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An ill defined photographer.

Tom dinning

Registrant*
I’m currently going through all my photographs, one by bloody one, and rethinking them, reprocessing, reinventing as it were. I don’t throw much out so this could take me a while.

Along the way I ask myself questions.
Today, the question is “What sort of a photographer am I?”
Along with that is the corollary “what sort of photographs do I take?”

Self analysis is sometimes helpful in understanding motives. Other times it sends me into a spiral of depression.

Take so called Street Photography.
I’m in some sort of street or other most days. I like the security of a city or town or community. I like the solitude of anonymity and the companionship of crowds. The buildings act as monuments to humanity and backdrops to ways of life.

What I have noticed is how different my images are of other street photographers.
Our very own Robert Watcher is constantly presenting us with images of individuals or groups he finds interesting or are involved in activity.
Occasionally we get a sense of location but it seems to me the prime motivation is recording the people.

On the other hand, my images, although they include people, often don’t, or place the people into the scene as I might a tree or greys hound at at a track; often distant, small in scale, diminished in importance perhaps.

This isn’t due to any fear of people or apprehension. It’s how I see things: the objects of interest all coming together in a way that interests me.
When I look at the images now I see everything. Others might miss things of importance, even people. Even I, from time to time am surprised by what I didn’t see through the viewfinder. But these supposedly unwanted elements are not removed or spoilt the result. They are left in because that’s where they were, so in some way, their significance is as important as the rest of the content.

That’s not to say I don’t crop, remove structures, wait for a moment or come or pass, frame according to taste. That’s me being God.

Strangely enough, I’ve never been ill at ease with what I do or create. So far I’ve been though a thousand or so images over the past months and not past over one that didn’t have some value or worth. For me!

In a sense, it is recording my own history. I look at it as a sort of archaeology of my own footsteps.

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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
“In a sense, it is recording my own history. I look at it as a sort of archaeology of my own footsteps.”


Damn good!

We need to boil it down further!

Likely Jeröme could: he’s a Macintosh of succint!
 

Peter Dexter

Well-known member
It is most enjoyable to follow your "eye" behind the lens. Regarding the latter I like the selection: it was a mistake that passed by you.
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
“In a sense, it is recording my own history. I look at it as a sort of archaeology of my own footsteps.”


Damn good!

We need to boil it down further!

Likely Jeröme could: he’s a Macintosh of succint!
Then it wouldn’t be me, Ash.
I could add a bit.
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
I continue to dig up bones and artefacts from my past that, on the surface, seem trivial, even irrelevant.
But who am I to say how each step along the way moved me one way and not the other?

What was on the 8th or 6th Floor that separated me from this particular one?
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What is my fascination with car park entries to do with anything I do otherwise?
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Why chair legs?
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Surely these are the remnants of a mad man, photographing for the shear pleasure of seeing what his world looks like framed by a right angled quadrilateral.
 

Andy brown

Active member
I ask myself similar questions Tom and as to what sort of photographer I am, I come up with terms such as - tired old hack, wannabe, couldabeen, shouldabeen, wouldabeen, then I move to descriptions such as - close but no cigar!, almost has a good eye, frame without a brain... you get the idea.
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
p.s.... that makes me quite well defined.

The young man approached the stream with caution. Since his departure from home on the other side a rainstorm had filled the stream. It had become a raging torrent as wide as dale it filled. He could see his home on the other side, his mother calling him in desperation.

A Buddhist priest approached him.
“What do you want to do?” he asked of the young man.
“I need to cross the stream to save my family” the young man replied.
“A worth cause,” the priest said. “Go ahead. Swim the stream to the other side and rescue your family. They will,be grateful to you”.
The young man looked puzzled and concerned.
“I’m not a good swimmer” he responded.
“You got to this side, did you not?” the priest asked.
“I’d did. But the stream has flooded since then. I need to be a better swimmer now” the young man pleaded.
The priest looked solemnly at the young man.
“The stream is still a stream and you are still a swimmer. What has changed?”
“I’m scared. I don’t want to drown. I need to be a better swimmer”.
The priest looked assuringly at the young man.
“You can only be as good a swimmer as you are now. The stream can only be as it is now. Be what you are and let the stream be what it is.”
“And if I drown?”
“Your family will be grateful for you having swam and understanding that the stream does what it does”
“And what of me?” The young man asked of the priest.
“You will be whatever you become”.
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
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It’s dangerous territory when someone criticises my images.
I’m finding it almost suicidal to criticise my own.
All I can say is they certainly are a distorted view of the world.
As composition goes, they fall off the edge a lot. Big empty spaces with glimpses of life dancing along the frame like a cockroach looking for a way out of a trap.
Or dominating the scene with some obscure structure while the interesting bits dabble their feet in a puddle in the back ground.

There certainly isn’t a lot of ‘pretty’. To be seen.

I can only make an analogy to a writer who structures sentences with bad grammar.
Yet they make sense. To me at least.
At least I have one fan.

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And colour seems to be lacking.
I don’t care much about colour. It’s a bit of a distraction. Like a bright dress at a funeral.

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Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
I’m currently going through all my photographs, one by bloody one, and rethinking them, reprocessing, reinventing as it were. I don’t throw much out so this could take me a while.
.....
I’m in some sort of street or other most days. I like the security of a city or town or community. I like the solitude of anonymity and the companionship of crowds. The buildings act as monuments to humanity and backdrops to ways of life.
.....
Our very own Robert Watcher is constantly presenting us with images of individuals or groups he finds interesting or are involved in activity.
Occasionally we get a sense of location but it seems to me the prime motivation is recording the people.

On the other hand, my images, although they include people, often don’t, or place the people into the scene as I might a tree or greys hound at at a track; often distant, small in scale, diminished in importance perhaps.
I hear you, and my street photography is quite similar to yours.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Tom,

No point in posing as a no good awkward bum with a camera!

You are unmasked by your pictures, LOL!

A refined sense of documentation of even the mundane and unimportant happenstance of a glance is obvious!

Asher
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
Tom,

No point in posing as a no good awkward bum with a camera!

You are unmasked by your pictures, LOL!

A refined sense of documentation of even the mundane and unimportant happenstance of a glance is obvious!

Asher
It’s nice of you to say, Ash, but I can only rely on my own judgement. That way I’m assured I’m dealing with someone I trust to be honest.

The important thing for me is that I’ve always walked the narrow path. Balanced between defiance and contentment I’ve found some interesting subject matter to arrest my attention.


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Tom dinning

Registrant*
It’s more a documentation of what is incidental to life in general.
People want to see something important, recognisable, familiar, understandable.
For others it’s either “ I could do that”, or “I couldn’t do that”.
For me it’s a compulsion.

The answer is always “because it interests me”.
Any question on the manner in which the photograph is presented is answered “because that’s the way I want it”.

My concern some days when I look at some shots of the past is a dichotomy.
“How is it that I’ve enjoyed myself so much for so long?”

My stubborn ness prevents me from wanting to be any different.

I look at other people’s photographs and hope they feel the same way about their own as I do about mine.
This isn’t to say mine or others is good or bad. I remain quite indifferent of others, except in regard to the context.

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Tom dinning

Registrant*
There’s a temptation to enter unknown territory with some images.
It’s less the image and more my mood or thoughts at the time that encourage me to fiddle with the controls.
There’s no work flow to guide me, only what appears on the screen.
I’m encouraged and discouraged by what I see and how the visual connects with my thoughts.
When I look at the history at the end I’m amazed at the number of times I try something and retreat, as if I’m walking on a mine field or soggy ground.
The end product is reached when the visual matches with the verbal. It’s not always pretty. And many time I’ll reach a point and give up.
I’m not sure what sparks this process. I’ll be flicking through the files and stop. That one!

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Tom dinning

Registrant*
It’s probably far enough into the threat for only the Curious to venture.
I, too, carry a torch to illuminate the way.
Christine asked me what I did while she was out exercising.
I couldn’t say.
Not that I don’t remember. I was scratching away at the bottom drawer, among half pairs of socks and buttons that had come detached at some point from their respective garment.
That’s a place I do not wish to share with anyone.
Even I fear shedding daylight on some things.

This what I was brave enough to resuscitate.

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Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
It’s probably far enough into the threat for only the Curious to venture.
I, too, carry a torch to illuminate the way.
Christine asked me what I did while she was out exercising.
I couldn’t say.
Not that I don’t remember. I was scratching away at the bottom drawer, among half pairs of socks and buttons that had come detached at some point from their respective garment.
That’s a place I do not wish to share with anyone.
Even I fear shedding daylight on some things.

This what I was brave enough to resuscitate.

This one stands out by far above all others, but that's just me :)
Purity is the matter there… but again that's just me :)
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
This one stands out by far above all others, but that's just me :)
Purity is the matter there… but again that's just me :)
I had seen the birds circling the sun through the fog.
The tree formed a visual fill in the sky. The leaves were so translucent.
It only seemed to feel right when I took the colour out.
It’s one of those shots where I think no one else will see how it felt.
A private moment.

Sharing a private moment is a bonus I cherish, Nic.

Thanks.
Tom
 
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