To help develop your personal voice as an independent practitioner, it is important to acknowledge your subjective attitude towards the subjects you’re researching and photographing. Right now you’re dealing with themes around landscape.
Write an entry in your learning log (around 300 words) reflecting on any current and previous circumstances and experiences that you think may influence, or may have influenced, your view of the landscape. Describe how you think these factors might inform your ideas about landscape photography or related themes.
If you’re stuck, consider the following:
- Did where you grew up / spent time whilst growing up influence your view of the landscape?
- What sorts of engagement have you had with the landscape? Leisure? Work? Negative or traumatic experiences?
- Are there any social or political issues that particularly concern you in relation to the landscape?
I have lived for my entire life in the suburbs where the countryside has never been too far from reach. As a young lad, my father and I would go shooting together. He had two farms where the owner let us shoot to help keep off the pigeons and vermin that were destroying his crops.
My Father lived in the country as a young boy where his family had moved out of Southampton to avoid the bombing during the war. The circumstance of war meant that my Father had to hunt shoot and fish to put meat on the table as these things were rationed in ordinary life. This upbringing gave my Father a very country based view of the world, and I inherited this from him.
As a family, we have enjoyed going into the countryside for walks and picnics and using the country as a place of leisure. I spent my working life in cities all over the world and have quite a balanced view between that of a townie and that of a country boy and have always been able to drop into the persona of either when in the company of either.
As I have gotten older, I have become less mobile suffering a leg injury that has never adequately healed, making walking much harder. I also suffer from a weight problem which has over the years made long walks and over exertive pastimes more and more difficult. I now actively avoid long walks in the country as they tend to mean quite a bit of pain and suffering, which spoils the experience substantially.
I now view the countryside with some regret, as I would love to go to some of the hard to get to places and create beautiful images but am quite physically limited in doing this. It is this in part that makes me more interested in studio photography where my physical restrictions do not play such a significant role.