In this exercise I am to look at two images and compare what I can see to a ground level landscape, a map or Google Earth and make some brief notes.
This image is ‘The Cheshire Plain from Beeston Castle’ by Derek Trillo.
This style of image gives a better overview of the environs but no real detail. We cannot tell the height of the objects in the frame or much about the topography of the landscape. Very little human interaction with the landscape can be displayed.
The above link leads to an image of Beeston Castle via the Google Earth satellite. The landscape is completely flat, there is no indication at all of ground features or topography. Terrain types can be guessed at such as fields and woods etc. No human interaction with the landscape can be displayed.
The above image is of Beeston Castle using Google street view. This gives a good indication of the conditions of the immediate area. Some topography is apparent, basic details of the scenery can be seen. This method fails to show overall size of the site, its relation to its environment. It is more likely to be the method used in order to display humans interacting with the site.
When looking at a city there are the opposite problems. It is far easier to show human interaction with the environment than to show the site itself. Particular buildings come to represent an entire town or city because the entire place itself cannot be displayed together in any great detail. A birds eye view of a town would show the entire place but o detail. There would be no way to differentiate between the heights of buildings and the topography that might have affected building choices. A ground level street view is highly limited in what it can display to the viewer. A city scape from a raised elevation is the best way to present a city, it can provide some depth, some detail, and a bit more of a sense of place.
I was then directed to look at the image ‘Agecroft Power Station, Salford’ by John Davies and to make some notes.
The photo being taken from th elevated position gives the image a sense of depth. The juxtaposition of the chimmneys next to the power lines and football match certainly gives a sense of scale!
Taking this shot from ground level would have reduced the sense of grandeur that the chimneys have. It would also have reduced the amount of detail in the image such as the car park in the foreground or the hills in the distance.
Taking the image from closer to the tower would potentially have reduced the available context, as the image is, we can see the tower receding back towards the horizon.
Seeing the football match being played immeadiatley drew me back to the work of Mitch Epstein in American Power.
The above image illustrates exactly what it would look like to take such a shot from nearer ground level. The grandeur of the chimneys is lost as the focus of the viewer is transferred to the foreground interest.
Initially I thought that potentially this change o focus might be because of the vivid colour of the football shirts. To test this I dropped the saturation from Epstiens image and found that the focus it still on the foreground. A slightly elevated viewpoint definetley gives for greater drama!