Rollright Visual Art Group Blog by Andrew MacKrill

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?

Andrew MacKrill

Image Angkor Wat by Andrew MacKrill