Thursday, 25 February 2010

Production 2 - Diary

Update 25 February 2010
I have had a complete change of mind about this project!!
It would be useful for me to get some sort of dress rehearsal for the Final Project and so have decided to take the rail journey from Singapore to Bangkok over the Easter period. I was intrigued in that in the 1960's we saw a decline in the use of the rrailways in the UK with the increase in the use of the motor car, the building of motorways and the increasing availibility of cheap air travel. Under the 'Beeching' report we scaled back the size of the network drastically.
The opposite was true in Asia and in the 1960's the 'Trans Asia Railway' was agreed to ling Singapore to Istanbul by conecting existing tracks and constructing new were required. The 'ASEAN and Indo-China sub region' has 12,600km of track in use with the section between Singapore and Bangkok in daily use, including part of the Burma -Siam railway built by POW's in WWII.
My project is to take this journey in three phases (8hrs SIN-KL; 6 hrs KL-BUTTERWORTH and 22 hrs BUTTERWORTH-BKK) I will look to capture images of life at the side of the track of those who travel, work or make a living from the railway. The images will be primarily 'active' portrait images accompanied by link images, text and sound.
Current Research includes travel images (Basil Pao, Lou Jones, Duncan Evans) Lonely Planet Guides, National Geographic, A History of Malaysia.
The logistics of the visit are now completed and will be included as part of the research document.

Pre-Production Diary

25 Feb 10
Starting to think about my MA final project in light of the various lectures. I had already been considering a documentary photography project in Vietnam as this is an area of interest to me. I had been fascinated with the politics of the country since 1945 until the late 70's and the departure of the Americans. I had seen images by Phillip Griffith-Jones, Tim Page (including his recent TV documentary and book 'Another Vietnam'), Don McCullen and others who had taken some of the iconic images of the war. Malcom Brown and his 1963 image showing the self immolation of the Buddhist Monk Quang Duc; Eddie Adams & his 1968 image of the street execution; Ronald Haeberles 1968 My Lai massacre and Nick Uts 1972 photograph of the 'Flight of Phan Thi Kim Phuc.
My interest is leaning to the plight of the population rather than straight war images. There are lots taken during the American conflict by both Griffith Jones in his books 'Vietnam Inc' (1971)and 'Vietnam at Peace' (2005) and Tim Page 'Another Vietnam' 2002. There are literally thousands of books about the Vietnamese war with the Americans and its narrowing them down to the pertinant ones which is my problem!
I decided to keep my options open (with the advice of Rob Coley) whilst carrying out the research. They are:-
  • To capture the feeling and mood of the people today through portraiture and/or going about their everyday lives.
  • To explore the degree to which the war with the Americans is being exploited by the Vietnamese to earn money through tourism and in particular Americans. ‘Tourism of War’.
  • Western influences on Vietnam, despite their rejection of ‘capitalism’ in 1954 (North) 1975 (South)

The areas for research I am undertaking are:-

  • The story and images behind Vietnams post-WWII situation (1945-2000)
  • Vietnam story today and images.
  • Logistics of the project.
  • Post Production and the exhibition.

Need to be careful this doesn't end up a holiday brochure journal, although if any images can be sold separately, why not?

17 - 25 Jan 10

I have been concentrating the rfesearch for and the drawing up Portfolio 1 + a presentation for the 1st pitch due on 3 March

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Production 2 - Initial Idea

The initial idea came to me when watching a TV advert for a Radio 4 programme. I know, how sad that is, but I was trying to get Loncoln out of my mind. The programme was to discuss a series of celebrity nominated items which they saw as influential in shaping the last 50 years. I.e Richard Attenborough – The Microchip. Tony Benn – The Blackberry. Other items included Breast Implants, GPS, The sun battery, The Twin Tower attack and plastic bottles. Some of you may think that I should have gone without the breast implants, but Andy Pipkin of 'Little Britain' obviously had a greater impact than I imagined!

I thought it would be challenging to look at similar events in my lifetime and to represent them as still images.
I began by making lists which broke down into three categories. They were:
  1. PERSONAL - this encompassed things like leaving home for the first time, (I was 5) living overseas, starting a career, getting married and starting a family, getting divorced, having grandchildren, special interests and hobbies, retirement and university and a tragedy. These would fit most peoples lives as a general heading, but the actual event is different emotionaly for us all. I.e some people are sad when a divorce happens, I sent out thank you cards!
  2. WORLD EVENTS - Death of Kennedy, Vietnam War images, the 3 day week, the Thatcher years with the Miners strikes, Lockerbie, the Twin Towers.
  3. INVENTIONS - The vernier guage, the calculator (yes, I remember log books and slide rules) Nylon shirts, the Sony Walkman, Television, commercial aircraft, the mobile phone, central heating.

The list is obviously by no means exhaustive and will continue to grow.
To say that there isn't much that hasn't been photographed may be stating the obvious, but some things have been photographed more than others. (Old Grimsby saying) I therefore need to find interesting images/concepts to capture my lists.
A touch of browsing gave the following 'different' views of well known subjects:-

Computing etc

Television & Satellite

Travel Images

Marriage/Divorce/Fekin Kids

This image really did bring a tear to my eyes as I have a Down'n Syndrome daughter.
This image captures the beauty that these children bring to the world.

Blogging so far
1. When I import from the web, it shoves the image at the top of the blog, meaning I have to drag it to where I want it to sit, at the same time losing the formatting.
2. The layout is not seen as it is in the edit mode.