Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Must. Start. Blogging. Again

DISCLAIMER: The following post is long and probably boring. So don't be angry at me if you read it all and hate it.

Well, it has been the longest ever interval between posts in the short and troubled history of my blog. It's been so long, in fact, that I haven't the foggiest idea what a blog actually is anymore. I just have a strange compulsion to enter words into this here text-box and click on the 'publish post' button...

I need to ease myself into this slowly, like a patient recuperating after being unable to walk for some time. Nothing dramatic happened - I just got lazy and busy in equal measure, and found myself with less and less to say and no inclination to say it.

I think when I began, I had a purpose: to write something about my experiences with photography and a strange new place which I would remember over time. Then, returning home from Geneva, I moved in a new direction. I was a learner, and filled with the enthuiasm that one has when faced with a new and exciting field of knowledge, waiting to be explored. I learned new things about photography, which had a huge impact on my experiences of taking photos, on a daily basis. I wanted to share this with the world.

While I still have, of course, an enormous and infinite amount to learn, and still come across new stuff on a regular basis, the initial period of acquiring knowledge has slowed to a steady trickle - the dam burst, the flood washed over, and the regular river is all that flows now. This gave me less impetus to post. My enthusiasm for posting has subsided greatly. As I am now more-or-less comfortable with techniques, when I post a photo it is now, from my point of view, open to raw criticism. I can't dismiss criticism by excusing my faults by way of a lack of knowledge.* Now, my photos, for me this is, should be judged by how they are composed rather than if they are in focus. The quality of the lighting rather than the correct shutter speed and aperture. This is ever so slightly terrifying, but, there is more. I have a morbid fear of becoming self-absorbed. I have swore that this would not become a "what I did today..." type of blog. I could justify posting beforehand as it helped me to learn. Now that I have that bit more confidence, I find it more difficult to write, afraid of appearing arrogant. This blog is not now so much of a learning process for me, rather I wish to publish it for the outside world for the very first time. And that is were the real fear is.

Several photography-related things have happened to me since Christmas. There has been new gear: Two manual flashes and some radio triggers, with which I have been practising off-camera flash, mainly through the Strobist website. This has opened up a new and fascinating area for me, which I will hopefully write about here as I learn more. The publisher of the Strobist blog, David Hobby, has an infectious writing style. Read a couple of his posts and I almost guarauntee that you will, no matter how you felt before, agree that the coolest and most important thing that you can possibly do is to start using off-camera flash. I also bought a second hand Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro. This is a lens that is so sharp and contrasty that is makes anything look good. It's astonishing, really. It has also opened me up to a new world, that which we do not see without really looking. The second thing that happened was getting short-listed in the amateur section of the World Photography Awards for this photo:

Surfer in Portrait

I didn't win anything, but my photo was one of 50 out of 25,000 entries. I was stunned, and although it was probably a one-off, I think I can ride on the encouragement it gave me for at least a couple of years.

Well, I said I would ease myself into this, and I have failed miserably. Before I finish, I'm just going to make a note of a couple of 'resolutions' which I will try and follow with regards to this blog:

1) I will try and post more than once a week.

2) If I don't have anything to say, or time to say it, I will still post photos if I have taken any.

3) Fear of embarrassment/appearing arrogant/self-absorbed will not put me off.

That'll do.

Here are some photos of the last couple of months, in no particular order:

White Hole



Dà l'idea di primavera

Water Sculpture


Two Drops

Sun & Fog