One of my intentions for my photographs that I make where I live at Homewood at Plum Creek is to show others what they didn’t see either because they can’t get about, weren’t there when I was, or because they don’t see the way I do.
As an expansion to that theme, I’m considering going further out and about Hanover and adding pictures of common scenes that people might drive by frequently, but don’t take the time to stop and really look or think about what is there. As a test, I walked along Westminster in front of Homewood and made these images of scenes across the road.
There are stories within those images. For example, I always wondered about people who flew “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and then drew attention to themselves with such flags and political signs. It is like they are trying to engage others in a fight by drawing attention and saying come on, disagree with me. I’m not sure what those other buildings are used for, but their style, colors, and lack of frills might tell a lot about the owners. I think that at the minimum we should wonder if the outsides are good indicators of what is inside.
In the past I tried different processing and longer focal lengths to make images of interest and/or express emotions, but I’m now wondering if that was the way to go. The pictures gave me an opportunity to play with the processing and I still like to do that, but I have never found a theme to guide me in making images around Hanover. Maybe I thought too hard and over-looked the obvious. Can I find enjoyment in just photographing whatever is in front of me and not trying to express an idea or particular way of thinking? Can I stop seeking another camera or another lens or a different way of processing them and just concentrate on showing what is there? Can I have fun making such images?
Five years ago, I started thinking about making a book of Hanover pictures, but I kept feeling that I needed a theme to organize the photos around. I wanted something to guide me to photographing particular things and to then tell a particular story. If I decide to pursue the effort to make more pictures around and about Hanover, I might just leave it to the viewer to extract whatever story they see.
The Hanover area is small, but it has quite a variety of buildings, etc. Should I just photograph at random and leave it up to the viewers to think whatever? But photography isn’t like that. The photographer’s bias is always there in that he or she chose where to point the camera, even if they don’t have a conscious reason for it. You always have to wonder, “OK, it is there but why was it photographed?” Is there a story in that photograph? What is it? Why would I do this?