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.