I have made two more composites for my Body of Work. They follow the same strategy of putting people who were there in the same place but at different times into the same image. However, this time I have revisited scenes I’d already photographed at to see how the scenes (and the people within them) had changed.
Initially I thought that returning to a specific scene and rephotographing it would be quite easy but instead I found I had to develop a procedure for making sure the framing for the original and its ‘copy’ lined up quite well. First I found the original RAW files and copied them back onto a memory card. The reason I had to do this was because I had since cropped and adjusted perspective within the file so it wouldn’t match up with the images I was now trying to take. Then I set up my tripod at what I thought was the correct height and by a process of trial and error, made adjustments to the tripod and the camera position until I had an image on my camera which closely resembled the original RAW file.
Then I began the process of photographing the scene and the people within the scene, aiming to find moments when the people passing by in the scene would be spaced well with other people passing by in the scene within the eventual composite. My tutor had discussed in the feedback for Assignment 2 that I could experiment with shooting for longer periods of the same scene, so I had more to choose from in the final edit of the composite. In both these composites, especially the second, I made sure to shoot for a longer period.
Another aspect of the composites my tutor suggested I could experiment with was making the composite approach (the fact that people in the scene were there at the same place but at different times) slightly more palpable for the viewer. Perhaps I went a bit overboard with these two images but my approach was to get as many people into the composite as possible, just to experiment with how it looked. The good thing about this approach is that I can always go back to the composite file and remove people from the scene if I feel it is too much retrospectively. Looking back at the images, particularly the first one, I can see a possibility emerging for future composites: to wait and take images of people only travelling in one direction so that in the eventual composite, they are all travelling the same way. This might add to the sense for the viewer that something in these composites is not quite right or doesn’t add up.
One feature of the rephotography I carried out in these two composites was that it highlighted change within the landscape. A lot of it was quite subtle but it was there if you looked for it. In the first composite, some graffiti had been removed, so had some scaffolding and the posters on the outside of an art gallery had changed. In the second composite, some graffiti had been added, a barrier had been removed and no motorists were now allowed down the pedestrian and cyclist zone.
The aim for these composites at the moment is to rephotograph scenes that I’ve already visited maybe three or four times so that I am left with a triptych or grid of composites for each scene which show change, both everyday and on a larger scale.