Patrick Photos

A personal photography project

Category: Uncategorised (Page 2 of 17)

Sitter v Photographer

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As an experiment I asked the sitter from the last shoot what her preferences were from the above edited selection so that I could compare my choices as the photographer to hers. And this is what Andrea chose.

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Andrea

Andrea

So that there was no influence on my part, I did not publish my choices before being aware of Andrea’s choices.

How we see ourselves and how others see us fascinates me. Was this experiment perfect for exploring this? No. But what it raises is whether a piece of work is more about the creator rather than the person being depicted in it. How much, if any at all, did I influence the final choices during the shoot or in the edit process. And how much our idea of beauty affected our choices.

The biggest question of all is if any of these images show the real Andrea? Not just her physical attributes but the real person.

Many thanks again go to Andrea for agreeing to be part of this.

Terence Donovan: Speed of Light

Speed-of-Light

I have to admit that I took my time in going to see Terence Donovan: Speed of Light at The Photographers’ Gallery. The show ends on the 26th September and it has been on since the 15th July.

There is a simplicity to Donovan’s work which I admire and I was shocked to hear on the news back in 1996 that he had taken his own life. Even though professionally he was at the top of his game, there must have been something wrong which made him think that the only solution was to do what he did. (Please do contact an organisation like the Samaritans if you ever find yourself in a similar situation)

What is interesting about his work is that it ended before the digital revolution took place and it was fascinating to see his hand written notebooks detailing the shoots with contact sheets stuck to the pages. Noting down how many rolls of film he used and the lighting set up is wonderful material for anyone interested in the technical side of photography. I’m not sure that there are many photographers who are so meticulous with their notes.

From looking at the work on display, Donovan never took a bad picture of any of his subjects. He managed to find a way to flatter with the picture showing what the person in front of the camera wanted to show you – the “perfect” life. A lifestyle that you may admire or even envy. But I guess that is what all lifestyle photography is about, showing the ideal regardless of what the reality is.

I will end this with one of the music videos Donovan directed, Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love.

Creative risk

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One of the reasons for starting this project was that this would be a safe place to try something different without having to answer to people who are paying my wages or saying they would prefer it their way. So have I been successful in taking the creative risk which I can not do in everyday life?

If I’m being honest, there is a lot of planning and effort put into each photo shoot and I don’t want to waste any of that by walking away with nothing. The problem with this thinking is that I end up with safe images. Photographs that I know will work rather than something completely different. There is a fear of failure.

Doing any experimental work carries the possibility that it doesn’t work out. Learning from that is the only way to expand my knowledge. Success can only happen if there is a chance that it could end up a flop.

I have the opportunity to take more chances in the photographs I’m taking for this project, so I really should make the most of it. I now make no apologies if some of the images I’m creating here aren’t perfect. If they are a flop, my next one could be that number one hit I’m looking for.

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