Young (at heart)


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Young (at heart)

16 Apr 2020 8:22AM   Views : 335 Unique : 224


Photography is – at least as a hobby – all about capturing and remembering beauty and joy. It’s about exploring the world, seeking out new ideas and people and places.

Therefore, it seems entirely logical to me that it should be a way in which one can remain young at heart…

Is this fanciful? It’s certainly a far less concrete idea than the other parts of this photographic alphabet – but that may be fatigue setting in now I’m nearly at the end of my photographic alphabet (I’m moving on, on Saturday, and will spend a few days exploring the delights of the darkroom). However, it’s also an essential part of the practice of photography for the majority of other photographers I’ve met, including the professionals.

OK: I’ve met some people who know what they can do, and don’t want to learn anything new. There are a few for whom this is a badge of pride: they don’t want to learn or try anything new, and there’s often a sort of joylessness about their work.

I know a very much dyed-in-the-wool old-school club photographer and judge, but he’s recently abandoned his Canon DSLRs for Fuji mirrorless, and routinely uses high ISO – so much for the old club idea that the slower the better (was that the film, or progress in general, I wonder?)

Technically, the really young at heart may be what are known as ‘early adopters’ – people who rush to anything new, maybe investing in a new camera as soon as it reaches the market… And then abandoning it as soon as another new model comes along. Don’t knock it, though! It can be your route to keeping nearly abreast of the times at reduced cost, when you snap up the near-mint gear they’ve traded in.

And even if you aren’t buying all the latest kit, you can remain aware of what’s happening, and think about how it might affect the possibilities for making pictures. Being young involved, for most of us, having to save up for things we wanted. And there’s a joyous anticipation of the moment when, finally, you can acquire the thing that you’ve longed for. It’s not the acquisitiveness of the greedy – it’s the pure joy of something wonderful.

So, whether you are eight or eighty, explore something new today… You don’t have to go out and about: I remember the lovely work that André Kertész was producing in his New York apartment in extreme old age, using glass ornaments and sunlight. An object lesson for this time of lockdown! (This is a memory of a TV programme I saw 35 years ago – it would be wonderful if the BBC could dig up the series of photographic greats for the lockdown – other programmes featured Ansel Adams and Bill Brandt.)

The picture is of my friend and photographic mentor, Fred Whisker, taken a few years ago. A man who delights in images and new ideas, always.

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Howard2 Avatar
Howard2 7 3 5 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2020 4:34PM
It is a matter of the way we see the passage of time. Passing time is not merely stacking up the past, but drawing upon the future - the direction in which we need to be facing - using this to the full in the present, then filing away those lessons those memories positive or negative, happy or sad, all of which contribute to the person we/you are today. Photography can be perceived as stacking up old memories. Full stop. Whilst there is an element of truth there, there is more to photography.

There is our family - I would like to have more of a photographic record of my own family than I have now, because way back then, they were not able to practice or take as many photographs as I do. My own family are going to be swamped, so I am ensuring that what photographic material I leave is well cataloged and labelled.

With regard to gear - I invest very little in equipment as I feel I do not fully use the capabilities of what I have!

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