Exercise 3.1

The exercise was to go through your archive. Pull out around 10 images and divide into mirrors at windows. Then look at again and see if any could be changed.

 I started with an archive trawl, which I did very rapidly, and ended up with 48 images, not 10. I decided to go with it, and split them into 4 sections of 12, organised only by the order of pulling out from the archive, which was generally, but not totally, date order.  For each set I divided into mirrors or windows. This was not always an easy task. Very few of them are direct images of me. The ones that initially ended up in the mirror pile are mainly of my family or places that are very personal, such as the church I was christened in. The set that ended up in the windows are more about places I have been and looked over, things that I am interested in, things that I enjoy investigating. In reality many of the images could go in either pile with a logical reason.

Initial trawl for mirrors:

Initial trawl for windows:

A very rapid overview of the two groups above shows that I have mainly placed people in the mirrors group and objects /scenery in the windows. This is rather a facile separation.

I then decided to look at one of the sets in more detail, analysing why my first instinct was to put into each pile and looking to see if with a more considered approach I would change then around. This was interesting. The initial selection was based on people or places that were very close to me becoming mirrors, but all of them could equally by classed as windows. In reality, there is only a small portion of my archive that shows people, but for some reason they caught my eye when pulling images out for this exercise. I tend to photograph things that are less personal, but equally, and illogically, all of them say something about my interests. The ones that say more about me, as a mirror of my interests are often the ones where I am looking out. The family ones that I initially classified as mirrors are more about me examining them. I think I am now totally confused!

Detailed analysis:

All these 6 images were initially classified as mirrors. They are all my family, with the exception of a view down the street I live in. On thinking about it further then only two that remain as mirrors are the image of my mother and me as a child and the street view, and I am not even convinced about the mother/me one. All the others are about me looking out at other people – therefore windows – but I am an insider in the situation!

These images were all initially classified as windows, and, as they contain no family images are easier to think about. The doll tells about me and my obsessive collecting habit. Someone looking at it says – that is hers. The places I am looking out at are, I think, rightly classified as windows, as is the singer. The plant – obsessive interest again, so probably a mirror.


  • This exercise was a lot harder than I expected it to be, and I kept swapping images around.
  • Using the straightforward classification of insider = mirror, all the family images and personal interests become mirrors
  • Using the straightforward classification of outsider = window, all the views, places and events become windows.
  • I have just done a rapid scan though the images I have taken over the last year. There are very few that are mirrors. a group of friends at a party, my daughter’s wedding, some of my cats and family. The rest are all examinations of other things, street images, landscapes and events.

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