Week 3 – Developing Ideas

Refresh; refresh refers to the renewal properties of water but also the need to refresh our thoughts on the conservation of water. The project aims to show the ever renewing ability of water and its importance to Earth but also its vulnerability. The project aims to show this element in its purest forms, but also the interaction between itself and mankind’s influence.

After shooting for this module I’m now experimenting with a wider variety of methods, for instance, shooting underwater at night has shown me the possibilities for the abstractness and isolation of light sources. The darkness of the Welsh rocks and only reflectiveness being the waterfall itself or turbulent water, visualising isolated water just took one step closer.

Capturing the water element in its purest form is still the main goal, to also show the spiritual links and impressiveness of being underwater. After looking at Daniel Gustav Cramer’s Underwater work which works to show memory, imagination and fascination through water, I realised that not everything had to be visually clear, that I could delve into creating something more abstract.

I feel after going into the waterfalls that I’ve come out with two different series of photos, one style is more abstract than the other and focuses on the ever renewal of water and the purity and complexness of water. The other is more documentary and covers underwater life and mankind’s influence on the water. Perhaps there is a place for both in this project but I will have to shoot again to find the middle ground that separates the two.

The more abstract photos created at night using external lights create a bridge between visual and the spiritual sides. The visual is the fact that it’s a long exposure, but the lighting creates a single frame in that long exposure that’s captured at a faster shutter speed.

The dominant element in all the photos is the movement of water illustrated by long exposures and flash to freeze motion of parts of the photo as if it’s a spirit, it is the first feature to be seen. This spirit connects with us to bring clarity to our minds from outside pressure, the water is the spirits transport to the afterlife and so I’ve experimented with creating wisps like those in English folklore.

The possibility of focusing on the spirituality of water may have been what was hiding from myself all along. The project description ‘refresh’ talks about its renewal properties, perhaps that is because of the many century old connection between water and humans, it’s ability to transport the spirit to a better place has been told for years in religion. To illustrate this concept of a spiritual connection between water and myself I will have to gain better understanding of it myself, a trail of self-discovery. Perhaps then I won’t have to focus on just photographing underwater, but to cover the whole experience, why I find clarity and peace with water, is it the area or the waterfalls? What’s so special about waterfalls? These questions I will have to find an answer photographically. I think back to starting this module and a talk from the module leader about methodologies and how they develop themselves sometimes, I believe this to be development on mine.

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