You can complete this exercise using a stills or video camera. You can stay in one room and rearrange items or you can go out looking for spaces that suit your purpose. Capture four shots that have the following feel about them:
• An oppressive, cluttered space
• An open, honest, simple space containing one intriguing item
• A stark, empty hostile space
• A warm, friendly, cosy space
Create stills of your images. Look at the images you have produced and think again about how they feel and what meanings are implied. It may be that they are not quite what you thought when you captured them. Note these discrepancies and try to identify the cause. Make detailed notes about the contents of your images and what effect they have. Upload your images and comments to your blog.
An oppressive, cluttered space.
The “billiard room” as it is called at an employer’s place of work. This room has been an abandoned item hide-out for decades. It is difficult to walk from one end to another.
Discarded boxes and various racks and items, conveys a number of thoughts.
- The room is forgotten about, seen simply as a storage/ dumping room.
- The items in the room are no longer wanted, or in fact that a decision has yet to be made whether they should be thrown away or kept.
- The owner of the room has neglected, or chosen not to apply any attention to the contents.
- The room could in fact be seen as a temperary storage whilst suitable placement has been found.
- Although physically spacious, the room is so cluttered that it portrays a sense of claustrophobia and discomfort.
- A hoarder’s paradise. To some it could be seen as cosy, although the intention of taking this shot is the opposite.
- There is a sense of wastefulness. Not only for the lack of use for the contents, but for the very fact that this room is a solid and workable room. It could be used for much better purposes, even a fair space to offer for rent.
Taking the picture, and analysing it in detail makes me feel I could use this space more efficiently. I am personally disheartened by this image as it makes me feel panicked, or dismayed at the site of clutter and neglect. It conveys a moment of discomfort. Even though the room is well-lit, there is a desire to escape the claustrophobia that it ensues.
At first, I was thinking that this image would not be sufficient to use as an oppressive place. However upon analysis, under the proverbial microscope, I believe it works superbly. In particular, I like how bright the lighting appears, and how the clutter, so easily seen creates unease and a subtle darker mood.
An open, honest, simple space containing one intriguing item.
The sea and coastline images are a major passion of mine. I believe the natural elements that are apparent spark such a raw and open atmosphere. Throughout the gamut of the weather, the scenes are inspiring and liberating.
- The tide is out and there is a further mood of open-ness. It makes the scene feel expansive and free.
- The weather is overcast, even still, the image is pleasant and relaxing.
- The plastic spade gives a sense of childhood, be it our own or of a third person perspective.
- There is a sense of “where is the child?” that can be taken in various scenarios.
- There is evidence of sand burrowing creatures, reminding us that we are in the vicinity of nature, further proof than the sea in the background.
- The plastic spade gives us indication of a relatively recent time in space, without such, we would not know a timeframe.
I am particularly drawn towards the overcast weather in the frame, and yet the sun is bright upon the scene. I feel this adds further atmosphere. Still able to declare a feeling of open and honest space, it has a moody sense that, as with the tempestuous weather, the mood can take a drastic turn.
A stark, empty hostile space.
An image of the iron gate in the cellars of a wine wholesaler. The underground and dank atmosphere can give a sense of discomfort, and it is easy to ascertain a malevolence in the darkness beyond the gate.
- The padlock gives an indication of denied access, whether this is of prohibition or of safety, is unclear, hence creating doubt and confusion.
- The well lit damp chalky walls and the blackness of the blocked room are an uncomfortable contrast.
- The gate reminds me of dungeons and similar unpleasant locations, there is a feeling of oppression and hostility with that.
I think the idea was successful, but not the actual image in particular. I struggled with the imposing whiteness of the chalky walls, and in contrast to the blackness of the oppressive dark corridor beyond the gate, I felt the brightness overpowered the remainder.
A warm, friendly, cosy space.
Arranging my twins’ toys on one of their’s bunk bed was fun and I could envisage the desired photo, which I believe was truly captured.
- The cosiness of the photo is easy to create, lots of warm colours, reds, pinks, yellows, orange etc.
- Smiling cuddly toys. Impossible to go wrong with them.
- The childhood bed – adults would remember their childhood comfort.
- Fill the picture with happiness and warmth. Aim for the heart strings…
I was astonished how difficult it was to separate my own attachment to the smiling toys, as they automatically remind me of the daughter that owns each toy. To me its a warm, cosy, friendly picture, but I would need feedback on whether it truly works.