and after a quick practice with the Mamiya in my garden, I took it out on a trip to Rydal Water. I spent about 3 hours wandering around one of my favourite places in all of the Lake District and came away with some shots that I am actually quite pleased with ( I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out at first)!

Here are a few examples…

Rydal Water 3Rydal Water 9Rydal Water 14Rydal Water 70Rydal Water 73Rydal Water 94

Looking at these images in comparison to the first ones I took for this project you can see just how much it has evolved! Going from vast picturesque landscapes with figures in the frame, to close up macro shots of tiny details in nature couldn’t be much more of a contrast! I like where my project is going now though and I feel like it has a much more personal touch to it, and looks a bit more artistic.

I will continue to develop this idea over the remainder of the holidays, and I just have to hope my tutors like what I’m doing!

I look forward to seeing where 2016 will take me, happy new year everyone…

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