Apologies for the lateness of this post but I have had a very hectic weekend. If you are a club member and fancy having a go at the blog you are more than welcome. Have a chat with Mark Stone and he will bring you up to speed on the do’s and don’ts.
A 10 by 10 last Thursday, I always enjoy these as they are the personal choices of the photographers involved and we get a little insight into what makes their unique brand of photography. We are the sum of the choices we make in more ways than one. I also think that sharing things helps by showing different subjects, selections, interpretations, frames, focal lengths, angles, perspectives and everything else that goes to make up a photograph and provoke us to try something different next time. Well maybe. But, if we joined our club to improve then, logically, this is part of the process. So where do we get this sense of style from? One of the biggest boons of the digital age, I find, is the ease with which people can share their shots with the world. Flickr, 500px, Picasa/Google+, SmugMug, Phanfare, Instagram, Imgur, Deviant Art and alike, plus newspaper sites like the Telegraph, Guardian and Independent who pay attention to promoting photography, all have their pluses and minuses but all have an essential ingredient – the sharing of efforts to whoever puts the effort in to finding them. There is, I would say, a process of osmosis we get from deliberate exposure to the efforts of others, their stories and how they choose to tell them and how we choose to interpret them. How many of their users have this as core to their plan to share with the world I have no idea and for sure some will take it more seriously than others. But it is important, just as it’s the picture not the camera that is important.
Neither style, nor consistently good images, come from slavishly trying to copy the “Greats”. There has already been an Ansel Adams, a Diane Arbus, a Cecil Beaton, a Robert Capa, you are not going to be the next one because the world moves on and because they were/are unique coincidences of time, place and talent. Yet we can be inspired by them and by the efforts of other lesser mortals like ourselves. Style is a development, a series of halts on a branch line rather than a single big city destination of its own. Consistency plays a part, of course, but in the way the elements are handled, that is how a signature develops. Repetition, going out and doing the photography thing with a purpose, repeatedly, examining the results, determining improvements and going out and doing it again, better, plays a part too. That way sound results can be obtained. Take this as an invitation to look at your own back catalogue and see what themes, subjects, objects, views, treatments, come to mind. It’s a start. You might use one of the frameworks we’ve discussed for critiquing to really nail what makes these themes tick for you? Try Anthony Morganti as starter-how-to. When you have identified these streams then you have the basis to do some further research, maybe bring it to the next 10 by 10? Or with the club on Thursday when we meet off site at the Jolly Sailor, Saltford. Practical night (yeah right).
See you there.