A couple of weeks ago, I had a rush of blood to the head and got my hands on a good, use Fuji X100. There is a lot of eulogising about this camera in far flung reaches of the Internet, and to date I can’t disagree with any of it. It is by far and away the funnest camera I’ve owned. Quirky, sure, but remarkable results. Mostly I like that I can just stick it in my bag and not know that it’s there, unlike the monster dslr I use (less and less).
Hell’s Bells! I’m not sure if what I’m about to try to articulate is a dichotomy or not but here goes …
Here I was last night, taking a few snaps of the very tall & beautiful Alyson above when I thought to myself: actually I’ve very little to do with this image, here’s the girl and her makeup artist, she’s doing her thing, they’re doing their thing and I’m just an observer, recording the event. Now the quality of that recording might be interpreted as artistic endeavour, but I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just good at working the camera and positioning it the right place at the right time with the right amount of light, maybe it’s because the clumsy schtick I babble to cover my nerves mollycoddles them into a sense of avuncular comfort and therefore a decent performance. Or maybe I have something indefinable called an Eye and know how and when to press the buttons to get a good looking picture? So many questions, so few answers. Why do I resort to Yiddish and me a Goy?
So is photography art or a science or both? Are they overlapping qualities?
I think there’s no distinct answer. A bit of both in reality. Although I have no particular training in photography other than my sister lending me her camera when I was about 15, teaching me what shutter speed meant and trusting me with it to the extent that I went off to some festival or other in England and took a load of photos. The camera returned intact. I figured out aperture myself. The technical side comes easy to me, I have that sort of brain for the most part, but also I have the confidence now to convince people I know what I’m doing. This amuses me (and others) no end.
The development of Eye comes with time, it’s not something you can book learn. There are guidelines I suppose but if you stick to them all the time your stuff becomes sterile and dull. I’m still searching for the Eye, maybe I have part of it but it’s an evolving thing, an evolution mirrored in the zeitgeist except I’m probably twenty years after the fact. So far after the fact that it has probably come back into fashion again. Lucky me!
Think I’m going to do this. SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month. The idea is you photograph, write the text and design your book all in one contiguous 31 day period between May 1st and June 30th.
Could be fun, could be a pain but I think I’ll do it all the same.
Hey that’s almost a poem.
I’ve just read out there on Twitter that the elfin and lovely seethedetails has written up the local participants and I’m privileged to have an honourable mention. She’s put a lot of thought and work into this blog entry that I’m shamed into reciprocating if only by a lowly trackback. Thanks Julie! You’ve obviously done a lot more thinking about this project than me.
As a result of the hard work of Marcus at pix.ie, I was in a privileged viewing position for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin today, right outside the GPO. People-watching is a lot of fun. There’s a set of parade images here. Thanks again Marcus for all your hard work.
I’ve been revisiting the time-lapse footage I’ve shot over the years and have begin to wrestle with the issues of what resolution I should make this video on my home setup. In theory I could make this all the way up to 2k (film) but I’m a little limited by hardware at the moment.