IAP 5 exercise 5.3 journey

This journey is a walk I do at least once a fortnight, a figure-of-eight loop around an area of the South Downs behind Peacehaven. I often take my camera, and each time I focus on taking a particular kind of image. Sometimes this might just be about textures and I’ll take lots of close-up images of woodworm-holed barn doors, piles of roofing slates, rusty containers, peeling signboards. Other times it might be about the industrial buildings and equipment that make anomalous shapes in the rural landscape. The most recent time I did the walk I was simply experimenting with different ways of using a zoom lens in this kind of environment, and enjoying both its macro abilities and the way it condenses views across the landscape, giving them the same kind of perspective as the paintings Eric Ravilious made of the South Downs. I decided to use a selection of images from that particular walk for this exercise.

Once I’d made my image selection, it struck me that the result was very different from any series I might have made if I’d set out to shoot a set of images specifically for the exercise. After giving this some considerable thought I came to the conclusion that this was due to the fact that if I’d had the exercise brief in mind – ie had the specific intention to photograph my journey – I’d have been thinking about how to present the journey to others. As it is, these images result from me exploring the environment along my journey. They therefore show the sights and interactions I personally experienced as I proceeded, rather than being an attempt by me to show the journey to outside eyes. I feel that this sense of personal exploration comes over in the images and makes them more evocative of the journey than those I would likely have taken with the brief in mind. This is a powerful insight for me and gives me clues about how my tendency to approach a brief too literally can get in the way of my creative expression.