For any club member, the Colin’s tale below will ring true to a certain degree. Take heart, you are not alone:
Tonight I have been doing a little soul searching or is it a belated new year’s resolution?
I realised that I have taken only one image with my camera since Christmas Eve when I saw my daughter, and took some “snaps” of our new grandson including a couple of images of 4 generations from my wife’s family’s perspective. My mother-in-law was more than pleased with the prints but to me they were just “snaps”. As Mr Turnbull said, however, that if the client likes the image that is what is important.
Since Christmas to coin Austin Powers I seem to have lost my mojo.
I’m even struggling to achieve at least one idea for this month’s competition. So yesterday I decided I had better finish watching the episodes of the BBC DVD ‘The Genius of Photography’ that I hadn’t already watched which I had borrowed before Christmas (sorry if anyone has been waiting to borrow it).
There are some stunning images shown, there are very thought provoking and extremely disturbing images to be viewed. And then again there are those that look just downright insignificant and ordinary that make you wonder why the heck the photographer bothered. Then there were the explanations and views about the philosophies of individual photographers, artists and critics being explained. What their motivation was, what drove them, what drives them still, even to start using old outdated techniques from the 1850’s instead of the modern digital age.
Watching the entire series has, in part, made me feel somewhat inadequate especially when I look at the images of the masters. However, it has also illustrated the tremendous power of the camera and that everyone who picks it up sees a different image and that most, if not all, genres have now gained more than a degree of acceptance. Therefore there appears to be no right or wrong.
On the other hand it has made me feel that I need to re-evaluate my own reason for using a camera. What is it that I’m trying achieve, what type of image do I want to take? What is or should my style be. Questions I’m not sure I can or even know how to answer at this moment even after so many years of “playing” with the camera.
I know I feel that I need to push myself out of a rut of safeness and start to set myself challenges. Only in that way will I begin to see beyond what I have always understood, that the camera does so very well, which is to record whatever is within the range of the lens, the lighting and the sensitivity of either the film or the sensor when the shutter is activated, regardless of whether it was wanted or intended. It is a fantastic tool for recording any given moment in time, inanimate object, animal or mineral placed in front of it.
Where do I go from here, well to bed firstly otherwise the proper job will suffer in the morning, but I’ll take pen and paper just in case sleep won’t come but inspiration does. However if you’ve managed to survive with me to the end of this (can I thank you for your patience and stamina) maybe you might have the odd suggestion to aid my journey through the coming year of exploration.
Epilogue: Now on the positive side Colin feels his mojo returning and the 365 project less daunting than he did. It is a serious undertaking and I have nothing but respect to those that can find inspiration on a daily basis, where mine only works weekly, or less. All the images in this article are Colin’s – check out his Photostream.
Contribution by Colin Coleman