A family photo

Work still continues on inviting people to take part in the Hart project I’ve talked about recently.  Numbers are rising and we’ve had some good publicity to help with that – a big thank you to those who have already signed up.  More news will be out on the sittings very soon.

I wanted to step aside from the project for this post and share an image with you – at this point if you’re reading on my website, click the post and it’ll take you to the blog direct where you can see the image.

Birthday

This image features my two children and my mother-in-law, a fabulous lady who had her birthday yesterday.  It was taken during the celebration as the children played monopoly with the birthday girl.

I like this image a lot.  Like a lot that fall in to that category it isn’t, ‘technically perfect’.  It was deliberately taken with a very wide angled lens, close up as you can see with the way my daughter look.  And there I write the last bit about the technical because the image is so much more than that and I find too many people get hung up on technical points.   Working commercially these matters may have mattered, but to dismiss such images because of the odd fault is, I feel, to completely miss the point of them.  There’s a whole world of experimental photography where technique plays a large part in the image and that’s where I find the enjoyment in the technical, not in worrying that despite it meaning the moment was missed, moving to f11 would have been a better choice in a post image pull apart.  There is obviously value in looking at images and thinking about how they could be improved, but to get hung up on it must surely remove some of the enjoyment.

So what do I like about the image?  Well apart from the way in which is captures a family moment causing an emotional link for me, I like the general aesthetic.  The look of surprise is part of the obvious spark that draws me to the image, the sun is pleasant and the light is nice, the brown and greens with the diagonal lines in both the natural background and the boardgames etc.  But beyond these the image has a depth with the technology, the array of drinks and the materialistic game being played between generations, (in fact this board was played with by my wife in her childhood) each having a narrative of their own.   The choice of hats between grand mother and grandson speaks of the link and the time being spent in each other’s company.

There’s more in the image and for some I’m sure less – but that’s the photograph…….

A family photo

Fatal

2-May 2015

New project: In a previous life I spent my days working with everything I had to find answers. The role – a traffic officer (police, not a highways mask) – was often mocked as being the anally retentive evil doer of the ticket giving variety. The reality was that I had the pleasure of working with a group of mostly hard working individuals who spent their time being determined professionals desperate to make life safer and to find answers when individuals lost their life on the roads.

I had the privilege of running investigations in to road deaths as well as being a family liaison officer. These two roles often led me to be amazed by and very concentrated on learning all I could from the scenes of fatal collisions. These places are parts of our communities that we use every day and that we live in and are part off. For a few hours they become crime scenes and then are released back to our communities where, for most life goes on. The transient nature of these places has always fascinated me and so it was this that I chose to explore in this photographic project.

This project is in part a reflection, but also a small tribute, looking back at what I used to do with what I now do and tipping my cap to those who continue to do the ‘job.’ whilst respecting those who have passed on in these places.

Until next time – here’s the project

Fatal

What is a photograph – Part 1

…… we’ve added a blogging service, but don’t want you to lose out on the content to date!

What is a photograph – Part 1

The photograph is, without doubt much more than the,’thing’ defined in the dictionary. I adore the works of a number of people who have spent many more hours than I cogitating on this very things.

As I enter the world of this blog, a communication tool in itself I thought exploring what the photograph is, based on my experience and the works of those I admire for their insight in to the answer to the question in the title would be a fitting start.

Amongst the wide range of literature on the subject there are many answers. To enable us to answer within the scope of this blog we shall look at a select number of relevant views.

A photograph is, ‘at its most basic level, a picture, likeness or facsimile obtained by photography.’ (Clarke, 1997).

Taking a further step back in defining an answer to the question above, we look at the actual word, ‘Photograph,’ which comes from the Greek for light, ‘Phos’ (Photo) and ‘Graphe’ which translates to writing or drawing. Understanding the two parts of the word forms a good basis on which to answer the question, ‘what is a photograph?’

This breakdown of the word forms the initial basis on which we can seek to understand the photograph. We have the light, an element of nature and the thing that all photographers use in order to create the graphe, the visual language, writing and drawing, the human element which, with the use of a variety of devices, we seek on the most literal level to use to make a record of what we see.

Writing can take many forms from a narrative to a documentary record or a poem or even one’s diary. We can find examples mirroring this in photography with storytelling, documentary record, art and snapshots. But as with all writing, the text on the page is just a collection of symbols used to represent what the writer is attempting to get across. In this way the photograph is a visual language, one that we will explore in a later post.

Until the next post…..

What is a photograph – Part 1