As suggested by the course notes (and after my experiences on Gesture & Meaning where I am now on the third idea and still haven’t taken a single shot…) I’m starting thinking about my first assignment early. I first read the brief even before I started the course (I downloaded the sampler PDF) and so have already had some time to think about it.
The main points in the brief say (my emphasis):
Produce a small photo essay of 10 images that demonstrates your engagement with the lives, experiences and histories of your local community and its people.
You’ll need to decide on a single theme, topic or activity to focus on. Discuss your ideas with your tutor before committing to it.
Do this assignment with only one camera and one lens.
Now, as cliché as it might sound, when I think of ‘local community‘ I think of ‘local pub‘. We live in a small North Yorkshire market town with a friendly community vibe. The nearest pub, The Sun Inn, is just a few minutes walk down the road, and is a warm-hearted and vibrant meeting place with lots of regular activities and events, some of which I take part in, some of which I just know about.
These activities include: quiz nights (I write and host a quiz to raise funds for a local good cause on a regular basis); amateur singing and music nights; vinyl appreciation nights; a weekly ‘beer bread and cheese’ night for a local charity; and last but by no means least, they use their function room for exhibitions by local artists on a rotating monthly basis (I held my first photography exhibition there in April last year, and will do so again in 2016).
On top of all this, it’s a nice friendly ‘local’ with lots of regular faces and a constantly rotating selection of guest beers. And it’s won various CAMRA awards. I consider myself lucky to have such a great boozer on my doorstep.
So: my draft plan is to take my camera along to The Sun several times over the next few weeks, observe the place during quiet and busy times, normal nights and regular events, weeknights and weekends – to see if an interesting theme or narrative emerges.
Sounds tough but I think I’m up to the challenge ;-)