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Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

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Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby Brett » Sat May 21, 2011 7:27 pm

Yes, it's end of term ;)
Many thanks to those of you who have taken part the past two evenings, I've really enjoyed it and enjoyed the work that the exercises have produced. Who is taking the baton for next month?

For those of you (if any) who have decided to take part this evening, we at last we come to the final exercise in this workshop on images.
I love photographs, many of them stories in themselves, secrets revealed or to be revealed perhaps.
For this exercise I would like us to look through some of our own photographs or our family's older photographs.
Is there a particular favourite photo you have? Is there a photo you had not seen before? A photo that has
sparked a long hidden memory? Before setting the final exercise perhaps one or two of you would like to tell us
about your chosen photo, describe it, who's in it etc.
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Re: Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby normsk1963 » Sat May 21, 2011 7:29 pm

Still here Brett. It's sad I know. Thank you very much for such an entertaining workshop. Tell me, when I pick a photo (i have hundreds by the way on my computer), how do I make them visible for the community?
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Re: Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby Brett » Sat May 21, 2011 7:32 pm

Hi Norm - glad you've not bunked off.

Ah, would be interesting to see but not necessary for the exercise. A brief description will do just as well.

I'm pleased you have enjoyed it thus far.

Brett
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Re: Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby Keith exD » Sat May 21, 2011 7:37 pm

OK I'll go first.
Some of you may remember in Wendy's first exercise we were asked to write about a memory. I wrote about remembering a locomotive when I was about three during a journey to my aunt in Sussex when our old Ford broke down and we had to continue by train.

Amazingly, I have a photo from that visit. It is me in a little suit complete with kipper tie, standing with my older cousin. It goes without saying I don't remember it being taken, but my mother confirmed that is it was taken. Coincidence huh?
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Re: Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby Brett » Sat May 21, 2011 7:48 pm

Thanks Keith - yes I remember that piece from Wendy's exercise. A sound coincidence!

Kipper tie? With two sugars if you come from Birmingham ;)

So you have yourself and older cousin - were you visiting the cousin? Or was your cousin on the journey with you? Your cousin male or female?
Photo - colour? black and white? sepia? ;)

Brett
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Re: Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby normsk1963 » Sat May 21, 2011 7:59 pm

My photo is the only complete family photo I have. My Mam, Dad, Brother and Son stand outside the entrance to a shoddy looking red brick flat. All but my Son had lived there, rental, since I was fourteen. I must have been about 40 when it was taken. My Mother looks chilly, her arms folded, wearing a garish patterned blue and white jumper and matching scarf. Her own creations. Her hair is white. Probably the year before she died, she is 68. My Dad, standing just inside on an appalling patterned carpet, raises a waving hand tenatively. He already had the onset of Parkinsons. He looks frail and grey. A shadow of the man who terrorized my youth. My Brother leans against the door in denim shirt and jeans. His hair and beard are unkempt and he stands in his socks. He had gained some weight recently, in picture time. I always remembered him thin. My Son is young, so young, thirteen? He smiles in his tracksuit, arms neatly by his sides.

Sorry if the personal details are embarrassing.
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Re: Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby Brett » Sat May 21, 2011 8:12 pm

Thanks Norm - definitely no need for apologies! Excellent description of the photo and a little background which may help in the exercise.

Are there any other takers for this activity before I post up the exercise?

Cheers

Brett
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EXERCISE for Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby Brett » Sat May 21, 2011 8:23 pm

Now for the exercise. I would like the final piece you are to produce to really concentrate on dialogue. I would like you to
give a voice to the person or persons in the photograph, but also the content of the piece must be the photograph. You could choose that the dialogue/monologue is spoken during the time the photograph was taken or at a later time reflecting on the photograph.
I look forward to seeing what develops and thank you for indulging.

Cheers

Brett
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Re: Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby normsk1963 » Sat May 21, 2011 8:46 pm

Quick write. Bet no one wll criticise this piece, after the background I described ;)


"Hurry up Norman, it's cold," said my Mother. She would have stood there forever if I had asked her to.

"Smile everyone," I said, aiming my expensive camera at the group.

"Is that Norman?" queried my Dad.

"Is that it?" said my brother, keen to be away from the uncomfortable gathering.

"Yes, that's it. I am going to hit the road now. See you soon," I said.

"Bye Dad," my son responded, a hint of regret in his voice. I never hugged him goodbye.

In retrospect, it feels like a picture that captured a moment when everything changed. My Mother never saw me again, intoxicated by a cocktail of drugs, she couldn't have known I was there the week before she died. My Dad often called me George, my brothers name, as the Parkinson's disease took hold. Karl, my son, sees me more as a friend now than a father. My brother? It was always difficult to know what he thought as he rarely spoke.

Some might call it disfunctional, but it is my family.
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Re: Final May Open Workshop Day - Hurrah!

Postby Brett » Sat May 21, 2011 8:56 pm

A very interesting result I think, Norm - though I do feel a pang of regret for you having laid yourself so bare. However this piece, I hope you agree, does have the bones of a piece of non-fiction or even creative non-fiction.

The dialogue, for most, captured the people in as far as you have let us know them, other than your mother; is there a way to allude to that 'who would have stood there forever...' in her dialogue so that it does not need saying? Just a thought.

I felt that the information you fed at the end could subtly have been sprinkled throughout a slightly longer piece - not sure if you'll agree, is is worth thinking on?


Thank you Norm - enjoyed

Cheers

Brett
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