I'm told I wasted a lot of film; but there was so much fun in the routine of fitting the special sealed film cartridge, the solid clunk and click of the camera, the special fizzing flash cubes and even the ritual trip to the chemist to wait for the results, ordinary as they were:
|Achille Lauro, Naples - Mount Vesuvius,1968|
Dad particularly loved his cine camera, an 8mm Bolex movie camera:
My role in movie making was to sit at the side of the projector and make sure that the film didn't spool onto the floor in a tangle... it often did.
But even with such an early start, I've always been a hit and miss photographer. I've read handbook after handbook on cameras and photographic theory. Pored over works by inspirational photographers - Adams, Avedon, Curtis, Dombrovskis, Snowdon... I always diligently read camera manuals - cover to cover. At the time, it all seems straight forward; ISO - check!, Aperture - check!, f stops - check! But get the camera in my hands and all that goodly wisdom bolts out of the window.
I've thought long and hard about this and decided it's not a lack of patience, more like anxiety over missing a special shot, combined with a lack of discipline. And I think the anxiety also has something to do with the way that different people perceive things. Typically, when John and I are photographing a scene he will carefully set up landscapes and panoramic views:
|Hobitton Film Set, New Zealand|
John in the doorway of the Green Dragon (taken by me):
It's a bit like looking at a Brueghel; John tends to see the whole painting, I'm drawn to faces in the crowd.
After this minor epiphany I took a 3 day workshop with Phil Fogle. ('The Image' Introduction to Photography, Lighting and Presentation). A thoroughly enjoyable workshop, concentrating on photographing flat and 3D artwork, texture and surface. I learned a lot (and was inspired to buy a new camera!), but as the workshop wore on I found myself wandering away from the set exercises on lighting and depth of field:
and compelled to capture a record of the what was going on around me:Patient? yes. Disciplined? Perhaps not!