So long 2015! This year has been the year when I feel I have started my journey from camera owner to photographer. I’m not a photographer yet, but I started 2015 knowing that I liked to take pictures, understood the technical side and liked to own kit. What I didn’t know at the beginning of the year is that it is fine to watch tutorials, it’s good to understand the exposure triangle and other technical stuff, it’s great to know what focal lengths to use for certain conditions, it’s brilliant to be able to reach in to the kit bag to swap out the wide lens for the long lens, but it’s all for nothing if you’re not out there actually taking pictures!
During the last year I learned, that as much as all that stuff matters, I need to stop worrying about the how, and
concentrate on the what, and maybe more importantly, the why. Why do we have this need to go out and point a camera at things, why do we want to record the world around us? And what do we want the photographs for after we’ve taken them? To me there a number of ‘types’ of photographers. I don’t mean street photographers or landscape photographers etc etc, I mean how we go out to achieve the end result, and what the journey from process to image to end result means to us.
The epiphany came in October when I went on a photography trip to Dorset, me and two other photographers, all of us different. One guy would set up his tripod, take a light reading, meticulously calculate his exposure, take his cable release out, and take the shot. I wondered why he was going to so much trouble in broad daylight, and then realised, it worked for him, he enjoyed the ritual, he never showed anyone his shots, didn’t post them to Facebook or a website. He didn’t need to. For him photography was about the process, he went on four or five organised photography trips a year, he’d take himself away to specific locations to get a specific shot, sometimes driving for a few hours to get there. He knew what he wanted, and went out to get it. He was a hunter. the thrill of the hunt and a successful shot was what he wanted. He didn’t need to put his trophy up on the wall. Maybe we’re all hunters, we just hunt in different ways.
I used to think that was me, I wasn’t interested in the end result, I was interested in the process. Then I realised that I wasn’t interested in the end result because the end results weren’t that good. But, when I started to take pictures that would trigger a response in me, and more importantly in other people, my focus changed. At first I thought I was enjoying being validated as a photographer (and of course this is still important!) but I realised that actually what I was enjoying was seeing people respond to the picture on the emotional level. So 2016 will be about documenting, evoking a response and provoking a question, in street photography. Landscape photography is about the beauty of the world, and I’ll keep photographing bands, hopefully!
So my new years resolution. 2016. Each month I’ll decide on a theme and think about how and what to photograph within the framework the theme gives me. I’ll then post them here at the end of each month.
And I would also like to get at least one photograph published!
So, January 2016, the theme will be ‘Life in the Urban Jungle’ I want to explore how we have adapted the environment to suit our needs, and how we as inhabitants use this artificial land that we have created.