It’s been quite a while since my last journal (certainly more than a week). This is for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve not been feeling too great, and have even been off work a couple of days this week! Secondly, there just isn’t much going on.
I’m going to talk a bit about the near future. There are a few things happening that I’m excited about.
The main one is my trip to Spain in February. That should bring with it some beautiful images, which I look forward to sharing with you all. It’s an area of Spain that I’ve visited many times in the past, but I’ve never really focused on photography there. Getting a tripod through airport security is going to be fun.
The other thing I’m excited about is Ghosts – it’s the perfect time of year for working on the series, as we move through winter. I’ve had a few ideas for shots that I want to try out when I have the chance. It would be good to try and get the series closer to completion this year!
That’s about it for now – all of this is a way off but it’s nice to sit and think about it, and to let you know that I’m still active in my work, despite the lack of time. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to talk about in the next journal!
Happy New Year! 2017 has been a good year for me in many ways. I’ve enjoyed being able to write for this blog, and produce many great images.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to stop and reflect on the things that happened in the last one. I find that writing for this blog helps me to reflect on things, and so I want to involve you in that process. I hope to be able to write a few blog posts on my favourite images from 2017!
2018, with any luck, will hold some interesting shots as well, and the chance to explore my art further. I look forward to what the year has in store.
Sorry that this one is a bit late, but I think I can be excused on account of the holiday season!
I was given a very interesting book by my dad as a Christmas gift – At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails. It’s a book that details author Sarah Bakewell’s fascination with French existentialist thinker Jean-Paul Sartre, and I’ve found it enthralling so far.
As an artist, something about Sartre’s existentialism intrigues me. It is concerned not with some abstract philosophy, but with the lived experience of the individual. In the past I have often found myself wondering what exactly my photography means, and have come up with some very good answers. Recently, however, I’ve begun to think that maybe the question itself is flawed. Why does art have to concern itself with meaning? I don’t believe our lives have any inherent meaning, so why must our creations?
You may think these questions are empty, and I can understand why, but I find this (albeit shallow) thought enticing, and it’s something I’d very much like to explore in the New Year.
Everything is calming down now for Christmas, and the numbers in the office are dwindling as everyone takes some much-needed holiday. The holiday is tantalizingly close now, and I’m looking forward to some rest, but I’m also looking forward to some time in which I can get out and enjoy the landscape of my home town. Now that I’m working, I rarely get to visit Skipton, and I think my photography suffers for it.
That’s it for this week I’m afraid, but now that Christmas is near I look forward to sharing images from Skipton with you all!
Very often I find myself in situations where I have a subject I would like to photograph, but I have no camera to hand. On these occasions, I resort to the phone I always have with me. These images are often far more spontaneous than those I take on an actual camera, but I find that to be part of the draw. It allows me to play with light and texture on a day-to-day basis, with no preparation whatsoever. These images often come to me at times when I am occupied with something else entirely.
For example, here is a picture I took yesterday, while exploring an ice sculpture trail in York.
I’ve photographed sculpture before, but ice sculpture is new to me. I love the texture of the ice and the way the sunlight reflects off it. It takes a few moments of examining the image to begin to see the shape of the dragon’s head. If I hadn’t been willing to shoot on my phone in this moment, I would never have been able to capture this image.
While I don’t like sharing images like this on here too much, if any of you are interested, I have an Instagram account on which I share them. I find the freedom to be spontaneous allows me to explore things I never would have the chance to, and pushes me to experiment with my photography.
A very long time ago, I decided that it was time to put an end to my 52-week-project. I promised a replacement – a weekly journal – but my life has been very busy for the last few months, and I haven’t had much chance to write anything. However, things are beginning to quiet down, and so here is weekly journal #1!
I went back home to the Dales last weekend, which was a much needed break. York has left me feeling very uninspired as of late, so a change of scenery was essential. On Saturday I went for a walk in the woods, which resulted in the lovely image of the robin I put up earlier this week. That night I decided to try something a little different. I’ve had an interest in astrophotography recently, and so I went out on what I thought was going to be a clear winter night, and pointed my lens at the heavens.
To tell you the truth, this image leaves me feeling a little bit disappointed. I wanted to try and capture some star trails, but shortly after taking this, a thick cloud came over me and left my view of the stars completely obscured. The image itself is out of focus, and really doesn’t have the impact I’d hoped for.
I think it’s important that I share moments like this on the blog, because otherwise you get a very one-sided view into my photography. As with all art, it is mostly comprised of failures like this one. When I call my photographs failures, my friends and family rush to try and counter to me. That instinct is understandable. We live in a society that rejects failure, but it’s worth remembering that failure is not a bad thing. Without it, we’d have nothing by which to judge our successes. It’s the rarity of the beautiful images that make them worth chasing.
Last weekend I happened to be back home in the Dales for my brother’s birthday. In between the celebrations, I managed to get out for a walk in the woods, a place I’ve visited many times and with which I’m sure even you are familiar with now.
I often talk about chance on this blog – the idea that when you are photographing the natural world, you really have very little control over what happens. Sometimes this can ruin what would otherwise be a great shoot – I can’t count the number of times I’ve been disappointed by a sudden rush of cloud – but on very rare occasions it can lead to something more beautiful than the image you already had in your head.
This is one such image. I was photographing the fallen tree anyway, the ice and snow glistening in the morning sun, but I had no idea this beautiful creature was going to come along and pose for me! It’s very easy to have something like this happen, and to simply discard it because it’s not what you previsualised. I feel like that would be a waste. Some of the most beautiful things in our world occur simply by chance.