Hammer Home Street Photography Project Themes

One Chilly Winter Morning

One Chilly Winter Morning

Firstly, I have to begin by expressing my deepest gratitude to all of you who have gone over to take a look at Hammer Home, and even began following. Your interest helps to breath new life into this reinvented street photography project.

Secondly, sure, individual blog posts are expected to have different titles. Throughout Hammer Home, however, there are a number of recurring titles. That’s because each relates to a specific theme, and there are several project themes.

Yes, I’ve written about flâneurist thematic street photography before.

As the overall subject of Hammer Home is obviously about modern life in the city of Hamilton, the underlying themes are:

  • A Secret Place (Out in the Middle of Nowhere) – interesting moments and circumstances I observe occurring in secluded or very remote places.
  • Local Views – a study of familiar places that are typically only casually observed or ignored outright.
  • Remnants of Steeltown – a study of the declined but surviving heavy industry of the city.
  • A Misty Moment – day or night; recording virtually any circumstance occurring during any type of naturally foggy conditions.
  • Nocturnal (All Through the Night) – inspired by the photography and experiences of Brassaï, this is an account of virtually any circumstance occurring on a clear night.
  • Age Before Beauty – dedicated to my mother who at 79 years of age advised that, “Getting old is not for cowards,” encouraged me to make more street portraits of senior citizens, and pushed me to promote the elderly who remain active and confident regardless of the struggles they face to keep going each day.
  • My Fellow Citizens (Making a Statement) – people making social, religious, metaphysical or political statements or protests in public.
  • Bloody Murder – evidence of homicide, attempted homicide or manslaughter.
  • Just a Passing Observation – a look a circumstances that are bound to garner attention; however short, by average onlookers.
  • All Great Things . . . – inspired by the Pericles quote, “In time all great things flow towards the city, and the greatest of those things is the people who come,” this is a frank acknowledgment of the social and economic failures of urban living and leadership; not simply for useless regurgitated criticism of what most people already know about but to inspire serious contemplation and action for change.
  • Last Days – a study of what citizens discard, and how things are discarded.
  • The Lighter Side – the unexpectedly amusing circumstances that occur.
  • It’s Still a Busy, Busy World (The Way it Is) – inspired by the popular 1970 Richard Scarry children’s book “It’s a Busy, Busy World” and related stories, associated pictures are depictions of people of all walks of life in their daily efforts to survive or thrive in the city.
  • Bus Rider – inspired by the song of the same name by the Guess Who, this theme is a more focused extension of “It’s Still a Busy, Busy World”. It is specifically about examining glimpses of life surrounding the Hamilton Street Railway; the long-established public transit division of the Public Works Department and indispensable aspect of daily Hamilton life, the moments in the lives of both employees and passengers.
  • You Know You’re Being Watched When . . . (What Goes On) – a study of how people watch each other, and their behaviours when they realize that I’m watching and photographing them.
  • All Day Long – contemplations of how citizens spend their downtime.

Through my wanderings about the city, I’ve found that the people, places, events and other state of affairs naturally lend themselves to these themes. So the organizing of photography under them isn’t quite artistically planned. It’s a fairly spontaneous and quite fascinating phenomenon; a lot like a cycle, rhythm or pulse.

I wonder how the themes of Yackandandah, Buffalo, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Prague and other communities around the world compare to those of “The Hammer”. How are they different or the same? Just what are their themes?

If curious, type the name of an aforementioned theme into the search engine of the Hammer Home blog, or click a tag bearing a theme and see which images are associated. Discover the themes of the city, and what can be learned from them.


13 thoughts on “Hammer Home Street Photography Project Themes

  1. I enjoy the photography here everytime. Your response to our year-end group post (on The Talking V) was interesting. If you have the time, my latest post, a sequel to it, might continue the dialogue.

    • I really enjoy making dark shots like this. Whether in lowlight or broad daylight, I like to achieve a black on black effect in my B/W work.

      There is a story behind this recently made shot, however, that makes it darker than you might imagine. It’s about something that happened not too long after I shot this image and left the scene. Someday I might talk about it.

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