Square Mile – Initial thoughts

In our earliest years we know a patch of ground in a detail we will never know anywhere again – site of discovery and putting names to things – people and places – working with difference and similitude – favourite places, places to avoid – neighbours and their habits, gestures and stories – textures, smells – also of play, imagination, experiment – finding the best location for doing things – creating worlds under our own control, fantasy landscapes.

(Professor Mike Pearson)


Make a series of six to twelve photographs in response to the concept of ‘The Square Mile’. Use this as an opportunity to take a fresh and experimental look at your surroundings. You may wish to re-trace places you know very well, examining how they might have changed; or, particularly if you’re in a new environment, you may wish to use photography to explore your new surroundings and meet some of the people around you.

You may wish to explore the concept of Y Filltir Sgwar further, or you may deviate from this. You may want to focus on architecture and landscape, or you may prefer to photograph the people who you think have an interesting connection to the square mile within which you currently find yourself.

You’ll need to shoot many more than 12 photographs from which to make your final edit. You should try to make your final set of photographs ‘sit’ together as a series. Don’t necessarily think about making a number of individual pictures, but rather a set of photographs that complement one another and collectively communicate your idea. You may wish to title your photographs or write short captions if you feel this is appropriate and would benefit the viewer.

However you choose to approach this assignment, it should communicate something about you: your interests, motivations, and your ambitions for your photography. Think Assignment one ‘Square Mile’ Assignment one ‘Square Mile’ Photography 1: Expressing your Vision 15 of it as a way to introduce yourself to your tutor. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to respond to this brief, as long as you try to push yourself out of your comfort zone in terms of subject matter. Try out new approaches rather than sticking to what you think you’re most successful at.

Initial reaction to the brief

This is my first entry on this blog, and it starts by sharing with you my initial thoughts on what seems to be a very exciting and open brief.

The term ‘Square Mile’, lets break that down first. My first thought was in reference to the space around you, equal to the distance mentioned. I have lived in the same house the majority of my life, and have very much grown up within the square mile around me, I could confidently navigate it, and give detailed descriptions of memories from specific locations within it. However, for some reason, I do not find this personal to me, I do not feel any sense of ownership or history in relation to the swing in my local park. Yes I was may have spent many years playing there throughout my youth, but so has many other people in the area.

On further thought I think I look at the ‘Square Mile’ slightly broader, but narrower at the same time. I see it as everything I consider close to me, or relevant to my upbringing, or currently viewable to me within the confines of my own home. Even more specifically, objects that I immediately associate with my life and resemble me or the people that are close to me.

I am going to approach my method of composing these photographs with an open mind, and use a variety of different techniques to achieve the relevant moods and emotions I wish to associate with each object.

I would like to experiment by taking close-ups, and using a black backdrop to enhance the focus on the item I consider close and intimate to me, this is something I have never done before and I think this is perfect opportunity to try a new approach and stretch out of my comfort zone. 

Two stylistic representations of what I aim to achieve with my photographs for the ‘Square Mile’

I have yet to research the photographers listed in the ‘Research’ section, so my ideas for this project may be influenced, however I wanted to express my initial ideas as fresh and as soon after reading the brief as possible.

Guitar Headstock – http://www.walltor.com/images/wallpaper/guitar-strings-picture–guitar-strings-close-up-92696.jpg

Dog Portrait – Amanda Summerlin



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