Square Mile – Thoughts, Planning and Reflection

Brief

Make a series of six to twelve photographs in response to the concept of ‘The Square Mile’. Use this as an opportunity to take a fresh and experimental look at your surroundings. You may wish to re-trace places you know very well, examining how they might have changed; or, particularly if you’re in a new environment, you may wish to use photography to explore your new surroundings and meet some of the people around you.

The results of my previous attempt at Square Mile for the Foundation in Photography course can be found here with the analysis of the feedback here.

This time round I want to get out and explore parts of Yeovil where I live. To this end I aim to follow the River Yeo and the streams that feed into it from the Abbey Manor part of the town through to the Pen Mill area. Following the course of streams will be challenging as their courses take them through private property and underneath roads.

Researching the photographers highlighted in the course notes (1) I found a number of things that I could draw upon. For instanace Keith Arnatt’s Dog Walkers and Miss Grace’s Lane were two examples of ways I could approach this assignment, although I would have leaned more towards the latter.

In the end I decided to go with my initial plan.

I know from having lived where I do since 1996 part of the stream, ponds and tributaries that lie along the course of the River Yeo. So finding subjects to photograph wasn’t going to be difficult. However, what I hadn’t taken into account was not having explored some parts of the area. Like the one I started off with.

After an hour I had amassed over 160 photos including culverts, tunnels, bridges, parts of the stream, vegetation and even some graffiti on a building. More than enough to develop a series of images for the assignment.

Some of the images I discarded immediately because there was obvious camera flare. Others because on reflection they weren’t interesting and didn’t add to any story I could tell.

One particular image that I wanted to use I have to retake because of flare which I can only easily remove by making the image black and white, something that doesn’t fit with the rest of the images. As this image and two others will be central to the series there is a need to get this one right.

Having done my research online and given thought to what I wanted to do for the assignment I found myself distracted when I headed out by a number of gardens I spotted. Immediately I could see another approach that I could take to the Square Mile assignment, photographing the different gardens, the well kept, the overgrown and the abandoned.

The series of images that I’ll be submitting for Assignment 1 will be the first part of a much bigger project that I plan to call River Runs Thru It. This part will called Underground Overground.

Footnotes

  1. Powell, J. (2019). Square Mile – Research https://jennapowellphotographyeyv.photo.blog/2019/08/06/square-mile-research/ [Online] [Accessed 19th August 2019]

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