I did the Square Mile exercise at the very beginning of this course of study, now over 2 years ago. At the time I was pleased with it. It was the first time I had done a piece of work that was designed to ‘tell a story’ for many years. Looking back, while I still think it was interesting (I focused on the very changeable weather in a Scottish spring) in reality the images did not tell much about the local area and what it means to me. It was about the wider place – Scotland, and the time of year – spring, and the weather – variable!
If I redid this exercise now – and I might yet do so – I would concentrate on the places that I go to and see regularly, my street, the local coffee shop, the comic book store, the library and the people I meet at these places. It would be an interesting exercise to stand outside my house and take pictures of everyone who walks along the street over a few hours. I might get some very odd looks and need to do a lot of explanation, but it would tell a lot about the area especially if I got a little bit of information from everyone – who they were, what they did, and why they were there.
Simply thinking about this shows how much my attitudes to photography have changed over the 2 years and also how much my confidence has grown. At that stage I would not have thought about asking relative strangers to allow me to take pictures of them – now I am considering the implications and the need for a card to give them together with an information sheet on the project!