We are all facing the prospect of a period isolated from normality due to the infection outbreak. Like it or not we have to get through this. A passion for photography has its place in this and I would like to share with you my strategy for finding stuff to do in the coming weeks/months. My four brands of stuff!
Building things is one of my passions. Either building things from existing parts or repurposing old items. As part of my professional practice I have built print studios for a number of companies across continents. The one thing I have never done is to build my own. Now is the time to start and start to tick off some of the print projects I have in mind. I can feel some distinctions panels coming on!
Just because we may not be travelling does not mean we should be short of things to photograph around us. A lot of my professional work could be broadly described as “still life”, often images of objects to illustrate a concept. From sets to illustrate 2-colour photography to images of pinholes I have a number of sets to build and image.
For nearly 40 years I have been building cameras, ranging from cardboard boxes up to tonne scale technical units. The one illustrated was a conversion of an old compact camera into an infrared unit incorporating a small square of filter material. One of these images made its way into The Journal and I have more that I hope will follow. I have lots more old stuff that needs repurposing, including my dad’s old bellows camera and the parts for a 2600mm f/6 leviathan.
And finally, I need to build on my image collection. I have stuff half finished and stuff where I know I can do better. And little snippets of inspiration that will build more ideas and probably more projects.
Seeing is more than just looking. I try and do this when I walk around exhibitions and we have resources that I find help with seeing here. And these are useful when exploring images in my collection too.
So I will be looking to see, for new images in my home and garden and in the sky above which is my passion. I can spend hours looking at images to see them, sometimes in the Journal but also in exhibitions and their on line image collections. Often a source of inspiration and aspiration for my work.
I have stuff to study, in my own images and those of others. I have books I have not read and magazines I have only glanced at. And I recognise that after nearly 40 years in photography I still have lots to learn.
I am still on a journey through image taking and in my case through the design of optics and cameras of all forms. I am reliant on a small range of software to analyse and process my images, and a limited number of papers I have printed upon. Now may well be the time to broaden these horizons in search of the elusive inspiration, aspiration and excellence.
This may be the most important to keep a sense of community going through this period. We are all in this together and we need to find ways to share experience and resource with others. I feel a particular need to do this through The RPS.
When I became President I promised to be out and about. It looks like over the next weeks and months I will not be able to live up to this. So I will have to fulfil this through President's News. Come join me on the journey.
Build, see, study and share. Stay well and do stuff.