The Square Mile

The Square Mile-Analysis                                                                                         paula515102

My initial response to the brief ‘The Square mile’ was optimistic.  I live near where I grew up and easily conjured up images of skateboards, rope swings and generally hanging out with the other kids there.

I visited One lunchtime, at the weekend, knowing that the light might not be at its best, but I wanted to get a ‘feel’ for it not necessarily to take photographs that day.

As I wandered around the empty roads and cul-de-sacs, I realised this was not the place I remembered as a child aged between 6-12 yrs. Where were all the kids hanging out?

I felt uncomfortable, no-one was around, it was difficult to photograph the stark, perfectly neat, bungalows without thinking there were residents twitching the curtains about to phone ‘neighbour watch’ on me. I was disappointed, this was not how I had imagined this first assignment and not how I remembered 6 years of my childhood. I used ‘program’ mostly over ‘manual’ not wanting to linger longer than I had to.

I decided to look at my pictures after the weekend. What struck me when viewing them was how, if you look over the roofs, beyond the fences and through the alleys there is the countryside and sand dunes, wild, free and easily obtainable…….This is a contrast to the restraints of the conventional, middle-class housing estate and it is these fields and lanes that I was allowed to explore as a child.

My series of 10 pictures starts and ends with two quiet places that although look like they’re in a different place, are actually less than 5 minutes away from the estate. This gives a rounded view of the images, helping to link them together.

To develop and improve this project I would have had a clearer idea of which aspect of my childhood to concentrate on.  I am certain that the editing and analysing of the photographs after the weekend they were taken has tied everything together for me.


I really enjoyed the research aspect of this project.

I loved Gawain Barnards ‘Maybe we’ll be soldiers’. The young subjects look doubtful and unsure what their futures may hold.

The ‘five penny dreams’ of Venetia Dearden gave me goose pimples to look at. They are beautiful images and subject matter. Venetia is totally absorbed in this project and it shows. I wondered when looking at them how ‘easy’ it might be to produce good imagery when you have the right subject matter and environment where something just ‘clicks’.

I liked the images by Jodi Taylor as this was the style I had in mind before I went out. Jodis presentation and format used I think was particularly clever.

The images ‘Pictures from a rubbish tip’ by Keith Arnett I didn’t really like or find a connection to. I did, however learn that a set of images can be linked by a fixed camera position, subject matter or lighting.


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