Monday, 23 June 2008

New exhibition on the Thames Estuary

Just came across this on the Guardian website - an exhibition called Soundings from the Estuary about the Thames Estuary off course. From what I can see off the pics on the site it focuses on the landscape. Guardian wrote:
'Artists have set out to capture the archaic sights and sounds of the Thames Estuary before its transformation from marshland to new town as the Thames Gateway Development. Soundings from the Estuary is an ongoing project inspired by the estuary's industrial, architectural, and maritime traces as well as the threat from construction and rising sea levels. Frank Watson’s photographs’s will feature with artists Germander Speedwell and Dave Lawrence at the Contemporary Urban Centre in south London, from June 20-July 20 2008.' The radar tower at Tilbury and the Tilbury power station which I have photographed as well is among the images featured on the website. There will be a talk at Tate Modern about the exhibition on 11th of July but I will be in Sweden then - really frustrating. I have to go and see this exhibition now, I am just so curious and in all honesty a bit gutted. It's hard not to get upset when you realise someone has already done a piece of work on the same topic as you. It is different though but nevertheless...
Good news though is my camera is not broken, took the role I had in the camera in for processing and it came out fine. My local lab said it sounded like the chemistry had been off on my mystery roles, anyway best thing is I can carry on shooting.
Trying to focus and write intro to my project, I find it difficult to get the tone right, what fits with images... Also struggling with a title. Some thoughts: estuary tide, out of tide, tidal time, tide & time, esturial........

Thursday, 19 June 2008

My negs are ruined!!!!!

I went in to college today to process my film and have spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out what has gone wrong with my negs. They look really dense and of a very different colour to what they usually are, it made me look on the film type as they looked almost B&W. Concerned but didn't ask the technicians. Came home put the negs in the scanner and this is what I get:

Thought first that I must have overexposed really badly but i know for a fact that I had underexposed a few negs by mistake on one roll. I really don't get the disappearing heads etc. because I can see their heads on the negs!!! Really spooky and they are life guards as well!
I feel really really awful as most of the images were portraits and I had promised copies to people. That's the worst, it makes me look so unprofessional, especially towards my contact John in Southend that put me in touch with most of the people that were on those negs. God I feel bad.
Scanned other negs, they are good, so nothing wrong with scanner. It can't be the camera can it? Light leakage would have showed clearly. I can only think it was something wrong with the developer or fix. I want to scream and shout anything to get my negs back but they will off course forever be lost. And I had that thought to hand them into the lab, I wish I had but wanted to save money... Are taking a roll down the lab tomorrow, got half finished roll in camera have to know it's not the film or my camera.
This means that I have nothing to show for my tutorial tomorrow and have more work left to do than I thought. But as always I guess it could have been worse...

Thursday, 5 June 2008

More finds along the estuary

I have not got as much photographed the past few weeks as I would have liked much due to the weather. It has been a real washout on the days I am able to go places. Spent pretty much the whole of last Thursday in cafes on Sheppey waiting for the rain to stop, reading in the local paper how the island got more rain in two days than is normal for two months! And Monday was so bad I got really depressed. I love overcast skies but problem is no one is around when it is so wet.
I made a journey to Shoeburyness at the weekend and found an abandoned garrison where kids were playing. I would have loved this as a kid, absolute dream. The kids told me it was haunted by ghosts and this was all part of their excitement. This garrison will very soon disappear and make way to housing development on this former MOD land. I did not really get the picture I wanted so will go back and try again.
I was fascinated by the low visibility, normally one can see the other side very well but when it is foggy it is like starring out at sea unaware of the other sides existence. I tried to make some clean images illustrating this, which I am quite happy with except that I need to scan them better. (My scanner scans some things better than others).
On the beach in Shoebury there was was an African church holding mass. Really different, I spoke to them but they did not want me to take pictures however I had already taken a couple of quick snaps.
I have started to record what people are telling me rather than taking notes which is working far better, I think, but I have yet to put this next to the pictures. I have got small prints made of the images so I can show people I meet while photographing what I'm doing but also to try to see if the images work together and what is missing. I'm really quite worried about edit it all together, I like the process but I also feel insecure.
I will hopefully get to photograph the life boat crew in Southend on Saturday. They are based at the end of the longest pier in the world. I like the idea of this crumbling pier.

It is 6th June today - Sweden's Nation Day, I wish I was in Sweden.