Inspiration: Iain Sarjeant

When creating my series of images for the project Commonwealth, I took inspiration from the photography Iain Sarjeant and his portfolio of documentary images. I had been following Sarjeant on Instagram for a while and I always found his images inspiring and so pleasing to look at. His work is a very good example of what I would regard as a traditional documentary landscape photographer, capturing the environment in a way that allows it to speak. These subtle, well framed images place the emphasis on the structures and the relationship with the surrounding environment. The images below are from a series titled ‘Echoes of War‘, which is highly relevant to the images I am produced, of the post-war environment in Fallout 4.

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I studied the images from this series and other collections from Sarjeant’s work and identified details about his style of photographing, which I would regard as traditional documentary landscape photography. Firstly the composition, the subtlety of these images make the structures the most important and dramatic part of the image. The simpleness of the images create a very calm atmosphere, which allows the viewer to really consider the relationship between the structures and the surrounding environment. This quiet atmosphere also creates the impression that these images are timeless. Secondly I identified that through each series of images, there is a consistent colour palette, which really creates a sense of unity between the images. A clear narrative, story and journey is established through this shared coloured palette and I believe that this is an approach I need to take with my images. This consistent colour palette will really come into play when I am choosing the images and sequencing them. Lastly, although some of Sarjeant’s images do feature people, the majority of them only feature the landscape. I feel this is really effective is emphasising that is the environment, the landscape that is the important part. I am going to try and produce the majority of my images without any of the other characters in Fallout 4, partially to maintain the idea that my images are depicting the landscape, and partially because I feel that featuring any other characters would introduce the idea that it is their journey and not the journey of my character. It has been really beneficial researching what I would consider a traditional, documentary landscape photographer, as I have identified many techniques to include in my project, which will hopefully encourage the viewers of my images to consider them as traditional landscape images. Images of the real, when actually they are of virtual landscapes.

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