So today I shall be taking advantage of the lovely weather, and will be venturing down to the beach.
I will wait until an hour or so before sunset, when the light is almost perfect. Sunset this evening is at 8:17pm, and it takes half an hour to get to the beach. So, I will leave at 5:30pm which will give me just under 21/2 hours shooting time.
As usual I have started to look for some images for inspiration. Below, I have selected a few images from the photobook 'A year in photography: Magnum Archive' which stood out most to me.
The first image was by photographer Mark Power, a photographer from Harpenden in the UK. The image is actually taken in Kent, where I am from in 1994. It is a very simplistic landscape, the main subject being a few benches at the edge of the sea line. The image works really well in black and white as the viewer focuses completely on the shapes within the scene, being led through the image by various leading lines. This image led me to research further into the photographer, which brought me to his series 'The shipping forecast'. Power uses the morning radio forecast to caption each of his photographs taken from the same day. The series consists of various black and white images, exploring the local coastlines. He uses low and odd angles to bring to life each of his images, in his documentary style approach. One of my favourite images from this series 'German Bight', uses a particularly low and wide view of a vast beach line. The landscape appears endless and the only thing that questions this is the small figures in the background.
Image 2, is by photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti, born in New York yet living and photographing in Argentina for most of her life. This image was taken in Argentina in 2001, from her series 'on the sixth day'. The images from this series take a documentary approach to the stories of life and death on a farm. If you were to see this image on its own you would not fully understand the story behind it, however as part of a series the whole scene unfolds. However, focusing only on this one image from the series, the scene is beautifully lit and well composed. By including the duck within the scene, the landscape almost comes to life. The machinery to the right of the image, is the only indication of human life, leaving the viewer many questions unanswered... It is only once the images are put together that we begin to put all the pieces together.
The next image is by Wayne Miller, a photographer from Chicago, who is best known for his War photography. However, it is his work documenting the Chicago community that I am most interested in. This particular image, although the landscape isn't the main subject, I feel it is a key part of the image. As the public beach really emphasis' the idea of community, and being together.
The final image is by photographer Herbert List, and again includes people as part of the scene. The image was taken in Germany in 1930, the photograph is carefully composed including people in both the foreground and the background. By photographing in black and white, the textures of the beach and the ocean really stand out, drawing the viewer in and almost feeling part of the scene.
When I photograph this evening I will keep in mind these photographers, and use them as a source of inspiration for my work. I will remember to keep my subjects simplistic, yet still interesting and I will use people as part of the scene but will not make them the main focus of my images.
With the rest of my day I will be reading my new book, 'The photograph as contemporary Art' and my magazine 'British Journal of Photography', before going out to photograph.