This project is a study of contrasting architecture and living conditions between areas of diverse economic background through panoramic landscape photography, focusing on affluent and less affluent areas of Cambridgeshire.
This set of images were created as part of my Final Major Project for my Degree, they show the difference between living conditions across Cambridge, tourists always expect Cambridge to be a very affluent part of the country, after all, this is how it is most often portrayed in the media.
This image not helped by the spectacular architecture of the Cambridge University buildings. Although the city centre has an air of grandeur, other areas of the city lack the resources to live up to these expectations. Mill Road is primarily dominated by the student population of Anglia Ruskin University, and as such, can be subject to the throw backs of a student life style, with broken bottles in the street, road signs in front gardens, and flocks of students crawling down the road in outrageous fancy dress. My work shows the large diversity of architectural design across the city, it also portrays the unique landscape and areas around each buildings. Contrasting a modern block of flats in a very green and spacious area to a cramped terrace house opposite a derelict and vandalised building.
Using a special camera, I was able to capture these images of Cambridge, and the surrounding areas. The camera can spin a full 360° on it’s axis to capture everything in a single image. It also gives interesting views and distortions of the area it captures.
Due to the fact that it captures everything in from every direction, I did sometimes get my hand in view of the lens, it also means that I had to hold the camera above my head while taking these images, so did not have my face/body in view, needless to say, I got more than a few funny looks running around cambridge holding a camera on my head.
The image measures 7.5 feet by 2.5 feet and is a Giclée print, and has been shown in two exhibitions. The first one was at the Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT, and the second was at the Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane London, Greater London E1 6QL, both in 2011
Each image on the print was taken with a film camera, making every single one unique due to the position of the sprocket holes and numbers embedded in the film strip, as the film needed to be scanned to be edited, the digital files required extensive corrective work to get them to this high standard, the most common corrections were to correct colour casts, enhance contrast and exposure, boost dynamic range, remove most scratches and dust marks, reduce noise/grain and sharpen the image.
One of the hardest parts of editing the images was trying to maintain a balance between obtaining absolute perfection, and keeping the qualities brought into the image by the use of film. I removed most dust and scratches, but kept them around the sprocket holes, as this kept the main image clear but retained the raw and dirty qualities of using film.
Due to the nature of the camera, I had to be very careful when i went out to shoot. The camera requires a high amount of light to expose film adequately. As I live in England, and the time of year was late winter to early summer, it was difficult to find a day that offered the right weather, and often meant that I could only shoot once every one to two weeks.