The Slow Photography Movement | Experiments in Colour: Personal Photo Project | Cambridgeshire photographer, Diana Hagues

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you will know that I like to participate in various photography projects. It’s become an essential part of my photography for learning or honing new techniques. The satisfaction of seeing the end product and resulting images is always fun and rewarding, but it is the process of exploring the creative ideas and problem-solving that I find most challenging and enjoyable. Skills that, as a family documentary photographer, are important to have because of the unpredictability of how moments can sometimes unfold during a family documentary session. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job photographing families and children!

If you want a little re-cap of the photography projects I am involved with, then they are listed at the end of this post with links to the different topics below. 

The Slow Photography Movement

One project that I do want to expand on a little further is The Slow Photography Movement (TSPM). It was set up by my friend, Laura Aziz, a Sussex-based family photographer who runs Baby, Picture This. The idea of TSPM is to create a slower pace of photography with more mindfulness given to delving and exploring topic themes. It’s a brilliant and clever idea! It is like going to art school and being asked to focus on learning our craft and looking deeper into the processes of creating our images. The topics are studied and discussed over an 8-week period with opportunities to shoot and share our work. 

The beauty of The Slow Photography Movement is that also anyone can join in. You learn at your own pace with ongoing research involved if you wanted. TSPM works as an antithesis to the fast-paced content-sharing that we regularly find ourselves getting absorbed with on social media or to other photo-sharing sites. There is an interesting article written by Tim Wu that looks at the reasons behind why we take pictures and TSPM a bit further, which I'd really recommend reading.

Topic: Colour

The first topic we explored at the start of 2018 was ‘Self’. You can find the images some of the photographers created here

For the last topic, we were encouraged to study ‘Colour’. I thought the ‘Self’ topic was difficult, but colour might have been even harder! When it comes to applying colour in my photography and also in my everyday life, I know I have my own level of comfort in how I use and edit colour in my personal images. However, this project is about stepping outside my comfort zone and hopefully help me improve the use of colour in my personal photography. So I threw myself into the colour exercise, which you will see below quite literally(!).   

We were encouraged to think about Colour Theory and learning how different colours, tones and shades, can affect different moods and feelings. It’s really interesting learning about the psychology behind colour theory.

Here are my experiments in colour below.

Tate Modern, South Bank

What better way to dive into the Colour topic than with a visit to one of the biggest art institutions in London. From large installations to small contemporary artwork, there is a hugely eclectic range to look at and study. Even the space itself that was once an old power station is an environment that inspires and open your mind to the possibilities of what can be created and housed behind its concrete rooms. 

I went to meet up with some friends at the gallery, but with the colour topic on my mind, I made sure to keep my eyes peeled for this when I was wandering around the gallery. Although the bare and grey concrete surfaces immediately hit you as you enter the Turbine Hall, if you look carefully you’ll spot a hint of colour if you look up above you. Or in this case, looking down from the bridge between the Boiler house and Blavatnik building.

Turbine-hall-tate-modern-art-space-diana-hagues-photography

I found colour everywhere else too. Some may not have been as obvious at first glance. I was amused by a young visitor to the gallery dressed in a jacket the same colour as the wall behind him, as well as one of the gallery staff who was taking a break nearby. 

Orange jacket boy in front of orange wall diana hagues photograp
Man sitting on steps texting orange top and wall in the backgrou

Take a look and see if you could identify the other subtle shades of colours and spot the visitors that appear to be camouflaged against the art pieces.

Man standing at window in Tate gallery, London
tate modern boys yellow room art galleries
Heish 365 self-portraits exhibition, Tate Modern London
Black on black

Abstract colour

Back home and after being inspired by my trip to the Tate Modern I attempted some of my own contemporary artwork. For this exercise, I used some colourful pieces of scarves that I picked up from the high street. 

Here is my first attempt:

Scarves on the washing line flying high in the blue sky

Then, I combined the two topics (Self + Colour) from The Slow Photography Movement to create some self-portraits:

Faceless-scarf-portrait-colour-slow-photography-movement.jpg
Layered-scarf-colour-portrait-legs-slow-photography-movement-uk.jpg

Last, but not least, I have submitted this as my final piece for Laura’s blog (coming soon).

Self portraits colour experiments with scarf

What do you think to The Slow Photography Movement? How do these colours make you feel? Leave a comment below to share your ideas and thoughts.

To find out more about the other photography projects I am involved with, click on the links below:

Free 52 project

Self-portraiture and P52 radness

The Two Brothers Project