This is a summary post for assessment; the full A1 posts are available here.
These images tell two contrasting stories about the clifftops between Brighton Marina and the neighbouring village of Rottingdean two miles away.
I wanted to to tell both sides of this story in a matter-of-fact way without sentimentality, so I used a small aperture and fast shutter speeds to avoid inappropriate soft focus and movement blur. Recent reading about structuralist photographers prompted me to frame the image overlooking the marina to emphasise the separation between natural and manmade environments, hinting at the possibility of alienation contained within the second strand of the story, while Paul Seawright’s Sectarian Murder diverted me from a passing impulse to process the “tragic” photos in muted colours. Instead I actually made them a little more colourful than they were shot, adjusting colour temperatures, vibrance and saturation to compensate for the sudden emergence of a fog-like sea fret halfway through the shoot.
After receiving feedback from my tutor I cut both stories down from their original six images to four, now understanding that they would be improved by a little more subtlety. I replaced the first three images of story 2 with a single image I’d taken two months earlier, and removed two images from story 1 that added little to the narrative. Both stories were now stronger individually with a clearer visual distinction between them.
My understanding of the purpose of this assignment grew as I proceeded through the course, and I wrote a separate post about this on my learning log. With the benefit of this new perspective I decided to merge the two stories into a single narrative thread which makes the transition from story 1 to story 2 with the most ambiguous image of the set, a precarious view through the crumbling cliff to a danger sign below. I dropped two images that now felt redundant and reintroduced another that I’d dropped in the previous edit (a view back to the marina) as it now introduced a sense of remoteness prefiguring the narrative’s transition. I also re-processed the images to retain the progressively deteriorating weather and light conditions, feeling that this was more suited to the new edit and brought a darkening mood into the narrative without sentimentalising it. Finally, I removed the titling, feeling that this new edit didn’t need specific contextualising.