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Photographing agoraphobia (B&W added)

Discussion in 'Miscellany' started by sclamb, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. sclamb


    Jan 2, 2007
    For many years my mother suffered from agoraphobia, wherein she could not leave the house for fear of panic attacks. This last weekend I was with my parents and was talking to my mother about what it felt like being agoraphobic. She said it was like sitting in a room and looking out of a window, but only looking at the edge of the frame rather than the open space beyond. Whilst she was focussed on the window and not the space she felt secure.

    I thought about how I could take a picture to convey that sense. Well, for what it's worth, here is an attempt. Quite an ordinary picture as it goes, but I can sense the comfort my mother probably felt in focussing on the window, and leaving the wide open outdoors as a blur.


    Does this work?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2007
  2. It's an ordinary picture..... until one reads your post.... then it becomes beautiful and sad at the same time. Very well done, Simon.
  3. sclamb


    Jan 2, 2007
    Thanks Sandi, I appreciate your comments very much.
  4. Taken in context, it works splendidly!

    Go for a series on this malady Simon. Judging from this shot, you'll probably come up a winner!
  5. I agree with Sandi and Stephen.
    As an illustration of the condition, say accompanying a magazine article on the subject, it is superb and works very well.
    Without context it's a window.

  6. GastheerG

    GastheerG Guest

    Nice. To make it stonger maybe B&W will work
  7. Mart61


    Dec 23, 2006
    Camberley, UK
    What a great picture that does, as has been said before, tell a sad story. The sequence, as Stephen suggests, would be good!
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Your picture and story make me want to stay inside. Good job of describing a mental state Simon. And the photograph is also very well done. That you focussed on the outer edge of the window, puts a suggestion of hope in the photograph.
  9. sclamb


    Jan 2, 2007
    Thanks Stephen. I fear I may not be creative enough to come up with anything of merit, although I do have one idea that I shall try and work on.

    Thanks Don. It is interesting how an image of no particular technical or artistic merit can take on a meaning when viewed in a certain context.

    Thanks. I will try a gritty high contrast B&W conversion which may add a more depressive element to the picture.

    Thanks. I shall see if my creative juices can come up with a new angle on this.

    Thanks Chris. I do know that my mother got through this condition by gradually focussing on things further away and moving towards them, so having a focal point and keeping an almost tunnel vision to get to it. It took around around 10 years before she could venture out on her own.
  10. sclamb


    Jan 2, 2007
    I did this b&W conversion with high contrast and added grain in PSCS2, which seems to convey a more depressing, forboding outside:




    Thoughts? I like that the outside is now a series of shapes rather than having detail. I think B&W works better (thanks GastheerG), and will do some more on this theme in B&W.
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