Think of a place that holds meaning for you. Note down the reasons why it matters. (For reasons of practicality, choose somewhere accessible – see Exercise 3.10.) Think about how you could photograph that place in a way and in a light that reflects its meaning to you. Is there a particular viewpoint in your mind’s eye? A particular time of day? Make a photograph exactly as you have pre-visualised it and try to convey its special meaning to you in the photograph. Does the photo reflect your memory at all? Do the colours seem right? If not, change them – and anything else that would help the photo resonate more powerfully.
With exercise 3.10 in mind, I was conscious of taking the photo in this room. Its our sitting room, so I guess its significant. In my life in general I wouldn’t regard it as the most significant place I could have chosen. But, like I said, I knew what I wanted to do for the next exercise. I decided in the room as a whole, that the most significant part was ‘my chair’ – or part of the sofa – where I watch TV from each night.
With children etc, I don’t get to watch as much TV or as many films as I used to. However, we do generally get to watch an hour or so of some Scandinavian crime drama each evening, saved on the Sky box. And this is where I watch it from. We never officially allocated space, it just turned out that this was my space. I tried taking the picture in the evening, but it didn’t work out. So I took the image the next morning. The cushions are still pushed in from where I sat, the sofa has the dent from my bottom, and the remote control is lies where it was conveniently left.
Does the photo reflect your memory at all? It doesn’t really, but what it did do was generate a greater sense of what is missing, who sat there, it could be more of a death like image. The colours are perfectly fine, and I did change them a little just in toning. I quite like the basic nature of this image actually – the potential is there for it to be a story more than it appears.