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An Exploration of Hedgerows

To do list:
Complete First Year of FdA
Complete Second Year of FdA
Complete (my first) Second Year of BA
Complete Third Year of BA
Decide what you're doing next?

Although, technically, I was supposed to graduate last October, I'm now on my final summer with the freedom of an education system. I'm feeling a lot of pressure to a) enjoy my final summer, b) work out what I'm doing with my life, c) get a summer job, d) (possibly the most stressful) starting the final year of my degree!
In the mean time, time to get up-to-date with my last project. I had three weeks to either complete a project or to create a pilot project. After my last project, looking at the consumerism of the flower industry, I knew I wanted to continue looking at botanics and still life photography. I needed to find a subject that was nearby, I couldn't be *too* ambitious because of the short deadline. I had a week to experiment, a week to narrow down my ideas, and a week to smooth out any rough edges. 
Inspired by Anna Atkins beautiful cyanotypes, used to document her seaweed and botanical collection, I decided to firstly look at creating cyanotypes and creating them on location. 

I chose a small area of hedgerow to base my work in a small 600m length of hedge with a junction at the start and finish. This is along the route that I walk my dog daily, part of my daily routine, with Dartmoor in the distance and surrounded by local farmland. Along the lane is a small wooded area, about half way. To begin my photographic exploration, I chose to walk down the lane and take images of what appealed to me, what stood out, and just react to my environment. It can be difficult to find something interesting in a place that you explore daily. 

I mostly explored the details of the plants and the variety of plants that were along the hedgerows. I read somewhere that for every 5 species found in a square metre of hedgerow equals 10 years of growth (5 species = 10 years). Now it's the middle of Spring and approaching the start of Summer, the hedges have bloomed with wildflowers and plants. Turning what were wide lanes, into narrow and difficult to see beyond the nearest corner. 
While shooting I collected a bag of samples from along the lane...
The wildflowers collected in a plastic bag with the evening light shining through them. I took the bag of samples home, to create small still lifes. Bringing something that was created to help the hedgerow's plants and creatures grow every year, put into the domestic location of my home. Reminiscent of being a young child and collecting wildflowers for your family and friends.
I went back to the lane several times along the three weeks, I went to explore what surrounded the lane. You couldn't see much above the lane, now that the wild plants were growing higher and higher throughout Spring.

On one of the trips along the lane, I took a photograph of a wooden electric pole...
This gave me the idea to photograph every wooden electric pole, along the lane, and to create a mini typography of items along the lane.
This collection of images shows how every pole is in a different environment, they all have their own mini environments around the poles. Some are in wooded areas, some have hardly any plants, some are in full blooming areas. 
I then went onto doing 'experiments' along the lane. I would take 10 steps and then take a photograph on the right-hand side of the lane.

This created a lot of images, 70-something to be more precise. 
I felt (and still feel) as though, I was only just beginning this project. I finished it as a pilot project. I'm interested in starting this project up again, in the future. Through the summer, I will look at creating my own small briefs and working more commercially. This project might be picked up again in September, or in a few years from now. 

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