Hannah gets in on the act…
Archive for April, 2011
My monochrome version of this picture staretd a bit of a debate about the use of black and white in contemporary documentary work. This is a question that I have considered repeatedly over the last couple of years. For information, the above image is simply a colour version of the monchrome picture above, but with a graduated filter in LR3 to remove a green cast in the upper half of the frame.
I continue to be very aware of a tension between using monchrome for this sort of picture, which often carries an unintedned romantic sense of past with it, and using colour, which clearly dates the image to today – particularly with digital capture rather than exposing film. I’m not sure I’ve reached a conclusion yet and p[erhaps should just let each picture or project stand on it’s own.
However, for the historians amongst you here is a colour version. If you want a print then email me and you will be able to more deeply into the picture! Also, of course, discussion of the topic in the comments would be welcome.
Last spring my wife’s cousin visited us for a few days and whilst she was here helped prepare a small wild flower garden at the end of our plot. Sadly, she died in the autumn and, although she had had problems for many years, it was still both sudden and unexpected. Julia’s last few years had been difficult, but we are fortunate to know that she had enjoyed her last visit North and the planning and making of this little plot. A few weeks after her death we and the children planted some tulip bulbs amongst the wild flowers as a memory of her and they have started flowering for the first time in the last week.
Although Julia never saw the the flowers, they remind us of her and will appear in the springtime that brings hope for years to come.
‘Everybody starts off with the most essential quality of a good photographer – honesty to himself. A mother taking pictures of a baby on a beach with a box Brownie has this honesty. No illusions, no pretensions. She is not trying to be arty or clever. She photographs what she likes, simply and directly. All photographers start off with this honesty but most unfortunately lose it as soon as they attempt to become a “better” photographer. Their integrity is swamped by gimmickry and the control of technique. Too often photographers aim for visual effect. Pure boredom. They should forget about being conscious of composition and attempt to be more conscious of feeling. Good photographs come from a photographer having a genuine feeling towards a subject and a desire to record it. If you photograph something that really interests you in a direct and simple way it is a fair bet that your pictures will be more significant.’
I know that I am out of step with most of the photography I see or read about on the net, but I think that David Hurn summed up what makes the whole business interesting to me in this quotation. Photography’s one great strength is the representation of what is in front of the lens. Of course it’s not impartial or even ‘truth’, but it it is representation. For me, an interest in the subject makes it worth taking photos and an interest in and a care for the subject prevents me from making the photo into something else. The image serves reality rather than reality existing for the sake of the image (my art!).