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IR Conversion

Stuff to do


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!

Build 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.

See stuff

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.

Study stuff

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.

Share stuff

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.