Decide on a specific subject and work on making a series of photographs over several days. It’s best to choose a subject you have a daily access to – your workplace, your home, a friend or particular activity , for example – but you must be clear at the outset what your subject is.
This is my second run at this. I had decided to do something about a school bike shed – interesting I know!! I drop my little girl in to school each day, and over the course of the last few months have become able to tell which kids are in school that day based only on whose bikes and scooters are parked in the bike shed. I may use these images later in the chapter as they seem to satisfy another exercise better than now.
When I think of a photographic series of works, especially displayed in a grid like format, or based on the repetition of a single form, then I think of Bernd and Hilla Becher. So I decided to base a series on their structure. I have in a previous exercise tried to use the formulaic, non-attachment of their images – to varying degrees of success and failure.
So with the premise that I would find something with easy access to, I had a think about what was around in the world. To satisfy my Becher idea, it had to be something that there was more than one of – locally. I also like the Becher idea of looking at buildings/ forms that are overlooked – that are functional but ignored for their beauty/ differences. So I decided to think of the most dull, ordinary structures around. Postboxes were too nice and interesting – with various ages etc. Initially I considered litter/ dustbins – and I think at some point I will do this – but it needs a wider spread outside of my local area to complete. So I settled on the idea of, what is referred to as ‘junction box street furniture’ – I found this out from Google. Basically the telecoms and electrical junction boxes that are on most street corners. I had thought that these would be all the same – same shape, same colour, same size – but it turns out that isn’t the case.
I decided not to reproduce these in Black & White, like the Bechers, simply because the world has moved on, and I prefer to use colour. Plus with the graffiti and posters that were stuck on these boxes it added a bit of colour. They were taken in portrait format, and sized the same, but I didnt get the base line correct – as the Bechers would have done. These images were taken over a couple of days, simply wandering around the streets. I guess people thought I worked for the telecom company or the council.
Since taking these pictures I have added some more to my collection, so will put up another grid when I have enough. These were local, so I will add ones from further afield. Plus one day the bin series will come…. Plus if I can think of something more prosaic then expect to see a series on that too.