Assignment 1 Traces

People leave traces of their activity on the landscape whether urban or natural… These marks imply that someone was there, doing something, leaving some signature of their existence and activity.

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg61

Text-in and Dumping Around The X22 Bus stop

There is nothing quite like text in our environment. I love graffiti, the good and the bad, the engraved on toilet doors and the sticker brigade. I also love posters and signs that are decaying and falling apart with age, in fact I have been known to spend countless days on holidays in and out of public toilets and up and down notorious streets looking for urban text.

I haven’t been able to find much around Lowestoft at all. I remembered when I first moved here how disappointed I was. I went from London Boroughs which were full of graffiti of all types to hardly any at all in Lowestoft. In Norwich I found a few sticker and poster art and in Great Yarmouth one piece ‘The Clash,’ sprayed haphazardly along a wall and that, as they say, was that.

As I was out and about looking for text in Lowestoft I found a dumping ground. I managed to squeeze under the chains and into the small abandoned pub car park which was littered with ‘traces’ of man. I therefore took some shots here and looked for graffiti within the same area so that the title actually described one small area of a street.

The title became ‘Text-in And Dumping Around The X22 Bus Stop,’ as this is the area in which I shot.

I have produced three contact sheets. Contact sheet one is the original, unedited shots, contact sheet two contains the edited shots and contact sheet three consists of the black and white images. One shot somehow became separated from the batch when uploaded to the computer and I have added that on its own.

I have chosen a few shots which are my favourite and these can be found below. It has been quite difficult in choosing wether to go with the manipulated colour or the converted black and white images.

The reason I have chosen these photographs is there is a sense of time and loss about them. They are forgotten words and forgotten objects, abandoned and of no use anymore.

Objects are walked by day after day and are a reminder of how fly tipping is so easily done without thought of its impact on the social, natural and economical environment. It looks a mess and degrades our living environments making it unsightly, unhealthy and dangerous to live beside.

Text for me is exciting. I see fonts and design, history, time and changes. Yet again it has an impact on the social and economical environment. Run down signs and graffiti are linked with poorer areas and ‘thugs.’ It also gives a sense of decay and uncaring, who would want to purchase food from a restaurant whose signs are old and worn?

Text-in Around The X22 Bus Stop

Dumping Around The X22 Bus Stop

For my shots, I decided to crop in close to the objects and text. Cutting out the surrounding environment, I wanted the viewers eyes to be challenged by what they saw and to ask questions such as, Where would such an object be dumped? Why? Who did the object belong to? What was the child like who owned the scooter? Who on earth would fly tip that?

In many cases showing the surrounding environment, sets a scene and a context, but what happens if you leave the setting out, does it really get people to look more and question the object within the photograph? I think it does and I am hoping it works with my shots. I believe sometimes the bigger picture gives away too much information and it becomes just another street photography ‘Image.’

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