My goal for 2022 is to take pictures as often as possible, even if that means just a twenty minute walk around the block.
I have been far too guilty in the past of not taking enough pictures. I have struggled to get out of the mind set that good pictures can only be made in certain places, for example abstract seascapes in Cornwall, or street photography in Central London.
It has also not helped my journey that I often struggle to focus on what I want to take pictures of. I have often talked of my ambition of becoming a Coastal photographer. It has become clear to me that this is just not a practical one. It is at least a four hour round trip to get to the nearest stretch of Coast, and that is just not achievable on a regular basis with my current work and family schedule.
The ongoing pandemic also means that I am not quite comfortable enough to be visiting London again just yet, which means I am putting my "West End Walks" and other London projects on the back burner just for short term. I do envisage that the majority of my work going forward will be based in the London area. I have a strong passion for the city and I want to continue to create graphic and abstract street images.
So the start of 2022 has led me to start a new project, "Something I Saw". This is a series of images taken in my local area on small walks and outings, as and when they occur.
The aim of the project is to get into the habit of always taking a camera with you wherever you go, and trying to look beneath the surface of an area I have never thought about photographing. There has certainly been a strong "Automotive" theme to the first few outings. I have always been fascinated by abstract car photography, and these are images I have wanted to make for sometime but never got around to making.
Just around the corner from my house was a beautiful vintage car, that I passed every day and always wanted to make pictures of. The truth was that I was too scared to do it, in case of confrontation from the owner. Just recently, I saw the car being towed away, so that opportunity is now gone. I read somewhere that it is easier to ask for forgiveness rather then permission when it comes to making images on the street. Lesson learnt.
It is certainly not an easy project, as good images are hard to come by in a suburban area, but I have already found it hugely rewarding to just be out with the camera a little more, and I am seeing these images as small "sketches" - working on themes and ideas that then may transfer to a larger body of work in the future. The above images are examples of these sketches. Looking for interesting light, and the way that it interacts with the environment, and working out the best way to capture it with the camera.
It has certainly been tough to present these images on social media, as they are never going to achieve the same level of interaction as my abstract seascapes, for which I have become known the most for. Sometimes it can feel like I am "disappointing" my audience by presenting these more "banal" images. This is something I will have to come to terms with myself, and keep posting the images, as I feel they have merit, and they are the result of the next chapter of my photographic journey.
It is also important for me to remember that I am fortunate enough to be a five minute journey from the River Thames, which can present some rather beautiful moments, as long as you are willing to be up and out with your camera!