My photography side-project
I’ve been interested in photography since I was a kid, joining the photography club at school and playing with the Polaroid cameras which were all the rage at the time and those little Kodak film cameras with the mad flash cubes. I had a long lay off after that and returned to photography about 20 years later when I bought my first digital camera – a Canon A40 (all of 2MP !) in 2002, followed by a Canon A70, a Canon G6 (a goodie), a couple of really poor Sony W series models (which I returned), a Sony R1, a Fuji F100 (pretty unique for a compact) and a Sony HX5. I still have both of the Sony’s, the R1 still a great camera, shoots RAW images (albeit very slowly !) full of detail and vibrancy. I still use it for ‘studio shots’ – things I see from my studio window (clouds, mostly). I’m currently using the HX5, which is a pretty limited / out of date compact camera, but it’s doing the job for me at present. I take this camera out with me pretty much all of the time. Being a compact, I can put it into a small bag (something I couldn’t so easily do with the R1) and use it when something catches my eye. I’ve also used it for all the video footage that I’ve used in my Youtube Igneous Flame videos and my guitar videos. I’ve considered the DSLR route, but the size / weight issues put me off and mostly bacause I can’t really justify the black-hole that is the expense of a decent selection of lenses etc. Also, I’m less interested in the technical aspects of photography (the never ending search for image sharpness, low noise, etc.) more with subject and content.
I don’t consider myself to be a ‘proper’ photographer as such, photography is more of a side-project for me really. Saying that, I don’t want to devalue that as it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time on over the years. Regarding the online world, I used to be on Flickr and was reasonably active on a couple of groups related to the towns in Northern England that I lived in, but I became disenchanted by it’s overall disingenuous-ness and left it. I was involved in a couple of shows, but didn’t take things further. I now only post here primarily (and a couple of other ‘select’ places more intermittently). I don’t expect heaps of feedback as such, but it’s nice to get it – when it means something.
Something that I’m exploring, is what i term ‘ambient photography’ – ‘uncluttered’ / observational photography. In practice, this is primarily my documentation of the things I see out walking – images of the natural world primarily. Conversely, in the past I took a lot of shots of the antithesis of the natural world – what remains of the heavy industrial landscape of Middlesbrough / Teesside (my hometown). Being a proud dog owner, I’ve also taken squillions of dog shots of my canine friend ‘Maxa’ too !
‘My’ macro technique:
I don’t do anything particularly advanced or unique, but I have stumbled across one technique which I think yields interesting (if somewhat unpredictable) results:
With the camera set to macro and the flash enabled / exposure compensation turned right down, I shoot underneath a subject towards the sky. The subject is usually a flower, or some kind of fauna. Because the HX5 doesn’t have any kind of articulating viewing screen, I do it pretty much ‘manually’. Makes for some unusual lighting effects, see below for some examples.
I recently bought a tablet and I’ve been looking at ‘tablet photography’ / photo editing apps on the tablet. It’s an interesting area, but I’m not sure about how the prevalence of the Instagram / Lomo thing is a step forward in the (creatively) ‘right’ direction for me, everything starts to look the same with this approach. From what I can gather ‘phone photography’ (I’II not use the ubiquitous ‘I’ prefix !) also looks to be an interesting area, perhaps more so than with a tablet. For one thing, one looks a proper twerp using a tablet as a camera, not so much so with a phone !
This post is just a mini-documentation of my interest in photography. This blog in general tries to encompass other things than just the musical side of what I do. Over time, I may well branch out further into a more observational mode of things, time will tell.
Anyway, here’s a small ‘best of’ shots selection (Sony R1 and HX5) and a couple of recent examples of the aforementioned macro technique: