This Place


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.


Posted on April 12, 2012, in Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Interesting post, Brenda. I admire how you are challemgimg yourself to grow and try new things. While I love your abstract, geometric style, these two photos really appeal to me too. The first one does include some of your signature elements, with more of a sense of place — lovely!

  2. I look forward to seeing what happens, both to you personally and to your photographs, as you expand your Sense of Place, Brenda. I love both of these images. Very different but still you. It’s interesting how we can hold so many different styles and perspectives within the same person, isn’t it? I don’t think we have to choose one.

  3. Brenda, I’m looking forward to seeing the Places this journey takes you to. It’s interesting that I’ve never sensed that your photographs were “hiding” anything. To me they seem nothing but open, and I think they tell a great deal about you, your intelligence, your creativity, your style, and your ideal of beauty. Nevertheless, I love the new challenge you are giving yourself.

  4. Hmmmm…such interesting insights and thoughts. I suppose – in my own way – I too prefer ‘anonymous’ images. I often worry about posting pix of people..un-beknown to them.
    Love the image…the sparkly light!

  5. One of the traits I most admire in you is that you are always challenging yourself, stretching, trying something new. I’ve never found your photos to be anonymous — they are so very you! But I’m interested to see where this new challenge takes you, and I’m glad to go along for the ride.

  6. I wish that I was on this “place” series with you, but I know I’m too busy to give it the attention I’d need to. I will live vicariously thru you. I see something different in that 2nd image-but not grandly so. Funny you see your images as anonymouse (and yes the mouse is on purpose-I like saying that) yet they most always say “Brenda” loud and clear. Most everytime Lee and I shoot together we find something that makes one of us remark “now that’s a Brenda shot” or “imagine what Brenda could do with that”….you are rock star my friend.

  7. Oh, I wish I were going on this journey with you, Brenda. The subject is very close to my heart, but the timing said I would need to wait. Like someone else said, I will live it vicariously through you.

    This topic will stretch you, I’m sure. Yet, your signature Brenda style will shine through too.

  8. What a wonderful journey to be on, Brenda!
    I look forward to seeing the images you make here.
    Sending you wishes for a wonderful start to your week!

  9. Love how these images are such a contrast yet essentially of the same building. Love what you’ve written too – I knew I’d be jealous of anyone doing Sense of Place but I just can’t fit it in at the minute – like Susan, I’ll have to live it vicariously through you! Looking forward to seeing where this journey takes you and I really admire you pushing yourself and questioning whilst recognising your essential style.

  10. I’m very interested in this whole sense of place idea & particularly interested to see your take on it, because as you say you have a very distinctive style, and your images could often be anywhere. Looking forward to seeing the course unfold.

  11. I look forward to following your journey. Both images above speak to me.

  12. Good for you Brenda–I admire the ways in which you are embracing that which is different. Love these shots that give us a glimpse…

  13. I love both of these, Brenda! I wish I could have joined the group for Kat’s class, but as other’s have said, it just didn’t work this time! I’ll certainly be eagerly awaiting your future post about “place!”

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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