07 October 2015
SIG: Visual Art
Much bitten, less shy
I had virtually given up on photography. Not for the first time.
Starting off with an ancient discarded family Box Brownie I progressed to my father’s
cast off 35mm. with the resultant boxes of slides, need for a projector, darkened room
and acquiescent friends! I threw the lot away. Then the bug bit again. I decided prints
were the answer as they could be mounted in albums which viewers could peruse at
whatever speed they chose: my mother was always the fastest.
So over thirty years I accumulated albums, lots of them. I upgraded to a Nikon. When
digital came in I changed to a Canon but still worked on the basis of prints as much of
the interest for me was producing an album for each trip. A friend had a smaller
camera which seemed to work just as well and presented far less bulk when travelling,
so another change. And still the albums multiplied. Finally the question came - Why
take pictures? Once an album was completed it went on the shelf and nobody ever
looked at it again. I felt I had spent time taking photographs but failed actually to look
at the subjects of my interest, seeing things only through a lens. I disposed of virtually
all my negatives and through a hiccough with the computer, digital images (most of
which had never found their way into albums) seemed to have disappeared into the
ether. Again, time to stop I thought.
Then in our local parish magazine came details of the inauguration of a new RPS
Visual Art Group. Curiosity got the better of me. Hesitantly I made enquiries realizing
that I was likely to be well out of my depth. After all, all I did was to take
photographs of where I had travelled, not exactly ‘holiday snaps’ but what else could
I call them? The first meeting proved most interesting with introductions to the
operation of the RPS and presentations showing the range of work covered by a
Visual Art Group, some of which I could identify with, others where I might admire
the skill even if the finished product was not to my taste.
Bitten, I eagerly awaited the next meeting which was to take the form of presentations
by many of those attending. Whilst aware of the high standard on the previous
occasion I responded to the invitation to show some of my pictures acknowledging
that I was setting myself up for criticism: I was there to learn after all. People were
kind and it was instructive to look at the offerings of others to see what one thought
was good (or otherwise) about them. I was not alone.
So I look forward to future meetings and the possibility of greater involvement,
maybe even trying for a Distinction. Time will tell, but my interest has been
rekindled: third time lucky perhaps?
Image Angkor Wat by Andrew MacKrill