Square Mile Images

Part of the North East faded industrial heritage


“The Square Mile”

First Impressions

My first thought about this assignment was to review the village in which I’ve lived for 24 years and look specifically at the agricultural industry within it. However, on reflection I decided to re-visit the North East coast, where I was brought up. I had the idea of looking at it through child’s eyes and to take all images at child height but due to very wet weather (not conducive to a 60 year old spending time on her knees) and because I felt very self-conscious I abandoned that idea. I then noticed how much things had changed and how my memory was decidedly blurred and so developed a theme of “Blurred Memories/Faded Glory”. I wanted to include not only the faded glory of the British seaside resort but also of the industrial heritage of that coastline.

Inspiration

My inspiration was taken from:

Paul Tucker who is interested in the space between land and sea where he senses nostalgia and past glories of the seaside holiday which conflicts with the emptiness of the today’s landscape.

http://www.paultucker.co.uk/seaside.htm

 

Rob Birrell who has published a book on the Faded Glories of Redcar and Whitley Bay as seaside resorts.

http://robbirrell.com/category/projects/faded-seaside-glory/

Lee Frost is a well known published travel and landscape photographer who has taken many shots of the Northumberland coastline. Whilst his beautiful photographs portray a romantic side to the coast they also demonstrate the emptiness and isolation of the seaside.

http://www.leefrost.co.uk/coastal-enlargedImage.asp?imgId=18

 

Joe Cornish another famous and well esteemed landscape and travel photographer. I particularly like the way he uses light. Some of his coastal shots are shot into the light which gives an even greater perspective of emptiness and isolation.

http://www.joecornishgallery.co.uk/gallery/category/limited-edition-prints

Technical Approach

I primarily used a Canon 5D Mk III and a 25-104mm zoom lens. Some shots were taken with a Lumix GX7 and a 14-42mm lens. The Canon offers a greater range of settings and options, whilst the Lumix is a useful camera to have in my bag. I focussed on the composition of my shots and the story I wanted them to portray. Although inspired by both Lee Frost and Joe Cornish who frequently use slow shutter speeds I decided to not to try this for this exercise. I did experiment with shooting into the light and using the light to best advantage.

After reviewing my photographs I tried to replicate the changes I observed in the landscape from coal still being washed up on the beach to the complete emptiness of Blyth beach in the middle of August.

Following feedback from my tutor I replaced the shot of the coal and seaweed to the ice cream cone advert outside a shop.  The reason for this was because my tutor was unable to identify the black in the picture as coal and so my vision for this shot had not been achieved.

Reflection

Overall, I underexposed most shots, sometimes on purpose but sometimes not.

I found it incredibly difficult to weed out twelve shots because the subject I chose was too broad.

I am pleased that I achieved my goal to tell the story in a series of images, of the faded glory of this bit of coastline.

I feel that I still have a lot to learn and I am still not entirely confident with my camera.

 

Decommissioned lighthouse in Whitley Bay

Decommissioned lighthouse in Whitley Bay

Next to the Spanish City and my blurred memory is that this formed part of the fairground

Next to the Spanish City and my blurred memory is that this formed part of the fairground

A former ballroom and pleasure dome

A former ballroom and pleasure dome

square-mile-ice-creams                             Ice cream cones advertising ice creams

A lone child playing on this glorious bit of golden sand

A lone child playing on this glorious bit of golden sand

Although not entirely abandoned there is a sense of emptiness in this once popular beach.

Although not entirely abandoned there is a sense of emptiness in this once popular beach.

Confirming the emptiness. Not only was this a pleasure beach but it was adjacent to some major industry.. Blyth Power Station and Alcan a manufacturer of aluminium foil etc.

Confirming the emptiness. Not only was this a pleasure beach but it was adjacent to some major industry.. Blyth Power Station and Alcan a manufacturer of aluminium foil etc.

An unheated open air pool where school swimming lessons started after Easter brrrr.

An unheated open air pool where school swimming lessons started after Easter brrrr.

Removing scrap metal from North Shields Fish Quay, once a thriving industry

Removing scrap metal from North Shields Fish Quay, once a thriving industry

The remains of Lloyd's Hailing Station at the mouth of the Tyne. It was used to identify ships entering the Tyne for Lloyds Register until 1969.

The remains of Lloyd’s Hailing Station at the mouth of the Tyne. It was used to identify ships entering the Tyne for Lloyds Register until 1969.

There are examples of industrial heritage/functional items being recommissioned as Street Art along the coastline.

There are examples of industrial heritage/functional items being recommissioned as Street Art along the coastline.

 

ContactSheet-001 Seaside

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This entry was posted in ASSIGNMENT 1, ASSIGNMENTS, Coursework, General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Square Mile Images

  1. phild91 says:

    Your photo series took me back to my childhood in Tynemouth. I went back in July, the first time in ages, to see the changes wrought.

    Like

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