At the beginning of August I started a new blog - makingamark a daily photo - which focuses on my photography. I'd greatly enjoyed uploading photographs to this blog while I was on holiday in France and readers seemed to enjoy them too - so I wondered how I could continue.
The fact of the matter is I take masses of photos - I now have many thousands of them archived on two Flickr accounts! I rather suspect I'm far from unusual in terms of people who relate to visual images a lot.
Initially my photos were taken purely to record trips and for reference purposes. A lot of them come from my travels around the UK, Europe and the USA. (I've still to find an easy way of scanning photos from a past life so as to get the Asia/Australasia ones on as well. Suggestions as to how to do this so I can convert the photos currently kept in shoeboxes are most welcome)
I then noticed that I was practising composition and design with a lot of the photos I was taking - and photography became a new way for me of exploring how to create an interesting image. It's a photographic sketchbook if you like. That's when I got very interested in macros and started looking for subject matter which provided interesting structures and colours.
Then, as digital cards came along, I found I just really enjoyed taking photographs - and took more and more - and more. It's not unusual now to arrive back from a day out with a couple of hundred photos to be processed.
So the new blog is about releasing some of my photos into the public arena - but the focus is much more about creating pictures rather than about taking photographs per se. Hence most photos come with a short comment about image-making or something I noticed when taking the photo.
Makingamark - A Daily Photo is about creating pictures rather than photography per se. It's all about the process of seeing, selecting and creating a personal visual identity.In order to provide some structure and discipline for the blog, I've adopted a routine of posting a photograph each day guided by a letter of the alphabet. Tomorrow I will have completed two complete cycles of the alphabet and will be embarking on the third - and I've only missed one day so far! The reason I'm keeping it up is because I'm finding it to be a fascinating learning process.
My photographs are from the past and the present - from here and there - within the UK and abroad.
Each day a photo is uploaded to an alphabetical oriented post.
The process of taking thousands of photos of different subjects has helped me a a great deal in:
- defining the scope of what interests me visually
- tackling practical problems with picture-making
- working out what makes a good picture
- directing the focus of my art.
I'd be very happy for people to join me in posting with an alphabet routine to their own photo blog if you're interested. Drop me a line if you want to do something similar.
What I've noticed about my images
Starting this new project has meant making a bit of an effort to sort out my photo folders - so I can find suitable photos faster! That, in itself, has been a very interesting exercise as collecting similar photos together now reveals much more clearly to me what interests me most. That is then reflected in the quality of the images which get posted on the new blog
There's no doubt in mind that the images help to create a personal visual identity - I only take photographs of the things I like or that interest me.
What I'm finding is I've got LOTS of:
- natural forms - flowers, cacti and succulents
- famous / good gardens
- fruit and vegetables and other forms of food
- structures and architecture which are a bit different / have an interesting shape or weather effect
- birds (they started when I started taking regular walks as my main form of exercise - I'd never noticed them before!)
- round / circular / globular objects - the shape just comes up over and over again!
(I also take photos of people but never publish those on the Internet - that's about developing a resource file for figurative works including groups of people)
If you're interested in subscribing to the blog, you can choose from different options at the top of the right hand column of the blog.
If you'd just like to take an occasional "look see" now and again, you'll find a link to it in the "My Blogs" section in the right hand column.
You can also see the makingamark - a daily photo set on Flickr - which is public. This has all the images on the blog but in a larger size.
Do let me know what you think of the new blog.
Technical Note (the only one you're ever likely to get!)
As I explain in the blog, I'm very definitely not a photography "know it all". I just like taking pictures and am happy with a camera with fairly straightforward and simple programs which allow me to do just that. I don't know very much about how to do manual set-ups and I've not invested in a SLR super duper camera.
So far I've worked my way through various Canon Powershots and have currently got a Canon PowerShot S5 IS - which is known as a "bridge" camera. It has a good optical zoom, a nice macro capability and phenomenal optical Image Stabilizer technology to counteract camera shake. The end result being I get some very good images. Fortunately it just keeps going strong and (unfortunately) there's no justification at present for an upgrade!
I keep most of my photographs archived as private files mainly so I have an archive and secondary back-up for my back-up! I also do not like seeing them appearing on other people's sites and I don't like the Flickr apps which permit this to happen if I make them public which is why the vast majority are kept out of sight.