Two sides of the story
Trinity Chapel Gardens
Background: Trinity Chapel, built in the Gothic style with a 123 feet high spire, became a familiar landmark in Frodsham. In the 1970’s dry rot was identified in the church building and following a two years of work much of the old building was demolished. The people of Frodsham organised a “Save our Spire” campaign and the spire and some of the adjoining stonework was saved and restored for posterity. This landmark is now the approach to Trinity Chapel Gardens, a listed Grade II housing development, a creative mixture of luxury apartments and houses set within a conservation area.
My approach: I settled on this rather interesting subject, having driven past it on many occasions – more so recently en route to visit my Mum in her nursing home. I spent an hour or so looking round and photographing the area. I had never actually walked around the site before, only passed by in the car, so was pleasantly surprised at how much of the chapel building remained and even more surprised at what had been developed behind its facade.
My aim was to show a clear contrast between the old chapel remains and the new housing development. Bearing in mind all I had read and researched in the lead up to the assignment, I focused on offering a clear narrative within the frame that would (hopefully) have the viewer pondering as to what lay beyond, i.e. for the chapel – more ruins, overgrown grass, a graveyard maybe? For the new housing development – modern street setting, fresh landscaping. It was important not to provide context at this stage, so close up, carefully framed shots were key. The intention here was to allow the viewer to second guess the theme and put context to what lay outside the frame.
Finally to provide the context, I would show images featuring the contrast of the two buildings, but together in single images. These images reveal the actual setting and convince viewers that what they have been surveying is a true representation.
I used my camera and lens settings effectively to produce a variety of framing and viewpoints. Some of my shots were taken into the sun as it was a very bright day, I did remember to use my in camera method of fill in flash (as per tutor feedback on my previous course module). I took around 50 photographs in total. My end aim was to create a set of images that aroused sufficient curiosity to entice the reader to follow through the narrative to the end where reality is represented.
I have set out my final selection below. They are ordered as I would display the images.
Trinity Chapel Gardens, Frodsham
The first three would be viewed as ecclesiastical architecture.
Followed by a further two images revealing more of the structure.
Next I would display these two images, close-ups offering detail of newly built housing. Maybe the viewer would consider the connection to be “old versus new”.
More of the context is revealed in the image to the left. However the image on the right offers a disconnect to the other images and confuses the viewer.
Now we start to see a connection, the rough old wall in the foreground and the row of smart new brick houses standing behind. The next image is more revealing and shows us how part of the chapel building and a new apartment block marry up.
This image to the left puts context to the whole set.
Demonstration of technical skills – I have used my camera and lens settings effectively to produce a variety of framing and viewpoints. Some of my shots were taken into the sun – it was a bright day – I remembered to use fill in flash (as per tutor feedback on my previous course module), but still need more practice for better results.
Quality of outcome – I am pleased with the result and feel that my images demonstrate a good interpretation of the brief and what I set out to achieve. I believe I have presented them in the best order to convey a cohesive narrative.
Demonstration of creativity – My aim here was to create a set of images that aroused curiosity and offered a true story leading the reader through a beginning, middle and end. I am not sure I took any risks, but I did seek out something unusual in true documentary style (a representation of reality).
Context – I have put a lot of time into part one of this module, ensuring I fully covered all the projects and exercises. The research points in this module are new to me and I feel this is an important part of my development, so by putting all my focus on this area I have not yet completed any individual research on photographers, as in previous modules. I intend to work on this throughout the course.