Long time no update.
Not surprising really it's been a mad time for us all with the COVID pandemic. To be honest I've had a pretty challenging two years - of which COVID has been just another part - but enough about all that. The enforced lockdown has has made things interesting for all of us with a need for a creative output. Me, I've taken a little sabbatical with a view to emptying my mind and discovering new directions to go in photographically.
A chance encounter led to me reestablishing contact with two old friends from college, whom I'd not spoken to for 30 years, which got me thinking about the past. Having nowhere else to travel to the past, investigate it further, and look back at my days in college, where I studied graphic design in the early 1990s.
Covered in dust and scratches, like my own faded recollections, the negatives from my first meaningful encounter with photography are still in the box I used to store them in as a student. I looked over the old contact sheets and decided to scan them in order to examine them afresh.
Shot with a college Nikon FM2, using mostly Kodak Tri-X film developed in the college darkroom, what they showed to me was a student eagerly engaging with photography, desperate to press the shutter and keen to capture life around him. I'd just been introduced to the likes of Henri Cartier Bresson by our photography tutor Roger Birch (a friend of Martin Parr) and was exited by this kind of photography; something we hadn't seem before. What they also showed me was the power of photography and perhaps film. The ability if the image to lie dormant and return more powerful and poignant than before. The pictures sparked memories - a proustian rush - and portrayed, what is now, a different time.
The films were dusty and scratched because they didn't seen important to me at the time. They were just practice; just for for fun. I longed to be shooting something exciting like I'd seen in the books, little realising these shots would have more worth to me now than any photo book plucked from a shelf.
I think what this experience has shown me, and I think what many of are discovering through the current situation, is that the things we truly hold precious are the very small, everyday things, the personal experience, interaction with others. It's what many of us want more than anything right now and so surely what is most worthy of recording. So to my fellow photographers, please try make the effort to record what happens in your life and those around you. I promise you it will be more important to you and the people you know than the best landscape picture you ever took. I know I'm going to redouble my efforts when when we all emerge into the world again.
If you know me from those days in the early 1990s at Hopwood Hall - and perhaps see yourself here - please do get in touch.