Explanatory notes for the Psychogeography film short
A concept discovered for our use by Helena, originating with the writer and poet Charles Baudelaire. The idea is that you don't walk a planned route around an environment in order to experience it, you allow yourself to wander and let the land guide you on your travels. This type of wanderer he referred to as the ‘flaneur’. During the 6 month period, I was walking the land of the Peninsula photographing this was the approach I adopted. Initially, I had decided to be the consummate professional and plan carefully where I was going to be at any given time of day and then hope and pray for good light. It became apparent rather quickly that this was potentially going to result in quite sterile work. So, I allowed the landscape to determine where I went and when. I did know that in the morning I would walk down the East side of the Peninsula and in the afternoon the West side but other than that I would simply look out of the window and wait for inspiration to strike. On this project, the approach worked really well, 115 photographs in 6 months is pretty unheard of for me. I would normally consider that to be about 3 years work. The illustrative images (colour) were very much shot to order and in short time frames, just as any other photographer would for a client. A classic example of this is the milky way image on page 156, created to assist in understanding Helena’s Ley Line research in Chapter 9.
This image was created to underpin the revelation of the galactic centre falling in line with several other locations of interest in Helena’s text.
Although not the finest astrophotograph ever created I had to shoot from as close to the centre of a Ley as I could get - without falling victim to RTC on the adjacent road. I also had a very narrow window of time to shoot in (Halloween as soon after dark as possible when Jacobs ladder became visible). I was amazed that it wasn't a cloudy night, this would have scuppered me completely. Herein lies the fundamental difference between the B&W figurative and the illustrative colour images. The Figurative work was created by a flaneur using the pull of the environment to guide the creative process, whilst the illustrative photographs were shot as though commissioned by Helena to support her research and the concepts explored in her text.
The Psychogeography movie was created (link below) as a tool to enable anybody unfamiliar with the Hook’s landscape to orientate themselves within the locations most heavily used in our book.
A big thank you here to Aidan Quigley for the loan of ‘Lucifer’, a Phantom 4 drone (an aerial ‘flaneur’) to capture the footage.