Sense of Place

The web site, Art of Geography, defines sense of place as “a combination of characteristics that makes a place special and unique. Sense of place involves the human experience in a landscape, the local knowledge and folklore. Sense of place also grows from identifying oneself in relation to a particular piece of land on the surface of planet Earth.”

I have been thinking about how I could display a “sense of place” about where I live and spend most of my time … in Homewood at Plum Creek and around Hanover, PA.  Over the past years I have been taking pictures of all aspects of Homewood, but I never thought too much about displaying a sense of this place.

To really show the sense of this place I would need to show you the people.  It is really the people who make this place what it is.  Fortunately, we have several local publications which do a great job of showing it to our residents; but for privacy concerns, I don’t show many pictures of the people on this blog.

I am currently taking lots of pictures of the people as they engage in the many activities.  In the past month I took over 400 pictures which I hope to edit down into another internal view of the people enjoying the activities.  I might even make a book of them.  That takes a lot of my time and I have slacked off on taking pictures for my blog, but I haven’t liked that; therefore, I am trying to get back to posting as frequently as I can.

If I am going to get back to taking more pictures like I did a couple of years ago, I would like a theme to guide me as I look for images.  Since what I have available to photograph is the same as I have always had since living here, I expect that I will be photographing the same things as I did before.  In one sense that isn’t too bad since I realize that many living here haven’t seen them.  We have a relatively large turnover, but not because folks wish to leave.

As a guide to my looking for images, as well as how to process and display them, I am going to try to concentrate on how to display a sense of this place; but it is not a straightforward thing to do.  One reason is that it is, to a large extent, a function of one’s personal perspective, and I can only show my perspective.  In addition, the sense of a place is a changing thing, even assuming that I know how to display it, and I will be experimenting and changing as I go.