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Laura Hacking
Manchester, UK
Canon EOS 100D

What do your projects Solitude and The Quays involve? How did they start and what are you aiming to do?

Both of these projects primarily involve water as it is my favourite photographic subject. I use long exposures aided by a tripod and ND filters to give a more surreal and calm atmosphere and also to ensure that the focus is on the subject of my images. As I mainly shoot during the day, I look for different weather conditions to match the mood that I am looking to create.

Solitude is a seaside project that is based in North West England and North Wales. These were chosen due to their proximity to my home as I often have to squeeze shoots into a limited timeframe. This project started as a college portfolio but I’ve found that it has become much more than that as I am still continuing this work and have no plans on it ending. Throughout my childhood, my family often visited the seaside for day trips and holidays so I have a lot of fond memories of the places that I use. I think that some of this retrospection of my childhood comes across in my work. This project is to produce images that aren’t the usual images seen of these locations. I think they also show a sadness of these places as I avoid having people present in them to show what popular locations look like when there are no tourists. The use of black and white is both a way for me to express my thoughts and feelings and also to make my images timeless which reflects my memories. 

My Breathing Spaces project is very similar to Solitude with the only difference being that the images are taken in popular countryside locations rather than the beach. This is also an ongoing body of work with plans to visit more of Snowdonia, The Peak District and The Lake District. The Quays project began a couple of years ago again as a college project. It was the water that inspired me and also the vast regeneration of the area in recent years. Salford Quays began life as Manchester Docks when importing and exporting relied on the canal system. When the canals became redundant the docks were closed. The relocation of the BBC and ITV television networks, the building of a shopping centre, theatre and many national companies to Salford Quays has breathed a new life into the area. It is this modernisation that I aim to capture along with a sense of what the place was in its former glory. It is for this reason that I use black and white, to reflect upon the history and also to focus on the textures and reflections of the water, glass, metal and docks. The use of monochrome also neutralises the bright colours of MediaCityUK so that the images match those taken in different parts of The Quays. This again is still an ongoing project and one that I am constantly finding new angles and subjects for. 

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