Monday, March 24, 2008

Two steps forward, three steps back

Turn 90 degrees and photograph whatever you see

How many different ways are there of seeing the place you live? Abandon all control of your destiny and find out.

Here’s what you’ll need: a friend or two, a camera, a bag, a watch and a sharp eye. Each of you should start in a different place in town and follow these instructions.
  • Walk towards the sun for three minutes (try to stay in a straight line as much as possible). Note down where you are.
  • Look around you: can you see something the color of the sky and small enough to pick up? Pick it up and put it in your bag, then keep walking in the direction you walked to get to it.
  • Stop when you see a sign. Photograph the sign.
  • Think of a number between one and 60. Pretend you’re standing in a clock and turn that many minutes, then start walking again.
  • Keep walking until you see something beautiful. Photograph it. Then turn 90 degrees and photograph whatever you see.
  • Walk straight ahead, counting your footsteps, until you have taken 143 of them. What song is in your head? Write it down.
  • Look directly at your feet. What’s there? Pick it up if you can, or photograph or describe it if you can’t.
  • Turn 45 degrees and walk for another three minutes in a straight line: then take the first path, street or alleyway on the left, then the next one on the right. Walk along that for one minute, or until it runs out. What is in front of you? Write a haiku about it (one line of five syllables, then one of seven, then one of five; they don’t have to rhyme).
  • Now take a photograph of yourself and go home.
When you get home, compare experiences with everyone else who has done the exercise.

This is just a short version of a game that could run all day: feel free to write a set of instructions that would work well in your town.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Wish you were here (instead of me)

'Workers' lunchroom | Laverton'

Just because no one else makes postcards of your hometown is no reason you shouldn’t. Or maybe you live in a popular tourist town that’s flooded with postcards, but you think they’re all pretty stupid. Take your camera for a trip around town, photographing anything that you think really captures the spirit of your home.

Get 4x6" prints of the best ones and grab yourself some postcard backs (you can get these at craft stores or off the web), or make your own by gluing thin card to the back of your snaps. Give each postcard a caption (‘Drunks ogle female passersby, Blarney Stone, Yarraville’, 'Pile of discarded rubbish grows mouldy, Badwell Ash', 'Witty grafitti tells it like it is, Pierz') and send them to friends, telling them what a great time you’re having and expressing your wish that they were also here.