Nuclear testing


The second print in the nuclear series goes well, I combine a deep teal over-print with the chalk white onto a black slab and the effect is much more subtle and eerie than the previous week, again the fine mesh of the screen adds and almost hand drawn almost chalk-like texture to the print and abstracts it from the original pho tography in a very satisfying way.

The thing I like about using the pinhole camera - when I find the right image – is the way it polarises light and shade

Ultimately though I’m still not fully satisfied with this set of prints. In some ways they are successful, both technically and aesthetically, but they just don’t excite me the way I hoped they would. Whilst this weeks print is undoubtedly more atmospheric than previously, I simply don’t feel the sense of otherness that I captured in the Asbru and San Francisco mini-prints. What I have created here is a very competent and atmospheric study of a nuclear power station, and as I progress through the weeks I am beginning to realise that I am looking to create something much more ‘other’ than this.

The Oldbury shoot felt successful at the time. I had planned and executed it (there were logistics, permissions sought etc…), with upgraded kit and time on my side. I felt I had come away with a collection of perfectly framed and exposed images, and in many ways I had. The problem is that this removed all of the happy accidents and excitement of the pinhole camera, of finding secret messages and surprises in bad exposures and random framing, of total abstraction between reality and the image captured.

So much about this shoot, from the preparation, to the extra-large sensor on the upgraded camera gave me too much control and removed the chance for accidental transformation.

As with the performers in my concert photography, I need to see the buildings and landscapes I am capturing as a starting point only, but it is their transformation into something other, which is the thing. It is this transformation this injection of new meaning and significance that makes the work successful, that forces the viewer to stare, and be pulled into the work, to tell their own stories or guess at my own narrative.