Final prints in frames

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Shown above is all of the prints in frames which I submitted and which will be shown at the Truman Brewery in June.

I am really pleased with how the frames came out, and I’m glad I got them custom made and it really made a difference in the presentation. I also think the border works really well.

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Introduction

Roots

C-type Prints

Roots is a social documentary project based on my hometown Long Sutton, Lincolnshire. The idea for the project began when I was constantly being asked by friends and family not only what I wanted to do after graduation, but also where I wanted to live. So, I began to think, why do people choose Long Sutton? It’s a very small town with a slow-paced lifestyle, growing up there it appeared there was never anything to do. This project was a chance for me to see it through the eyes of people who have lived there most if not their whole lives, ranging from thirty-three to sixty-five years. Depicted in this series are both residents and independent shop owners in the town centre, who are not all living in Long Sutton, but some of the shops have been there between forty to fifty years. Alongside the portraits are landscapes of the town to set the scene. This includes the Church, one of the parks and the town centre on Market Day which has taken place since the 1600’s. To an outsider, the town most likely looks like any other town you could come across in England, but to the people living and working there, there is something special about it which has rooted them down.

“I’ve never felt the need to go and live anywhere else.” – Resident for sixty-five years.

“I fell in love with it years ago and it’s always been my favourite place, ever.” – The Secret Garden Florist, shop owners for fifteen years.

Synopsis

‘Roots’

Lucy Dack

Roots is a social documentary project based on my hometown Long Sutton, Lincolnshire. The idea for the project began when I was constantly being asked by friends and family not only what I wanted to do after graduation, but also where I wanted to live. So, I began to think, why do people choose Long Sutton? It’s a very small town with a slow-paced lifestyle, growing up there it appeared there was never anything to do. This project was a chance for me to see it through the eyes of people who have lived there for most if not their whole lives, ranging from thirty-three to sixty-five years. I also included some of the main independent shop owners in the town, who are not all residents, but some of the shops have been there between forty to fifty years. Many of the shops are listed buildings, showing the historical aspects of the town. Alongside the portraits are landscapes of the town to set the scene. This includes the Church, one of the parks and the town centre on Market Day which has taken place since the 1600’s. To an outsider, the town most likely looks like any other town you could come across in England, but to the people living and working there, there is something special about it which has rooted them down.

Whilst I was photographing all the residents and shop owners I also asked them a few questions about the town. Some of the answers were:

“I think I like the fact that really people in a smaller town are very caring about other people. I think It’s safe.”, “I’ve never felt the need to go and live anywhere else.” – Resident for sixty-five years.

“I think it’s just a nice place to be. As soon as I work in the city I just want to come home.” “I’ve definitely got the country bumpkin in me.” – Resident for fifty-two years.

“I was born here, so my family is from here. There are 6 generations.” – Resident for thirty-three years.

“I used to deliver to this town years ago and I fell in love with it years ago and it’s always been my favourite place, ever.”, “There are some lovely people in this town.” – The Secret Garden Florist, shop owners for fifteen years.

The whole project was shot using a medium format Bronica GS1, I avoided the square format as I wanted more information in the images. I shot on colour using Ektar 100 as it creates very saturated images, showing the vibrancy of the town during springtime. Using an analogue camera slows down the process and forced me to really focus on what I wanted to capture. Due to how old the town is it felt appropriate to photograph it in this way. All the photographs in the project are digital c-type prints, framed and mounted. The frames are made from oak, I wanted the natural wood colour as it complements the hometown atmosphere. The landscape images are size A2 and the portraits are A3. The landscapes are larger in scale because they are what I want the audience to see first, to then come in closer to see the people from the town.

My aim for the project was to present to the audience a small insight into what small-town life is like and to also make them consider their own hometowns. I want it to be an encouragement to explore and appreciate the area you grew up. It was a very interesting way to get to know some of the people in the town. Even though I grew up there, I could not help but feel like an outsider. I hadn’t explored it, gotten to know the people there, or learned the history. I used to see these places every day. Through photographing it, it forced me to really appreciate it, to notice the beauty of the town.

 

 

 

 

Mockup for Exhibition

 

Mock up
Layout one
Mock up2
Layout two

 

Shown above are a couple of choices for the layout for the exhibition, and how I would like to have them. As you can see by having them the different sizes, rather than having it the same. Previously I was going to have a grid of the landscapes in the middle, surrounded by the portraits, however, as I will have a lot of space to fill, I could have them in a row. How they are laid out takes the viewer through the town from the left to the right. Beginning someone walking towards the town centre, some of the houses in the area, then leading to the town centre in the landscapes in the middle, and then the church and an image of one of the parks to finish. For the portraits, there are three residents and three shop owners. Each shop owner has been paired with a resident, as I felt it would be better to have them mixed together rather than having the shop owners together and residents together, as they all come together to make up the town.

I think both layouts work really well, so I’m going to let how much space I have decided how I put the images together on the wall. With layout one, having the portraits doubled together may make it so the portrait highest up will not be as visible when being viewed. So I will ideally have them presented how they are in layout two.

Test Prints

For printing, I wanted digital C-Types so I did test prints of all my picked images in order to see how they would come out. I was really pleased with all the colours, they came out slightly duller than how they looked on my screen, which I was happy with as the colours were a little too vibrant. I was most worried about the sky in my landscape images as I wanted them all to match, however, I managed to do this and they all look a very similar shade of blue. I also had the problem with the green in the images, although I think that this colour it is more common to get different shades of.

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Shown above are the first two printed final images, the landscape is A2 and the portrait is A3. Due to the sizing of the image and making the room for the border the portrait image is closer to A4 than A3. However, as I’m planning on having 12 photographs altogether I think that by having them so small it allows me to have them spread out, and also that the audience will have to move in close to see. Having the landscapes be the first thing the audience sees will allow them to see the setting before the people of the town.

Favourite Images/Review

In order to pick images for the final edit for the exhibition and submission, I printed out all of my favourite images, and different versions of images so that I could make a decision and find pairs which work together.

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Firstly, I just put them all up on my wall so that I could see them all and then narrowed it down as some of the images were similar, or had the same element in them such as someone riding a bike. It was only necessary to have one image of each place.

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Shown above is my current selection and a possible layout for the images, keeping in mind that the landscapes will be bigger than the portraits, which will be A2 and A3.

FMP – Landscape Fourth Shoot

Contact Sheet

(Contact Sheet – unedited images)

The parks in Long Sutton were also some of the areas which people spoke of as their favourite place in the town. There are only a couple of big ones, the one I photographed is called Cinder Ash and one that I also went to a lot when I was younger. I also wanted to photograph an honesty box as these are quite popular and perhaps more unusual that the community can be trusted not to steal.