152mc – Human Presence task research

Task two for the module 152mc: Working with Light is to create a series of images that focus on capturing human presence using an alternative photographic process. My initial idea was to photograph items that people leave in public places – these abandoned items are a part of a strangers life and memories. When we see things on the street we don’t really think about who they belong to but I think this quite interesting. Things like an table in a restaurant with plates and glasses left from the previous customers are often seen as an annoyance, but it shows human presence, people were there having a conversation with friends or family, forming personal memories and the only evidence of this is the things they left behind. We will never know who these people were or what they talked about, I found this idea quite intriguing. So I have decided to photograph items that strangers leave behind in public places.

For some inspiration I have researched more into human presence and the idea of looking at the lives of strangers.

Sophie Calle had many projects that had interested me, two in particular we ‘the hotel’ and ‘Suite Vénitienne’

In the series ‘Suite Venitienne’ humans are present in the image but still reflected this idea of documenting the lives of strangers. Calle managed to follow these strangers without their knowledge and took pictures of them on their route, after she was done these strangers would walk away and she would never see them again. I found this idea very clever, we come across so many people who we will never know so to document these strangers is a good way of remind ourselves of all of the people we see in passing on a daily basis. I loved the dark tones in these images as it adds a sense of mystery and an atmosphere of loneliness – we follow these strangers on their seemingly lonely journey and we wonder where they are going or who they are going to meet. The images increase curiosity for a viewer, as like Calle, we will never know these people or where they were going. We see them in images but they remain strangers to us.




Sophie Calle Image 1



Image Sources:





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