Guest Challenge: Knowing your place (colour photo challenge)




 Tish Farrell:

January can be a lowering month – at least in the North. We are expected to burst, sparkling new, into the New Year, when we might feel more jaded than go-ahead. Hopefully this photo prompt will have you seeing things in a new light.
I’ve called it ‘Knowing My Place’, and you can interpret it in any way that strikes you. ‘My Place’ will be somewhere that you think you know inside out: your home town or street, the journey to work, your office, kitchen, garden or desk; your state of mind, or work in progress. Now search it with the camera’s eye. Sleuth out an angle that starts to tell you something new about it.
When I first thought of the prompt I was thinking about my home town, Much Wenlock in the English Midlands. I’ve known it for decades, and lived there since 2006. It is tourist-trail quaint, but for a long time I felt rather detached from it: it was a “nice place to live”, but not half as interesting as East Africa where we lived during the 1990s.
Then I discovered the Silurian Sea, the fossil sea bed that forms the long escarpment of Wenlock Edge beneath which I live. This ancient sea was lying off East Africa when the corals, sea lilies, and molluscs that we find in our house walls were thriving. That was 400 million years ago and, put beside this epic time slot, the town’s 1,000 year history seems like an eye’s blink. But it made me think. The town’s fabric and its industries and its people all grew out of that fossil sea bed. So here is my take on Knowing My Place: the tropical fossils in my house walls, some Wenlock cottages, and the quarries where the stone came from:


The quarries are no longer worked for their stone, and are not visible to the town’s casual visitors. They are eerie places, even where their gouged out, blasted spaces have been re-occupied by garden fencing and logging companies. The gaping holes in the landscape belong to the past, but they also make me look uneasily to the future.

Now it’s your turn to know your place, but first a big ‘thank you’ to Paula for hosting this challenge.


P.S.  Leave links to your photographs taken especially for this challenge. You have 7 days to come up with something – the deadline is the 28th of January.


Your entries:


44 Comments on “Guest Challenge: Knowing your place (colour photo challenge)

  1. An i teresting post – and i enjoyed looking at your photos. I will come back later with one of the places i frequent 🙂


  2. Pingback: TS: Knowing your place (response to Guest challenge) | Lost in Translation

  3. I especially like the way Trish noted the “feel” of the quarries – I have never seen any hallowed out ones for myself – but I heard the vastness can be moving (as she noted)
    I also like how she says,
    “Now search it with the camera’s eye. Sleuth out an angle…”
    – what a fun challenge !


      • my pleasure – and thx for sharing them like this – what great idea – and I am have been chewing on the ‘knowing your place” theme and walked by mon terero and got an idea… ha!


  4. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Joy in the River | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  5. Incredible that those fossils are in Tish’s cottage wall!!! The drift of the African continent always amazes me, along with all those mysterious things that bubble beneath our earth’s surface. Lots to think about! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderfully inspiring post and prompt Tish. I love the name – the Silurian Sea – it sounds so poetic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for all your lovely comments. I hope you will now feel inspired to see the places you know so well with fresh eyes. I can’t wait to see what you will come up with. Bon Voyage, intrepid explorers and sleuthers!


  8. Reblogged this on Tish Farrell and commented:
    This week I’m also over at Paula’s blog, Lost in Translation. She kindly asked me to post a guest photo challenge ‘Knowing My Place’. It’s all about finding some cunning new angle that tells you something fresh about a place you think you know very well. To find out more read on:


  9. Grazie per avermi segnalato questa entry che mi ero persa….
    L’argomento e l’esposizione sono davvero di grande valore!
    Ciao, ti ringrazio ancora…


    • Yes, Gilly. Or imagining yourself a tour guide to ‘your place’ and finding that thing that might grab a newcomer’s attention. Or maybe, the opposite, finding something that you think no one else has noticed. It could also be something very familiar to you, but shot at an unusual angle. No holds barred!


  10. Thank you Tish for a provocative challenge. We tend to get a bit blasé about the familiar, although last time I went down to my beach thinking “Nothing new today: I know this place so well”, I saw my first crinoid and a diamond python lazing on the track across the dunes in the sun. So much for arrogant omniscience!

    I was fascinated by your post: the East Africa connection, your sense of geological time and the present, and of course the photos.

    Thank you too Paula for this post. I’m too much between my places to think clearly about either, although this video (posted for the third time on blogs – lazy Meg!) says a lot about knowing Potato Point!


  11. Pingback: Thursday Special : Knowing your place | Artistic Explorations

  12. What a beautiful place indeed and how well you shared it verbally and visually Tish!


  13. I’m sitting in a basement in eastern Pennsylvania at my dad’s, recently mitigated for Radon levels from the Reading Prong (mountains glaciated/eroded over time and exuding harmful levels of naturally occurring gases). Sparse, away from my wife and kids, but not alone with this unusual audio clip — and snow coming on soon, no way to get out of its way. Cars going past. Know your place — great theme. Great music, thanks for keeping me company.


  14. I’ve spent today stacking logs, and thought our pile was quite impressive until I saw the blasted landscape with the tree trunks piled on a vast scale and looking no bigger than matchsticks. A lovely mixture here of the microscopic and the giant, of millennia and minutes, thanks.


  15. One can take a thousand photographs of a place but there is always scope for another one with a completely new perspective! Isn’t that what makes photography so beautiful 🙂 Tish, I like how you chose to capture the essence of this town by focusing on fossils — something that’s evidently an important aspect of its personality. Thanks Tish and Paula for sharing this interesting post. 🙂


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