I just pick up my camera, go outdoors and make beautiful images! Well if I'm being honest taking the camera outdoors is the easy part, and saying that I make beautiful images is somewhat pretentious but if I can create something that someone takes the effort to tell me what they liked about it or how it made them feel then that inspires me.
As a self-taught photographer I've learnt the art and developed my particular style by going through countless rounds of trial and error and I've got a pile of hard drives to prove it!
The cameras and lenses I use are nothing special, I just try to squeeze every last bit of detail and sharpness out of the equipment as a starting point to produce the black and white image that I visualised before I pressed the shutter. I also read the manuals, why should I expect to operate something to its full potential without learning anything about it first?
I've also developed a process for converting the files to produce a natural and impactful black and white images which look familiar, yet completely different. Even with this process in place it still can take upwards of a week to produce the final image which undergoes a multitude of fine adjustments.
I certainly believe in the saying “You make your own luck”. In the gallery "Black & White Sussex" the photo titled “A Family Day Out” where three sheep are walking across a dew pond, I didn't specifically go out to get this picture, it started out with me wanting to photograph the view from Ditchling Beacon, near Brighton, I did this and then thought I'll wander over to the dew pond and take a few shots, just as the sheep arrived.
Another picture in the gallery "Black & White Sussex" is of the exact point a flock of starlings took flight from an electricity pylon. The pylon is visible from my back garden so for a couple of weeks I set up two cameras to simultaneously shoot at ten frames per second. Every day they set off just after four o'clock, this always followed a period of deadly silence so I had a rough idea what time this would happen but some days they didn't turn up, other days they were on a different pylon and most days it rained, including the day my patience got rewarded.
I didn't intentionally set out to produce black and white images of iconic locations in Sussex along with some not so well-known places, it found me! We all face difficult and challenging situations at times and in recent years I've had more than my fair share so I've found that picking up the camera and going for a walk has been a very welcome distraction and a form of therapy. I can't control the situations around me but I can pick up the camera and be in control.
And if you were to ask me “Is this project finished?” I would reply by saying “I'll let it tell me when it's finished with me.” so for now I'm just going to see what direction it takes me.
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