Saturday, 6 September 2014

Last Harvest - Dekkergraph

Here is a small ‘dekkergraph’ made last month at Barton Farm. My previous post about Ger Dekkers has proven to be one of my most viewed pages, which says more about the lack of information online about the artist than it does about the blog. There was a recent post on the Socks Studio blog which has some interesting image series to examine.

All of Dekkers’ series are of the large scale landscape; clean open vistas of fields or regularly planted stands of trees and woods, where the geometry of man-made lines or curves are exploited to create the design of the series and the interlinking of adjacent pictures. In my experience, spotting suitable locations that are suitable for ‘dekkergraphs’ is difficult enough in the first place. Then the series of images need to be rigorously executed to ensure that the series works cohesively. To do this successfully requires careful thought, planning and a fair amount of walking. Perhaps it is not surprising that few people have followed this branch of photographic technique. In Dekkers’ homeland of the Netherlands such scenes might well be common, but in the cluttered, rural areas of Hampshire such opportunities are hard to find.

Last month I was up at Barton Farm attempting to make a joiner of the newly harvested fields. As the harvesting was only partially complete, the fields were especially interesting, with plenty of close shaven stubble, long mounds of cut straw, and stiff upright stalks of barley with soft heads bowing under their own weight. I came across this acute corner of remaining barley which I wanted to photograph, but knew that it would not work with any of the other pictures that I had taken for a larger joiner of the field. It occurred to me that this might be worth an experiment as Ger Dekkers-style sequence. Unlike Dekkers’ pictures, the subject of this sequence was close to the camera. This meant that instead of walking in a straight line I would need to walk in an arc, maintaining my distance from the corner of the barley cutting. Care was taken to ensure key points in the geometry of the images remained aligned from frame to frame. It’s not the most complex or challenging of pictures, but the sequence seems to work well enough and hopefully is a stepping stone to some new work.