Phototelling Doorways

We aspire to see what we might have missed by telling of what we have seen. Here, for practice, we see homes by observing the doorways to houses.

# Block

Walk the length of your own block. Take a moment to feel what you see in each home. Take pictures of the most interesting doorways. Choose three or four locations, no more. Frame each with just enough of the surrounding to recall the feeling when examined later.

Make sure your phone is recording the locations. My phone works better if I open the map first and watch location data stabilizing before switching back to camera.

Walk to a nearby block that you know to be different than your own in some way. Maybe older homes, or on a hillside, or near the park. Feel and then photograph this block the same as your own.

# Research

Alexander and colleagues wrote about portals between spaces. Read what they say about doorways. Ask if this has influenced your feeling the way described.

Main Entrance is perhaps the single most important step you take during the evolution of a building plan.

Entrance Transition influences the way you feel inside the building. If the transition is too abrupt there is no feeling of arrival.

# Telling

This Quickstart will reserve a place in your wiki where you can upload images for your project.

Try using our phototelling workflow by uploading a few photos to get started.

Squeeze your photos to web dimensions. Choose small if your photo software offers that. Save or export them as jpeg files. Drag them into the Assets folder you copied from Seattle.

Make one page for each block you visited. Name the page with the street name. Shift-click the rest of the pictures from that block and drag them onto the same page. Repeat to make a second page for the second block.

The pages have been tagged as Seattle. Change that to be your town or neighborhood. Complete the first paragraph by explaining what you felt or found interesting about the doorways you chose.

# Example

I walked my own street. I examined my neighbor's homes as if strolling through an art museum. I wasn't feeling strong emotion but I could tell which houses I wanted on my page. See SW 67th Avenue

I walked one block west the next day in late day sun. I chose houses that were either backlit or in the shadows of tall trees. See SW 68th Avenue

I stayed to the sidewalk using digital zoom for composition. I didn't want to attract attention. I was ready, however, to explain how their house fit into an experimental art project.

# More

In the weeks ahead visit other neighborhoods and phototell the doorways for a few blocks in each.

Share your tells with others working through this exercise. Look for something interesting to emerge when viewed together. Find words to express this and make new pages that explain this citing examples.

Ask how else the accumulated observations can be organized to emphasize some other property. Ask how additional workflow steps can bring this out for you and your colleagues.

Try "arm-chair phototelling" from images in google's street-view. Try to choose meaningful places: childhood homes or favorite travels. See Geocoding Street View