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A first hello. My first post for The Graveyard and Me, project exploring the the relationship between place and photographer over time. What is revealed in not just the place but the photographer also.
Today, I took a trip back in time with myself to when I first started taking photographs. I have been asking myself a lot about what photography is and means to me. I have been looking out at the enormous wealth of talent out there on the internet and wondering if I have a place there. If I could or even should put my work up here too and more and more I am getting back in touch with the things that first started me on the road to wanting taking pictures to be part of what I do in life.
I took a walk out this morning to a graveyard and walked around remembering myself at 15 when I first got hold of a 35mm camera. I don’t know why I chose that setting to begin with, maybe because it was quiet and people would not get in the way of my lens. I started thinking back to being a younger child and going out to the graveyard with my grandmother for All Souls, every year we would bundle up in the car and tend the graves of our families, bring them fresh flowers, tidy up and maybe leave a bit of something they liked to drink. As a child it marked for me these places as somewhere special to reach out and connect with those we love and who had loved us, not so much as scary gruesome places for a good horror scene.
So as I walked around I began to look again at what was really here in this place, I started to notice the words. Places that had been tended and others not. The stillness, the quiet and sadness.
It’s been quite a while since I have posted up here, mainly because I have been absorbed into the world of Google+ where there seems to have been an explosion in the photography community. It is buzzing in there and the quality of the work is astounding, I often found myself looking at the work of other folks the way you sometimes do and asking myself, how the hell do I compete with that!?
It’s a common mistake first starting out (I made it many times) to see the work of other photographers and spend large portions of time trying to emulate them. Though it is flattering and often you learn a great deal from exploring someone else’s workflow it is important to keep your perspective through the lens. Photography is much more than just pointing a camera and taking a photo. Yes there are guidelines for composition and exposure and it definitely does help to know the effects of apature, exposure and shutter speed. There is also something else something that really speaks out and calls to the people looking at your work and it’s you.
Photography is the world through your eyes, your stories and experiences and those of the people you meet, it’s your humanity and perspective that draws in the observer and that really makes an impact. I’m often asked or hear people talking about what is the best camera and in my opinion the best camera is the camera you have.