Photographer Without a Cause

I love photography. All sorts of photography, from landscapes through street to portrait and boudoir, I love it all. I love the equipment and suffer regularly from GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) for both digital and film mediums. I love the processing of digital along with almost all that goes with it. As you can see I really am quite passionate about it as a subject.

The problem is I'm a rather frustrated photographer as I'm a photographer without a cause.  I sit and read a lot about photography, a lot about processing photographs and a lot about the gear I really like. The problem is I don't get out as much as I want to (or need to) and when I do I don't really appear to see the photographs others see.

The problem is I'm not a street photographer, I'm not really one of those people who can wander a town taing photographs of random strangers going about their business, be it knowlingly or unwittingly.  I work from home so I don't have the excuse of taking photographs on the commute to or from work In any case. 

Likewise I'm not a landscape photographer. I don't really 'see the picture' before me much stood on the top of a hill and as for getting up before sunrise, we'll forget that!

I don't live in a picture perfect house where the light or subject is much worthy of a photograph. I don't live in a town or a quaint village that exudes beauty where photographs of note happen.

I find it particularly frustrating that I go out and don't shoot, I find it frustrating that I don't photograph the things I want to because I don't really know what I want to shoot. I pick any one of my cameras up at least once a day, I shoot crap photos around the house just to have that feeling of taking a photograph. I don't actually do anything with those photographs as they're not worth doing anything with.

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I constantly look to process my digital photographs looking for a 'look', a signature style I like. I have invested thousands of hours (and pounds) in tweaking and presets looking for that look and yet still it evades me - still I frustrate myself with how those photos look even if I like the subject material. 

So, I live in a bubble where I grab small opportunities to take photos I don't really want to, I'm almost forcing myself to take photographs, well just because.  I need a reason to be invested in my all encompassing hobby. I need a project which isn't taxing (which my 365 is proving to be), I need it to be challenging but still fun, above all else I need a cause.

Maybe I should do a course or two. Maybe I should invest in some training but where to start? Subject material, composition, processing?  Maybe at the end of the day I should just set aside time for myself and make some goals for what I want to photograph!

The Milliner

Louise Pocock is a bespoke Milliner based in Chipping Camden in the heart of the Cotswolds, here in the UK.  She makes custom, bespoke hats for both commission and general sale from her shop on the High Street.  

Stepping in to Louise's shop is like stepping in to a fine hat emporium.  Along with hats she has on sale, she sits behind her desk making her wonderful creations for clients in search of something perfect for them, custom made to fit as a hat should.  

Each step of the making process is done by hand, from the cutting through to the final stitch, creating wonderful masterpieces ideally suited to any head.

I was fortunate to spend a short time photographing Louise in her shop, with some members of a Photography group I belong to and whilst 5 of us were busy pointing our cameras at Louise and her wonderful work, she happily continued creating.

You can find out more about Louise's hats and services here.

Using your iPhone as an Everyday Carry Camera

I used my mobile for some light family fun photography one day this week as I was fed up carting about my camera bag and wanted to walk around without having to think too much about my camera bag or indeed my camera.   It got me to thinking if it's possible just to use it for everyday use rather than a small compact such as the Fujifilm X70 I've been using for a short while. 

The iPhone7 is a pretty capable camera on its own, the portrait mode actually works very well throwing the background out of focus nicely and keeping the subject in focus. It even tells you if you need to move closer or further away to maximise the out of focus area. 

A quick photo of my Daughter shot in portrait mode... pretty impressive stuff really.

A quick photo of my Daughter shot in portrait mode... pretty impressive stuff really.

I still maintain the quality of the Fuji X70 is so much better both on screen and in print, but hey if you don't want to carry a camera around with you as you do your phone, then they're a great option and with the myriad of camera apps such as Filmborn, VSCO Cam, Snapseed and others offering real processing power you can really use for phone to the best advantage and easily share on social media. 

Street Photograph with the iPhone, well I guess you could, right?

Street Photograph with the iPhone, well I guess you could, right?

For me personally, I think I'll stick to my camera for photography and my phone for the rest, but it's great to know it's in my back pocket if needed. 

Here's a few photos from a day in London, taken with the iPhone 7, lightly processed in Lightroom.