Two distinct thoughts drove selection of subject for this Project. The first is an extension of the self study that I started a month or so ago. What does the fabric of our lives say about ourselves, if a stranger entered my house what would they infer about me (and Heidi of course).
The second thought was that as photographers we spend a lot of time trying to capture images of the unusual, looking for that shot that somehow conveys something unique and special. In doing this we pass by the ordinary and the obvious. Contemplating Robert Frank and my most recent acquisition, Walker Evans' "American Photographs" I am often thinking, wow, I wish I could have photographed such cool 1930's or 50's scenes. However, this is stupid, when Frank and Evans made these photographs the facades and advertising were no more strange than WHSmiths on a modern UK high street.
With these two thoughts in mind I turned my camera inwards to look at the boring and the ordinary in my house. These photographs are not special, but I can be sure that in 30 years I will look back and wish I had taken more like this. In these very simple images is the world I now inhabit, a world that in a few years will no longer exist as I gradually change my environment. Indeed, some details will be gone next week. Whether these images are truly suggesting more with less, I am not sure, some do, some don't but all use a simple photograph of a collection of objects to say something about me.
A bookshelf containing nearly every Discworld book lined up in the order they were published, with a wireless repeater sitting in front. This guy grew up with fantasy fiction, but perhaps has a sense of humour, coupled with some OCD tendencies. He also has a technical background.
Downstairs the bookshelves are far neater, and again very ordered, clearly likes to place things in little boxes and be sure that all is orderly.
Back upstairs in his office, a large collection of CDs points to a love of music, with a mix of old and new. Once again, though, the alphabetical ordering should warn the unwary. A large remote controlled Dalek tells of a British childhood.
Not all CDs are in order, a bunch of newer disks wait to be filed, hmmm still likes to buy music - mixture of collection completers and contemporary rock.
Well we knew about this, photography is clearly a passion. The white lenses point to a Canon groupie and someone with a disposable income, perhaps a DINKY. In fact the complete absence of kids toys around the house point further to a "no children" Status.
However, these books on photographic theory suggest a little more than a casual snapper, this guy takes photography very seriously perhaps a student. Wonder if he has read them all somehow I doubt it.
Office door seals the deal, a student of photography, who is currently living in Germany.
More evidence downstairs as most pictures on the wall are photographs of one form or another. He evidently never figured out how to hang pictures and gave up in despair.
Turning now to the kitchen, a cappuccino machine suggests he likes a good cup of coffee, whilst the knives and olive oil point to a love of cooking.
Coupled with a dislike for washing up more than once a day...
Well he drinks beer and is a thief, these glasses are never sold, only stolen. And all the Munich breweries are here, so also drinks a lot but likes to complete a collection.
In the bathroom a hair trimmer suggests short hair and the glasses and contact lens stuff point to shortsightedness. Lack of any smelly stuff suggests an old fashioned Brit.
Wardrobe is spartan, lots of similar T-shirts and long-sleeves. Clearly has no style whatsoever and works for a pretty laid back company.
Back downstairs, the TV is being controlled by an iPad, well we knew he was technical. Looking closer the BBC Player again points to a Brit.
Upstairs a wireless repeater blinks away next to an Xbox surrounded by photography books and magazines. All we have seen so far is reinforced
And the Guardian, must be a little left wing in politics, even if happy to live the good life.
And finally a cat tree, so no kids, but a substitute.
OK, a rather frivolous look at the evidence of myself, but also for me an interesting exercise in self analysis. What I now need to do is to look at how I can use a similar almost forensic approach to photography to capture clues about the people of Munich. What is it in the street furniture or building facades that speaks to the character of the people. In my final assignment for the landscape course I studied the interior space of apartment blocks, the Innenhof, looking at how the landscape reflects on the people who live in the buildings. In a sense this was a bridge to this course. So far I am too focused on the people, I need to step back a little, still include the people, but place them in subordinate positions in the frame.