I usually ignore requests on Facebook to share a post and especially where it is a “pyramid scheme” where everyone has to recruit several other people. Sometimes they are badly written and irritating but at other times I thoroughly concur with the sentiments but just don’t want to copy and paste. “I know that most of my friends won’t re-post this . . .” is an opening that discourages me rather than encourages me. However the latest “pyramid scheme” is a bit different. It requires you to post seven photos over seven days. Where it came from and why is anybody’s guess. You could ask lots of questions but really it is just a bit of fun – don’t over-analyse. Under the “rules” someone new is challenged every day (will they have been challenged before? – that is increasingly likely as time goes on). Of course anyone who is challenged does not need to respond straight away, and indeed if they don’t want to play they can ignore the challenge. In my case the gauntlet was thrown down by an old friend so I decided to accept the challenge. The rules are simple:
Seven days, seven black and white photos of your life.
No humans. No explanation
Challenge someone every day
Very simple rules with a lot left unsaid – it is up to you how you fill in the gaps. Everyone will interpret them in their own way. For example while they have to be black and white does it matter whether they were taken in black and white or have been converted from a colour photo. Should they be restricted to photos taken the day that they are posted? (Mine aren’t.) How they relate to your life is entirely up to you. In thinking about what photos to include the challenge became how to limit it to only seven. It was made easier by having to exclude any photos where people crept in.
Why black and white photographs? They have a certain timeless quality and a simplicity that you don’t get with a colour photograph. They make you think in a way that a colour photo doesn’t, just as with a book where you have to put flesh on the character (which you don’t with a film) so too with a black and white photograph more is left to your imagination. Of course with some black and white photos not enough information is given – sometimes the colour is needed to provide contrast or balance, the greens and browns are key to this photograph.
So I have selected seven photos, posted them on seven consecutive days and challenged seven different people. Of those seven, two have joined the challenge, one wasn’t up to finding or creating black and white photos and four have so far been silent in their response.
For this post I thought I would share my seven photos with you. In a future post I will say a bit about them and why I chose them (and why I didn’t choose others). So here are my seven photos without any comment. Make of them what you will, and then, if you wish, read read Part 2 (when I have got round to posting it).
Have I captured my life with these seven photos? Only a little. Do you know me better having seen these seven photos? I can’t answer that. There have been a few “likes” and comments on Facebook but what is lacking is any feedback on what other people make of the images. Occasionally what the viewer sees may be exactly what I wanted to convey, but in many cases intention and perception may only slightly overlap – which is one of the things that makes this challenge interesting. All but one of the photos have come out of my photo library. I had to ignore many photos because when I looked closely I saw that there were people lurking somewhere in the foreground or background.
Interestingly some versions of this challenge doing the rounds say “Seven days, seven black and white photos of your daily life. No humans. No explanation.” The addition of “daily” possibly implies that they should relate to something that is happening now rather than sometime over the course of your whole life. If I had taken that view then I probably would have created more images for this exercise of things that were relevant to the last week or so. This would have been a different challenge.
If you don’t want to know the thinking behind some of these photos or what/where they are then skip my “Part 2” post.