Exercise 3: Your Journey

Your journey may not involve travelling the world or an excursion across Russia, but you might see your journey to the post office every Monday as particularly relevant – or the journey from your bed to the kitchen in the morning.

  • Note the journeys you go on regularly and reflect upon them.
  • Now photograph them. Remember to aim for consistency in your pictures. If you choose to photograph all the charity shops you’ve visited in a week, try to photograph them all using the same camera, lens, standing position, lighting, etc. This will help keep your project honed to the subject matter rather than you, the photographer.


For the past 18 months, I’ve been travelling regularly to Dubai. For me, it’s a strange place. A massive city built at breakneck speed in the desert. I struggle to define it, or understand its soul. If it indeed has one. Everything is new-very little history remains and 90% of the people are ex-pats flocking to the honey pot. It’s consumerism on steroids. It’s all buildings. Big ones. It’s like a living catalogue for skyscrapers. An architect’s dream as property developers try to outdo each other by building bigger, better, best and whatever comes after best. It reminds me of the lines by the character Syndrome  in the movie ‘The Incredibles’ when he says “I’ll sell my inventions so that everyone can be super heroes. Everyone can be super. And when everyone’s super no one will be.”.
I’ve been doing the prep work for a series on Dubai for a while now and this exercise has given me the impetus to make a start.

As I commute (I use the train a lot) and travel around Dubai, the feelings and themes that have begun to crystallise are anonymity, bigness, concrete, and exclusion. Wealth is on show 24/7 but it has an underbelly of have -nots-the people who build and service the wealthy.

This first set of images tries to reflect some of these themes. They are in black and white, have no people in them and the exclusion metaphor is present in some images.