Monday, 26 March 2012

Another gate, some TV watching, and a local camera club

This is far from being my best photograph of a gate, but it has made me wonder about why some things occur in my photographs time after time. Unlike the 'lost balls project' I don't photograph every gate I see when I have a camera with me, nor do I go round looking for gates. Yet I do photograph gates quite regularly, as I do tarmac and bicycles.

It would be quite easy to construct a 'gate project'. It would be easier to carry out than one on lost balls which are not something you can set out expecting to find. But if I were to put together a collection of sought out photographs of gates would the set end up looking contrived? That is one of the problems I have with that sort of art-photography. It's a bit easy to pick a subject, and as easy to make similar looking photographs - which often seems top be either the case or even the point of the exercise.

I prefer the chance nature of photographing things either when they are stumbled upon (as in the case of balls) or when one in particular looks like it could make a picture (as in the case of gates). Just as an experiment, however, I think I might try a conceptualised gate project one day - pick a lane or stretch of road and photograph every gate on it. Then again, I might not.

Over the last week or so there has been a flurry of photography related programmes presented by 'celebrities' on the popular TV channels. BBC2 ran its Britain's First Photo Album series with John Sergeant which proved to be more enjoyable than I thought it would. I even found some of Sergeant's photos to have something more going for them than I'd expected to.

The other show was a one-off on ITV1 with David Suchet revisiting places his grandfather, James Jarche, had photographed and using Jarche's Leica to make new photographs. Again it was a good watch and the presenter produced some really good pictures.

This is in contrast to my two visits to a local camera club's annual exhibition which I stumbled into by accident last week while in town with a camera. On my first visit I was as unimpressed as I always have been by the formulaic pictures on show. Maybe by lack of interest was picked up by the chap manning the display as I thought he gave me a bit of a black look!

On my second look round I found some less impressively presented photographs tucked away, They were then junior section and there was a mix of snapshots and more 'accomplished' efforts trying to emulate the same formulas the adults follow. There was one photograph, however, that I really liked. It had an unbalanced yet balanced composition, involved complimentary primary colours and captured the action well. It was of a little girl running or dancing to the right of the frame on a large expanse of grass with a red car in the background to the left of the frame. The car and the girl's clothing were red and green, I forget which was which.

The picture was simple and unforced. It's quite possible that the young photographer would have preferred to have the girl centrally placed, but then the vibrancy of the image would have been lost. It's elements of chance and accident that often 'make' photographs.

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