It's been three months since I took a photograph, I may have snapped pictures of the kids and family at Christmas but this is the longest period that I have gone without practicing the art of photography since I took up the hobby seriously in 2004. I have my excuses for this and I know how important being creative is for my well being but lately I've been contemplating the purpose of it all.
A health scare in 2015 has left me with chronic pain, insomnia and on a roundabout of physiotherapy. Time spent making images could be used resting and god knows that I need more of that but when you have time to think to yourself the mind can wander. What is the purpose of it all? What are you trying to say with your images? Are they really special? Do you really have a style? Are you really an artist? Are you actually any good? With so much photography being shared online, why is your work any different? There are many more questions that make further work seem pointless.
Tonight I was watching a video on you tube from Lina Bessonova, I have admired her work for some time and was interested to see the full length of her talk to her alma mater. Perhaps it was a subliminal message because I can't point exactly to the 'a ha' moment but by the end of the video I had the idea to do an online retrospective of some of my best images. I could tell the stories of each image, how I came to be there, what it was like and why I still enjoy it. This would give me another avenue for creativity, one that is more flexible and who knows, it might even provide some insight into the story that I want my images to tell. Luckily I had been working on selecting a portfolio of images and after spending some time adjusting my selections I now have one hundred images lined up to post about. So here is the first image!
5 January 2005, Newcastle Ocean Baths, NSW. Australia
With my new Canon 300D digital camera in hand I embarked on my second ever sunrise photography outing. I had scouted this location the day before and saw the potential that the curve of the railing and still water could bring, I had visualised a composition similar to this but was pleasantly surprised to see the pre-dawn light turn the sky pink. In the darkness before sunrise the colour dominated the scene and therefore I emphasised this in the final edit.
While learning the theory of digital photography I had received some bad advice - that the 300D should be stopped down 1 stop. While I soon learned of this mistake it was not until after this and many other images were under-exposed. However this was a stroke of luck! The under-exposure emphasised the saturation of the colour in the sky and without this mistake this image would look quite different.
This image is the first image that I am truly proud of, the realisation of what I saw in my minds eye based on pre-visualisation of the scene. The simple curvature of the railing and its imperfect pattern offset the gentle graduation of the sky. I have often wondered if the image is stronger with or without the ships on the horizon, they were a common sight during this period in Newcastle's history - I have left them in for accuracy but let me know what you think!
Creating fine prints is my favorite part of photography, sharing the ultimate expression of an image with someone who will cherish it for years to come brings me great satisfaction. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me, prints from this series start at just $100.