A good photography friend told me once that my blog reads like a diary. I’d never thought of it that way but he was right, so in that diary tradition I continue my photographic timeline with HOLS.
First of I’ll talk over the gear I took to get it out the way …
We have the Crown Graphic, a nice portable 5×4, then there’s the GF1 to the left with the stock 14mm-42mm, under that is a Nikon FM2 with a 28mm and finally it’s a Mamiya C330 with an 80MM.
Next up is the film choices …
Starting left to right we have Fomapan 100 in 5×4 then three spools of home rolled 35mm HP5and one commercial spool with Konica R100 slide film.
To the right it’s Fomapan 200 5×4, under all that is one 120 roll of Fomapan 400 and two rolls of some kind of colour Lomo 400 film (although I thought it was two Foma400 and one Lomo at time of packing).
The Kodak box is empty and there in case I went 5×4 crazy and needed to reuse the DDs.
… and as I was about to leave I freaked out and grabbed the FED 3.
A holiday is simply an excuse to go ape-shit crazy with cameras so I found myself taking about 30-40 digital photos a day then uploading about 20-30 of them give or take purely for family to view.
I’m a hybrid amateur photography enthusiast, half digital half film or half soulless sellout and half hipster douche and I can happily swim the turbulent ocean of fascism playfully giving the fingers to both sides if I believe it warrants it.
Anyway, enough of that nonsense, as William Dettloff would say, I was looking to practice composing multiple figures in the very now-popular “neat arrangement” style everyone uses today and I finally had some folk to visually play with.
But holidays are holidays and they’re a great time to relax and concentrate more on making pictures properly, or rather, take the time to let them flow a bit more.
When I’m out and about in Edinburgh everything is rushed, I have a tight schedule every day to get home, go to work or do a nursery pickup. My photo-hobby is pretty much all that I do in between these appointments because there’s no time for anything else.
When I hear youngsters talking about backlogs of work to process or do I think wow! If I had all that free time I’d have books filled pictures. When you’re younger with no genuine responsibilities, like a family, you think “mañana” but before you know it, it is.
The nice thing about Fife is all the great beaches that are near by, so different from all that city-grey and domesticated-green in Edinburgh.
Although I love photographing close to get lots of detail I learned to stand back a bit more, to see the bigger picture. Saying that though, I still loved drawing shapes and areas with colour or tone.
I know it’s not everyones cup of tea (my entire family don’t like the majority of my photos) but I like it. I have mentioned before how much I love Richard Diebenkorn‘s Urbana paintings, the flow of the paint with an almost spontaneous lyrical gesture.
Abstract patterns are pleasing to me like shapes or waves, I see a lot of it in William Egglston’s photos from his ‘Guide’ book, especially the woman in the dark blue dress seated on a briefly yellow curb that stretches up and out stage left.
Another wonderful visual photographer/artist who has played with shape is Louis Porter in his wee book ‘Unknown Land‘
He had marvellous fun with space in whichever town(s) he ventured through especially in the image with the seated girl in bright pink/red or orange clothes (listed 7 down on the first column), that frame around her is quite spectacular, almost Esher like if you allow your brain to run away with it.
When on my holiday I did try to do the odd bit of people photography but it is an altogether different ball game from a city.
They’re a different breed of people from the city dweller.
It’s still very doable but it’s a different feel and approach.
I think it’s because there’s more space between people, they’re not as bunched up and desperate to get somewhere.
The holiday did make me realise something, projects with people known to you are better than trying to capture something interesting candidly.
Strong interaction with or near the camera feels more powerful to me and I realised it through photographing my family.
This next picture is what I realise must happen if you’re not used to my kind of family photography, Anna doesn’t flinch anymore, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
I had a great time photographing my brains out and although I’ve posted quite a number of photos here this barely scratches the surface of what I actually made from my week in Fife.
I’ve not even included anything from the three rolls of 120 or the two sheets of 5×4.
Fife is so drastically different from Edinburgh that it was easy for my ‘eye’ to be stimulated. Good pictures or bad, pictures you decide, I loved making them regardless and to accompany them I’m also in the process of designing a wee book as a keep sake for us.
And finally, a rare moment when I’m not behind the camera.
Until next time …