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An ill defined photographer.

Tom dinning

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.


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!

Tom dinning

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?

What is my fascination with car park entries to do with anything I do otherwise?

Why chair legs?

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

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”.