Use your camera as a measuring device. This doesn’t refer to the distance scale on the focus ring(!). Rather, find a subject that you have an empathy with and take a sequence of shots to ‘explore the distance between you’. Add the sequence to your learning log, indicating which is your ‘select’ – your best shot.
When you review the set to decide upon a ‘select’, don’t evaluate the shots just according to the idea you had when you took the photographs; instead evaluate it by what you discover within the frame (you’ve already done this in Exercise 1.4). In other words, be open to the unexpected. In conversation with the author, the photographer Alexia Clorinda expressed this idea in the following way:
Look critically at the work you did by including what you didn’t mean to do. Include the mistake, or your unconscious, or whatever you want to call it, and analyse it not from the point of view of your intention, but because it is there.
My chosen subject for this exercise was my dog, Knicks.
Having been with me from 6 months old and is now nearing the ripe old age of 16 (although you wouldn’t realise that from looking at him). My canine companion has been by my side through many transitions in my life. Changes in career, moving house, the birth of my children and the ultimate separation from their father among many, many other things. He has always been a constant presence.
I chose to explore the world through his eyes, in a series of shots in the forest. My intention was to not only capture the simple innocence of his existence, the fact that he just exists without questioning why. He goes about his life in a way of living in the present moment, seemingly without dwelling on the past or projecting into the future, he explores the world around him and lives simply for that, an idea that seems so alien and distant from the way we live our lives as adult human beings (children seem more adept to this idea) but I’m sure would be much less stressful if we could embrace this way of living more.
Whilst I was happy with many of my shots, I felt that this particular one not only embodied my original intention but as I explored the frame further, I noted the beauty of the surroundings, the ivy climbing the tree and the beautiful shades of green contrasting with the browns, it also embodied the beauty of the forest which we were in. When taking the photographs, this hadn’t really been at the forefront of my mind as I was focused more on Knicks. When choosing my select, I observed that I could see this present moment and the beauty of the forest similar to the way that Knicks, I imagine, would. I also noted his place in my world, his constant unwavering presence and the fact that he is always there, by my side, looking up at me. This image was exactly how I see him, everyday.