Use your camera as a measuring device. This doesn’t refer to the distance scale on the focus ring(!). Rather, find a subject that you have an empathy with and take a sequence of shots to ‘explore the distance between you’. Add the sequence to your learning log, indicating which is your ‘select’ – your best shot.
When you review the set to decide upon a ‘select’, don’t evaluate the shots just according to the idea you had when you took the photographs; instead evaluate it by what you discover within the frame (you’ve already done this in Exercise 1.4). In other words, be open to the unexpected. In conversation with the author, the photographer Alexia Clorinda expressed this idea in the following way:
Look critically at the work you did by including what you didn’t mean to do. Include the mistake, or your unconscious, or whatever you want to call it, and analyse it not from the point of view of your intention, but because it is there.
I have been thinking about who or what I empathise with and distance and it struck me that the biggest ‘distance’ I feel that I might be able to capture is that of my growing children.
It is a constant source of conversation between myself and my husband about how as our children are growing up we are seeing less of them. My son has just become an official ‘teenager’ and he still does spend time with us but the time he spends alone in his room is ever-growing!
My daughter is soon to become an adult and is already independent, she works weekends and is either with her boyfriend or friends. Discussions around holidays have taken place as she is looking to go away with her friends rather than the ‘family’ holiday. She is becoming a stranger! Her dinner in the warmer ready and waiting for her late arrival home from work, the L plates on her car signalling that it wont be long until we are relieved of taxi duty.
Then there is the distance I feel from myself! A combination of motherhood and working at home alone has meant that when I look back on photos I no longer recognise the person I once was and I’m not always sure who I now am?
How can I try to capture these distances in an image and convey the emotion I feel?
In terms of my children I know that they will not pose for me willing and I don’t think a posed shot would show the truth of the situation. I need to be discreet and consider using my smaller camera or my phone but then this means I need to relinquish full control of the image. For some of the images their absence will demonstrate the distance.
I have made a start on trying to capture some images, discreetly or without my children present however this is proving extremely difficult. But on the other hand it has captured a true reflection of the problem at hand! ( Quite literally!)
The oversized hand and his miss-matched pj’s really does make me chuckle and this is actually a good representation of his character. He has a great sense of humour and is extremely quick, his reaction speed each time I lifted my phone was unbelievable. I am not even getting the chance to frame the shot!
My daughter on the other hand is seldom home and no longer seems to come out on family outings. Her lonely place setting waiting for her to return late from work with her dinner in the warmer. I realised that my son’s birthday cards are on display behind signalling another child growing older.
If I want to capture either of them I would need to think creatively, such as using the car wing mirror whilst I wait in the rain for the end of school. Unfortunately the figure in this image is too out of focus.