The memory I have chosen to recreate is from the oldest dream I remember. I must have been about 7 years old at that time, and I remember being in the middle of a wide avenue, near the beach, in my home town of Naiguata, Venezuela. The avenue had about 4 car lanes, and being one way only, it did not have a traffic island in the middle. My hometown is a popular resort destination for beachgoers from the capital city, Caracas, which is only 25 miles away, and the infrastructure was built to withstand the masses of people descending upon the town every weekend, sometimes exceeding the town population 4 or 5 times over. However, during weekdays the place was deserted and there were rarely any cars around. I would always be there playing or goofing around after school, but in my dream I was standing in the middle of the road, and the tarmac around me had disappeared, leaving just a black hole, with me standing in a small island in the middle of it. I remember peering at this hole and associating it with death. I also remember feeling like there was no possibility of scape, but there was no fear of harm either. Just no movement. I was there static, standing in the middle doing nothing.
The dream had a profound impact on me for some time, and I remember going back to the avenue and trying to sit down in the middle of it, when traffic was at its calmest. I had an impulse to do that, but I cannot remember anymore why. It was like a dare, but the details of everything else that I though at the time about the dream are a bit blurred now. Only the original dream remains vividly in my mind.
It is difficult to recreate this memory in full for a variety of reasons, so I decided to recreate aspects of it instead. The key element for me is calm in front of the abysm. I tried to sketch various ideas around this, including me standing in front of a precipice or in the middle of the road. Some drawings around these ideas, from my sketchbook, are reproduced below
I tried to develop some of these ideas into photographs using a variety of techniques, from straight shots to combinations of images to double exposures. My use of multiple exposure / image combinations in post processing came from a desire to give the images a slightly unreal look, in fitting with the memory coming from a dream. Here are some of the preliminary attempts I made:
My final image for this exercise is shown below. This was achieved by combining multiple exposures of the same scene during post-processing
What I particularly liked about this image, a variation on the theme of me standing in front of the abysm, is the slight sense of danger created by the jitter from combining frames. It also creates a dream-like, slightly surreal look. The other element I like is the dark part at the top of the image. In reality, it was just a small depression less than a meter deep, but by darkening the shadows significantly here, it gives the impression of being much deeper.