University of Sussex: BA Media Practice
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Skilled Hands: environmental portraits

Skilled Hands: environmental portraits

aNDREW dIACK

I have continuously developed my interest in environmental portraiture during the three years of my degree course. This kind of work has a long pedigree going back to the time of Fox-Talbot and many others. He was interested in documenting the lives of craftspeople and workers, such as carpenters working on his estate at Leacock.

My final project idea has been to capture environmental portraits which illustrate the variety of unique skilled work, involving use of the hands, which still goes on today. This is work which is still relevant and often has to be done manually, or at least a manual approach is preferred. There is an important connection with humankind’s evolutionary past. The project also aims to show the importance of the creative use of tools of different sorts. In keeping with the subject matter I have been concerned with the photography process itself as a craft skill. Film formats were experimented with, I employed medium format DSLR cameras and used other techniques in order to produce appropriate and high quality results.