Friday, 20 February 2015

Narrative Photography Research - Paul Graham

As I am looking at creating a narrative of a road trip,
for my narrative I am looking at photographer Paul Graham. Graham has captured photographs with a larger format camera of the A1 over the course of 2 years, 1981 - 1982 and was able to show the life as well as the landscape of the Great North Road. The photographs were then published in 1983 in a book called, Paul Graham’s ‘A1: The Great North Road’. The photographs have been arranged in the book to create a narrative throughout. I found this book interesting and also found some ideas I originally had formed, Graham had already captured.

This photograph was the first photograph in the book, it looks like the roof of a car. Also the signs that were captured look as though they are telling the viewer what type of car it is a Humber. This is a starting point that Graham has captured and looks as though it has been captured in a garage, possible his own garage. This also shows that this is the possible transport that Graham was using at the time, in order to travel around and capture the photographs over 2 years of the A1.


Woman at Bus Stop, Mill Hill, North London,
November 1982, from the series
A1 - The Great North Road,
Vintage colour coupler print.
This photograph reminds me of street photography, and this is something I'm going to incorporate into my photographs while on the road. When I'm our passing by different locations, I want to be able to capture unique signs that someone may have written or maybe graffiti that has been applied to something. 

One of my ideas to capture photographs while on the road, at the stop offs at petrol stations is to capture something that not many people will notice. Graham has capture the word 'petrol' painted across a wall, this is different and unique as petrol stations don't have something like this, and are usually dull and boring. The colours that were captured were red and while, this could signify to the England flag and that this petrol station was patriotic. Also there is an even balance with the sky and ground, as they take up about the same amount of room in the photograph. The lighting of the photograph was naturally lit as I can see that the photograph was captured outside, there is also a ray of light coming from the right side of the photograph as though it's shining down onto the sign. The angle of the photograph suggests that there could have been something that Graham didn't want in the frame as I feel the composition is open. Graham has controlled what was in the frame and that's why the 'petrol' sign/painting wasn't captured centre of the frame. 

 Another one of my ideas was to capture photographs at cafĂ©/restaurants. I hope to capture photographs of different places of the exterior as well as interior. Graham has managed to capture a photograph outside of what looks to be 'The Little Chef' and are mainly situated beside main roads. The photographs has been captured on a rainy day that has allowed a puddle to form and created a reflective surface. Again, I have noticed that Graham has captured the sky and the ground that both take up the exact same amount running through the photograph.

The book concludes with a map of the A1 and the stops that Graham had stopped at to capture the photographs. Over all this photographer has inspired me further through my original ideas. The photographs I had in mind were similar to the way Graham has captured the photographs. I hope to find some unique signs and interesting people on my journey. What I like about Grahams photographs is that, someone could take the exact same journey and not see the same things or even look to notice the same things that Graham has managed to capture.

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