Beyond Entropy – Part 2 (Reeds)

Ed Coveney, a student studying on the Masters in Landscape Architecture (at Writtle College) invited us along to see his installation created with ‘reed’s.  Ed has created a framed representation of what happens with reeds in a river and recreating this within a controlled environment.  He is studying the phenomenon of the reed that is making the patterns.

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When I saw the piece I realised that this would be the ideal opportunity to practise my black and white photography and so returned with my camera the following day.

The reason why I saw this installation as an opportunity to really start to see in black and white, is that I observed the lighting  (the way the light shines in from the window, falling onto the reeds changing the positive and negative spaces within the installation), and movement/ shape,  the way the reeds seem to change shape depending upon the way the light hits them, creating a contrast within the image and a change in composition.  I had to re-visualize the images in my mind before taking the shots and this is something that I have learnt to do as I have developed as a photographer.  Not all photographers do this though and some just take a picture and do not think about the subject matter first.  William Eggleston was known to take one shot of something and if it didn’t work out he would move onto the next without retaking the image.

Within my black and white photography I am looking at lines and shapes and not the overall components of the installation to enable me to create quite abstract results.

I emailed the photographs that I had taken to Ed and he was very pleased with them.  I have his consent to display two of the photos I took of his work in my exhibition (confirmation email dated 30th March 2012).

I have been reading ‘Light and Lens’ by Robert Hirsch who talks about photographers ‘learning to see’.

‘What determines the success of an image is not the camera, but the knowledge of the person operating the camera.  The principal job of a photographer is looking, which defines all photographic processes.  Good photographs are made by learning to see.  Good photographers become skilled at following their eyes and seeing things others overlook’.

This exercise confirmed to me, that is what I am exactly doing.