Wednesday, 1 January 2014

365 days later...

So this is what the fruit of my labours of a 365 photo-a-day project looks like all concertinaed together. It's been a marathon, often a joy, sometimes a revelation and occasionally results in a photograph I'm really proud of. The photography bit has always been easier to keep on top of than the writing bit. I promise myself that I’ll just write a few words and then I'm slaving over a work of Tolstoy, random reminiscences just pouring out, which then bringing other memories to the forefront. If it were my full time job and I could be paid for it I could indulge in these flights of fancy but that’s a pipe dream so I need to curtail it sometimes.

I must admit I do love looking back on old posts, I've never been a diary keeper and capturing moments, memories, thoughts is curiously intoxicating. And even though it's often a slog to get it all down in a satisfactory manner, I relish the re-reading another day.

The whole exercise has encouraged much introspection, retrospection and I'm definitely aware of a marked difference in my photography over the year or at the very least, my observation. I just notice what's around and about so much more now. I find myself squinting at scenes I spot, imagining how I would capture it. I'm much more aware of cinematography than I've ever been. I catch myself watching a film and thinking about the lighting, depth of field, background bokeh and angles rather than the actual plot. I'm wishing I was there and could photograph that landscape, that cityscape, that situation. I drool over sunrises and sunsets on TV shows and my shutter finger itches.

My passion has clearly become by obsession. I hate being without a camera and even though I carry two of them, it’s extraordinarily rare I resort to the iPhone camera. I've just fallen for my EVF, I prefer the immersion in the image you get looking through the view finder. I rarely review my pictures in liveview too, preferring also reviewing through my EVF. However, as many cameras don't do that I often get accused of taking photos (especially on the tube at night) when I'm just looking at some captured earlier.

I feel I need to continue a project for 2014, and hopefully continue my progression. However, I do need to find a way to make it less time consuming writing-wise, and I suspect that will continue to be my biggest challenge.

I've been very taken by a book I preordered for Kindle on my iPad a few months ago and it suddenly turned up late last year. It is The Art of the Photograph. Essential Habits for Stronger Compositions by Art Wolfe and Rob Sheppard. I do really admire Art Wolfe’s photography and this book is proving to be an inspirational gem. He talks of the importance of surrounding yourself with inspirational items, places to go that provide succour and constantly seeking photos that transcend the subject and create something special for you and the viewer.

Much food for thought to be had for the photographic year ahead. Now what to do with the next 365 days...I’ll get back to you on that!

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