Found Footage: the Numbers Challenge
It was on a bicycle path near the fortified town of Hellevoetsluis that I got a brilliant idea. Or let me rephrase that: just a good idea.
At regular distances, I estimate about a hundred meters, nummers were written on the asphalt with yellow paint. As I got closer to the ramparts, the numbers counted down, until I arrived at 1. I took the following picture of the peeling paint on the rough tarmac, with some clover and withered grass by the side of the path.
That was the beginning of a new photo project, which I refer to as the numbers challenge. The assignment: photograph all numbers from 1 to 100, in order of appearance.
A few months have passed since then and it’s a much bigger challenge than I expected. The modern world is full of numbers; I see them around me all the time when I’m out with my camera, just not the ones i’m looking for.
I often see the digit that I need as part of something bigger: the 2 in 1628. But that is not what I had in mind: they must be stand-alone numbers.
I could, of course, create a schedule from 1 to 100 and then check the numbers that I shoot as soon as I see them. But that would make it too easy, so I work my way from one through hundred in the right order. Here are the first twelve.
There is of course a shortcut to get to 100 in an easy way: just photographs all house numbers in a street. But I have imposed another restriction: they must be different numbers. I aim for the greatest possible diversity of fonts, colors and uses.
With the first batch, I think I managed to achieve that variety. They include a road surface, a mooring post, a license plate, a train, a traffic sign, a bicycle route number and a scaffolding post. And okay, five house numbers, but very different ones; I strive to further reduce the number of house numbers in the remaining 88.
I conclude this blog post, for the time being, with my number 12: two gold leaf digits, a little crooked, with rusty screws attached to a white lacquered wooden doorpost, with some remnants of cobwebs on them. I’m looking for a pretty number 13 now; I will post updates in the course of time to show the progress.
And of course everyone can join the numbers challenge. Number 100, here we come!