Friday, 15 May 2015

Landscape Research - Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore approaches landscapes in a unique way, capturing streets in the city in the foreground, while also capturing the landscape and sky in the background. The photographs have been captured in colour and withing my own photographs I have been able to see the difference between colour landscapes as well as monochrome captured photographs. For some of the photographs I feel that the colour works, while other photographs would be better suited in black and white. I feel that some of the photographs have too much color going on, and therefore would improve the photographs further captured in black and white. 

The photographs that I was mainly interested in, were the photographs that Shore has captured of buildings. I found some photographs throughout my research that resemble some of the photographs that I shot on 5 x 4 film. Buildings were though provoking, as the shot has to be composed at just the right angle and has to be just right in order for the photograph to not look too flat and overall have a successful outcome. 

The architecture of a landscape can also depend on the location and time period of when the building was built. When attending Visual Culture lectures, I was interested in how other countries had inspired each other. The art style, culture and architecture  used during the renaissance has been influential and recognisable on buildings today. In Shore's shot's, it's clear to see that he has captured anything but ordinary, stereotypical tourist shots of the location's visited. 

St. Louis, Missouri July, 1972
Stephen Shore St. Louis, Missouri July, 1972 1972-2005c-print 5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 458
This photograph was captured in 1972 by Shore. The photograph has been captured at an angle. I feel that Shore has decided to capture the building from this angle to give a more 3D effect. This angle works well, as I feel capturing the building straight on wouldn't have the same outcome. The photographs does also remind me of a photograph I have captured in Hartlepool. As the brief suggested 'a study of Hartlepool is to be made', I decided to captured the land by walking around and capturing streets I walk through and buildings I walk past on a daily basis. With the 5" x 4" black and white sheet film I have captured a building from a similar angle that resembles the shot of Shores. 

The photographs below show the negative and contact sheet of a building I have captured in Hartlepool. The photograph captured a building that I feel looks more like a Church, but this is Hartlepool's Town Hall Theatre. I was thinking how different the buildings of theaters were in UK in comparison to buildings in U.S. I feel the building still has a vintage vibe to it, even the telephone box outside the building hasn't been updated. I feel the placement of the telephone box and tree would create a different vibe. The tree and telephone box look as though they are part of the building and without it, the street would look much more empty. Personally, I feel the two objects give the landscape a structure to how the building is perceived. This photograph wasn't used as part of my final five, this was due to not all of the building being captured within the frame. I do feel the shot was successful due to the angle and the weather allowing me to capture the clouds above the building. 

Town Hall Theatre, Charlene Wears 5" x 4" film.

Tucumcari, New Mexico July,1972
Stephen Shore, Tucumcari, New Mexico July,1972, 1972-2005

Shore has captured a photograph from a straight on angle, not giving the building much depth and giving off a more flat impression. The building looks more like a house in U.S. but states 'Church of Christ' across the centre of the shelter of the porch. The fact that the building had to have a sign on it does prove that this isn't the everyday church. 

Throughout the module, Landscape Photography I have capture buildings and have been drawn to the architecture on churches. The photograph, Shore captured of a Church doesn't seem aesthetically pleasing. A photograph I have captured shows the difference between Church buildings in Mexico, compared to church buildings in UK. 

Church, Charlene Wears,  5" x 4" film.
As I was at street level with the large format camera and the church was on a hill, I had to compose the shot pointing the camera upwards. At first glance the photograph looks as though it was captured straight on, rather than from a low angle. I also had to time the shot right in order to get the bird to be captured where it was in the shot. 

While continuing my research into Shore's work, I was interested in the houses that were captured. The houses remind me of a house that I found in Hartlepool and that I have also captured. 

Palm Beach, Florida<br />January, 1973
Stephen ShorePalm Beach, FloridaJanuary, 19731972-2005c-print5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 612

Jacksonville, Florida<br />January, 1973
Stephen ShoreJacksonville, FloridaJanuary, 19731972-2005c-print5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 572
Palm Beach, Florida<br />January, 1973
Stephen ShorePalm Beach, Florida January, 19731972-2005c-print5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 571

The shot I have captured of the house drew my eye as it didn't look as though it fit in Hartlepool. I felt the house looked more like Shore's shots, in possibly Florida, or even be a beach house. I also captured this shot due to the symmetry, the focus of the shot was mainly on the gate. 

When looking at other buildings (below), Shore has captured, I notice a running theme of placement in the photographs. The photographer always stands a certain distance, capturing mostly the ground in the shot, with the building filling the centre and almost less than a third of the sky. 

Amarillo, Texas<br />August, 1973
Stephen ShoreAmarillo, TexasAugust, 19731972-2005c-print5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 603
West Palm Beach, Florida<br />March, 1973
Stephen ShoreWest Palm Beach, FloridaMarch, 19731972-2005c-print5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 584
Cape May, New Jersey<br />January, 1973
Stephen ShoreCape May, New JerseyJanuary, 19731972-2005c-print5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 579
Cape May, New Jersey<br />January, 1973
Stephen ShoreCape May, New JerseyJanuary, 19731972-2005c-print5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 578
Cape May, New Jersey<br />January, 1973
Stephen ShoreCape May, New JerseyJanuary, 19731972-2005c-print5 X 7 1/2 inchesSS 577

Detail Image
Main Street, Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, August 18, 1974
Detail Image
Merced River, Yosemite, National Park, California, August 13, 1979
Detail Image
U.S. 1, Arundel, Maine, July 17, 1974
Detail Image
Holden Street, North Adams, Massachusetts, July 13, 1974

Detail Image
La Brea Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, June 21, 1975
Detail Image
El Paso Street, El Paso, Texas, July 5, 1975

The photograph above (El Paso Street, El Paso, Texas, July 5, 1975) also captures the landscape, but I also sense a hind of street photography within the photograph. The tree adds nature to a place that looks like a busy town centre. The tree is almost stood solitude on the corner of the street, almost poses as a metaphor of loneliness in the middle of a busy area.   

While capturing the landscape of the streets of Hartlepool I noticed how natural has almost been forced and organised to dress the pavements. Trees were interesting to me, I have mainly captured Cherry Blossom trees. They would have worked better in colour, but I also feel that I was able to create success by capturing the scene in black and white. 

Overall, I feel that Shore's work was interesting to look at as part of my research. Shore's work was very relatable to my own and I could see the difference between shooting with film in colour, compared to the photographs I shot with the black and white film. 

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