>Ian Dawson

Outdoor RTI, 2020, digital imaging project.

In spring 2020, the United Kingdom, like many countries began to impose lockdown conditions in response to the Coronavirus epidemic. During the following months Dawson's daily routine consisted of the short walk along a garden path between his studio and his family home in South London. Dawson reacted to the situation by embarking on an extensive photographic project to document his environment with the synthetic imaging program that archaeologist use to document artefacts. RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) is a procedure which amalgamates information from hundreds of photographs into a single interactive image and  is normally used to study objects in a museum and requires powerful artificial light to reflect off the subject. Here Dawson substitutes the use of powerful studio lighting for the growing strength of the spring sunlight to provide the specular information which the program requires. In studio RTI the light is moved around the object hundreds of times, whereas in this 'outdoor RTI'  Dawson utilizes the arc of the sun throughout the whole day to provide the imaging process with the different light coordinates.

The outcomes are rich and deep images in the tradition of heliography which capture the passing of time through sunlight as these images document daily life during the Covid crisis in new and revealing ways. Recurring motifs of everyday life like the washing line merge with the detritus of an urban garden and spring blooms combining to make this series of compelling images. 

>Outdoor RTI, 2020, photographic project