Ten Images

The Fens, Ben Dolman 2012

When asked to select ten images from many where do you start. The chosen images are not necessarily the ‘best’ visually or technically and the choice of images may change tomorrow but the photographs chosen are the ones that have led me to decide that photography was a medium I could develop into my main image making activity.

The first photograph shown above The Fens was a chance image, I had gone to photograph a power station on the opposite bank of the river Nene near Sutton Bridge and behind me was a disused house that once had been the home for a water pump station operator whose job was to monitored and controlled the water levels of the dykes. The image led to a series of photographs of houses in the Fens that sat in open flat industrial farm lands under massive skies. The image has a haunting beauty set below a soft overcast northern sky, there is a lingering presence of the past that is now gone, an automated pumping station has been built replacing the pump keeper role in protecting the land from the sea and now the house sits unoccupied, shuttered and alone.

Work Boots, Ben Dolman 2011

Work Boots was a year long project based on two threads, the first is the German series Heimat made in 1984 set in the fictional village Schabbach that covered the upheavals of Germany in the 20th century through the lives of the Simon family. At the end of the second world war one of the Simon’s sons Anton had been captured by the Russians on the eastern front where he was working as a cameraman in an army film unit, after his capture he was sent off to a war prison. On his release he walked by foot all the way back to Schabbach from Russia which took him over a year. Later on his return home he had a bronze sculpture made of his boots that were mounted on a plinth to remind him of the horrors he saw on the eastern front and his walk home, the return to his roots and family. My boots are a reminder when I did physical labour, an artisan working in a workshop making things before I move to IT and a desk bound existence, a reflection of what has happen in England, a society that makes less things and instead now sells services and consumes things. We have outsourced what we were - MAKERS.

Paull, Ben Dolman 2012

Paull, Ben Dolman 2012

Paull is from my Hinterland series that I am developing into my major MA photography project. The photograph is of a lagoon just outside the village of Paull near Hull, the lagoon was originally developed as a gas terminal and it has now become a nature reserve. The straight channels cutting through the mud flats are where the gas pipeline comes ashore and are only visible when the tide is out.

Fox, Ben Dolman 2011

Fox was taken in the Fens on one of the coldest mornings of the year, the temperature had been -10c the night before and I had a couple of minutes with my gloves off before my hands froze and I could no-longer use the camera. I have been taking a photograph of a barn and on my journey back to the car I thought I have a look in the dyke bisecting the land. In the dyke I saw a young fox covered with frost frozen solid in the water. The fox seemed just to be sleeping, I am not sure how it got there, was it thrown into the dyke by a farmer who found it dead on the field, had it gone down there to find food and the cold overwhelmed it. The strange thing is when I photographed the scene it just felt peaceful in the big empty cold landscape.

Hosta, Ben Dolman 2011

Hosta was the first 10” x 8” black & white negative I was happy with and I could see a use for this cumbersome large format photography that yielded a kind of hyper realism that revelled in the detail of things that I had first seen in the photography archive at Bradford’s National Media Museum and which no digital camera has offered me so far.

Horse, Ben Dolman 2011

Horse is from my Fens series, stopping by a river I noticed something in the water and my first thought was it was a horses head. On closer inspection it was a large white sack but I wondered if the camera could capture and render what my eyes were tricked by and what my mind interpreted to create a photo fiction.

Braunstone Lane, Ben Dolman 2012

Braunstone Lane was taken in an area of south Leicester that seems lacked a defined function, purpose or definition, an area I will call hinterland, an area normally associated between sea and land but for me it is a space that is between know uses or identities.

Sugar Beet, Ben Dolman 2012

"Sugar Beat" 2012 there is a separate post talking in depth about this photograph : http://bendolman-photography-journal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-single-image.html

Inside Outside, Ben Dolman 2012

Inside Outside is from my urbanscape series of photographs, this photograph was taken in my home town Loughborough where the council are building an inner ring road and the construction crew have started demolishing buildings to make way for the new road. What drew me to photographing the building was not to document the decay and destruction but the view of the inside now outside, the inner space is now exposed to public gaze, the intimate laid bare.

Trainer, Ben Dolman 2011

Two Jags, Ben Dolman 2011

Arcadia, Ben Dolman 2011

The final photograph Arcadia is from a series of photographs taken in idyllic rural locations where people feel the need to dump their rubbish. What they leave sometimes creates interesting tableau's and interventions.