A Sense of Place in Your Hometown-December’s Assignment Gallery

Despite the craziness of the holidays, people found time in their busy lives to go out and photograph for December’s assignment, A Sense of Place in Your Hometown. Thank you to those who participated. It’s always fascinating to a see peoples’ different perspectives on their hometowns

Below are the questions that went along with the assignment.

1. Give us a pitch: what makes your hometown so photographic?

2. What type of environment exists in your hometown? People? History? Culture? Livability?

3. Did you see your familiar surroundings any differently while shooting this assignment?

Click on each image to see them larger.

And think about participating in next month’s assignment!

Andrea Shandri

1. Des Moines is a photographer’s dream. With so many nooks and crannies just in the downtown area, Des Moines offers many hot spots for photographers. All it takes is a little creativity and a few quarters for the parking meters…and one could easily fill up an 8G card here! The downtown area creates an air of professionalism within the business center of the city. The East Village invites those who appreciate home grown shopping, upscale dining and organic trade. Many historic districts exist and any photographer is sure to illuminate the different wonders that are neatly and cleanly tucked away.

2. Full of restaurants, upscale shopping, and many different cultures, Des Moines, Iowa is not a farm town as one may imagine. There are no corn fields or pigs (within city limits!), but there is plenty to see and do – no matter what type of background or culture you are familiar with. Des Moines has two premier venues for top, nationally-touring shows (Wells Fargo Arena and the Civic Center), many historic districts with beautiful, architecturally-stunning homes, and an iconic Capitol Building. Des Moines is perfect for conventions, especially one sponsored by RMSP!

3. I shot these three shots on three different occasions- all of which pushed me beyond what I had normally done on my spur of the moment shoots. One warm summer afternoon, I went to our downtown sculpture garden and walked around for an hour. I had never been there before- and with no preconceived notions, I shot anything and everything. On Labor Day, I went to another area downtown in the late afternoon and drove to the top of every parking ramp I could find. This allowed me to see my ‘familiar surroundings’ MUCH differently- from a whole new view at every turn. At about 10pm on the same evening, I again went to a select few parking ramps and shot my night scenes. Even though I had been there just a few hours before, I saw my environment in a whole new ‘light’- sans the sun! After these three outings, I feel more connected to my city…and I have a few really awesome albums to keep for years.

Cheryl MacLean

1. Give us a pitch: what makes your hometown so photographic?
Andover, Massachusetts is a town with many of those classic New England views that can make idyllic photographs – white churches, white picket fences, weathered homes, quaint gardens, stoic academies, historic buildings.  I stepped out to photograph it early on New Year’s Day, so my photos are not necessarily the ‘post card’ type photos one might capture in a more photogenic season.

2. What type of environment exists in your hometown? People? History? Culture? Livability?
Andover is probably best known as home to premier prep school Phillip’s Academy and it certainly has an “upscale” side to it, with large homes, pricey boutiques, upscale restaurants.  But Andover also has its roots as being a “mill town,” with mills placed along the Shawsheen River, and a farming community, though most farmland has now been developed.  In the past, the town was often referred to as “the Hill, the Mill, and the Till,” which is a good way to describe the mix of history and culture of the town.

3. Did you see your familiar surroundings any differently while shooting this assignment?
Absolutely.  I rarely get to wander my hometown with a camera and New Year’s day was a great time to do it.  I noticed details around town that I never would have otherwise … I even captured the commuter train to Boston rumbling by at 7:30 am.

Steve Orr

1. Baltimore is a great destination for photographers as it offers a wide variety of possibilities from landscapes, urban scenics, people and action shots. The diversity of people and places makes this a particularly interesting locale. One can stand in Camden Yards (home of our Ravens and Orioles) appreciating the beauty of restored warehouse buildings while shooting the Bromo Tower, an icon of Baltimore. (Bromo Seltzer Powder.) Or, just a couple of blocks away the sights, sounds, and sea smells of our Inner Harbor await!

2. Baltimore is a big small town with friendly, working people who take pride in our sports teams and our city. It combines a sense of history with new, high tech ventures and the world-class medical institutions. Urban and country life blend easily here as our size is relatively small, and our expressways provide efficient connections.

3. I came to appreciate details that I had overlooked before. The B&O Museum is a real treasure in the heart of town! Where else can one go to see so many restored trains in such close quarters?

Genevieve Fix

My hometown is La Rochelle, France, on the Atlantic coast. I went there two years ago for a trip down memory lane. La Rochelle is a beautiful old town rich in history with some buildings dating back to the 13th century. Museums, festivals, restaurants offering great seafood and quaint little cafes add to the charm of this bustling city.

Jane Clark

1. Give us a pitch: What makes your hometown so photographic?
Decatur, GA is a small, 5-square mile, independent southern town in the heart of Metropolitan Atlanta. Small is good.

2. What type of environment exists in your hometown? People? History? Culture? Livability?
Decatur is open, socially responsible, and values both our history and our future.

3. Did you see your familiar surroundings any differently while shooting this assignment?
Not really. I have seen and appreciated Decatur as my hometown for over 40 years.