To determine the basis for the lay outs for release I have to determine where digitally the project will be placed.
My original thoughts with this were to release digitally. If there is the option to distribute physically in future I would also be open to this. With time restraints I am moving away from looking for a digital pdf style and more to self release through social media which also ties in with creating work for my port folio that is social content based.
Looking at different social channels, I would like to focus on Facebook and Instagram. I feel Facebook will communicate with a local audience better and Instagram more nationally and internationally. Also with Instagram many online publications are doing features of re-sharing artists work, so this would be a good way to generate interest around not only my work but the up and coming film work I hope to produce over the summer months.
Options Moving Forwards
I think I am going to pursue content that fits on Instagram and Facebook by creating single images, that make up a layout on the Instagram grid structure, and which additionally can stand alone. More images can be navigated through on the scroll function. Layouts altered can be reformatted for single poster style images for Facebook.
When researching Fan Ho, Bauhaus came up and up as a movement that informed his work. With his work informing mine so much, I was interested in the design from the Bauhaus movement in informing the presentation of the work.
Elements I'd like to pull from Bauhaus style design
Other Design Informing Layout
My taste in design is still pretty clean cut using a lot of white space
Elements I'd like to emulate
Graphic style coming from previous work
Materials and Processes
Revisiting Cronksbank - Tarras Ford
Really Struggled to find time to visit sites repeatedly. Did take some audio footage on my visit to the ford but have struggled to find time to do more. If more time was available I would have like to be able to sit in the landscape and sketch and take time documenting it more however the time restraints that occurred due to Corona don't allow this.
Throughout the first trimester of MA Creative Practice I developed an interest of including archive materials. I wanted to explore the local archives to look for some potential of including them in the publication pairing it with current photography.
Looking through the archive some of these are amazing and would pair beautifully with photographs I have taken. I'd really like to include them in the final publication. I will have to recontact the local archive group to get permission to use these. These all are focused around the Castle Criags, I think I may cross reference and check the places too.
I walked the full walk a sunny Saturday in Lockdown. Altogether it was 13.3km/8.3 miles on mainly track but then finishing crossing the heather moor on sheep paths and then onto the road, before cutting down the hill to the town and down the kirk wynd. This is basically the opposite way to what the horses ride on the Castle Craigs. I chose to do it this way after taking advice from locals who walk it regularly. I undertook the walk with the guidance of a friend who walked it with his mother regularly as a child. Having grown up further north of the town I am unfamiliar with a lot of the local walks and don't feel 100% confident about not getting lost on the moor.
We originally planed a route which both me and my guide where confident in, which mainly followed tacks and roads.
How ever when between Broomholmshields and the Laverock Hide we met another local who is known for walking, who gave us directions to a path that cuts across the moor and onto the road further up, which is the actual path to walk the loop. So we took a leap of faith and attempted to find the path and walked across the back of the moor and up onto the road. I mapped the alternative route here. Obviously there is a slight discrepancy in what I walked on my tacker on my phone and looking at the route afterwards and mapping it. But, it gives a pretty good idea of elevation and terrain walked across.
Photographs taken on the day
These are all the images I took on the walk. However I then selected a few of these to further edit and explore using as a narrative.
Obviously I want to push these further and look at ways I can compose them within a page layout to convey narratives that parallel the themes that I identified in earlier work. I also want to play with exposure, contrast and with saturation in post production. I really would have liked to shoot on film however due to Covid-19 I don't have access to the materials to do so. I would however like to emulate this effect a little within the photographs to create more timelessness as digital quality can often place photographs within the present.
Other notes taken on walk
I also took notes on my phone of bits of conversation and other observations while I was out on the walk. I'd really like to go and get some of the noises of the walk. The sounds of feet crunching, the heather bristling against clothes, the birds and the sound of water because this actually is what I heard more over conversation because of social distancing we had to observe and the fact my guide is 6ft 4 and could stride ahead.
Filled out notes
I planned to do this as an initial test walk. I was unsure about doing the long distances and shooting themes, I then realised I'm not trying to publish a 100 page book and one walk might be enough.
To paraphrase Bruce Lee - walking the walk 100 times might be better than walking each one once.
I feel like the walk optimises the Common Riding connection by being the ride out that young aspiring men do to become part of the Castle Craigs Club and have the chance of being elected Cornet, leader of the Common Riding.
I originally planned this route however I am not so confident doing the walk so I asked a local who has walked it since a young age to accompany me. I am interested in the conversations this brings too and the memories of place.
This walk is long, being 14.47 km and I have a feeling I will have some sore legs and a very tired puppy after it.
Previous ones used
During developing ideas for previous project doing work within the pub I began to explore different ways of recording my experience by using a mixture of;
Previously working I had also obviously used film and audio. Sketching however was new to me and I had brought this in later on after Lucy Hadleys Lecture.
I have found that using various techniques of documenting situations helps as an aid to my memory and really allows me to capture the moment more accurately when creating content.
I'd really like to revisit the walk multiple times and I think this would be nice to do approaching it with different documenting techniques.
Previous Work on MA
Previously during the duration of the MA I have completed multiple works. I would like to bring certain aspects from each of these forwards into my shooting style for my final MA project. I would like to push these further and hone my style through out this project, taking into consideration the presentation of content and the inclusion of different types content alongside photography.
Previous work I want to inform;
Although Outpost Arts Mural Stories wasn't submitted alongside MA work, it was completed within the MA first trimester duration and it had a focus on community in Annandale and Eskdale. Even though the works are all moving image there are certain aspects I would like to bring forward, such as the presentation of the work.
MA Media Narratives
Things I would like to inform project;
MA Materials and Processes
A lot of this was archive footage shot by Felix Krause for Grey Zone a joint project. I can pull inspiration from his shooting style of the local environment, whilst drawing from edit features I used to communicate ideas more.
Outpost Arts Mural Storys
Things I would like to inform project;
Thoughts on shooting style moving forwards;
Research that has informed approach
Alisons journey and development as a photographer interested me alongside her subject choice.
Alison dropped out of college and begun to travel for a year to build her portfolio and continued to do this until she was critically injured in a bus accident while travelling. This then informed her humanistic approach to photography which really interests me. Having experienced the kindness of villagers who stitched her up as best as possible and a stranger driving hours to a hospital saving her life Wright really hoped to focus on the positive qualities in documenting humanity.
Her documentation of the Tibetan Diaspora also personally interests me being Tibetan Buddhist, I loved her story about Kalu Rinpoche as I made a connection with Rinpoche when I was younger.
Also being a national geographic photographer called me to Alison. National geographic was my first access to print media where photography held great importance in my early years informing my taste within photography.
Alison uses quite classic European style composition in which I appreciate her use of;
These are all things I would like to further expand on within my work
Entering New Worlds Through Photography; Christopher Anderson, Vice
Reflections on the interview with Christopher Anderson
I feel there a lot of elements he plays with in his work. His use of black and white alongside high contrast images can be seen to facilitate his mastery of this.
Things to bring forwards from previous research
Potential narratives, themes, motifs;
A few ideas have furthered my thoughts on themes informed by different thing's I have seen in the last few weeks. Watching a cooking series, Dead Set on Life, hosted by Matty Matheson, a conversation between him and the woman who was showing him around really stood out to me with two quotes in particular describing the way people live in the land there;
Matty: "The land is the economy"
Shelley Wooten: "Our ecology is our economy and the economy is our ecology"
I thought this was an interesting concept as similar can be said about Eskdale with the main industries being directly related to the constructed ecology of the land. With forestry, farming and game traditionally being the main local industries, with other industries starting to blossom such as adventure sports, renewable energy and tourism.
Following my route of though of how is life lived within the hills here, I really wanted to push the connections of this. On assessing the overview of rising potential themes and narratives so far, I now to intend to address how best to document and convey their presence.
The mind map above shows my early ideas and development that I then went away and brewed over and brewed over until I saw the light.
I had a first line of thought, then I had a second one that was more realistic.
My First Line of Thought;
Walk all Common Riding Ride Outs, document and create mini zines to release digitally on the days the ride outs would have originally taken place in July.
There was a few major holes in this plan though
Second line of thought
To walk the Castle Craigs and sections of it repeatedly. This option as a walk has good narrative going with the whole common riding story and also facilitates working towards different options for release
This plan seems sensible for many reasons
Going with the second option definately seems the most sensible as it can cover multiple themes while pairing nicely with the final documentary work.
Photographs that where taken from sections of the walk before;
Themes I would like to explore within this shoot
I feel like the variation of landscape and the people of Langholms relation to this walk through its ties to common riding could allow me to explore multiple themes such as
I would like to shoot with these in mind when walking the walk as a whole and fill any potential gaps in this by revisiting sections of the walk I think as subjects could be explored more with regards to narratives and themes communicated through work.
I began photographing during exploring my research in Eskdale and as part of developing my personal practice. Here is a selection from that series, which was created without looking for specific themes. It is a series created just out of personal interest. I want to draw upon the inspiration of this collection so as to inform and plan my research in the locality.
Tarras Valley & Laverock Hide
Really liked this moody lighting to shoot in. Could look a bit flat but felt like it gives depth to the sky. Loki loved getting in my shots.
Seeing frog spawn was cool it felt like start of spring. We didn't see many people but followed pheasant pens and pheasant shooting drives up through the Tarras valley. Bridges built across dykes in the countryside and shooting markers all sign posted this.
Shooting reflections on water works really well and shooting down on the ground is a change of perspective. Being light aware was a big thing as this day as was quite dark.
Thoughts generally on
The Pheasant Pens & Castle Holm
One of our morning walks.
I like the contrast of dark lighting in foreground and the sunshine in the back.
The hut is on the old hunting lodge walk, I just really liked it's look up on the hill in the trees.
Greenside - The Benty
I took this walk out of need for variation. I wanted also to explore the walks where I grew up. This is also one of the places the ride out's go to so it's interesting in this way. I walked around the back of the Greenside houses on the forestry tracks. First off I came to the old tractor then passed through planted forestry with pheasant pens built in. Me and the dog stopped off at the half way point and we both took in the view. Walking back down, there was lots of small ponds that could be seen dotted through the forestry. I remember as a kid being told these where old curling ponds that where used in the winters. The daffodils where a really nice signifier of spring on the hills and these where about two weeks behind in blooming on the ones in the town 6 miles south.
Living Room Window
This is a significant shot out of my living room window. It marks the passing of a time really time. This was the view, the final night before the UK lockdown for the Covid-19 outbreak.
I love the red orange light from the setting sun in this photo I think it really sets off the hillside and the sky making this image
Glen Tarras Pheasant Pens
This was a few days after the start of lock down. I walked from my parents house at Glen Tarras out and around the pheasant pens on the other side of the Tarras river. The first photograph was before the walk, I sat outside in my parents garden and they came out to play with the dog and talk from afar. I followed the Tarras river along from the bridge, walked up to the right following the game keepers tracks and up to the top of the hill, where the masts sit, and back down through the pheasant pens.
Random Head Shot Loki
Just a random photograph. Loki jumped onto my lap on the front seat of the car before we went for a walk.
One of our regular morning walks. We walk from the house up and through Buccleuch Park, around the Gaskgills and then up and onto the Becks.
Something I noticed is that dogs has become a means for providing socialisation for many people in isolation in the countryside. I bumped into a friend who lived locally at a dog walking spot with his dog Munchie. It was nice to see another human but also nice to know I could still take portraits while fitting with the governments guidelines on social distancing.
Tarras Valley & Laverock Hide
Repeating this walk in different conditions was interesting. This day had flat light and it was dark and dull which was a bit of a challenge and different from my ideal shooting conditions to create the style I'd prefer to shoot. I walked this walk at a long distance from my parents who live local to me in Eskdale. I don't find any of the shots particularly amazing content however there is small parts I like about each one.
Took a good long walk around 20 metres back from my friend and the dogs running between us. We followed a common Langholm walk around the top of Langholm, up the Esk valley to the Potholm and back into town again. This photograph was taken on the walk back while looking back towards Langholm from the Potholm.
Round House, Broomholm & Murthum
I used to walk this way home from town when I lived at my parents, so I am very familiar with the walk. On the stretch between the round house and coming out on the moor by Broomholmshiels, there is a birch wood with in which are big old oaks dotted throughout. This is one of those. I've always felt they had an otherworldly look, covered in moss and twisting between the straight birch. Once a friend walking in these woods commented that it felt very old and like the hills had eyes.
The basic bitch of Langholm dog walking spots. Everyone goes here. It's what was the land attached to the old Buccleuch shooting Lodge, locally known just as the Lodge. The old mansion was burned down and now just one section of the estate remains, which is the building seen here. The two photographs with Loki where a doggy breakthrough, of him sitting and staying and me walking away for the first time. Proud mum moment. Also I have made the decision to accept his constant very obvious flashing.
The Roundhouse & Jenny Knobles
I love this walk down Jenny Knobles gill. Jenny Knoble was a woman tried as a witch and is buried at the bottom of the gill. On the way down the the gill I spotted this old man, on an old school tractor, rollering the field. I thought it was a bit of a timeless shot to take.
Bikepaths & The Bumshelter
I didn't name the bumshelter but other people did so that's what it's called. I bumped into Ben and Ghost again on my walk and sat far a while letting the dogs play in the woods and parted our ways again
This was another regular walk from Buccleuch park, around the Gaskgills and back along the Lockerbie road into town. On this hot day Loki stopped off for a paddle just as we where coming into town opposite the dump. This is where these two shots where taken
Looking at these photographs there are some ideas that run throughout that I might like to explore more.
Things I can see as potential narratives, themes, motifs in work;