The next few posts are going to be about the though processes behind my series development.
Once I had the initial meeting with Jamie and Rebecca at the Wynyard offices and had our initial site visit where i took some digital shots of interesting parts of the plant, I had to get in touch with a man called John at the plant to arrange suitable days for me to visit the site. Straight away there were setbacks due to the Easter holidays, and the usual number of staff being much reduced, which meant that I had to wait until after easter to get in to begin shooting. This made me panic due to the fact that I was aware that each shot would take a fair amount of time to set up, and I’d only get a limited number of shots done a day, and the more I waited, the closer we were getting to deadline, and I still needed to develop and print everything. Once I arranged my first date to go shooting, I calmed down a lot. I enjoyed the experience of meeting everybody, and being shown around the site, but what made shooting difficult was the health and safety aspects which i will mention soon. After my first day shooting, we tried to arrange a suitable time for me to re-visit the site, but i had to wait a week again until there was someone free for the afternoon. Also, we were getting really mixed weather at the time so it was all up in the air as to if and when i’d get back there to shoot again. Thankfully the more I went, the smoother it got, and I was very lucky with the weather. Although some days it was very windy due to the site being very open to the elements.
Once I had gained access to the plant, shooting happened over 4 days. I spent roughly 3-4 hours shooting each time I was at the site. I was chaperoned the whole time due to health and safety regulations and confidentiality reasons. I had to wear safety shoes, glasses, a high-vis jacket, and a helmet. Wearing all this gear made it quite difficult when setting up some of the shots. trying to get my face close enough to the viewfinder of the camera wearing the helmet and goggles meant that sometimes it was difficult to see if i had framed the shot correctly or got it completely in focus, due to looking through a loope with safety glasses on. I guess this all comes with the territory when photographing in a chemical plant, but it made the process quite a stressful one. In total i got about 30 shots. Most of which were correctly exposed apart from one which was completely underexposed.
I have now had all my negatives developed, and scanned. I then printed paper versions of the digital files to help decide which ones I should print in the darkroom. I chose about 18 out of the 32 shots i had in total.
Once my final series is handed in, I will contact Huntsman again to show them my final work, and maybe see if they would like some prints as a thank you for letting me get access to the site.
Ideally I would have liked to have more time in the site to keep photographing, as i feel like i only just scratched the surface of what I could have achieved. This has come from looking at my prints and wishing i had more to create a series in a particular style. I will discuss this more when i talk about my ideas for creating a series ready for hand-in.