The Social Landscape of Contemporary Life,
Images made in public spaces.
Michael Wayne Plant has been working on making images on the street for a number of years now, in the beginning the images where not so good. I have since then become more confident of working in public spaces with my camera. Of being able to look at someone and raise the camera to my eye so I can make an image. It takes practice and patience to be able to make images in public spaces. I call these images that I make images of the Social Landscape as a nod to 5 photographers work and joint exhibition called “Towards a Social Landscape” specifically Garry Winograd and Lee Friedlander who for me exemplify the work that was made on the streets of America in the 1960’s into the 1970’s.
For me, once I heard the term “a social landscape” it sort of struck a cord with me and for some reason, I have always felt that it is in part what I am really trying to do, that is to document the social landscape of contemporary life.
I have and will continue to develop my work in this area, as it is something that I continue to return to, most likely for the rest of my life. As a photographer it is important to find your thing and for me even though it is really hard to make any money as a street photographer there is something about being out in public places documenting what you see, which is why I use a documentary approach to image making, the only retouching that I do is really on processing of the images no removing of distracting elements just what would have been done in the darkroom of traditional printers, i.e. burning and dodging to bring out details that are already in the scene that was photographed and maybe a little bit of cropping depending on the image and the elements that I want to communicate.