It’s been a long time since I updated my photography blog, so it’s time to catch up. Looking back, the last couple of years have not been as prolific as 2010-11, not in terms of volume anyway. After 2011, I took a step back from RedBubble (for reasons that I won’t get into here), so the constant drive to produce and post pictures went away. That doesn’t mean I have stopped taking pictures, just that I focused more on a number of specific projects rather than photographing anything and everything around me.
2012 was the year of “The ‘Clips”. With some friends, we launched a facebook project, where each of us chose an object of choice, and committed to produce a different picture of it for each of the 52 weeks of the year. My object of choice was paperclips, but I decided not to just take pictures of paperclips, but to create little stories, where the paperclips would get a human personality and be the protagonists. Looking back, this was a hard project! Not only did I have to come up with a new creative idea every week, but I also had to figure out ways of making macro photography look realistic. I tried to stay away from photoshop as much as possible, but in the end that proved impossible to do. I have to say, even if I never managed to do all 52 pictures (yet!), I see this as the most significant and coherent body of work I’ve done so far. I’m quite proud of my little ‘Clips family and their antics… 🙂
In 2103, with the same group of friends, more or less, we launched a different project still based on the commitment of one picture per week. However, this time we all had to take pictures on the same theme and there would be four themes throughout the year. We called the project “4 seasons”:
First season was “Leading lines“. Not too difficult, since leading lines and perspective is all around us, but keeping it interesting and different every week was still a challenge.
Second season was “In the style of… or Inspired by..“. This was more interesting, more difficult and more rewarding. The quest to find famous photographers or iconic shots to replicate or pay tribute to, led to a lot of research and even more appreciation of how difficult some of these shots were to replicate (if not impossible!) and the effort, composition and lighting skills that went into those originals.
Third season was “Miksang” also known as “Contemplative Photography”. I had never previously come across Miksang, so the trickiest part from me was to understand what made a picture, a Miksang picture. The rules are not precise, and the philosophy is more about the mindset of the photographer at the time that the picture was taken, and less about the end result. Nevertheless, we had a go at that too, with some interesting examples. Interestingly, most of us found it very challenging to get out of the Miksang frame of mind when moving on to the same thing. Miksang-style shots kept reappearing during the rest of the project.
Fourth and final series was “Black and White, contrast and textures“. It sounded simple enough (especially if you have done b&w photography before) but in the process I discovered two interesting snags: (1) This series coincided with Autumn in England. This means no sun, and plenty of clouds and rain – not the ideal light for high contrast pictures! (2) It has been a while since I’ve done any serious b&w, and I needed to find my “seeing in B&W” mojo again.
Outside these intense projects, holidays were still the main source for other photography, but they have only yielded relatively few noteworthy shots in the last couple of years.
This year, I’m changing gears: I have joined The Royal Photographic Society, and will be spending time to (a) get to know and network with some of the other photographers in the UK scene and (b) try to get the first two levels of accreditation by the society: LRPS and ARPS. So watch this space…