I hadn't realised how long it was since tapping out my last blog. My goal was always to have something to write monthly but I guess that's another resolution which has fallen by the wayside; must try harder...
It's so lovely here in the UK at the moment, with distinct signs that winter is behind us now. The days are so much longer and the sunshine finally has some warmth. Mother Nature is also ramping up after the cold winter months, evidenced by that wonderful bright green which characterises Spring so beautifully.
And we have blossom in all its glory! I have been lucky enough to finally get to see the most amazing display of Cherry Blossom in that most glorious of countries, Japan. Yes, I know it's not been that long since my last trip (a cancellation space) but in my defence this trip was booked around 4 years ago now, much delayed for obvious reasons. It really was worth the wait though, the weather was mostly good and the blossom was as magical as it could have been. I am lucky enough to have seen Japan at its best these last few months.
Images sprinkled throughout this blog have been processed fairly quickly, mostly on the long 15-hour flight home so they may not be my best but I am really pleased with them. They don't relate to my fairy tale which I have yet to finish but they do evoke that dreamy feeling of being immersed in a space which feels magical and other-worldly. Images for my fairy tale take a while to visualise and construct so they will be for a later blog. A second trip did however allow me to gather much more source material which I hope will support a wider narrative moving forward, that's the plan anyway. At least I have something which could represent the shed skin of a Chinese Fire Rat!
Part of the reason for my 'rest period' at the start of this year was the need for some time to think about how I want to move forward with my photography. It's been 3 years now since I left my crazy career behind me and I finally feel that all the stress, burn out and associated anxieties are gone. I feel ready to take on a few new challenges without feeling overwhelmed or anxious before I even start. Time to change my default response from 'No' to 'Yes'.
Time to up my game and give myself a challenge so here goes...
I already do quite a few lectures to Photography clubs and societies. To date, I have had one presentation which I vary each time to include new work. I have now introduced a new, quite different lecture which I will be presenting for the first time in August this year.
Here are a few words describing each if you think they might be of interest. They do build on each other but only loosely.
Lecture 1 : Abstract with a bit of Landscape
This presentation charts my photographic journey through time. Content focuses on the different styles of my photography, why each is important and part of the 'journey'. Starting with my early Landscape work which became increasingly simplified and abstracted, I then move fully into the world of abstraction. Acknowledging that some of my early experiments weren't overly successful, I look at how I used these as learning opportunities to produce work of which I am now incredibly proud. Each time I present this lecture I update it with new work so that it's never exactly the same.
Lecture 2 : Make Believe - The Story behind the Project
Many of my projects are the result of working with a single underlying image from which I create multiple variations. The content of this lecture centres around how I approach and create these projects. The starting point is the concept followed by image selection. I look at words to support of a body of work coupled with image titling. There is some basic image manipulation but it is not a Photoshop Tutorial. I use images from my 'Believe' project for illustrative purposes.
Make Believe Course
After some encouragement, I have plucked up the courage to offer a course of 4 sessions to be run over a period of 5 weeks which will centre around creating a body of work from a single concept or image. I will use my 'Believe' project to illustrate various points but each of my projects has its idiosyncracies so I will reference each as needed.
The course will be delivered using Zoom and each will have a maximum of 6 participants to ensure there is plenty of time for discussion and feedback.
I am still working on the content for each specific session but I intend to encompass the following:
- Why working in projects is so important
- Setting goals as a boundary to constrain (or enhance) your approach
- Establishing project structure through panel dimensions. 9, 12, 16 etc images?
- Removing traditional boundaries around your photography; how to keep an open mind
- How to generate a body of work from a single source image and where to start
- How to recognise the buzz, when something is working and when it's not
- Using bold, bright colours
- The many ways to approach panelling and why it's critical to your work
- How to let go of your 'favourites' if they just don't fit in
- When to abandon...
Some knowledge of Photoshop will be required. In creating my projects I make use of Photoshop Layers, Layer Adjustments, Blending Modes and the Transform function. I do not use Lightroom in my workflow so will be unable to provide assistance if that's your preferred tool.
Further information relating to the course will be added to my website once I have the content finalised and I plan to run the first course in June of this year. Please let me know if you would be interested so that I can send further details.
I am so excited to be offering this course. It will be a big step for me but an exciting one too. I hope some of you will come along for the ride.
Thank you for getting this far. I am certainly feeling rejuvinated photographically and as the weather improves and the winter is shaken off once and for all I have a feeling that it's going to be a busy year. As I write though we have a massive storm raging outside with thunder and what looks like hail stones, all very odd for April!
My gorgeous little dog is huddled up under her blanket and is refusing to budge. She is 2 years old soon, where did that time go! And yes, I will be having a birthday party for her and her little Whippet friends (plus maybe a nice lunch for their humans of course...). Oh, how my life has changed...!
Please leave a comment if you get a chance, I will always respond.
Thank you and take care
Quick Links to Previous Blogs
Hi Everyone, Happy January!! Like so many people here in the Northern Hemisphere I find January a tricky month. We are nearly at the end though and the days are significantly longer already. My garden is alive with the green shoots of Spring and it won’t be long before I have some colour in the […]
Hi Everyone, Here we are in the no-man’s land between Christmas and New Year otherwise known as ‘Betwixtmas’. I’ve lost track of what day of the week it is and any sort of routine has flown out of the window! I hope you’ve had a lovely couple of days and are psyching yourself up to […]
Hi All, A bit late again this time but I have a very good excuse. Nothing to do with my mojo, and everything to do with having just returned from the most fabulous trip to Japan. Back in the days of my corporate life, I was lucky enough to travel to many different countries. My […]