My tutor wrote in his report that I might want to reconsider the images that I had chosen for the Palace of Justice part of this assignment. The thing is that when I did my initial selection, I was more focused on the spaces and the way the light and exterior were working its way through the building, showing the deterioration of the building. However, my tutor suggested that I added more images with human elements, that showed the initial function of the building, how people used to work there and most of all, all the life stories of the people that got lost and forgotten. I think the point makes a lot of sense, it is these elements that make the images stand out from any kind of old, empty building. So I went through my selection again and it is interesting to see how I discovered images that I had not selected the first time. I also realise that I don't particularly like the white balance that I used in the initial images. They were a lot more yellow, making the building look much warmer than it actually was. Especially since there is only natural light and shadows, I don't want the images to look too yellow anymore. This natural look makes the building look a bit more deserted and depressing, which it actually is. Here's a new selection from which I will choose my final 4 images:
A lot of rooms in the palace are completely empty, but you will find papers and furniture shattered everywhere. I want to show the decay, the personal stories and some of the architecture,but most of all the human elements that are still tangible in the building. I want to keep the entrance image in for sure, especially because the alphabet is written on the back of the chairs and the tree in front of this once grand entrance. The image with the papers in the toilet is gross and shows, together with the goats eating the files, the extreme ways in which all the documents go to waste and are not archived and taken care of properly. I still want to keep the balance between close ups and emptiness, show some of the once magnificent architecture, but most of all the decay. So this is my final selection:
When I looked at the total of the assignment and looked through my images again, I also realised that I want to add an other building and reduce the number of images of the other buildings to show more diversity and be really selective in the other sets. First of all, I want to add and other building, which is the Karmel Market in Dakar. I'll write an other post about this market and the selection process I've done.
I also had an other look at the photos of the shack behind my children's school. I've made an other selection and adjusted the images somewhat because I didn't like the white balance on most of them. I have to say that the light was really weird that day because of Harmattan season, a time of the year in which the Sahara sort of flies over. Here's my new selection and the final four.
Although the idea of this assignment is to show the buildings more than the people, in this set I want to focus more on the narrative of the place and the people who live on it. I want to add the image that I took a year later, when everything was taken down, cleaned up and paved. I think in this story the image of the woman fits well, her strong expression shows the persistence she had to take care of her family, no matter the circumstances. So my final selection will be the two sides of the side of the wall, where we see the shacks where they slept and the 'kitchen', the drive way after a year and the lady holding her cooking gear.