This one is my favourite from my recent trip to Finland, when I went to have a look at Kuopio for the first time. It's a smallish city of 150,000 or so and about half way up the map of the country. Lots of snow this year, and a lot of frozen and snow covered lake. This was taken down by the harbour. I like it for the dimly seen winter sun. Click on it to see it a bit bigger.
Let's talk a bit about my own photographer's history.
I did get into photography enough to be spending money on it for a long while. This was while photography was still film based. When computers and digital images came along the writing was clearly on the wall and it's never been the same for me since, in particular since the point was passed at which a digital image could have as high a resolution or even higher than a film image. No, I don't suffer from false nostalgia. But it is a fact that I've never been tempted to buy a fancy digital SLR, or expensive Photoshop software, and I do relish having a decent camera I can slip into my pocket.
Sadly, I now have a lot of once-expensive film-based hardware stuffed into a cupboard, and it's hard to see how I could ever realise their value. I could be wrong, but I don't believe any of the models of camera have the necessary 'classic' value to offer some return. Except possibly my beloved Nikon FM manual camera, although the meter on that has died. The film formats range from 126 film via 35mm through to 6x6 medium format. I have darkroom equipment and did do a bit of black-and-white printing at home. I got into slides and have many boxes of them, both 35mm and 6x6. But I never had the time or energy to scan more than a few. At some point they'll be thrown out with little ceremony.
What sort of photography did I get up to?
It was all aeroplanes at first, then holidays etc. I picked up the idea of composition, as I tried to work more with the square frame of the 126 camera. Then a friend showed me what could be done in 35mm and I took the artistic side much more seriously. I bet most of my best pics date from the next few years, as I experimented with that Nikon. Landscapes, portraits, abstract/textures,... But I did take one or two nice pictures later on when I got that medium format camera, square frame notwithstanding. Prints could be a little underwhelming, but if one could be bothered to get out the slide projector, they made for lovely viewing. 'Slide projector', eh? Who does that now?
And I can actually list a few favourite photographers :)
- Robert Doisneau
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Eliot Porter
- Irving Penn
I still love a great photograph, and will happily wander into an exhibition in a gallery. Oh yes and it's bad that I didn't think of some women photographers off the top of my head, because there are loads I have really liked. I will still take a picture of nothing much if I like the pattern or the light or something artistic like that. Proper photographic portraits are great, too. I love low light work; portraits as I say, concerts, interiors. This little Canon compact camera I have is very good for that. But my photography is likely to remain casual from now on. Maybe my pics will improve. I actually looked at my camera's manual recently! It seems I've been neglecting some very useful functions on it...