I have set up a new page, entertainingly called ‘eBooks‘, with the free PDF books of some of my work. There are a couple of books on the page at the moment, with some more to be added soon.
The eBook ‘Red is the colour’ will be the project I have done this month focusing on the colour red.
Getting out of a photographic rut is quite difficult. When I shot Cinestill film back in February for a project, I was hoping to stretch my style out so that it involved more elements in the frame. My main approach was to position people predominantly in a ‘rule of thirds’ framework. My inspiration for this idea was the work of Alex Webb. I didn’t quite work.
However, I think the idea of freshening things up is a good one. When I look back at my work, I always notice that certain types of shots are dominant in my repertoire. I usually call them ‘environmental portraits’ as they often set the people in the context of their environment backdrop. This is often a reflection of how I think.
However, I do really like those (relatively) rare occasions in which I get up close and personal in my photography. The shots are much more intimate, involved, dynamic and intense. In the next few months, I might stick a wide angle lens on a camera and shoot specifically with this idea in mind as a ‘one project’.
One of the reasons I have started to set myself challenges in the form of the ‘one project’ each month, is that I want to stretch myself more creatively. This month, my interest is in trying to shoot objects that mark the presence of people in some way. I am getting more interested in vernacular photography, but I think there is a fine line between “that’s a great shot” and “who cares, that’s boring” responses to the images for me. I suspect my work this month will be the latter!
Ultimately, I would like to find ways to get out of my current creative rut to develop new ways of expressing myself photographically.
Below is one image that I actually took before the red project I have been doing this month. But, it sort of fits as a bridge for this month’s one project and what I intend to do next month.
In April, I am going to do a project called ‘presence’. The aim is for it to be about the presence of people, but without people actually being in the photos. Therefore, it’s going to be shots of objects and places. I am going to shoot on a Canon AE-1 with a 28mm lens on Fuji Acros 100. I am really enjoying shooting colour at the moment, but it’s good to shoot some black and white for a change and mix things up.
I am struggling to get the epub format up on WordPress. I have a couple of e-books to post up (one of which will be the red project of this month). However, once I have worked it out I will post up a link. I might set up a new page titled ‘eBooks’ to make it clearer.
More London Place
My little boy is also getting in on the red project!
Recently, I have been getting into these more vernacular sort of shots. Normally, I like to see people in them (other shots on the negative of this scene did have people in it).
Today, I would say, has been the nicest weather of the year. Spring well and truly feels that it is on its way. I really like spring, it’s my favourite time of the year. You can enjoy spring knowing that the summer (what we have of it in Britain!) is still ahead of you.
At the moment, I constantly have two cameras on me. A Leica MP rangefinder and a Nikon F3 SLR. The F3 is for the red project and the MP is for general shooting of things that do not fit with the red project. My aim was to have 36 negatives on a roll with red in them. However, I have enjoyed using the Nikon so much that it’s become my main camera at the moment and the MP has been relegated to back up camera. Just goes to show that the most expensive camera doesn’t always win out.
So, I have ended up with Ektar 100 in the F3 (yet another 5 rolls on the way… that’s 15 bought this month, so far) and Portra 400 in the MP. Seems like a fair compromise to me, one for the good light and one for the lower light! I can just about get away with 400ISO at night, but’s it’s a push. I know, digital is easier…
What I have noticed about Ektar is that when the sun is out it produces pastel like colours and produces a look that is not dissimilar tonally to medium format. However, when the sun goes in and the light becomes darker the colours really seem to become saturated. I haven’t seen a film change so much in character in different weather conditions. However, I really like the effects. Of course in Britain, a lot of shots are going to be very saturated!