Photo Development

Shoot 1

  • This being the first shoot of the module, I put myself in the frame for the first time to experiment with initial ideas, this revealed many problems and a few solutions – needed to have a more specific composition rather than a wide angled general view of myself
  • Documenting the landscape – to give some context to the project and of the area, many photos not specific to the mental wellbeing that water/nature creates, more of a documentary style of the area. Still using the area to try and describe what it creates instead of getting close and personal, this work is about my mental state so will make it about myself.
  • Photographing myself in the gear doesn’t have a raw human value to it, boots are boots but would be better to see feet or body, looks artificial as if protecting from the environment instead of absorbing it.

Included below are two images I feel the best from the shoot. 1st being a developing photo which will need to be taken again without so much protective gear on. Other than that issue my intent was to show a fixation on the waterfall from myself and the scale of it, with this I hoped to create a sense of how powerful a waterfall can be, dwarfing myself and everything in the composition. As for the dead branches they will need to be removed on the next photo, as the photo is quite flat with only myself in the foreground and being 70mm it’s compressed, if the branches were interacting with myself somehow then I’d keep them.

With the second photo I wanted to show this vine heading in the direction of the source of water, as if a ladder to the source providing a way to escape. I plan to add a human element into this photo, climbing up the vine or holding onto it as a way to connect with nature.
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PDF of selected photos from shoot 1

Shoot 2

  •  Using darkness and a silhouette I can reduce the amount of gear that is visible on myself, it also adds an ethereal effect to the photos, rather a shadow than an actual human.
  • I still believe in including nature in the photos as it shows the diversity of the area, how so many different scenes can be found in one location. Showing these unique scenes off is part of my passion so I believe it necessary to link it with my personal work of sharing the mental effect nature gives off to myself.
  • Avoiding the religious poses as it’ll start walking towards the spiritual side of the project, I want to keep it focused on the mental aspects of nature but was an interesting test.

This shoot I definitely think the silhouettes are the strongest, the blur from the long exposure is used to create an absorption effect or a connection between myself and the water. This connection is important in working with the project idea, being able to show the interaction nature has on us where it can hold and grasp our bodies in a psychological form, something that isn’t clear but can be understood, like energy.

As for the natural photos, I’m still experimenting with long exposures, with the 1st image my intent is to show how the barriers of the natural world interact with each other. The visuals for this are still very much in the workings as I like to avoid the cliche of shooting water at a long exposure. I plan to make an interactive version which allows the viewer to move in-between these natural barriers to enter a different world each time. With the 3rd image being white water crashing into the darkness and reaching out, my intent was to create a form of symbolism for nature working against negative energy. I’m working to change the perspective to a more top-down type of view, I believe this would show the idea more clearly and emphasize on the idea.

And finally the second image of bubbles, I intended to create a sense of infinity is the photo where the whole composition is full of spheres, foreground to background with a good sense of depth. These silver spheres were to represent the energy created from the waterfall crashing into a natural barrier, this would need some explanation though to be interpreted in such as way.

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PDF of selected photos from shoot 2

Shoot 3

  • First shoot attempting to take close up portraits of myself through a waterfall, the coldness and leaking equipment made this for a very difficult experience which aided in the facial expressions as my face froze.
  • Unfortunately with the cold I had to keep my headgear on as to not freeze, keeping the composition close to my face did allow for most of this to be obscured but will need experimenting with further as the water warms up later on.
  • Like the last shoot I experimented further with different poses for my silhouette, this approach I moved closer to the water as to create a link in the darkness between me and the water, creating one. Also the long exposure allowed the water to be seen falling off myself, creating the illusion that there was a link between myself and nature, or being absorbed into that world.

These two photos are my absolute favourites from this module and project so far, I believe the balance between light and dark to be just right in showing the emotion of the scene. The first photo the main focus is on the single water droplet that is perfectly clear in a scene of discord. My intent for this focus point was to show that there can be clarity in a scene of pain and darkness. I believe the colour pallet and darkness of the image to reflect on the emotion I take into the natural world. Below this photo I show a more intimate version from the last shoot, getting closer to the darkness below and being a shadow of myself. The darkness can be seen escaping from the long exposure by the water on my head, and I cupped water in my hands as a way of asking nature to remove the negativity. This reminded me of Trent Mitchell’s ‘Inner Atlas’ where it’d show the true essence of the human spirit in the most natural place of the ocean, including myself gave the opportunity to capture my spirit and energy in a pure place. I aim to show this passion and experiment with it further in the next module and during the break.

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PDF of selected photos from shoot 3

Shoot 4

  • This shoot I went all out with to test different facial expressions, mainly pain and screaming aided by the freezing water, also working a lot more with silhouettes and becoming immersed into the water myself.
  • I also played with symbolism to the effect of using waterfalls as a barrier between myself and the outside world, this was the first time using myself in this type of photo.
  • I enjoy the lighting of the underwater portraits whilst immersed, the harsh light from the surface blending with the darkness of the deep created a great contrast, again working with the shadow of myself.
  • Again I came up with the issue of having too much gear on but when I can only last about 1 minute before issues start to occur, I have no choice.

After photographing on this day I met a person that’s having an experience with a man called Wim Hof in Iceland next year, he told me about the Wim Hof method of being able to resist the cold. Wim Hof would swim around next to icebergs and climb snowy mountains in his shorts and has scientific evidence to show this method works. What this meant for me is a way of progressing myself in resisting the cold of the water for an unknown amount of time, but also a community, possibly a market of which I can connect with. This community works to control their minds and have a positive mindset so is ideal for the project I’m working on, the possibilities of documenting these people are great and creating content with them but I need to work on the method myself first.

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PDF of selected photos from shoot 4

Shoot 5

  • This last shoot I experimented further with different lighting situations making sure to arrive on a day where the sun would set without clouds obscuring it. The first photo being a scene above the water but I felt relevant, the silhouettes of all the branches by the low sun beaming up the valley, this golden light shows the twisted and barren branches creating two opposites showing that nature is not governed by normality, almost dreamlike effects.
  • This shoot wasn’t as successful as the others but I came out with one or two photos I
    enjoyed. The barrier of water with a small clearing to see a glimpse of the outside world showing the twisted branches compared to the streaks of light in-front of me.
  • This was the first time taking the hydrophone out into the waterfalls (below), I’d done tests before on the beach and off the coast to be prepared. There is a stark difference between the waterfalls above and below the water, above being a roar of noise and below being very different with bubbles, rocks crashing down, the muffled sound of water crashing and the torrent of water pushing the hydrophone

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PDF of selected photos from shoot 5

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