26 May 2014

Experiments and Variations


I started this photo blog as an experiment to see if I could stick at it and prove to myself that if I did I might be able to look back at a body of work that appeared to be the output of somebody with a vaguely consistent vision. After nearly 500 images I'm a lot more relaxed than I used to be; there's quite a few pictures I should never have posted but around 200 I'm reasonably happy with and I don't feel that's a bad return.

Having done that though I started to wonder what the point was. Without being able to answer that question I did decide that I needed to move on, and assigned myself the challenge of working in black and white for an extended period (a year, I thought - after all if Stephen Shore could do it for 10 years surely I could manage more than a few weeks).

So I did, around the end of April. Shooting in raw (as usual) but with the camera's jpeg engine set to black and white helps trick the mind into seeing differently. Digital black and white has its own challenges though - apart from the learning curve, the big problem is what do you anchor it to? In the course of trying to develop a workflow I found that a good starting point was usually a low-contrast colour conversion from raw. And then by chance I found that some of the images originally pictured in black and white made decent colour photographs. So now instead of switching this blog to black and white I've decided to keep going with those pictures that work in colour.

The colour may be a bit whacky at times - once you let go of a grounding point all sorts of weird things happen...

Some of the black and white work is here and here, to be honest it looks a bit sterile to me at the moment, but I'll see what I think in a few months.

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