Thanks guys I'm happy to share this. It is a difficult topic to talk about and I am pleased it resonates with fellow photographers. This is one facet of a very diverse career which includes commercial work and teaching photo. This diversity has helped a lot in the recession, but is very demanding at times when all facets are rolling like now. I'm 63 and the busiest I have been in 40 years (though not the most profitable!). I need to clone myself to do justice to it all.
Just watched the video - enjoyed it a lot, with one caveat: the interviewer was very difficult for me to understand. I know my hearing isn't that hot anymore; I got everything you were saying but only a tiny fraction of his input, which made me do a lot of guessing... not always my best or most accurate quality.
That idea about the sense of place isn't limited to ancient sites; I've experienced very negative vibes from relatively modern houses too, and neither does it always hit different people in the same way.
There's a little beach zone in Cyprus called Aphrodite's Birthplace. We went there to shoot part of a calendar, and before we drove down to the shale, my wife became very agitated and demanded to be let out of the car. She did walk down to the place we were going to shoot in - I'd been there before on other trips without her - and it was strange: I always used to alternate two Nikons just in case of failures, and despite doing that, I still managed to get myself two rolls of Kodachrome that were blank. The rest of the job, shot on the same cameras later on, was perfectly normal. Our model was sitting in the shale, just a couple of feet out, and she had a helluva time getting back out of it - it simply gave way under her every step. Yet, I
felt no threat at all, and my wife had never been one of those hysterical sorts of people, before or after.
Very good friends of ours bought a lovely house in the valley that goes from the Pollensa road to Cala San Vicente here on Mallorca; before they moved in, the buyer's wife, my wife and I had a look. Neither of us were happy. It turned out that the buyer's daughter had also felt unhappy in it. Eventually, we discovered that the previous owners returned to Scotland where the wife took herself out; neither of the couple who bought - our friends - lived very long after they moved in. Some places are just wrong. So yes, apart from those two incidents, there are places on a much larger scale that have a presence for me, but I generally find them to be malevolent: mountains; some forests in France. The only place that really thrilled us was the present property I still have. We saw it originally as a shell, but it was built with a larger verandah than the rest of the properties in the development and the developer wanted more for it than we were happy to spend. We settled for another property next door. We returned to Scotland, and then he rang to offer us the original one we’d desired so much at the same cost as the cheaper one we had accepted but now couldn’t have: turned out he’d wrongly thought the buyers for it had cancelled when he’d offered it to us…
We spent the best years of our lives together here. Now, without her, it has lost everything, pretty much, and with the person has gone the attraction of the bricks and mortar. For some odd reason, I've just smelled a whiff of oranges. I don't have any. Time for bed, methinks.
Oh - your pony is thicker than mine. Damn!