I spent around a full day shooting over 2 separate days this week, walking a few miles up and down the Limehouse Cut. Thankfully the weather was pretty much with me although on the Sunday it started with overcast skies and then brightened up around lunchtime.
Taking an image to stand alone is one of those things we do as photographers, you see a subject and the image you want to create reviewing the technicalities on how to ‘proof the concept’. In my wanderings I found myself not necessarily with an overall image I wanted to achieve but with a concept of canal life that I needed to deliver a set of images that worked well with each other and were still true to my concept and overall brief.
Culling images from a shoot is always difficult, I have my favourites and as standalone images I feel they are great but don’t fit the brief and play well with others. I’ve ended up with 12 images that I feel tell a story and still tie in with my canal life.
When I was looking through the work of Keith Arnatt I saw his image on rubbish. Canals always have rubbish in them and I could have set the whole series on rubbish floating in the canal, dredged from it or quietly collected by the coots to build their nests. This got me started on the idea but on reflection they could very easily be lost from the set.
My love for wildlife led me to take lots of images of birds, Ducks with chicks, Coots standing on floating rubbish, swans and fish. I regret not taking my longer telephoto lens and getting a little closer to the birds as this could have been more creative. I followed 2 lost chicks for around 300m while they swam intently towards their mother, how they know which direction she was in I will never know but I couldn’t even see the mother at the time I saw the chicks. Thankfully the family were united again. I digress.
The canal is very busy these days and apart from framing shots and choosing your subject you also need a wary eye out to avoid runners, cyclists, fishing lines and dog mess. It also seems that nobody will want to give way and adjust their direction and just carry on. Health and Safety needs to be considered even on a sedate Sunday afternoon.
I’ve written up my assignment, exported the 12 images and contact sheets ready to send to my tutor. If you have any comments on the following images please let me know.