For this assignment, instead of working on the body of work as a whole, I’ve concentrated on experimenting with one aspect of the project. The aspect is the way I arrange people in the composites, focusing on two locations specifically. It draws on the factor of chance in photography and plays upon it, with my arrangement of people staging the scene and creating potential narrative for the viewer.
I’ve come up with several strategies which make the people in the scene subtly draw the viewer into the composite because something in the images stands out of the ordinary. In turn, this makes the composite technique slightly more palpable for the viewer without taking away from the main focus of regeneration.
The arrangements I’ve experimented with include layering the composite with lots of people to make the composite approach quite obvious (found in WIP #2). In retrospect I feel this was too obvious and didn’t add anything to the scene. However, because I shot so many images I can rearrange the composite to my liking.
Another arrangement I tried (found in WIP #3) is making up the composite so all the people were facing away from the camera or coming towards the camera. I think this strategy was more effective although it did introduce potentially unwanted narratives.
I was inspired by Chris Dorley-Brown’s project The Corners (2009-17) to experiment with the arrangement of people in the scene while taking into account composition of the surrounding scene (found in WIP #4). This meant grouping the people centrally and close together in the scene while allowing the grander landscape surrounding them to narrate to the viewer as well. I had to try this implementation at a different location as the first two were unavailable at the time. In my opinion this compositional technique worked well.
Lastly, I tried an approach which relied on a previous composite from the same location with the same framing (found in WIP #5). Here, the people were arranged so they were in as similar as possible positions to the people in the previous composite. This created a strong illusion for the viewer that at first glance they were looking at the same picture twice but on second glance the people had changed. I think this was another strong strategy that will work well going forwards with the project.
By discussing these different approaches to arranging people in the composites with my tutor, I hope to arrive at a good strategy for rephotographing the same locations multiple times like this. I feel this will allow me to show how change is occurring within the area when I put the composites together in a triptych or grid.
Dorley-Brown, C. (2009-17) The Corners. At: https://modrex.com/photoworks#/the-corners/ (Accessed 28/11/2019).