An Hourly Photo Project

8:15am Light through the blind, first photo of the day

I’ve recently become a keen listener of the Photography Daily podcast https://www.photographydaily.show Hosted by Neale James, it’s a twice weekly podcast that I find inspiring and informative. The Friday episode is a long form photo walk episode featuring listener letters, photographer interviews and snippets of advice or ah ha moments from Neale and past guests. Neale has an incredible hosting style, making the listening experience an intimate one, as though it’s Neale and I taking a photo walk together.

9:15am Cadel snuggled on the couch

The Monday episode is a short photo assignment episode where a different guest each week shares an assignment designed to get listeners taking out their camera and making images. I’ve given a couple of the assignments a go; the photos here are a result of listening to episode 317. The assignment, from photographer Kevin Mullins, is a photo an hour challenge. The idea being to take a photo as soon as you wake up, and then take one every hour following that you’re awake.

10:15am Relaxed as I drink a coffee
11:15am Steering wheel

I decided to use the same lens all day, my Fuji 35mm f1.4. It was not always the best choice to have made, but I stuck to it. Yes, I have photos that aren’t as sharp as they could be, because the lighting at the time wasn’t great, but not needing to change lenses as well as having a light weight camera and lens combination was exactly what I needed. My camera didn’t get in the way. Rather it was simply a tool that allowed me to capture what was in front of me.

12:15pm My feet, again

I allowed myself to take more than one photo of needed, although I never took more than a few each hour. I wasn’t concerned about taking the perfect image, instead I looked at what was there, thought about how I could make it interesting in some way and then took the photo. I liked how the challenge made me feel throughout the day. I noticed I was looking at the light in my surroundings, slowing down my thoughts and being more present in the moment than usual.

1:15pm Jensen
2:15pm Eli

Looking at the photos I realise that they’re more than a snapshot of my day; they’re a window into my life as it is right now. Photos of Cadel. Photos of plants. Photos of my nephews. Three loves of my life.

3:15pm Cadel

There’s also random things; my cars steering wheel and the top of my bread machine, taken as it made pizza dough. And my feet. They were in front of me at the time, so the parameters of the challenge were being met.

4:15pm Bread machine

I enjoyed the project a lot and I think I might repeat it, perhaps every few months. I imagine it will create a kind of record of my life, but I also think it’s the kind of project that will easily to fit into my life, which is the best kind of project for me. I don’t like over complicating things, I’d rather grab my camera and take photos and be happy with the process.

5:15pm Peperomia – I think? A plant I own that I’ve yet to check the species of
6:15pm Philodendron Florida
7:15pm Cadel snuggling against David
8:15pm Philodendron Silver Sword
9:15pm The end of my day, in bed with a book and Cadel

Unexpected Truths From Podcasting

For approximately 18 months I have been interviewing people for the podcast Art Supply Posse. I’ve chatted with a variety of artists as well as retailers of art supplies. Everyone from Kevin Murphy – whose art has been commissioned by such luminaries as The Rolling Stones, Game of Thrones & now runs his own art school, Gosia Orlinksa who is an artist & an art therapist to ceramicist Julia Skott who challenged me to label myself as an artist.

I love bringing these chats to our listeners. I try to guide our conversation in a gentle way so that it sounds like a chat between two friends as opposed to a question & answer type interview. I don’t know about you but I prefer to listen to a podcast where it sounds like I’m listening to a couple of friends have a conversation. It makes me feel like I’m in the room with them.

That might sound like it’s difficult to achieve but I’ve found that once people start talking about the thing they love, such as painting with watercolours or pouring alcohol based inks onto canvas, the conversation flows naturally. People slip into that world, their world of art & creativity & their conversation carries you into that world too.

Talking to so many artists who are often at different stages of their career to each other has made me realise a few things about myself & my long held views of my creative abilities. And I suspect these realisations have occurred to some of our listeners too.

By far the majority of artists have had family support to pursue their creative endeavours. Some have or had artistic parents & most have or had parents who encouraged the creativity when they weren’t creative themselves. Yet even artists with family supported have occasionally had doubts about their work. This goes against my expectations; surely only those who suffer from doubting their art are people like me who were actively discouraged from making art?

Turns out that’s not the case. Self doubt seems to affect a lot more artists than I expected. The more I hear this expressed by artists, the more I realise that its almost common among creative people. I’m always grateful when someone I follow on Instagram posts something about how they’re in a creative rut that they’re having trouble getting out of. Not because they are in that place but because they are sharing it. The more creative people can see that self doubt is common, the better. It will make it easier for us all if we know that self doubt is common & can be worked through, if thats what is wanted.

Everyone I have spoken to has encouraged our listeners to continue following their artistic pursuits or to take up something that they’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the courage to do so. The more I hear this the more encouraged I am to continue with my creative loves. I can now say I am a writer & a photographer. It turns out, despite my fears otherwise, admitting these things won’t kill me! It doesn’t even hurt me!

Give it a try yourself, if you’d like to call yourself an artist, a writer, a filmmaker or photographer or whatever it is you know deep down you are. It won’t hurt, I promise! Start saying it out loud to yourself, then try it on your pets. Pretty soon you’ll find it easy to slip into conversation. It doesn’t matter if you don’t make a living from your creativity & it doesn’t matter if you don’t ever want to pursue it financially. Claim the thing you are. You claiming it & proclaiming it will make it easier for someone else to claim their thing. That I can also promise.

Dogs In The Street Is A Genre For Me

I was lucky enough to meet with a good friend in Melbourne last Thursday. We’d decided earlier on this year that we needed a break from our lives & flying to Melbourne for a few days away seemed like a good idea. It gave us a concrete point in the future that we could work towards, coming in handy when we were wondering if we could get through what life was throwing at us at various times this year.

As I am wont to do I packed my camera into my handbag, expecting there would be opportunities to take photos of something, somewhere. Thankfully, Melbourne delivered. The weather was beautiful & the vibe in the CBD seemed to echo the weather. I had Friday to myself whilst my friend attended a conference, so I spent the the day walking with my camera.

I thought taking my time to wander the city slowly, sitting down whenever I felt like it & paying attention to the light & people within it would hopefully provide me with some opportunities to take photos that I could be happy with. As I moved through the day I found myself yet again being drawn to people with their dogs. Many were walking together, some people were carrying their dogs in their arms & others were sitting with their dog by their side.

I find dogs more interesting than their owners, although I pay attention to the owners in case it is worth focussing on the them in lieu of their dog. I want to know what the dogs are thinking & feeling & try to capture that. I like to think this guy in the photo above was watching me, making sure that I wasn’t going to be a threat to his owner & then wondering what on earth I was doing. To him I probably looked weird standing nearby, relaxed but holding a strange thing in front of my face. He relaxed once he knew I wasn’t going to be a threat & moved his attention elsewhere.

Reflecting on this moment & looking at other opportunities I’ve had trying my hand at street photography I’ve realised that the genre of street photography of dogs appeals to me. It ties together two things that I love – taking photos & dogs. It seems like a natural fit so I’ve decided to improve my skillset within the streets of where I live. It’s not enough for me to wait until I’m in Melbourne or another city. I want to take these types of photos more often so the sensible thing to do is to do it locally. If I have any luck with this project I’ll post images here.

Behind The Scenes

For a long time I have found myself captivated when I see brides walking from one location to another in order for their wedding photos to be made. It is the beauty of their dress that catches my attention but that isn’t what keeps it.

I am really taken by what is happening around her. There is usually one or two photographers who direct her, plus the obligatory groom (who I’m rarely interested in) and sometimes the entire bridal party.

In the above case there was also a woman who worked as an assistant to the bride. The voluminous skirts and train were being carried by her when I first saw them. She proceeded to place everything as directed by the photographer, as the bride moved to sit down. I found myself watching her work more than I watched the actual bride. I wondered if she receives the acknowledgment she deserves. Is she paid well? Is she thanked for helping make everything run smoothly and appear perfect?

Perhaps one day I’ll find out the answers to these questions. It wouldn’t be appropriate to enquire whilst an assistant is actually working, so hopefully I’ll come across the answers in another way.

On The Street

I have been thinking about photographing dogs. Thinking about different ways to show them in print. Would portraits be best? Or photos of them interacting with their owners, or candid photos of them in their surroundings? I’m not sure yet of which way I’d like take this project although I know it will require lots of trial & error.

A week ago I had the opportunity to try street photography. I enjoyed walking with my camera, talking with a friend & trying to capture what was seeing.

It comes as no surprise to me that I found myself wanting to take photos of dogs in the streets. I love that they get to go out & about with their owners. To me it says a lot about how important dogs are to people. Although if I come across someone walking a cat, rabbit, guinea pig or any other animal & I have my camera in hand then I won’t be able to resist taking a photo of that either! Our relationship with our pets is important. And I certainly won’t judge you if your pet isn’t a dog 🙂