Xmas Project – Traces (part 1)

I loved taking the photos for this project as I found this a really intriguing idea to follow. Marks and traces involved initially taking photos of items of things that could have been left behind- specifically after Human activities or festivities.

My initial thought was to: left over food, litter, graffiti, abandoned clothing. As I had a full three weeks to gather the information, I took them whenever possible.

Even though I’m not a fan of detective stories and murder mysteries, I did feel I was on a ‘case’. Or maybe it was the Xmas spirit. Anyway, taking photos around Woking, Farnham, London and Dublin was amusing. Even if my enthusiasm led to me taking photos of bones from Christmas Dinner, discarded umbrellas and crouching in public for the best shots of rubbish! It was pointed out that my photographing in toilets might be a step too far…

Here are a selection of my favourites:

These are a selection of images based on the theme of grafitti. Amazing how much you can find when you look.


Traces Traces

Leftovers: Christmas is the season of many dead birds and other animanls- these were what was left….

Traces Traces


Litter on the streets- Urban litter is really easy to find! I was fascinated by some of the back stories that these items could show us….

Traces Traces TracesTraces

Overall, I found many more interesting things that I thought I would. I found some fascinating objects- you don’t look for how many items we discard until you have a camera attached to your wrist and a need to document it! I really became absorbed in the process behind the project and am pleased with the themes I explored.

If I were to do this project again, I would have only focussed on the projects listed above- Litter, Leftovers and Graffiti. I think that to increase the atmosphere I would have shot a variety of times. A future post is on how we then used these items using Photoshop.


London Visit to Science Museum

Earlier this week I got to visit the Science Museum in London to view the joint exhibition of Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr in the Science Museum.


I found Tony Ray-Jones use of capturing ‘in the moment’ scenes of British life memorable as these black and white images were taken before I was even born, but in familiar areas.

He had a lot of beauty pageant photos ( see below) which I found interesting as I hadpreviously though them to be wholly American, not especially an English stereotype. I sketched some of these over my visit.

Sketches of Tony Ray- JonesTony Ray-Jones Beauty Pageant

Beauty contestants, Southport, Merseyside, 1967 by Tony Ray-Jones
Credits : © National Media Museum
Martin Parr section had strong visual images, also in black and white, but often  more comical.
Tom Greenwood cleaning 1976 by Martin Parr
Credits : © Martin Parr/ Magnum