Sunday, 10 February 2019

Getting Back into Photography

2017 was the year I really got into photography. Since then, I have still had a love for taking photos, but my 'Triptych a week' project came to an abrupt end only a few weeks into 2018- life took over. 

I thought I'd pause from work and ask: what is it about photography and recording images that appeals to us as human beings? We all consume image after beautifully edited image on a daily, if not hourly basis, gorging our eyeballs on printed and online media. Yes, even I have succumbed to Instagram, despite not being a social media type- but I can't help but wonder whether this is partly to blame for the lack of 'proper' photography I have undertaken in the last year or so. Sure, taking a pretty or quirky photo on a phone and slapping on a filter looks nice and gets a couple of likes, but were these images a labour of love? No. Were minutes taken to compose said images, adjusting and balancing until they captured just the right tone? Because that's what I was doing when I took 'real' photos back in 2017.

Recently, I've thought about the nature of photography quite a bit. For Christmas, 2018, I received an Instax Mini 9, something I had my eye on for a while and was really thankful to be bought. If the constructing of a 'perfect', meaningful image is the joyful part of taking photos then Instamatic cameras or classic film photography is surely the ultimate? At around £1 a shot, the Instax photos are the antithesis to snapping away on a digital camera. Despite the attempt to construct aesthetic photos, to be blatantly honest, although sentimentally beautiful, the photos I have taken so far on my Instax camera have been pretty vile! It's going to be a case of experimentation for sure. The balancing of light and dark is something I am not yet skilled at, and the results have mostly been images of my huge, moon-face in the foreground of shots with family and friends, absorbing all light! Not attractive, but somewhat amusing and most definitely part of the fun! 

The main point of this random and sudden post after blog-silence for many months is to show a few photos I took today. I took out my latest (and embarrassingly unused) telephoto zoom lens (55-210mm F4.5-6.3). The results gave me the photography buzz again and I think it's interesting to note that the first place I am posting these photos are here, on my personal, quiet and under-the-radar blog; not on Twitter or Instagram, where I might get the odd few likes, but images are soon swallowed up in an endless feed of glossier, editorial images. The reality of the digital age is that nearly everything is consumed quickly and then disposed of and forgotten. Once upon a time photographs were cherished after we had them developed at Super Snaps; they were housed in albums, immortalised forever, passed on through generations: history. 

In whatever form we take our photos, photography- the true joy of photography- is about moments and memories; composing and crafting; narrative and nostalgia. 

That's my take on it anyway.

What do you think? What is the purpose of photography in your life?
Denial
Patrol









Gulls
Gerry
Beautiful Gerry
Bobbins
Timothy