Chatham Dockyard Visit – Photography

Or as I preferred to think of today, Crashing With The First Years.

One day I’m going to stay still. At least I know its time to stop when I start considering writing my dissertation while on the cross-trainer.

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Dockyard, a set on Flickr.

The remaining 66 are here: Photobucket And the unedited favourite few here: Flickr slideshow.

More rambling after the cutI was pretty determined to not make the whole day about the huge structures that surrounded me. While a challenge in their own right to photograph in their entirety, I was really looking for some textural shots. I think my appetite was whetted by the photographs in the GD corridor of last year’s Final Show work that included some similarly tasty images captured in the same place. Yet while theirs had been abstracted with cropping and overlaid with type, I wanted mine to be able to stand on their own a little more. Not in terms of narrative within the image, but perhaps as a collection it would become more of an examination of the details of the Dockyard. So much weathering, so little time. Some of the looks people were giving me, honestly…

Actually, I can’t remember the last time I went out with the sole intention of taking photographs for my own enjoyment. That in mind, I’m pretty happy with how the bulk of these turned out. The light was extremely generous today. Plus of course, it helps hugely that it must take a certifiable idiot to take a bad photograph of specifically, 3 Slip (The Big Space). I’m fairly sure you could blindly wave a camera in any direction up there and you’d come out with an angular and beautifully diffused light shot. Perhaps I should have tried that. But having never been up there in my previous 2 trips to the Dockyard and seen it numerous times in film/tv productions, you could say it was a bit of an obsession for me.

I certainly wasn”t disappointed.

Having originally been closed off for the wintery weather, it was on legitimate grounds that I got to venture up there in the end, as part of a scouting party for the space as a venue for the Final Show next year. I climbed the stairs with an amount of trepidation and excitement, but I was bowled over by its dramatic atmosphere. I’m not sure whether it would be a disservice to say that it looks exactly like it does in the movies, but I think its the lighting that makes it. And the texture of the wood. And its size. And the smell. And the not quite echo. Hmm…

There was a hint of irritation to the day, where I had brought my additional longer lens with me for the detail in the hard-to-reach places of the Dockyard and when I attached it to the body it consistently refused to work all of the 3 times I tried. Not only was it heavy to lug around all day afterwards, but while explaining to my mother how I was going to have to shell out a fortune to get it (or my camera!) fixed it worked first time. Sure I might have saved some money but now I have to go back and get more shots, just because I can!

I’ve been pretty brutal with the images I chose to upload- 66 from 302 is possibly a new record in objectivity for me!

I should probably now mention that the original motive for the trip was to see the Street Art exhibition and gatecrash the discussion hosted by UCA tutors and designer/street artist guests. While I go lookup my names and exhibition piece names and references, it’ll be just in time for a shiny new post.

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