Country Strife

Due to a lack of response from people I was hoping to interview and photograph I needed to change the way I created my images and chose to make composites (see blogs posts The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ menOf Onions and Images – Quick Task 5).

I initially searched the internet for images falling under creative commons licences that allowed me to use and manipulate things how I wanted them but I had some very specific ideas of what I wanted and soon found that imposing these sort of restrictions too inhibiting. As a result I expanded my search to include all images, regardless of copyright.

Image 1

I started with this image as I felt it grabbed attention.
I started with this image as I felt it grabbed attention.

This image was a combination of 3 separate images.

Image Credit : Old Man by Oden Oden Wagenstein from Digital Photography School Website
Image Credit : Old Man by Oden Oden Wagenstein from Digital Photography School Website
Prison Bars by Andrejs Zemdega via Getty
Prison Bars by Andrejs Zemdega via Getty
If these old hands could speak by Algo via Flickr
If these old hands could speak by Algo via Flickr

I wanted to show an old person that was trapped to represent the issues of how old people can feel trapped in their homes. Sometimes by poor weather and other times because a lack of affordable small housing allowing them to downsize. The hands were the hardest part as the original hands from the prison bars image just looked to young so I had to find older hands in a similar position that I could use.

Image 2

old-man-walking-up-hill
This image was to reflect poverty in aged rural population.
Mr Fink finest photos via Flickr
Mr Fink finest photos via Flickr
This was my own image taken in the picturesque town of Stamford, Lincs.
This was my own image taken in the picturesque town of Stamford, Lincs.

My second image reflects rural poverty. Many elderly people are asset rich but cash poor, Their houses are often large but in need of repairs and maintenance which drains what small income sources they have. A shortage of affordable small housing means they are trapped and unable to move. I put the old man in affluent surroundings to represent the misconceptions people have that the elderly that live in such areas are all wealthy.

Image 3

For my third image I wanted the broken phone to represent faulty or failing technology
For my third image I wanted the broken phone to represent faulty or failing technology
Doug Adams photo from Museo silver rag photography exhibition.
Doug Adams photo from Museo silver rag photography exhibition.
This my own image that I combined with Doug Adams to make the composite
This my own image that I combined with Doug Adams to make the composite

My third image was about the problems with rural technology. The iPhone is an iconic piece of technology that is easily recognisable and i wanted to use a broken one to represent the failing and faulty technology that exists in rural areas. Matching the colouring and ageing the hand to match were the trickiest areas.

Image 4

I used a light to dark technique to represent depression and suicide.
I used a light to dark technique to represent depression and suicide.
Image by Mudzamile Matt All
Image by Mudzamile Matt All

I  decided to create a studio style shot for my 4th image to represent depression which can lead to suicide. A common trait of depression is the speed in which it can turn a happy person too thoughts of suicide and depression. I created the image in Photoshop and used the ‘render light’ function to create the effect.

Image 5

I wanted to create another image on the theme of trapped
I wanted to create another image on the theme of trapped
Unkown artists this image is found on various blogs
Unkown artists this image is found on various blogs
This is my image of a rainy window.
This is my image of a rainy window.

Being trapped, loneliness and isolation are key problems which accompany rural living. I wanted to show this through my 5th image with the main focus on being trapped at home. I used blending techniques in Photoshop to make the woman feel like she was behind the window and I positioned her low in the frame to give her a more diminished appearance.

Image 6

Old-Man-walking
Image 6 was to highlight the lack of transportation
This image was by jerostone
This image was by jerostone
This image was taken by me in Lincolnshire
This image was taken by me in Lincolnshire

With image 7 I wanted to show the problems that rural people face with public transport. As the are the services that tend to be very inconsistent and are the first areas to be cut when local government needs to save money. The effect to residents is often devastating, far more than those faced in urban areas and the elderly can find themselves with long walks or even becoming trapped and not able to get out at all. To create the image I cut out the old person and added him to the pathway. I then changed the light source to match the main image and I decided to add in the shadow from the trees to give the image a more dramatic feel.

Image 7

This was my final image and another way of representing the poor transport system
This was my final image and another way of representing the poor transport system
My image of Alex Taylor
My image of Alex Taylor
Image by Andreas Moser of a bus stop in Malta
Image by Andreas Moser of a bus stop in Malta
My image taken in a field in Lincolnshire
My image taken in a field in Lincolnshire

My final image was another representation of the problems of rural public transport. Without a car you are at the mercy of the bus companies and when they do not perform you can be left stranded. I wanted my image to conjure up the feelings of loneliness and isolation again so I combined 2 of my own images with one of a bus stop I got from the internet. I enlarged the tree on my main image and then placed the picture of Alex Taylor sitting on the bench into it. I added the bus stop and then added a flare for the sun and used the render lighting to ensure the lighting looked correct. Finally I added a filter to make it look warmer and it feel like it is early evening.

Cover

My reworking of the country life magazine cover.
My reworking of the country life magazine cover.
My original image I used for the cover
My original image I used for the cover
A typical Country Life Cover
A typical Country Life Cover

For my presentation I wanted my photo book to be more like a magazine. Country Life has producing magazines for over a hundred years since its first publication in 1897 and I felt their style would work well with my message. I designed my cover using other country life cover examples I found on the net and used an online printing firm to create the magazines themselves. I had 6 made in total and my ideal positioning would be to place them on a waiting room table and allow people to casually pick them up to read.

For the image sequence, as I had made a series of both portrait and landscape images then I did not want a reader to be constantly flipping the magazine back and forth so I chose what I felt was my strongest portrait image to start then followed it with my other two portrait images. I then switched to my landscape and finished on my strongest ones here too. This meant that the reader only needs to flip the book into landscape once to continue reading. I also included an actual news article about some of the issues with each image. I tried to link a suitable article with each picture that i felt the picture reflected. This added greater context to the images and anyone reading would quickly understand their meaning.

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