When I tell people that I like photography (cue Monty Python sketch), the first thing they normally ask is ‘what type of photography’. Looking back at the photo’s I’ve taken, that is a very difficult question to answer. The glib response is that I try and take and take a good shot. The problem is that it’s difficult to develop skills if I don’t know from the outset what needs developing.
There are a fair number of professionals in social media that recommend picking a subject, or maybe a couple, and concentrating on those. This way my photography can evolve, and I can study the nuances of the chosen subject(s). Nowadays it’s very easy to be inspired by another person’s work just as long as you don’t plagiarise. I won’t be the first person to take shots of the architecture in London or any other city. The objective for me is to be innovative, imaginative, and maybe just that little bit inspirational.
So what’s next? With all this in mind, I am going to focus on (see what I did there?):
I don’t have to talk to a building and ask them to smile. Well, I could but I’d be locked up….and about time I hear you say! Every day we walk around towns and cities looking at building at eye level (which is natural enough I suppose, or we’d all walk into each other). There are a number of Instagram tags and FlickR groups based on looking up. It’s nothing more complicated than walking your commute or shopping trip, take time away from the myriad of Starbucks or Pret signs and…well…look-up! You will be very surprised to see the rich history your local high street has locked away.
Street was really out of my comfort zone, but I have become a lot more relaxed now. I started off walking the streets with a big camera and even bigger lens. Point what looks like a bazooka at somebody, and any natural pose goes out of the window. It also made me a bit lazy as I was able to stand in one place and zoom in on the subject. Consequently, I bought a smaller camera purely for street photography (my excuse and I’m sticking to it) and now I can blend in with the sightseers and shoot away.
This is going to be a real challenge. Making the subject feel at ease in a 1-2-1 situation while trying to deal with the technical aspects of the photo shoot will be testing, but the thing about tests is passing them. I’ve got two willing models with my kids, which is always handy. I can also unbox the studio lighting I bought last summer!
Anf finally, printing
We all take good images. We post a couple to social media, but a majority don’t get much further than iCloud \ Google Photos environment or computer hard drives.
Printing and framing are incredibly rewarding, more than any likes on Instagram or Facebook (though these are still nice!) The last thing I see before leaving the house is my favourite picture of the children eating ice cream I took when they were younger. This guarantees my commute stars with a smile. It may not last long, but hey!