JOHN HOUSE – THE SHOT I NEVER FORGOT

This is the start of a new regular feature to OurWorldMyEye where I am asking Photographers to send me an image that they have taken, which may never have been used in a series or project they worked on, but they have not been able to forget. It might be an image that means something particular to the photographer, or just a random shot they took that has always stayed with them.

I think it is interesting to get a glimpse of those great shots that might never see the light of day as they were shot on instinct and never really fitted with anything else.

To get the ball rolling, I am going to start of with myself. As I get images back from my call out, I will start posting up more.

If you are a photographer and want to participate – feel free to get in touch.

JOHN HOUSE – THE SHOT I NEVER FORGOT

Goz in Contemplation - John House (2001)

Goz in Contemplation – John House (2001)

I took this image over a decade ago, I think in 2001 and it has always stayed with me.

It was taken on a train journey to Hamble-le-Rice (near Southampton) and is a portrait of a very good friend ‘Goz’. We were meant to be visiting a friend in Glasgow for the weekend, but severe snow stopped us being able to fly, so we decided to go on a random road trip and see where the weekend took us.

At the time, we were both processing a lot of personal issues, Goz in particular, and the weekend turned into a 3 day long debate about the meaning and philosophies of life, which ended up as therapy for the both of us.  The weekend remains with me as one of the most poignant in my life.  I took this portrait on a whim, during a brief period of silence after a particularly hard and heavy discussion.  To me, it still captures the essence of this moment perfectly and the mood of the trip in general.

I never take portraits and it rarely occurs to me to photograph people.  However, in this moment, Goz’s face was so full of expression and meaning, I fired the shot off as he pondered the world out of the train window. I love the stillness and depth of his expression, and the glimpse of the landscape passing him by and often wondered if he saw his own expression in the reflection.

I find the image beautiful and troubling because of the memories I associate with it.  To date, I think it remains the best portrait I have ever shot.

 

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