I have already posted about the fact that I am going to spend 2014 with one lens and one camera, but I thought that I would also make some public outlandish statements that I will hopefully hold myself to for the upcoming 12 months. Some of these will be photography related, others will not. Dont expect this to be a massively read blog post. Its more one of those things that I am putting out there for myself more than anything. So here we go....
1. I will ride a bike everyday
I have made a deal with my wife that we will do at least 30 min of exercise a day everyday, no matter what. No excuses. I have a fairly long history in physical exertion and its something that has been a little lacking in my life since photography returned. Life is about balance, and this is my way of giving back to that just a little bit.
2. I will gain confidence in taking candid images of people I dont know
My return to making photos has been a wonderful thing for me. I enjoy it immensely and want it to be in my life forever now. I have a lot of ideas about some projects that I would like to undertake in 2014. Most of these involve interacting with my subjects a little more when I shoot people. I still have a soft spot for making images on the street with no people in them, that still have that human element to them. This is something I will pursure, but I would like to also pursue some of the other ideas that I have that require more interaction. More on this a little later.
3. I will not buy a new camera or a new lens for 12 months
Since returning to making photos I have had a bad case of buying stuff thinking that I need a different tool to make the images that I want to make. This hasnt helped to be honest. I think that I have improved over the last 12 months, but this has nothing to do with the gear that I own.
4. I will use the money that I have saved on not buying gear to buy books
I have already started to collect photo books, and I love them to death. Its so nice to pick up a printed book and slowly thumb through the pages. The smell of the print on the pages, and the whole tactile experience is something that you dont get with a computer screen. Its something that people take for granted these days. The non back lit images have such depth and tonal ranges that you just dont get on a computer screen no matter how good the image is. I have a feeling that a lot of these will end up being Japanese, I am developing a strong connection with the black and white, often high contrast and gritty images that I see in a lot of the photo books available from Japanese artists.
5. I will use only one camera and one lens for 12 months
I have already posted on this thought, and I will pursue it for 2014. I will use only my M6 and Zeiss Biogon 35mm for the whole of 2014. I will likely make images mainly on black and white film, as I just dont like the feeling of the colour images that I have shot. Black and white has so much more emotion for me, and I think that this is an area that I would like to investigate further.
6. I will spend less time watching TV
I sit idle too much at the moment. Often when I am sitting here editing images and writing blog posts I will have the TV on. This is fine, its just background noise really. its the time when I sit and just watch TV that is useless. I will use this time to take photos.
7. I will spend more time looking at others work
I already spend a lot of time looking at work online due to the fact that I help out with editing at UPSP and admin on APF street, but this is not what I mean. I will diversify the types of work that I draw inspiration from. I will spend more time looking at the work of other artists. Real life work. Gallery shows and exhibitions.
8. I will write more blog posts on the work of others that I admire
As I am buying more books I will spend some time writing about the work in the books. I will spend some time writing about the work that I see in the gallery shows and exhibitions. Its kind of like going back to school in a way I guess. Its a way of cementing the thoughts and learnings that I have gained from spending a little money on a book, or entry to a gallery show. Its a reference for me as much as its a reference for others as well.
9. I will seek out a mentor
I have mentioned in a previous post the old tradition of a master and a apprentice in visual art forms. I think this is something that has worked for many throughout the years. Even though its something that should be easier to achieve with the development of social media, I dont think that people are using the platform the way that it should. I will try and adapt my social media usage during the year to make it more about a social/learning, rather than a promotional platform.
Photo credit Michio Yamauchi
So thats 9. A lot of other people write these lists about 'X' and they seem to like the number 10. I dont want to be like other people so I am going to stop there. I am going to leave you with the image about from one of the Japanese artists that I have discovered recently. Its very simple. Its well processed. The tones are fantastic. It has that strong film grit to it. Its got the right message to end the post with for me. Its all about looking forward, in my case to 2014!