alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘Don McCullin’

Starting to see again…..

Moody Prinsted for wordpress

If you read my last post (Photographic Purpose?) you will know that I have taken very few images in recent months. There are lots of reasons but there is one factor – I wasn’t seeing anything to photograph. Even if did see something I wouldn’t have a camera with me, with the possible exception of my old iPhone of course.

Photography is like any creative hobby, you have to keep practising and it’s very easy to get out of the habit of taking and making new images. You stop looking partly because you don’t expect to see anything and over time the brain no longer sees pictures. It becomes a vicious circle and the longer this situation continues the more difficult it is to break what has become a destructive habit.

I used to play a lot of golf but to keep my handicap down I needed to play regularly. If I didn’t play for a few weeks then my game would suffer. However one good strike during a round would help to restore my confidence and inspire me to play more.

Photography is no different. The above image was taken yesterday and during processing it immediately reminded me of the great moody black and white landscapes by Don McCullin. A photographer whose work I very much admire.

I find this one image quite inspirational, not because it’s a great image, it isn’t perfect by any means. But because of what it represents. The fact that I am ‘starting to see’ again and as importantly want to reach for the camera when a scene unfolds before me.

The fact the camera was my old iPhone 6 doesn’t matter, although I am constantly amazed how much processing in Photoshop can be done before the image starts to degrade. Yes, I would have preferred a more detailed file to work with, and there are elements of the composition which could have been improved had I stopped to think about what I was doing.

Nevertheless each new image I take is a step back to where I would like to be – taking, making and sharing new images on a regular basis.

What’s on the Shelf – The Landscape by Don McCullin

This is the first of what I plan to be a series of entries which I have called ‘What’s on the Shelf’. Hardly original I know, but hopefully self explanatory.

As much as I like making photographs of my own, I also enjoy spending time collecting and reading photography books by people whose work I admire. I think there is a lot to be gained by studying images in a more traditional way. I have to say it’s a real pleasure to dwell on a photograph on the printed page; something which I rarely do when viewings work on a screen, whatever the size. You also get to see a collection of photographs which added together have a story to tell. Each page turned offers a link to the previous page and so on.

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Don McCullin Exhibition – Tate Britain, London

If you happen to be in London before the 6th May and have an interest in photography then I can highly recommened you visit this superb exhibition. Even if you think photography isn’t your thing, then just go along anyway – it’s that good.

Given the disturbing nature of many of the photographs on display; they include graphic pictures of war, poverty, famine and conflict, it is difficult, if nigh on impossible not to be moved by what Sir Don McCullin has captured over many decades as a photojournalist. Nor will you be using words such as ‘lovely’ or ‘enjoyable’ to describe your visit but these are the very reasons to go and not stay away.

What follows is a summary of my visit and a few personal thoughts. I have included a selection of images (photography for personal use is allowed) coupled with McCullin’s quotes to give you a flavour of what the exhibition at Tate Britain has to offer.

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