Thank you, that’s very kind of you :)
I remember being fascinated by detail when I was younger, to the point where I’d stop dead just to take a second look at something most people would just pass by. It was a fairly clear step from there to finding some way of capturing those scenes so others could take a look too :)
I noticed you’d mentioned visiting somewhere like the place in this photo; that was taken in Brock’s Hill Country Park in Leicestershire, England, named after the badger setts than run under most of the meadowland there. The arch is only young at the moment - those saplings can’t be more than three or four years old - but it’ll be spectacular when they grow up :)
I went for an urban walkabout with my camera the other day.
It seems that carrying a camera in the street now earns you the same looks from complete strangers that you’d expect if you were carrying a baseball bat instead; a dangerous mixture of suspicion and contempt.
What’s that for? Why are you taking pictures? I’d better not be on them.
A camera can be a weapon in the right hands, agreed, but those hands will also know when to show restraint and act appropriately. The same can’t be said of the hundred or so mechanical surveillance systems I cross each day, where my image will exist only as a digital ghost in a cold, paranoid wasteland. None of those cameras will ever create art.
Photography has the ability to unfurl the tiniest elements of your world for people who might not otherwise experience them. It creates opportunities to empathise without embarassment or judgement. It raises new perspectives to rejuvenate jaded eyes, tired of the status quo. It preserves the essence of life right now for many lifetimes to come, reminding us all that at some point, everything meant something to someone.
But for how long? We’re sleepwalking into a culture where negative attention from the media, coupled with ill-enforced and poorly understood legislation paint the urban photographer as subversive and not to be trusted. If Cartier-Bresson attempted to take those wonderful, soulful candid shots today he’d run the risk of violence or arrest.
Don’t let this happen. Get out there, engage with people and show them that you do this because you love the world and the possibilities it holds. Lead by example. Preserve and cherish those fleeting connections because, given time, we may come to depend on them when all else fails.
Just a quick one this week as the weather has been so bad that I don’t have any new photos for you and I hate loading the page with text. I’ve made a minor change in that high-res images are now available - they’re still a maximum of 800 or so pixels on the longest side, but I was getting a bit tired of the way Tumblr’s auto resize ruins the detail.. just one of many irritations with it recently, but one I can do something about.
Last week I recommended Celestialview for her wonderful, hazy, impressionistic images of our country - she demonstrates that we’re not just a grey, rainy rock in the middle of the North Sea :) This week I chose Riverflowsthroughit because New York fascinates me, mainly because of the sheer scale and variety of the environment, and I think she captures that sense of enormity and chaos to perfection.
Informally I think you should watch Photosonette for a great variety of high-impact and unpredictable work, and Septblue for her textural lo-fi images, often with a musical twist. I’m also going to give Sansivera another nod for her recent dramatic nature work with a variety of iPhone FX software.
You should also make a note of the fledgeling 12 Views - One World project curated by Grindmaster, a previous directory recommendation. The first wave of posts aren’t up yet, but if Frank is involved it should be well worth a look :)
Right, that’s that. Normal service will be resumed as soon as I’ve figured out what normal means :)