The genesis for City Canyons was born out of some exploring how I could represent the act of walking the street of the City of London. When exploring this concept I started to consider a number of different parameters the end product would be printed media rather than a visual presentation. I wanted to be able to move around the streets of London without drawing attention to the fact I was recording images. After careful consideration for this project I decided that my GoPro using a chest mount would provide me with the ideal capture platform. There of course were trade-off such as the small sensor size, the limited ability to manual control the exposure equation and the non-rectilinear fixed focal length lens. I did not see these factors as significant issues to realising the project as the source images would be merged in the post production stage using Photoshop.
The GoPro was used in timelapse mode automatically recording an image every 0.5 second which meant that each walk would generate 1000’s of images. Once they were loaded into Lightroom I would go through looking for sequences of 7 images that I visually thought would deliver the expected composite result. Using Jeff Walls Hunter or Farmer vehicular the initial capture stage is a little like hunting with a machine gun however the discernment occurs during the initial selection process where I search for sequences of images to combine into the City Canyon images.
After some initial research on layering images. I decided to create the composite images based on 7 images with the bottom layer and reducing the opacity of subsequent layers by a power of 2. This meant that the 7th layer provided a very subtle image due to an opacity of 1%.
One of the initial images create for Series No. 2 ‘City Canyons’
Close-up of the layers panel showing the opacity level on the top layer.