Why should you look at my photography?August 26, 2022
Why should you stop and look at this page? Why should *this* website be the one to bookmark?
After all, there are many great photographers around, particularly in Devon, with its gratuitous and compelling natural beauty.
Well, there’s something I’d like people to see when they look at my work. I want to recreate what it felt like to be in that place at that moment. What made it unique? Was it the light? Was it a storm? Was it a Supermoon? Was it harvest? What was the photo only I could have taken at that time?
When I’m taking photos I’m thinking: how best can I represent this moment? How can I pack the essence of what’s going on in all 5 senses into 35mm? The technical stuff - the aperture, shutter speed, angle, editing style - is implicit in trying to pack as much character in as possible: which view or angle can I choose to best abstract the moment into a 6x4” image?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve well fallen into the trap of “pleasant”. Pleasant, in my humble opinion is on a par with “nice” and should be the reserve of descriptions of the waviness of the sea or the temperature only. Pleasant isn’t without its allure, however. Pleasant photos are safe, they look nice together in a grid on instagram and are guaranteed some low-risk likes, if you’re into that sort of thing. Pleasant, however, isn’t the road to showcasing the personality of either you or your subject.
Put simply: I want you to care about these places as much as I do and I want you to feel something from it. Playing it safe probably isn’t going to achieve that - something it took me a long time to realise.
These below are a set I took over a year ago in central London. I used my old Nikon D600 with a Tamron lens (shortly after I’d purchased it, one photographer referred to my lens as “junk”, which was highly encouraging…) I didn’t have a tripod, flash, any filters or fancy gear, but was encouraged by my partner to take some images. To date, they’re some of his favourite of mine.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t always been keen. I’ve looked at them and focussed on the ISO setting that’s too high, the haziness and lack of clarity. I’ve wished that I could have been there with a better camera, convinced at one stage this would make all the difference. I’ve often been someone too focussed on judging quality by engagement on social media. It’s hard to disengage from this mindset but thankfully I have began to and now do appreciate that these images, probably above all others do truly capture a moment and at the heart of it, are what I’m all about.