I enjoyed taking this photograph. It is just a few minutes away from where I live. Five women had stopped to take in the scene with their sandwiches.
A view within a view type of picture, like we are eaves-dropping on a private moment. Of course, we are not secretly listening to a conversation; rather we are secretly sharing a vista with five women except ours is more inclusive in that it contains theirs. Or so it seems. Of course, there might have been someone behind me looking at me taking in five women taking in a scene.
Photography has this strange quality. It engenders the idea that the vista starts at you, with no cognizance of what is behind; that the world starts with you. But as we peer intently into the picture a doubt emerges… The world does not start anywhere. Like a photograph, this is a neat but necessary illusion.
At a recent exhibition of Rembrandt’s printmaking techniques I was struck by the similarities between Etching, Bromoil and Paper Negative printing. All show the hand of the artist. All share a certain sensibility.
I have a thing about taking photographs of statues, particularly in natural settings or cemeteries. It is hard to put into words but for me statues can evoke a sense of time stood still. It’s that influence from Atget.
Every student of photography will have their own list of favourite photographers. Perhaps we live in the hope that a well crafted list will somehow reflect well on our own ‘maturity’ as a photographer. Bathing in the light of a famous photographer, citing a photographer as an ‘early influence’, having a selfie with a well-known photographer – Ha! I guess we have all done it. At the very least, I plead guilty …
There is a strong trend within modern landscape photography to embellish, to fortify and to dramatize what is seen. It is the contemporary paradigm, a modern form of romanticism. Perhaps digital photography and post processing naturally leads to this.
This last couple of years has seen me re-evaluating everything that I do as a photographer. It has both good and destructive moments, such is the nature of introspection. But you don’t get far in life in any manner that really counts without the capacity for self-doubt.