So towards the end of the summer, I received a letter from the uni with a task asking for the students to produce an intimate visual diary, saying to take pictures “from when we first woke up to when you went to sleep.” Obviously if this was to happen, I would of gotten the same old pictures every day on the trot really. So I decided to go on the act of looking at events that were unusual from the all the others days, or anything that I thought would be quite interesting.
Martin Parr “I go straight in very close to people and I do that because it’s the easiest way you can get the picture. You go right up to them. Even now, I don’t find it easy. I don’t announce it. I pretend to be focusing elsewhere. If you take someone’s photograph it is very difficult not to look at them right after. But it’s the only thing that gives the game away. I don’t try to hide what I’m doing.” – Martin Parr – British Journal of Photography Interview, 1989
So my first piece was based on when me and a group of friends went off to Thorpe Park for the day. This was just a couple of days after I had received the letter, so ideas were still fresh in my mind still, thinking what avenues I could go on, something that would be different from the others. So when I went out, my aim was to try and catch people from the public behaving in intimate ways.
However what I didn’t realize was how hard it was to try and be subtle taking the pictures, whilst not trying to draw attention towards myself. It was only when I looking at Martin Parr’s work recently that I stumbled across his quote, and I realized how true it really was. The pictures I chose (the best ones) were mainly close up as you would be able to see the expressions and gestures much more easily.
Memories of the past
My next piece was more spontaneous then the others because I wasn’t expecting it at all. I had driven, with my mum, to my Granddads house for a bit of lunch. And it was only from seeing the pictures of my nan (who died ___ years ago) on the table where we were eating. And I began to wonder that, with the theme still in mind, if my granddad still had any of her items in the house.
So I went about searching the house, and quickly I came across a draw with her items. And when I opened it, emotions did begin to run through me as everything seemed to be untouched. To me, it was like everything was frozen in time, and that to touch and move anything would be to almost get rid of her presence in the house. And that was just from my view point, so I wouldn’t be able to imagine at all what it would be like for my granddad to see these items nearly every day.
I like both photographs as they are both able to show the items in their whole, but if I had to choose one it would be the bottom one because the lighting has this eerie atmosphere around it. Firstly the natural light against the wood has somehow given it a tint, making the picture have that olden look on them. Secondly, and what might be the most interesting thing, is how in the top left corner there is this shadow of darkness approaching on towards the items. To me, I could see the darkness as time, and how each year goes by memories begin to fade. But yet with these items are memories are sustained, so its a fight between the two almost as too how long it will be towards one wins.
After looking at the two above photos, I decided that I would begin to focus on any photo’s that were lying around my house, and any other family member houses, as to have a photo in a frame suggests that it holds some value of importance within the family. And it seems like a nice contrast to the pictures that we have in boxes in our house; as there are only so many we can have shown, only the most important ones are shown. But we do like to look from time to time at the old pictures we do have.
I’m torn in two aspects in these pictures. The first aspect is that the pictures do make you wonder as to who the people are, what is their importance, why are the pictures in a frame, why are they on their own etc. We want to know why the pictures have been presented like this in the first place. But then I think, well is it better to show the whole picture with the frame included, or is it better to just crop it so that just the picture is showing? And I really don’t which way is the best way to present. So if I was to go back with this, I personally feel that I would do it showing all of the frame instead.
The second aspect focus’ on the last two pictures on religion. These are in direct contrast to the others in the series because they are so out of place. Yet when I saw them, I couldn’t help but feel this intimacy being shown. With my granddad being religious, I was somewhat surprised to see little of the objects around the house, but just in two different places there were big objects. So it made me wonder how often are these objects used, and if so why? However looking back at the pictures I feel that they may have no relevance at all, so if the work was to be published, I doubt I would be including the last two.
My third series for this project was based off scars. The whole idea for this came off when I was shaving, and I could feel the area on my chin which I cut open when I was quite young (twice) and left a bit of a scar. And I thought to myself that actually scars on the body are extremely personal to the person, because it’s a moment when something important happened to that person, but also having an impact on those surrounding the person as well.
My mum’s scar on the back of her leg was from an Achilles problem that had been bothering her for years, so she had an operation to cure it. Yet by doing this, it caused mayhem not only for her, but for everyone else as well because the daily routine for everyone had changed as my mum couldn’t do anything at all.
I feel that this was the best series by far because if I was to take away the titles, the viewer would have to decide for themselves what exactly happened in the photo, but they leave with this emotional attachment as they can feel that something happened. I personally like the Achilles pictures the best due to how the lighting just focuses purely on the skin itself, and how everything isn’t over complicated at all.
This picture is different from the others, but it’s more personal towards me and some other friends. This was taken with my group of friends on what was our last day together before we all went off to uni. Naturally it was quite a sad time, and it was quite intimate for all of us. And the reason we took this photo was to symbolise us heading off, onto a new journey, with the destination being university.