And another thing...
How did I get here?
I first started taking photography seriously in around 2004. I know it was serious because I sold my beloved headless electric guitar in order to buy a Fuji bridge camera. Over the years I have progressed up through a series of Canon DSLRs, but you know I have a fond spot for those bridge cameras. They were just so easy to use and flexible. Having some inbuilt zoom, not having to carry around all those lenses was just so nice. The photo below was taken on a fuji finepix . Its a photo of my son and one of my all time favourites
However I got into stock photography and a DSLR was essential. Back in around 2007 there were only a million or so photos on stock agencies! Now there are probably hundreds of millions - so you just get lost in the crowd and you only make peanuts. Having the apprenticeship in stock photography coloured my view of what to deliver. They wanted flat, clean lighting, not interesting contrasty lighting. Image sharpness was essential, noise must be non-existent. And subject matter had to be what someone would buy to sell an idea, not something of intrinsic beauty. That mindset has stayed with me and if I'm honest has caused me some problems that took me a while to shake off.
A chance encounter in a bluebell wood with a now sadly departed photographer, pulled me into the world of camera clubs, where I found most people were focused on landscape photography - which I was not. It eventually got under my skin, especially when I went to a talk by Joe Cornish who was, and is, inspirational. As my photography improved, I become more bold with my processing , and colours, I started moving up the rankings in the camera club. However The more 'conventional' I tried to be, the less I found my photography was appreciated - in fact the less it was understood. I became so frustrated with the competitions that I preferred not to be present when judges were assessing. Eventually I gave up with the clubs altogether - it was not helping my mental health. I am grateful to the views of photography that the camera club scene has given me, and for some of the lovely people I met. But I made the realisation that basically people don't get me, and it was not worth my effort persisting in trying to make them. I tried to be something I was not, and that doesn't work.
It is still something I struggle with. I take pictures of things in the world that jump out at me. Things that my particular pattern matching algorithm, deep inside my brain flags up as being unusual or worth capturing. I love photography, it helps keep me sane, but it also frustrates me that I can't get that across to other people. I've never been on to just accept ways of doing things, such as how to compose a picture. I suspect this is something I will come back to again and again. I get very frustrated by the photography by numbers approach, its just so limiting.
The other thing I may well get into is physics. I have this impression that so few people actually understand what is happening, but there is masses of science and understanding behind it all. Do you need to understand it - No. Some people think it spoils the artistic process if you do - but I'm not one of them.
So lets see where we get to!
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Optical physicist and frustrated photographer