Second Year Jimmy Fletcher shoots work for the Editorial Photography with Moving Image module
10th January 2022
Hideaway – Non-Conformist Brief I knew from the get-go I wanted to continue down the route of creating documentary-style work, and this time I wanted to focus on a subject that went along with both my area of specialisation (wildlife) and something that I enjoy and understand as an insider. So for me, the obvious answer was to focus on the world of British bird watching, the hobby that actually got me into photography in the first place.
As a birdwatcher myself, I wanted to give an insider’s view of the hobby and let them experience the solitary nature of bird watching and learn about the relaxing and somewhat quirky nature of the hobby. I wanted to create something that wasn’t the obvious “old man with a pair of binoculars” I wanted it to be more intimate than that.
To create the series I visited several bird watching hides throughout Gloucestershire, photographing inside these hides and exploring the area surrounding them. I would spend several hours at each location getting to know fellow birdwatchers who frequented the hides and capture the small quirks and details from what they ate and drank, the footprints they left behind and probably most interestingly the detailed log books which recorded daily bird sightings and the odd grumblings of a defeated birder.
If you go into the woods tonight – Zine for moving image brief The zine is designed to accompany the collaborative moving image piece and focuses on the fear and anxiety side of the video. The zine reflects my own personal fears, mainly those that I had experienced whilst filming within the forest, but also those felt whilst photographing the testosterone fuelled wild stags in the thick fog in London and even my childhood fears in the form of the song “Teddy Bears Picnic” which had sinister sounding lyrics that had never sat well with me even from a young age. Whilst mainly being inspired by the moving image project and my own fears, I also found inspiration in the form of video games such as Outlast, internet myths in the form of Slenderman and the photographic works of Sortiris Lamprou and Masahisa Fukase.
Creating the work itself was for the most part quite immersive, most of the images, bar the crow skulls and bones were taken during a thick fog at the height of rutting season when the stags are full of testosterone and can be highly aggressive. I was barely able to see more than several feet, but could here rustling, running hoofs and bellowing from the stags as they geared up for a day of fighting and defending their harem. Barely being able to make out the stags was a terrifying experience and even using a 600mm lens when they were was too close for comfort and is exactly why I chose the images from this trip to feature so heavily.
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