Part 3 – Project 2 Masquerades – Exercise 2

Recreate a childhood memory in a photograph. Think carefully about the memory
you choose and how you’ll recreate it. You’re free to approach this task in any way
you wish.

• Does the memory involve you directly or is it something you witnessed?
• Will you include your adult self in the image (for example, to ‘stand in’ for your
childhood self) or will you ask a model to represent you? Or will you be absent
from the image altogether? (You’ll look at the work of some artists who have
chosen to depict some aspect of their life without including themselves in the
image in the next project.)
• Will you try and recreate the memory literally or will you represent it in a more
metaphorical way, as you did in Part Two?
• Will you accompany your image with some text?
• In your learning log, reflect on the final outcome. How does the photograph
resemble your memory? Is it different from what you expected? What does it
communicate to the viewer? How?

This exercise took me a quite a bit longer than I had originally intended, due to the various elements I wanted to pull together but I feel happy with the journey and the end result.

I decided to recreate a photograph of a happy memory from my childhood spent with my Father. About a year or so after this photograph was taken we moved to live in Australia for about 4 years, renting out the family home here in the UK. I have included at the end some reflection from my Mother. As my Mother explains a lot has changed over the years, over 30 years since the original photograph. My Father now retired has Cancer and Dementia, along with a long list of other illnesses, last year he had a heart attack. The past couple of years have been a roller coaster of emotions. We still have a laugh on the good days and chat endlessly about music, photography, nature and wildlife.

I remember as a kid always being interested in what my Father was up to around the garden, doing repairs on the house or fixing the car. My Father had a busy job, sometimes away from home in other countries but we always caught up in the garden and its where I have some of my best memories with my Father… my Dad.

Reflecting on the final outcome, I love seeing the 2 images side by side, thinking about family relationships and how they change, evolve and can strengthen over a long period of time, how the role of the carer can shift from Father to Son and knowing that there is nothing wrong with that.

Dad and me

Image 1 – Dad and me, back garden, 1983

DSC_6042 and DSC_6064 Final blended image - Copy 8 x 10.jpg

Image 2 – Dad and me, back garden, April 2017

To create the final image it took a number of stages.

On location at my parents house where the original image was taken.  I set up my camera on a tripod with a cable release. I used the original image as a guide to frame the shot and put the camera in Aperture priority mode.

For the first image I got my Dad to stand in the frame on the left posing with the paint brush similar to the original image, and took a number of shots.

DSC_6042 Photograph 1.jpg

For the second image, I stood within the frame, making sure not to overlap with the first image, I used the middle of the fence in the background as a guide. Having already set the image up myself, I got my Dad to press the cable release a couple of times.

DSC_6064 Photograph 2.jpg

Once I was happy with the images I blended the two images in Photoshop Elements 14.

DSC_6042 and DSC_6064 Photograph 3 Final blended image.jpg

I then decided to crop in the image 8 x 10 to create a ‘similar’ feel to the original image.

We also decided to create a new image, just for fun!

DSC_6090.jpg

Dad and me, April 2017

It might be interesting to show your photograph to friends or family members –
perhaps someone who was there at the time and someone who wasn’t – and see
what the image conveys to them.

I asked my Mother to give her thoughts on the 2 images, particularly as she took the original image:

“The first photo,was taken in the garden of your childhood home in Atworth circa 1983.  The picture depicts  – father and son sharing time together engaged in a bit of DIY.  
This was a happy time in our new home as we had spent a lot of time apart in the previous year due to Dad’s work commitments.
The tank in the background contained heating oil but we converted to gas shortly after we moved into the house and the tank was eventually moved away on the back of a skip lorry.
Great fun rolling it across the patio on sticks as it was very heavy.
Dad was creosoting the fence as the garden had been neglected for some time.
Memories of a lovely little blond haired boy who was my constant companion.
Dad was a slimmer model then who,was always busy around the house.
2nd picture.
Fast forward thirty years to April 2017 and we are still in our family home in Wiltshire.  Many things have changed over the years.  The little blond haired boy has become a thoughtful caring young man – although slightly larger than our original picture.  He now has his own home.
Dad is retired and doesn’t enjoy such good health. He still enjoys pottering in the garden and doing some  DIY where possible. He has changed hair colour but the style is much the same.
The oil tank is long gone but the fences still need attention.  A BBQ has taken the place of the oil tank – A sign of the changing times.
Father and son still sharing time together.
Dad so enjoys the time they spend exchanging ideas and thoughts.
Roles are reversed and the support and help which Dad gave is now being returned.”
Alda Sinclair
22nd April 2017
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