All artists and that includes photographers, suffer from periods when their creative juices slow down or cease to flow. Enthusiasm for their art wanes. Finding inspiration to make new work is in short supply. I feel that I have been in that space for a little while now. Slowly but surely though I sense things are beginning to change.Read more
Photographically speaking I do not feel this year has been that productive. I have been thinking a lot about the future direction of my photography but not been making many new images.
In the past I would have regularly slung a camera over my shoulder or taken one out in a small bag in the hope that something might grab my attention. In recent months I haven’t bothered to do so and I know I have missed some opportunities. However if the creative juices aren’t flowing then I don’t believe that you can force the issue. If you are not in the right frame of mind then perhaps a break is required in the hope that given time the desire to make new images returns.
The picture in this post gives me some encouragement. It was captured last week as my wife and I took our dog for an early morning walk at Ringstead Bay in Dorset. I had a camera with me, a Sony RX100. A compact camera which I very much enjoy using when I remember to pick it up before I go out!
I didn’t see much to photograph apart from the morning light shining on the mobile homes which overlook the bay. The sky was dark but on the horizon lay the prospect of a brighter day. When I took the shot I immediatley knew how the final image might look. I have not experienced that feeling for quite a while.
A metaphor possibly for a return to a more creative period? I do hope so……
Photographers are drawn to many things. Decay in its various forms is a favourite, churchyards can be another. Without question though we are always drawn by the light, so when you combine old gravestones and shafts of early morning light, a certain fascination starts to develop in the photographer’s mind and it’s very hard to resist taking a few frames.
This set of three images were all captured In the churchyard which surrounds St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire in Wales.
After a hearty breakfast in preparation for the day ahead, the early morning winter light was illuminating the headstones of the dearly departed and long shadows were being cast across the ground. Far from my usual style I used a ‘cool tone’ which you may or may not like but I think it suits the subject matter rather well. Do please comment and let me know what you think.
The word ‘photograph’ is derived from two words in Greek. ‘Phōtós’, genitive of ‘phōs’ meaning light and ‘graphé’ meaning representation by lines or drawing. In other words a photograph is ‘drawing with light’.
This image is of a piscina, which is a small bowl used to dispose of water in services. It is often set in a wall, as it is here. In flat light I doubt I would have even considered taking a photograph, but lit by the sun coming through a window on the opposite side of the church, this simple architectural feature is transformed. The shape and texture are revealed and there is a depth to the picture which without the light would not be evident.
I am always looking for these brief moments when natural light is at play inside a place of worship. Here are a few more examples.
I have quite a collection of this type of image, made over a number of years, so some you may have seen before. Whenever I revisit these photographs, which have been ‘drawn by light’ I am always inspired to make even more.
Loch Na Keal is the principal sea loch on the west coast of the Isle of Mull, which is part of the Inner Hebrides in Scotland. The views in this entry are all taken from the northern shoreline looking south towards the largest mountain range on the island which includes Ben More. The scenery in this part of the island is simply stunning; it is perhaps the most beautiful but also the most dramatic location on Mull. The weather and light are constantly changing, as the clouds move in the wind and are intercepted by the mountains, bringing precipitation to the high peaks and wonderful light for photography.
I took these images back in April but only recently processed them to my satisfaction. They take me back to a place I love and I long to return.
There are small but important details in couple of the images (‘Heron in Flight’ and the cottage in ‘Towards Ben More’) which can really only be appreciated if viewed large, so do click on the photo which will open in a new window.