Monday, 29 July 2013

Thinking about the first assignment

OK – so the aim is to produce a 10 shot photo-essay using a prime lens (or at least a single focal length) that “that demonstrates your engagement with the lives, experiences and histories of your local community and its people.”

This is going to need some creative thinking. I have no  - or essentially no – regular engagement with my local community. I know the usual collection of neighbours, but apart from karate once a week and the occasional social event in the village – that’s it. I’ll have plenty of time in the car this week to muse on it, but for now a quick brain dump of thoughts.

  • Karate club is shut for the hols so that’s a no-go in the short term – and I know that some of the mothers are less than keen about having their kids photos on the net.
  • A few snapshots of the village social event feels like a cop-out – what would I be doing except tick-boxing?
  • Work is a no-go as photography is not permitted in our offices.

So what are the alternatives?

  • Turn the assignment on its head – photograph my non-engagement – shots from windows or cars, people behind garden walls, distant shots of the village to illustrate separation perhaps. Unconvinced about the quantity of material available, but worth consideration.
  • Consider alternative ideas of community – for example, online interaction with other students or treat the M6 as a community and photograph from service stations, junctions or moving vehicles (taking driver safety fully into account).
  • Investigate a historical aspect of the community – mining or steel-working would be obvious choices, and still has a local resonance – but is potentially hackneyed. There is also a Roman link – but I’m not sure it really has much traction outside of the community associated with the local museum.
  • Continue my beach theme from landscape and capture aspects of beach use – a community of use rather than location.

I’ll leave it there for the moment – perhaps it’s not quite as difficult as I feared.

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