Perhaps it's a stretch but i've been thinking that clowns putting on make up is a ritual. I got the opportunity to go and take some photos at Greenham Arts, Newbury. Here's one of my favourite images.
Last Satuday I was in London so I made a tentative start to my Rituals Project. I walked up Whitechapel High Road to the East London Mosque where I figured I'd take a photograph of the racks of shoes. An easy first photograph. Of course an easy photography doesn't necessarily mean an interesting one and I'm not sure if I'll use it. It is a start though.
I'd been to the mosque before and had taken photos then too. Their photography policy had changed and they were less keen this time. With the recent shootings in Paris they'd received threats and I guess were taking things with added caution
Back to pondering how to scope the Rituals Project.
Looking at the full definition from the OED I have in front of me;
"1. A religious or solemn ceremony involving a series of actions performed or according to a or prescribed order. 2. a series of actions habitually and invariably followed by someone."
Now, you could say that commuting to work is a ritual but if you allow something like that then the scope becomes so wide as to become pretty meaningless.
I've concocted three rules to hopefully keep the scope as narrow as possible without excluding anything interesting.
1. Done by choice.
2. Not simply a practical act.
3. Imbued with an external significance.
I feel those rules will define the project, but what do you think? What falls within that scope? Does it need to be narrowed further or is it perhaps still too broad?
I like to plan. For fun I was contemplating where would I like to be with photography in 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 years (taking 1 Jan 2015 as day zero.)
The more I thought about it the more I was struck by the fact that years one and two are easy because that's pretty much what you're doing now and ten is really just aspirational and you're kicking the plan into the long grass - and with twenty-five years even more so.
1 - Be well into my 'Rituals' project.
2 - Some sort of well-planned photoshoot involving a good theme, multiple-lights, costumes, props and a group of people in an outside setting (probably a forest).
5 - Have something featured in a magazine (not, an "amateur monthly").
10 - Win a major competition. Nothing MASSIVE, but a competition that is well thought of.
25 - Produce a single photo that would outlast me.
I've been trying to find a topic to focus on for about a year and whilst I have over a hundred in my 'Idea Book' i'd yet to have managed to pick a topic that could sustain a full set of images.
Finally, after much though, i've chosen "Rituals" to be my main project for 2015. Leading up to Christmas i'll be researching the topic and working out the scope of the project. All I know so far is that I don't want to restrict it to religious rites but go for a more broad definition.
"A series of actions or type of behaviour regularly and invariably followed by someone:her visits to Joy became a ritual" -- Oxford English Dictionary