Un/Taken ep. 4 Ben Osborne
A new Un/Taken. Want to read what you don't get to see?
This topic is about the photo you did not take. If you haven’t seen the previous episodes, read those stories here.
For this episode I’ve asked the East Sussex based photographer Ben Osborne about his photos, taken and untaken.
Here we go.
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Which photo was untaken and why did you not take it?
I take photos most days and I usually have a camera on me, however, for years I was terrible at taking photos of my family. After a family gathering or a day trip somewhere nice, my wife often asked me if I had taken any good photos of the kids... and the answer was nearly always "I didn't actually take any of them" which annoyed her a lot. Instead I'd have a dozen images of a tree I liked, or of weeds growing up through a bare patch of concrete. But none of the kids. I still took the odd photo of them with my phone, or occasionally they would sneak into the frame by accident, but I rarely intended to include them in my work. I felt, and still do sometimes, that they should be kept separate from my work, and I'm often conflicted about sharing any images I make of them.
Which photo that you did not expect to take surprised you the most?
This was one of the first photographs I took that included one of my children, that I felt could fit into my larger body of work and that I'd be comfortable sharing. I'd been taking photos of the landscape in the South Downs behind our home in East Sussex, England, and I had a vague idea of putting the images together, but something was missing and the series felt lifeless. One morning I was walking in the woods with my daughter and I took a couple of photographs of the landscape, when I turned around and saw my daughter standing in a patch of stinging nettles on the edge of an old dew pond. There was something about the way she was standing against the darkness of the forest with her arms out in front of her, as if the early morning breeze was blowing right through her, that made me take the photo. Later when I looked through the pictures I had made that day, this photo was the one that stood out and I quickly realised that this image, and others like it, might just be what was needed to bring the sequence to life. After this photo I started including my family within the landscape images I was making and the project slowly began to evolve into my ongoing series The Letting Go.
Who is Ben Osborne?
I live and work in East Sussex, England.
You can see more of my work at my website www.benjaminosborne.co or find me at Instagram: www.instagram.com/b.e.n.osborne/
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One more thing:
Do you like Un/Taken? If so, which photographer would you like to see in a next episode?
Also as I like this topic so much, and I hope you do to, I try to put one episode in each of the weekly newsletters I send (if I can find enough volunteers…) or should this be a separate newsletter next to the normal Darkrooms?
Like to hear your opinion on that. Reach out to me or…
Till next week