The effects of loss can last a lifetime. When exposed to such loss at a young age, the minute details fade but the vividity of the emotion still lives on. As you grow up, you begin to see the effects of the loss in the years to come and watch as things deteriorate due to that loss, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional deterioration. My photo essay is going to focus on the loss of a family member and how that affects their loved ones and their surroundings in contrast to the appearance of that land and those people when they were alive.
I grew up in a variety of places, one of them being the marsh. My grandparents only lived fifteen minutes away and when I was younger my grandmother would pick me up from school and take me to her house and babysit me until my mom got off from work at five. I am well acquainted with my grandparent’s backyard because of this and how it borders/goes off into the marsh. My grandparents used to have a duck pond, but it has become overgrown since my grandfather’s passing because my grandmother became too sick and too fragile to take care of it, so now it is covered in underbrush.
I think this will be part of my main focus because the many pictures I have of my childhood have the duck pond in clear view.
I also want to contrast my grandmother and my sister and I with images in the past, possibly in the style of re-creating family portraits in the same places, but in a different time.
I think this will show how loss affects surroundings in a physical sense by showing the overgrowth and the bare land of my grandparents’ backyard in the present. I think this will also show how loss affects surroundings in an emotional sense by seeing expressions and lack thereof in my grandmother’s features as well as my sister’s and mine.
The tone I want to convey is one of a dream-state: foggy, blurred edges, shadow in the distance that you can’t make out anything except the outline. I want the viewer to see my edited pictures as if they were looking through a photo album of times past, a graveyard of memories and good times. However, I want the photos to be in muted earth colors, both outdoors and inside my grandmother’s home. I want a monotone feeling where nothing is too vivid color wise, but the focal point is detailed enough to bring forth some kind of emotion out of the viewer.
These aesthetic choices will show how time dulls memories and that life eventually takes over, whether it be the monotony of a job, moving on, or roots growing deeper on a tree with already scraggly branches.
I am going to be using my iPhone as my medium for taking these pictures. It is more accessible to me than my digital camera and I feel that the pictures will be easier to edit with apps. Apps I chose where ones such as Afterlight, which details the photo but can still give it that dream-state filter. One I’m excited to experiment with is Ghost Lense, where you can add a transparent picture of yourself over a solid picture of yourself. I think that will be fun to play with because of the “haunting” feel that usually comes with loss pieces.
I like the idea of “A Playground; A Graveyard” because this backyard is where I grew up, though now it is like a demolition site. I’ve seen the underbrush and the overgrowth. Watched the fences rust and the grass grow to my knees. I’ve also seen these themes within people I’ve loved and I think loss ironically leaves growth, though not necessarily in all good ways.