Jem Southam

Jem Southam

I have ben really interested in Southam's work for the past few years. Firstly because of the predominant location fo his work. I am from the same area in Devon where much of Southam's work is made. His practise is made in a far more rigid, classical construction than my snap shot photographs. However I have been looking at his work for process based inspiration. His interview with Andrew Nadolski talking about his "big bulky camera" was intriguing. 

Due to financial restraints I have been unable to look at using a large format camera for this work , but I like the idea of being informed by the slow pace in which a large format photograph is made. This slower approach gives more time to look and take in the scene. This time I think will influence the image made. 

Looking at the focus of the images, I still don't particularly like the way the more traditional landscape photographers use such a small aperture so as to include all the information possible with sharp detail from front to back. This for me is unrealistic and I personally struggle to look at the whole scene as on one plane of focus. 

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South talks about the time he makes his images. A similar time of day is used for a certain few months of the year where the light is exactly correct. This will be the factor that creates the same aesthetic in all his images. 

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Through reading about Southam's process of making I really would like tot ry using a large format camera. At the moment I have only been able to use a fuji 6x9 rangefinder which still had the largest size of negative for all medium format cameras. The camera has no internal light meter so the process is automatically slowed down by either using a hand held meter of by using the light meter in a digital SLR. I found this approach almost too slow as I wasn't producing images that had the same snapshot aesthetic as my work had previously. 

"LOOKING THROUGH THAT SCREEN AT THE INVERTED IMAGE, CLOTH OVER THE HEAD, OFTEN BALANCING ON A LADDER, IS AN ENTHRALLING THING TO DO" - Jem Southam

Bibliography

Southam, J. a. N., 2013. Stories from the land. [Online]
Available at: https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2013/03/jem-southam-interview/
[Accessed 22nd March 2018].

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Portraits, Landscapes and Still Life Images of Alec Soth

Portraits, Landscapes and Still Life Images of Alec Soth