My Work in Progress Portfolio for Module 3 is titled “Last person to Leave turn off the tap”. It is a photo essay about a disused Water Treatment Plant building that has been left with an unclear future since the 1980s when Essex Water decided the site was no longer required to provide water to the people living in and around Chelmsford. The site had originally been opened in the 1950s to address water shortages in a town that was growing rapidly as it transformed from a market town to an industrial manufacturing town supporting new technologies such as radar and television.
The portfolio records a building suffering from industrial decay that is being accelerated by rain water getting in through cracks in the roof and broken window pains. The images include some examples of rephotography using images from the brochure created for the opening of the site on the 20th July 1955.
For this module the decision to focus on a single location allowed me to explore the use of different apparatus and its use influenced how I read the image. In the end i decided to use a digital camera as I felt the high mega pixel sensor gave me images that could more easily be enhanced in post to bring focus to the story of industrial decay.
The module afforded me the opportunity to explore rephotography. I experimented with a number of different rephotography approaches considering how these different approaches influenced the story being told. In the final edit I selected a rephotography approach that merged the previous and current images together to create a composite outcome. In the laboratory image I wanted to think about how the apparatus in the room defines its purposes and intent.
The second rephotography considers the standing in the steps of the photographer who recorded the images for the opening of the site on 20th July 1955 against the current backdrop. Unfortunately it was not possible to create a reenactment image where I incorporated the equipment used to record the image in the recapture of the screen.
The final image that I think is important in the series to set context is the aerial image that shows the distance of the building from the water source for the treatment plant. The river and treatment plant have been placed at alternate edges of the frame to emphasis the disconnection between the two objects.
The work in progress portfolio is attached.