For my final major project this year I teamed up Abstract Expressionism with my love of motorcycles and created photographs of motorcycles focusing on the speed, movement and power they possess but presented them in abstract form.
With the sort of photos I was taking, I was aware I needed to take a lot in each shoot in order to get a handful of useable ones. The techniques I used and the way I moved the camera or the bikes moved was so experimental that I just had to keep shooting and keep trying to get certain photos how I wanted them and as each one was always unique it was a challenge. From the start of the project when I started shooting I knew then that I wanted to take as many photos as I could and keep producing new work as that was the key to this project working. I made a goal to do at least one shoot a week and I kept that up all the way through the project which I was glad about and I also wanted each shoot to be different which I also did. By doing a lot of shoots and taking so many photos I was able to build up a big group to choose from at the end so by continually photographing the whole way though I had a strong selection of images by the end of the project that went in portfolio and became my final photo.
I think that overall this project has been successful. I think the research and planning I did before I started shooting helped this because by making a brainstorm of the different types of shoot I wanted to do I was able to plan my time weeks in advance so I always knew what I was going to do next. I was able to shoot both stationary and moving bikes and I think that helped with getting a variety of photos. One thing I was concerned about was that although each photo would never be exactly the same, I was worried they would look too similar and start getting boring to look at after each shoot. I don’t think that happened as I was able to shoot different bikes with different goals in mind, one shoot focusing on colour, another one on movement or circles etc. so I think I got a good range of photos from different scenarios.
I didn’t seem to encounter many problems during the project which I am grateful for. There were only a few logistical problems sometimes when it came to shooting such as it raining and I couldn’t get the bike out. Ironically it was when we did get the bike out and it started pouring of rain but I kept shooting that I got my final image so the rain actually helped that day but generally I waited for nice weather to shoot. There were some weeks where I couldn’t access the bike due to other people being busy and things out of my control but I just changed shoots around then and did a shoot I was able to do that week and changed that shoot to another week. I always had a backup plan so my time was never wasted.
I tried to divide my time up between shooting, some research as I was going on and finding new things and making little experiments inspired by artists I had seen or any techniques I wanted to try. I enjoyed these little things as it added interest to my project and kept the momentum going. I also enjoyed photographing the bikes and I hope that is reflected in my photographs because I genuinely love motorbikes and everything about them so to be able to revolve such a big project around something I am passionate about has been very enjoyable. Doing the shoots which involved my bike were probably my favourite as I got to be actually on the bike and moving and I could feel the power and movement as I photographed so it felt more real because I was actually experiencing it rather than recreating it with a stationary bike. I also got to ride my bike around the track a lot after which is always good.
I think my final photo is a fitting way to sum up this project, it has the abstract, painterly feel of the artists I researched and the movement of being on a bike but the colours are darker and more muted, almost contradictory of colours you would normally expect when thinking about speed, energy and motorbikes. I think that final twist has worked well and will leave the audience guessing more as to if it really is about a motorbike despite the title saying so.
This project has helped me think about what sort of art and photography I really enjoy making and what I would possibly like to do more of in the future so from a university point of view as well as me as an artist in general, I think it has been an accomplishment.