For whatever reason the urge to write (about anything) deserted me. Neither could I be bothered posting pictures here for the sake of it - although I have been taking plenty and posting them on Twitter. I've had a few subjects come to mind which could have been written about if only my general lethargy hadn't got in the way.
This is all a part of the confusion I have about where I, and my photographs, fit in the wide photography world. I think I've mentioned before that I don't want to be taking photographs which appeal to other photographers. That's falling into a similar trap as chasing 'likes' on social media. Or in another sphere taking photographs to win a camera club competition or a jumped up camera club competition like the RPS distinctions!
To quote Ed Smith (which I may have done before); "When you play cricket to please other people you have lost the point of playing cricket" Or words to that effect.
First and foremost I want to take my kind of photographs. Being wildly arrogant and self-important for a moment I reckon I have a pretty damned good idea of what makes a good photograph for me. And how to go about it from a technical stand point.
On that last factor I have come to realise that I'm out of step with not just the RPS and it's love of technical perfection, but also with a lot of the hobbyist photography world. It seems that whenever I give advice to beginners on the photography forum I frequent I get shot down by the resident experts.
If you want to stop your pictures being blurred, then 99% of the time you'll need to use a faster shutter speed. I've seen it so often with photos taken by anglers I know that are blurred through camera and subject movement because a camera's (or phone's) automatic settings have selected a slow shutter speed. If the option is available (not on my phone it's not) the solution is to use shutter priority to lock in a faster shutter speed. That's why I think telling beginners to use aperture priority (which all too often sets a slow speed) is bad advice. But when I suggest it I get flamed because the experts are obsessed with controlling depth of focus.
For years my only camera was my Pentax ME, which was aperture priority only. Yet I used it as a shutter priority camera. When I turned the aperture ring on the lens I had no idea what it was set to because I was concerned with keeping the shutter speed displayed in the viewfinder high enough to stop camera shake! If you aren't using a tripod I think this is the best approach. Especially given how high you can let ISO go in modern cameras.
I guess it's because what I think makes a good photograph is what's in the picture - the facts. For example, to me a good portrait is primarily about gesture and expression, light and depth of focus are secondary. If the gesture and expression are saying nothing great light and creamy bokeh won't save it.
I don't fit in the art world of photography either. My photos aren't what's deemed acceptable but mostly I can't be doing with taking it as seriously as seems to be necessary. I certainly can't be arsed taking myself as seriously as some po-faced photographers do. They're far too earnest for me. Pomposity has to be punctured when I see it! When it comes to documentary photography I'm out on a limb there too because I don't have the drive to push my photos to get seen by anyone who could get them out to a wider audience.
So that leaves me floundering around in my own little world, occasionally venturing into the worlds of poultry fanciers, sheep breeders, and sheep dog trialers. Which is why I've taken to posting more pics on social media after avoiding it for ever. At least that way the people in the photos get to see them. Which I think is important. Whether they like my more 'off the wall' pictures I don't know. I'm certainly not trying to make the kind of pictures of the subjects which journalists or other professionals might take. Some of my framings are still 'odd' with chopped off heads and intruding limbs. Traditional subjects shot in a different way.
Which brings me to a comment I saw reported about some photos submitted for review for an RPS 'panel'. They were deemed to be 'record shots'. Aren't all photographs 'record shots'? Can't a 'record shot' also be a good picture? What a crock of the proverbial!
I want my photographs to be records, and I want them to work as pictures. That's what keeps me taking more pictures. Striving to make pictures which work as pictures and which provide a record of what was happening. It's bloody difficult though. But if it was easy it really would be pointless!
Some more random pictures from the last few months. Kicking off with a phone snap, now I have a phone with a reasonable camera in it.