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!