noun: home; plural noun: homes
The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
Home is a powerful word, it provides us shelter, warmth, memories, love. With it you are safe and secure, without it your life is perilous, at the mercy of the elements.
Home is the Twelve project theme, and my first trail of thought was obviously my house, my family, my town. This however is not doing justice to the true international meaning of “Home” . In 1962 Sir Edward Coke said “A man’s house is his castle and fortress and each man’s home is his safest refuge.”.
Our theme has powerful undertones steeped in historical context. The origin of the word home is likely to be of Germanic origin, Old Frisian hem "home, village," Old Norse heimr "residence, world. Years ago when you lived and died where you were born and travel was restricted, your home was your world. My home, my bricks and mortar are modest. It is my castle, to a starving refugee it is a palace, to a billionaire, a shed. In Great Britain we are privileged to have a wealth of historical architecture, our houses could be deemed museum worthy in some countries.
They have to adapt as we do as well.... We now need cables, more rooms, bigger windows, sliding doors, more space. It's almost upsetting to see the amount of effort going into building these days. Housing estates with row after row of identical houses made from plasterboard. As an Island of 229,848 km² with a population of 64 million we are running out of room. The way that we provide people's castles has to change, we literally live on top of each other. Structural Engineers have exhausted safe ways to fill our footprint so now they are going up. Cities are being pulled from the ground by crane after crane to stack us like commodities. This is not meant to be a pro green article or anti modernism blog piece. This is the level of thought I went through prior to taking my shot when given the theme “home”.
We have a beautiful burnt down Pier in my city of Brighton, I could have easily taken a shot of that and the combo of Hasselblad, Kodak and golden light would have given me a lovely photograph. A lovely photograph if I wanted a postcard. I didn’t. I actively discourage myself from shooting postcard shots if I can help it. I get suckered in occasionally but for me there is no intrigue in producing something someone has shot a millions of times before. My real passion is shooting at night, it came from having a baby and little free time. The only time I found I had to indulge in photography was at night so thats what I did. You really do test your skill and your passion when you go out into the cold winters night and walk out into the countryside. Darkness doesn’t phase me but I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been spooked a couple of times whilst waiting for a shot. For me a night shot gives me atmosphere but it also gives me even more manual control for a shot. If I take a photo in the daytime I am limited to how far the sun, film and lens will allow me to go. Nightfall gives me another dimension to my photography. I’m a completely self taught photographer and having a theme to shoot which wasn’t my idea is somewhat strange. I hope what I have taken expresses in a simple way, home, and has a style which can be considered my own.
By Tom Welland