Extra Curriculum – Contribution to another artist’s project

My Contribution to another artist’s project – Iceland July 2017

Dan Tirels Fleet Project

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Fig 1 Boat Design by Dan Tirels

Through contact with another art OCA student, I learnt of an art project by Dan Tirels. As a designer, he made 100 small cardboard boats which he offered to send to people in order for them to be photograph in different situations. ( Fig 1)

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Fig 2 Dan Tirels Instructions 


I applied and received boat No 82. in the post with the above instructions (Fig 2).

This I took to Iceland and photographed against the extraordinary geographical features. Access to volcanoes and geysers was limited but I took pictures along the coastline. Coincidently the Dan’s black and white design which he had given to  boat No 82 complemented the Icelandic scenery and volcanic eruptions (Fig 3)

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Fig 3 No 82 Design 

The boat is only 12cms long and being cardboard was light-weight and water-absorbent. I trialled a few positions and needed to overcome some technical issues with the strong contrast of light and depth of field as I was wishing to include distant islands. These issues are evident in my sample contact sheets below. I eventually using the only ND filter I had with me and went for a 10sec exposure and caught blurry water in the background. This suited the general blur of the scene beyond the in-focus foreground of No 82. I trialled various compositions trying to represent the boat floundering on the rocks  and later stranded on the beach.

On a wild afternoon from a cliff top I used various angles and camera exposures. ( Fig 4 )

Fig 4 CS coast 

I then moved to another ‘beach’ with its black volcanic ash shoreline (Fig 5)

Fig 5 CS Shore


I processed and edited to 6 images ( Fig 6) and shared with one of the local Killer Whale Conservation Project scientist to choose! I was in Iceland volunteering with this conservation team, who kindly became involved in their spare time in this exercise.

Fig 6 shortlisted images

Gary preferred the blurred 10 second shot. Consequently I sent these two images ( Fig 7 & 8) to Dan Tirels for his project.

Fig 7 Final Image  – Coast
Fig 8 Final Image  – Shore

Dan Tirels, the projects artist, sent a very grateful and complimentary response, which I was pleased to receive. I have since looked at the pictures on his face book from other participants and they are all very artistically presented in different locations – this is summer holiday time and many have taken their boats (!) to far-flung places.

I was impressed by the original concept, his precision art work  and his communication with participants.  This demonstrates the wonder of the internet  as a tool for a collaborative network and a way to include strangers in one’s project. I hope to try something similar over next few years  and be able to reference Dan Tirels as my inspiration.


Iceland Orca Project  http://www.icelandic-orcas.com accessed 23.7.17

Tirels D   http://www.dantirels.co.uk/fleet-blog.html   accessed 23.7.17