Bar Code – Jenny Reeve

 Posted by on May 19, 2015  Add comments
May 192015
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When I began the last two papers for my Diploma in Digital Photography in February I knew a lot of time would be spent on course work. And I knew my personal photographic journey would be neglected again. I needed to stretch myself beyond course work, and train my eyes to “see” better.

Inspiration came from Barbara Bender. She is a photographer based in Toronto. I first read about her in Black and White magazine. She has made several sets of images, one image a week for a year, based at home. Her thought was that there were extraordinary things to be found in everyday things at home, but she wanted to train her eye to see them. She defines “home” loosely, as she travels frequently. Home is where she lays her head at night, perhaps a hotel or her holiday home.

After discussing this idea with my friend Patti, who lives in the USA, we decided that it would make the project more interesting, fun and inspiring if we collaborated. We could both make one image a week, and send them to each other, for critiquing and just for the joy of it. It has become a highlight of the week for me, making an image and sending it, and the anticipation of receiving Patti’s image too.

I have a few self imposed restrictions for my series. While all my images are taken at home, defined also as where I lay my head that night, I make my images with a square format and in black and white. Some weeks I just see the world in colour, and struggle to meet my black and white restriction. But that is the point, to see beyond what is right in front of my eyes. Patti has her own self imposed restrictions, different from mine, which guide her decisions each week.

I have chosen “Bar Code” to share. We have a couple of strings of icicle lights hanging above our deck. The lights reflect off the lid of the BBQ and the curved shape of the lid distorts the patterns. This must have been happening every night since we put them up for Christmas but I hadn’t noticed until this project began. And even if I’d seen the pattern before, I might not have made an image. Now I would.

These images will form part of a website I’m working on for my course. Pauline, I haven’t forgotten the nudge you gave me in 2012, sorry to have hurried!

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  3 Responses to “Bar Code – Jenny Reeve”

  1. Minor White quote “Photograph not for what it is but for what else it is”. Ian’s reference to this quote a few posts ago is so apt for this image. I am too lazy to do it but I admire how creativity comes from the discipline of a project. Come to think about it, is there something about thinking up projects and the name ‘Jenny’. Interested to see more from both Jennys.

  2. I think that you have set this project up superbly.

    It is achievable – once a week gives you some flexibility and a catch up isnt difficult if life gets in the way sometimes.
    Then the structure of the constraint not only helps it to flow when you put it together at the end but it helps to keep moving when you get stuck. The more choice we have the harder it is to decide.

    Then you add Patti to the mix and you have a winner.

    But…… When do you call it finished and what do you plan to do with it when its done? A book or even better a joint exhibition perhaps?

    I would love to see a wall full of prints of images like this one

  3. Beautiful. It makes me think about bar codes being coded information. So much in a simple pattern. I think that is the same for everything around us. You words remind me that we are surrounded by countless things of beauty that we don’t see unless we look. We just need to look and decode.

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