Concrete, Metal & Ocean – Archive Story
Forget your light meters, leave manual settings alone and point your cameras into the sun and see what happens. Interesting patterns of shape and form happen graphically. Throw caution to the wind and just shoot it. Run with your ideas and see what the return is. I have learned recently. That shooting freely and without caution can have long-lasting results freeing up the creative libido. Don’t throw out your light meter but simply place it in your bag and let your eyes and auto-exposure capture your scene. Yes, some will be dark and some light but simply point your camera right at your subject and fire.
In these strange times and restrictions, thinking about the times we could go out is in my mind right now. A walk on a beach is often fun but a walk on the beach under piers can be fun also. For me, though this does come with a feeling of anxiety as wet dark rusty metals in water freak me out and my heart actually races. I don’t know why but it does.
Concrete, a modern material you might think! In fact, Romans used concrete in the building of structures underwater and the well-known Pantheon in Rome. Concrete has been in use a while although much of UK’s concrete has either been demolished in the ’60s or kept and celebrated such as in London at the Barbican and South Bank and know as Brutalist Architecture.
I think that today concrete can be seen once again as a modernistic approach and whilst walking in the North West of the UK at a famous location called Blackpool, I was rather taken by the large swathes of smoothed concrete used as water defense against the chalky grey surf of the North Sea. in times past, this particular patch of holiday beach sea would also have been known to have a brown froth and foam from sewage and industrial waste. Something so ugly and filthy but alluring to many.
Blackpool out of season brings periods of sun and tranquility only seen offseason. Now the ugly grey Victorian promenades, replaced with shiny new sheets of the conglomerate. It was these slabs meeting Ironwork and sea that have always been my guilty pleasure. The love of urban and beaches allows me to capture images that are just a play of light, shape, and form. My love for classic architecture allows for some fun experimenting shooting into the light.
Freedom we take for granted, picture freedom is also something we take easily for granted, having public restrictions on where you may shoot has been a slap on the wrists for many creatives. Social media has seen to this. I would say now go back into your archives and re purpose some of your old photo material, reinvent the wheel and post your old content. No one is shooting new content so its fine. Find it, grade it and post it.
A place to come back to and shoot fashion and people, great lines and unique connection. Coming back to this location once again hopefully later this year will allow another take with a model and team. Maybe with the Drone and video. Not all locations need to be exotic. Look around and make use of what you have seen close by. See how you can push boundaries. One sure thing we all need to as creatives look closer to home. COVID-19 has made sure we all have to abide by these rules.
James Nader Instagram
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