alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘project’ category

Photographic projects – and how I have come to appreciate their importance

In recent weeks I have been considering how and why my photography has developed over the past couple of years. In doing so I have come to appreciate the importance of projects. In this post I will write about a few examples and illustrate how they have impacted on my photography and how they might help you in the future.

The age old expression that ‘every picture tells a story’ may still hold true, but with millions of photos being uploaded to the web on a daily basis, via Instagram, Flicker, Facebook, Twitter (I could go on) ….. the world is now saturated with images. Whilst I still enjoy making and sharing ‘single’ shots’, my own feeling is that there is much greater value in a body of work which includes some form of narrative; hopefully a story contained within a set of images which makes viewing the work more meaningful and dare I say it, more pleasurable for the viewer. A story behind the image is far more difficult to achieve from just a single back lit picture viewed on a screen in the space of a few milliseconds, whereas a printed body of work is likely to hold the attention of the viewer for a longer period of time. These bodies of work may take the form of a panel, a photographer’s portfolio, part of an exhibition or published in a book.

New Art of The South Downs

Yours truly at the recent ‘New Art of The South Downs’ Exhibition

Read more

Churches – an exciting new photographic project

St Nectan, Stoke in the Parish of Hartland in Devon

St Nectan, Hartland in Devon

For quite some time I have been considering undertaking a photographic project but have lacked inspiration – until now.

Some months ago I read two very good books; one called ‘On being a photographer’ by David Hurn in conversation with Bill Jay; and another entitled ‘The Essence of Photography’ by Bruce Barnbaum, both of which I can highly recommend. Each publication talked about the benefits to be derived from working on a project, whether small or large, and irrespective of the time it might take to complete.

In ‘On being a photographer’ the author writes – “The subject matter you select must; a) fire your enthusiasm and curiosity at least for the length of time it will take to produce a meaningful body of work; b) lend itself to images, as opposed to words and; c) remain continuously accessible so that you can return time and again to the same topic whenever you wish or have the time.

From the same book it reads – “The more the shooting, the greater the enthusiasm and knowledge for your subject. The greater your knowledge, the more you want to do it justice and this increases the scope and depth of the pictures. So the process feeds on itself”.

Committed to the idea that I would like to start a project, but not knowing what it might be, I was recently inspired by a famous book called ‘Betjemans Best British Churches’ to visit and photograph a number of churches listed during a recent holiday in Devon. I soon realised that I would often photograph these buildings and their locations whenever the opportunity arose, but I had never thought of it as a project.

The penny has finally dropped and whilst this work will not be at the expense of making images of other subjects, it will give me a sense of direction and purpose. There are about 2,500 churches in the guide so I will not be short of material. Some are close to home so easy to visit in a day; others I can research and look forward to visiting as travel and holidays permit. Interiors are just as important as the exterior, so I am not entirely dependent on the weather. Landscapes are my other great love, so visiting a church will take me to new areas as well.

Inspired, excited and full of enthusiasm I have created a new section on this site, not surprisingly called Churches Project . Do read  the introduction and by way of a start I am pleased to show a photograph of one of the churches I visited in Devon in this post.

The Church of St Nectan is in the hamlet of Stoke in the Parish of Hartland. It is often referred to as the Cathedral of North Devon. I like the fact that the tower, which was built as a landmark for mariners, is partially obscured by low cloud and the way the cluster of daisies in the foreground appears to be replicated by the lichen on the gravestones.