I have three proposals for my first assignment. The first is to explore an area that’s close to my heart and my home in this first assignment. I am also want to explore an area that is familiar to me but from a new point of view in the hope that it will allow me to build on my technical skills whilst keeping the actual context familiar.
With this is mind my proposal is to use Brixton’s eclectic music scene as a spring board for this project. I am very familiar with most of Brixton’s music venues, having been a gig photographer for a few years, and currently involved as an arts writer for the Brixton Blog. This also means that I have a little inside knowledge about aspects of the interior and key elements that give these venues their particular character.
I am also interested in the people that help to form the character of these buildings and events. It is after the human factor that brings the life and energy not only to places but also to images.
I can see my project going in a few possible directions as it develops and this is the exciting, non-predictable element.
I would initially like to contrive some shots in each venue. For example using the beautiful Chesterfield sofa in Brixton Jam and ask some of the Bar Staff to pose on said sofa. The same could be done with other venues, choosing a key aspect of the place and key people posing creatively.
I would also like to explore taking more candid shots while the public and performers and staff during the everyday running of an event.
Technically speaking I want to explore the use of light within each shot to emphasise the mood of the setting at the same time as involving my own sense of design in contriving specific shots.
Creatively speaking, as well as setting up a certain amount of irony within posed shots, I endeavour to continue to explore my love of capturing the accidental perfect image.
My second proposal will keep me closer to home. The London environment and lifestyle links public transport inextricably to our day to day lives. Just within 15 minutes walk of my doorstep are three train stations. There are also several bus stops within minutes away. As well as the the architectural diversity within public transport settings, and the myriad of possibilities in composition when incorporating rail tracks, the various levels and pov incorporating stairwells and bridges etc, and the shelters and offices within each ‘place’. I would also like to build on my technical and creative skills through exploring light and shutter speed to create the feeling of movement in the images.
The final, and very important aspect to include in the project, is the human element. Passengers, staff and the interaction (or lack of it) that I can capture within these contexts.
My third proposal will be an investigation into the growing gentrification within my local area. I live at the bottom of Streatham High Road (claiming to be the longest High Street in Britain) I have lived here for three years now and within that time have seen an increasing number of large chain stores appear. However it has been gratifying to see more and more independently owned stores open and thrive. My project would involve a journey along the high road. The images would explore the contrast in businesses and the people who use the shops/cafes/restaurants etc , the business owners and staff, and the buildings themselves.
Of the three proposals I think this will be the hardest to give meaning to. Creatively speaking I imagine scenes of staff behind their wares posing for the camera, but would also like to incorporate more candid shots of people using the establishments during their day to day running.
I would also like to convey the personality of Streatham High Road and how the mood changes dependent on the time of day and area within its two mile stretch.
Gentrification on Streatham Hill
As this theme is close to my heart and home I chose it as my focus for the 1 Square Mile assignment. I am also keen to explore the topical, political and social aspect as well as experiment with the aesthetics of business fronts. It is also going to be a project that will take me out of my technical and creative comfort zone.
My starting point will be the journey. Taking the walk through streatham and choosing my subject matter.
My first collection is directed at established and recently closed local businesses.
Contact Sheet 1 – Old Shop Fronts
My second collection consists of new business and upgraded established venues.
Contact Sheet 2 – New Shop Fronts
My third collection is taken from the diverse signage along Europe’s longest high street – from hand written instructions, to the local council banners.
Contact Sheet 3 – Signs of the Times
Contact Sheet 4 – More Signage
The hardest part of my assignment so far. People are naturally camera shy.
Contact Sheet 5
Contact Sheet 6 – The Final Cut!