A few years back, when I began blogging, I adopted the name a photogenic world because I believed that we can find beauty in so many places if we open our eyes to it, and therefore it became a challenge to me too to keep finding it.
Initially my posts were via a different site and were largely a vehicle for posting photographs that I took each weekend whilst walking along my local beach, but over the years it has become part soapbox, part diary and part travelogue too, but as I near 1000 posts I’m still finding plenty to photograph.
However, every so often I find myself a little dissatisfied with the quality of the imagery that I post; the concept of capturing things in the world around me being naturally reactive it takes away some of the creative process. Yes I might think about composition or various technical details to capture what is before me, but I rarely set out to plan a particular outcome. Yes, I often set out to shoot specific subjects and locations but until I get there often have no idea what I’ll find; my visit to Ely earlier this year being a case in point. I love some of those pictures, but if returning now would do things rather differently.
The boudoir shoot I did recently was rewarding because it challenged me to be creative with lighting and location in a building I had previously recce’d. Luxury.
The shots on my ViewBug page have garnered a number of awards from my peers, which is nice but also a little disconcerting when the shot that is gathering awards most rapidly was taken at my first real studio workshop several years ago. Have I made no progress since then? (Or is it simple because the shot in question was lit by erotic photographer John Tisbury and features a striking nude?)
I tell you all of this because I had a bit of spare time this weekend with no one to please but myself and so set out to create some real quality. A single piece of work to stir some pride and banish the frustration that the images here don’t always demonstrate my capabilities.
Which is why I rose at 4.50am this morning, and after breakfast drove some miles to a deserted part of Hartlepool, walked briskly through Spion Kop cemetery (surely interring 26,000 bodies on sand dunes is asking for trouble) and down, inevitably, to a rendezvous with the North Sea, though my timing was intent on capturing the sunrise over the water.
I’d spied a broken pier (piers are magnetic to photographers) on the horizon in between the downpours referred to in my previous post, so wanted to incorporate this into my shot. Getting to it took longer than anticipated however and so the sky was already lightening by the time I scrambled down the dunes to the deserted sands, where the plan was to shoot long exposure shots that blurred the water to milky whiteness around the man-made elements, the darkness allowing the appropriate shutter speeds.
High winds and boiling waves weren’t part of my plan however and soon I was back in reactive mode, changing composition to avoid a soaking, lowering my tripod to gain stability and more of the wet sand into the images. A few shots showed promise so I persevered, shooting the structure and its surroundings for about an hour before the cold in my hands defeated me.
I’d wanted a shot that had the dramatic colour of the rising sun painted across the cloudy skies, or a shot that captured the movement of the water. I was lucky. Or creative.
Either way, I got both.