Photographing the unseen – Initial thoughts

Again, this is a ‘naive response’ posting, written before reading or researching anything in Part two. It will be interesting to see how ideas might develop over the next few weeks.

Given the choice of assignment at the end of Part two, I have elected to work on ‘Photographing the unseen’. The second option, ‘Using props’, falls at the first hurdle; I might have some elderly white shirts, but I haven’t worn one in years. Similarly, handkerchiefs do not feature large in my life.

Before coming up with a list of ideas (next posting) it is worth considering some reasons why a subject might be ‘unseen’:

To take the brief literally, the subject might be concrete but invisible. For instance, the wind is invisible but its presence is revealed by the things it does: storm damage, flying kites and flags, powering sailboats and so on. Given my other hobbies, a sailing-related response would be easily achievable. However, it would merely be a repetition of my response to an assignment in EYV.

The subject might be an abstract concept, such as an emotion. It would be interesting to express happiness, loss or anger using more than just a model’s facial expressions.

The subject might be absent. An empty, dilapidated but furnished building will bear traces of its former occupants. The main logistical issue would be finding a location.

The subject might be ‘under the radar’. Lewis Hine’s child labour images highlighted an issue that his contemporaries simply didn’t see until he brought it to their notice. On a more mundane level, I have a current personal project making macro images of back garden plants and it is fascinating to see how many trees and foliage plants have very small flowers that normally go unnoticed.

Plenty to mull over, but time to get started on Part two.


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