The most difficult thing about photography is trying to take a universal medium that just about everyone has access to and stamp your unique ‘voice’ on it. Everyone’s images can look the same, unless you try different techniques and approaches to make your shots stand out as your own. My work looks much like anyone else’s really. The work by photographers like Anders Petersen and Jacob Aue Sobol have their voice strongly stamped on to their images. How I would love to be able to create work that stands out as being uniquely mine.
My recent exhibition, Salisbury: Night Walks, is the closest I have got to finding my voice. The art documentary approach, strong blacks with graphic composition certainly reflects my work. However, whilst I love a lot of the shots in the project, there is still something missing from the work. For me, the missing ingredient is probably about getting a stronger emotional reaction from the viewer. Getting images with more emotive / emotional content seems to be the order of the day here. Making people stop and think sounds like a good next step in this photographic journey that I am on…
I was scanning some film shots from the recent Swanage trips. So far, the project is primarily about colour. I was quite impressed by the colours that were coming off the digital camera until I scanned a few film shots. Now, I am thinking should I shoot this project with film rather than digital. I prefer using the film camera, but as usual digital is so much more convenient. But, at the end of the day, the film shots look so much better to me. I am still testing out ideas with the project at the moment, so I don’t feel totally committed to one medium or the other. However, if colours continues to be a major organising theme for the work then it is likely that I will continue to work with colour film (Kodak Portra). Here’s a couple of comparison shots to show you what I mean:
The Swanage page has been updated and re-ordered with some of the new work from the latest trip. The major theme that has emerged from the work so far is that of colour. So, I have tried to organise the pictures in the following the colour of the rainbow. There’s not much orange so far to talk about…
I have posted up the photographs for the exhibition that starts tomorrow at Waterstones. The photos and a little more information about the project is on the ‘Salisbury: Night Walks’ page.
Now that I have managed to get that work done, I will start editing the latest batch of photographs from the recent Swanage shoot last week to post them up! I will update the Swanage image gallery as the project develops, and the major themes that define my view of the town emerge more clearly.
For the moment, here’s a quickly processed shot from the latest Swanage visit:
Yesterday, whilst I was in Salisbury some people were doing a silent vigil for the children that have died in Gaza in the last few weeks. This has been the first thing that I could photograph in the public arena since the last images a few weeks ago.
What I have noticed is that a lot of people are talking about the situation, comments about it are popping up everywhere. However, there has not been much action on the streets.
Conversations about Gaza often drift into related misery talk about Syria and the Ukraine. There are some strong feelings about these situations from people’s conversations, but possibly a sense of resignation about what is happening and what can be done about it.
This week has seen a lot of awful things happen in Gaza, particularly to children. I don’t understand enough about the situation to know who is to ‘blame’, but like most reasonable minded people the atrocities that are happening to children and their families who probably just want to live in safety is wrong. However, I know enough about people and history to realise that whilst these events are awful, they will continue to happen in the future. Our history is marked with violence, and the realist in me knows that the future will also be written with some conflicts.
I watched a TV documentary this week on the BBC called ‘Children of Syria’. It was a very powerful and moving set of stories about the experiences of children in Syria on both sides of the conflict that is occurring there as well. It’s well worth watching if you have the chance to do so (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04c34bv/children-of-syria).
What I have noticed in Salisbury is that in the last week several bills and comments have been posted up on the walls of the town expressing anger at the deaths occurring in the region. I haven’t seen any bills posted about the deaths in Israel so my sense is that Israel is seen as the aggressor here, and Gaza the victims.
What I might try to do is keep an eye out for images and events that reflect the people’s mood on this subject in the local area here. For me the story about how we British are understanding and forming opinions about the situation seems quite important to make some sense of. I will see what I can find over the coming weeks that encapsulates the current British views on this situation.