Where are we?

The backgrounds of our lives are not simply brightly-lit backdrops or catwalks to highlight us, the subjects; rather, they inform and direct us – positively or negatively – and become part of the fabric of our lives. Our backgrounds say a lot about who we are and being aware of our environment is important in understanding our identity.

Do you feel at one with the land and belong in the countryside? What does an urban landscape tell us about its inhabitants? How can the spaces between buildings speak of identity? Your ‘place’ may be more psychological or mental than physical. Perhaps you are an introvert.

What does this mean about how you move through physical places? Or perhaps you have a disability. How does this impact your day-to-day life? Does it help or hinder your position in your current environment? These are questions we will think about as we consider the work of many photographers during this course but you might like to reflect upon them now in your learning log.”

Boothroyd, S. and Roberts, K. 2019. Indentity and Place, Barnsley, OCA

I answered some of this in my previous post about constructing an honest portrait of myself. However, it’s a really interesting thought.

For me I think my sense of place is internal, the words from ‘A Million Dreams’ kind of sum it up for me:

I close my eyes and I can see,
The world that’s waiting up for me,
That I call my own,
Through the dark, through the door,
Through where no one’s been before,
But it feels like home

A Million Dreams, from The Greatest Showman

I do like to either be somewhere familiar and safe like my home, or I love being alone in the countryside. This is probably why I enjoy motorhoming so much. I have my own safe place to travel around in and explore.

I don’t like crowds or city urban settings but I do enjoy watching people from a distance. Conversely I really enjoy one to one conversations with people and am inherently interested in other people, culture and what makes them tick.

I’ve always thought of myself as a ‘happy’ photographer, portraying bright happy stories. However, I’ve recently realised that alot of my photography is quite dark and that I enjoy low light. Perhaps I’m looking for the light in dark places, watching from the shadows?

These couple of exercises have been a bit like therapy! I’m not used to laying my innermost feelings out on a page like this. It is, in fact, quite liberating.