by Sharon Humphreys
It was after talking to my brother (film maker and keen photographer) that I decided to hold back on producing photos for the monthly Snapshot Girl meetings.
It was becoming a mad rush to think of some ideas and to send images in before the deadline. The pressure was totally self-imposed and I was becoming frustrated with my efforts. It all felt forced.
My brother suggested that I do some reading around the subject and packed me off home with a complete set of very interesting books: Life Library of Photography. I also dipped into ‘Ways of Seeing’, by John Berger and have recently purchased a book called ‘Why it does not have to be in focus-Modern Photography Explained’, by Jackie Higgins.
The reading (of which there is plenty more to do!) has been a real eye-opener!
I am learning about the history of photography, the important names, the changing methods of taking photographs and about the thinking behind it all. As well as being totally fascinating, it is inspiring me to carry on! Whilst in conversation with a friend (a fellow enthusiast), we reflected on the fact that this interest in photography can also lead to a good deal of pondering on one’s own personality
I have been particularly inspired by a female photographer from the 19th century named Julia Margaret Cameron. It is not just her portraits that I like, but her spirit and tenacity. She was snubbed by many (male) photographers at the time because she preferred to produce images that were slightly blurred around the edges, giving a kind of ethereal quality to the people in the portraits. Many of her contemporaries only valued a crisp and clear image.
Which leads me back to the conversation with my friend, who stated that: ‘It doesn’t matter if no-one else likes it. You do.’
I have taken stock and decided a way forward:
- 1. To have my camera with me at all times.
- 2. To break out of my comfort zone and be braver.
- 3. To continue the journey of discovery!
P.S. I have enjoyed using my camera over the holidays to take what I would call ‘nice shots’.