One of my recent blogposts was titled ‘No Time, No Excuse’. Essentially I was saying that even though there are times when we don’t have a minute to spare, we should still be taking every possible opportunity to hone and practice our photography. As usual I don’t practice what I preach! Taking a look through my recent files I realised that in nine days I’d released the shutter just three times and those three clicks were of the dogs sat in one of our armchairs. It really isn’t good enough and there’s also an uneasy feeling that I’ve missed a lot of shots. More about that uneasy feeling in a moment;
I was reading one of my many photography books the other day, on this occasion the book in question was ‘The Great LIFE Photographers’. It’s full of gorgeous photography and I strongly recommend it, I lingered on the section that covered one of my favourites; Gordon Parks. Wow, I thought, what a talent. You can see his work by clicking here . The youngest of fifteen (yes fifteen) children Gordon Parks was an African American which a betting man would place the odds firmly against making any sort of life for himself. His mother died when he was fourteen and he was turned out onto the streets at fifteen. So it was he drifted from job to job until eventually whilst at a Gentleman’s Club he utilised their library, studying and learning from the books suddenly available to him. After that he became a waiter on a railway train and began seeing portfolios in picture magazines. He decided to become a documentary photographer. As well as that he also became a poet, writer, musician and film director, notably directing the film ‘Shaft”. Now I’d say Gordon Parks didn’t have a lot of time on his hands what with struggling to survive in 1930’s America and all that would have entailed, yet he made time. You’d therefore think I could manage in my comparatively comfortable life to make time to make photographs. The next day we were heading off for a walk and I almost didn’t bother taking the camera, then thought of Gordon Parks.
I’m not comparing my work with this ‘great’, that would be ridiculous. I decided though to make the effort and simply document our walk. I genuinely haven’t had a moment for “Street Photography” this last month or so, that clearly shouldn’t equate to not taking photos. I even dusted of the 50mm Noctilux, that lens is so rarely used nowadays. I shot everything wide open (f/0.95) to get myself back into manual focussing, mostly with the 35mm lens on the Street I’m using the hyperfocal technique, meaning that I don’t have to bother with focussing at all. I do like to see everything in focus with that type of photography, this however is different.
The same principal applies though, we’re simply attempting to capture a candid moment in time…back to that time thing again, apparently it waits for no man! I’m not going to waste too much more of yours, although I thought it was about time I posted a blog entry. I decided to just punctuate it with a few photos I made on our walk. You don’t need a story about it, needless to say it’s quite a climb to the top and when you’re there it sure is windy;
To finish we’ll go back to that uneasy feeling I mentioned earlier. Looking through all of my photography books I see incredible images and those photographers will be remembered for perhaps just one of them. I’m still waiting to take ‘The"‘ shot and not having my camera clicking everyday is making that achievement a fairly remote possibility. I’m not expecting to reach their level, just something for my level, something that perhaps family and friends will look back on in years to come and think ‘he was a bit of an idiot through his life, but he did take a decent photo”. The other reason is that it’s this time of year that I post my 12 best of the year. I might struggle with 2018’s entries as it is, this brief hiatus isn’t going to help! I’ll leave you with one of Sam (my wife) and Dottie walking up to the monument. I like it. The light, just as with my wife, is gorgeous and does go to prove that I must attempt to spend every moment I can making photographs, I don’t want to miss one single frame…
As always my sincere thanks go to anyone taking the time to read this blog.
All images can be opened by clicking on the thumbnails and are taken using a Leica M with Noctilux 50mm Lens fitted.
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