My theme for my micro study was looking at nostalgia through the notion that what we consider nostalgia is like a dream in which it was a perfect moment. Realistically, the things we find nostalgic have worn and decayed. The story I wanted to tell was a real event that occurred in my childhood in which my dad, an architect, designed and built my sister and I a ‘jungle gym’ which consisted of climbing frames and rope swings. At the time, it was exciting and structurally sound, however today over a decade on, the structure is showing its age as it becomes reclaimed by the nature it covered. Rotting wood, mould and moss turning the pale yellow wood into green and rusted metal work. The last time I went on it was my last. At the age of around 10-11, I tripped of the structure and frightened myself never to go near it again. I didn’t break anything other than my enjoyment of playing on it.
In a country dominated by rain, it was rare that the garden we had would ever be dry, yet as a kid I was adventurous and waited until the rain died so I could run out and play. In the first image, I was able to convey the early morning and the the wait of going outside by placing shallow depth of field on the drops of water at the window to show that I was locked away from the garden until the rain went away. As a result of the blurred exterior, the adventure that awaits is obscured and left as a mystery.
When the rain finally dies, the adventure beings with a staircase to the big garden. The dutch angle adds a dynamic to the composition in order to convey the mystery that awaits as well as insinuate the later threat of falling. Interestingly, these steps used to be simple wood and feel from greenery, there are leading lines generated by the staircase that gradually fades into the obscurity of white, hence the justification for a strong exposure. The texture generated from the greenery entrenching the wood thus draws the viewer towards the top.
Image 3 is an encapsulation of the curiosity, fascination and general beauty of being outdoors. The tear in the leaf is composed to it the intersections of the rule of thirds in order to draw the viewer closer to the top, maintaining the transition form the previous photo. The shallow blur around the greenery at the top curves the exposed light in as if the viewer in entering a secret garden. The leaf itself contrasts with the green life as the strong crimson is backlight to sit out and add a sharper look and give a subtle energy, reinforcing the over glorification of the world by a young curious child.
Image 4 for me was a perfect way to encapsulate the presence of the jungle gym as a child. Low angle gives the tower dominate and height while the continuation of shallow depth of field maintains the mystery as well as place focus on the blue being attacked by further green to show old life being taken over. The shot gives a more illusory effect as the micro focus on the smallest details of the rope contrast with the distorted power in the distance. Less empathise is placed on the structure itself, but instead the little details that define it.
Image 5 is a personal favourite for it’s simplicity. This image stays strictly within the rule of thirds and gives adequate focus on the nail to reinforce the idea of tripping. Overtime, as wood rots and water seeps between the nail, it’s pushed out by the tightened pressure thus it sticks out like a sore thumb, or well, nail. The nail is given significant presence in the composition as it constants with the nail in the background and is compared with the scale of the rest of the structure. The reason for giving emphasis to the darkened wood between to convey the expression of the nail rising out of the wood as well as suggesting the height that my younger self was on. The use of micro to convey the structure rather than blatant documentations of it strongly accentuate the idea of what the structure is like and gives the audience something to ponder over.
The last image baffles me for a some reason. I can’t get the idea to leave my mind and want to implement it as a result of the fall. After asking a few associates what they thought the image looked like, the consensus tend to see a distraught face, which I agree with. This is a psychological phenomenon known as Pareidolia, where random stimulus can be seen as important is someway. I wanted this face on the stone to represent the outcome of the nail. The stone witnesses a devastating fall or the face is a juxtaposition to the real reaction of the victim. This apophenia, seeing a connection in random subjects, adds a distinct dynamic to the finale of the series and concludes a rather personal story with an oddity.