Consider a place which, when populated by certain individuals or groups of people, is transformed momentarily. It may be a public space where people convene or a private space where for instance; a liason takes place between two lovers.
Now investigate photographically, the personality of this place when it is devoid of human presence.
You will have little control of the light with your hand-made camera and so you will have to test and learn how it interprets the world. Through your testing you will begin to understand how the pinhole records an image and very quickly to project this vision onto your subject, before the negative is made. This understanding is what we refer to as pre-visualisation. It is especially important when working with such rudimentary equipment as ( unless you make a more sophisticated version ) your camera will have only one exposure in it.
I chose to use my back garden for my human presence task. My garden was a place of fun and play with my brother when I was small; however, as we grew up, the garden has changed from a child friendly place to a bland and ‘easy to manage’ plot. Machinery and implements used for car restoration are now the main focus. When family came over in the summer the garden would be populated with children on the trampoline, the swing and with the toys. In these photographs I wanted to capture with pinhole how bland and mechanic the garden now has become. There are some photographs of my Grandad’s garden as well, which, however, has not changed hugely as it was always just adapted for play whenever we would visit.
To add to how it is now just a hazy memory, I double exposed different parts of the garden and also opened two pinholes in stead of one creating a sort of double vision. This makes the garden seems more ambiguous and makes one question what it really looks like as pinhole also distort what is in front of it.
Revisit your chosen location again devoid of human presence. This time you should look for the evidence of it’s erstwhile inhabitants and produce a series of photographic still-lives of this subject matter.
You can document the artifacts in situ or away from the site (whichever you prefer), naturally/ artificially lit or a combination thereof, the crucial thing is that when we look at these items they should appear as something entirely new to us and drenched in the magic of your location and redolent of the way that you see the world.
As I chose to use my back garden and how it is a place of childhood memories; but is devoid of the artefacts I therefore struggled to take many objects that would show the memory. So, I went digging around and I found a football, a tennis ball and I used my bike and then a bottle. I wanted to keep my still lives as devoid as possible- using a black background. I have discussed reasons why in this post here.