This week marked the start of Kat Sloma’s latest online photography course, A Sense of Place. I signed up the day registration opened. As a returning student to Kat’s classes, I knew the course would challenge me to dig deeply and the learning environment would be one of support and camaraderie. A winning combination.
But it was the topic that drew me in. Why?
One of the qualities of my current images is anonymity. Not only does the view wonder “where is this?” but sometimes even “what is this?” And I am attracted to that characteristic – the fact that an image could be both anywhere and everywhere; be anything and everything. The celebration of geometric abstraction, an ode to line and shape.
I compose to eliminate distractions and identifying features. My images do not include people. In post-processing, I clean up anything which takes away from the main subject, in order to realize the perfection of my vision.
And while all of these things add up to my unique photographic vision, I have found myself wanting more – an expansion of my vision to include a sense of place. Maybe not all the time – I’m not looking for a complete transformation, an abandonment of those qualities which define who I am as a photographer.
But the question I have to ask myself is this: what does my insistence on anonymous images reveal about me? What am I hiding? What am I afraid to show you?
In a comment on one of my posts, Kat explained her personal mantra : “My photos will show me the way. They always do.”
So I am searching and questioning and wondering. Perhaps I will peek out from behind the curtain. To show you this place, where I am.
Both images taken in downtown Canton, Ohio – different views of the Stark County Courthouse.