I found that the focus of this project really helped me to get out of my own bubble and push towards areas of difficulty that I would never consider were it not for this brief.
I had always been a keen photographer, however I had never used a camera in its manual settings nor had I gone out to take ‘street’ photography. Therefore I was entering an unknown field of expertise I first thought, and yet it became so apparent, as the project went on, how interested and thoughtful I was about my shots and choice of settings to use.
As someone who hates their own photo being taken, I have always taken photographs of building, or nature – or everything but people. Yet with this project I went ahead and braved the streets to take photographs of random people. Although I ended up not yielding great results, or results that ended up in keeping with my theme, I still found the excercise worthwhile. I started stalking my area with a keen awareness of my surroundings and their potential for photographs.
I enjoyed this almost detective role-play, discovering my area and finding the clues to what represents it best.
It was with this attitude I moulded the idea/theme that I would document the dilapidated and not so pretty parts of my area. An almost sinister tone came to being when I came upon the idea of ‘Hooded Cars’, cars under protective sheets almost becoming a completely new eerie entity. I found it fascinating, and was forced to be so imaginative with a very banal and dreary area.
Finally with all my shots gathered and edited, I decided the best way to present my findings would be in a book. An archive of my discoveries and an insight into the ‘other’ side of Oxford.
Ultimately I therefore believe that this project was a massive success, not only in that i learnt how to use a camera and it’s manual settings, but I re-discovered an almost childhood instinct inside of me, my imagination – that could find the most abstract narratives for the most simplistic of subjects.