London, May 2013.
London, May 2013.
Rome in a Day (Continued)
One of my first outings with 35mm was in one of the most picturesque places in Europe. I think I was about 16 when I travelled to Rome with my mother; either a long bank holiday weekend, or a mid-term break from school meant that we had a rare chance to escape the unremarkable norm. A city break offered an ideal space for the wanderings of a mother and her son, one still learning the joy of discovery, not only from seeing the world through his own eyes, but through a 50mm Pentax lense too.
In all honesty, I remember very little of our trip, and most of the memories I can recall upon are built around the images I have taken. When I look at the pictures I can build the scene around them, and contextualise the image within, what I assume, is a true memory of the time and place it was taken. In fact, these memories might not be memories at all, but may in fact just be fabrications, scenes of fiction that I have created around the photographs that I cannot fully remember taking.
Though I can’t recall the exact course of our trip, I remember the feelings that were felt and the sense of the place as a destination. My strongest memory of Rome is that of a summery haze – a sun-lit tinge and general indistinctness to everything. Though I’m sure we didn’t venture to Rome in the summer time, every building or space or vista or person or tree or road seemed to be smothered in heat. I don’t remember being conscious of this while taking the photographs, I was more concerned with simply documenting what I was seeing at the time, though the photos do a good job of communicating that feeling.
A long time ago, in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, I spent a day in Glasgow, as I often did, wandering aimlessly with my camera. Okay, so maybe not entirely aimless in my endeavours; I had been set a challenge so use one roll of expired black and white film during the day, and then spend the afternoon developing and processing the images. What follows are not particularly thematic photographs, but they do catch Glasgow in its true state; un-pampered, yet forgiving – she won’t be angry that you photographed her straight out of bed without her make-up on. These photos just ARE Glasgow.
I was looking for some photographs I had taken a few years ago, and came across this folder – dusty and unopened, in the depths of my Macbook. Clicking through, I couldn’t help feel nostalgic about that time when I was truly discovering the possibility of photography. It was also a time when I was experimenting with developmental processes; learning to ‘create’ my own photographs, straight through from clicking the shutter, to holding the final image in my hands. It helped me to understand how the process itself has contributed so much to the medium, and the subtle differences between digital and film; the differences between the old and the new that now seem so obvious.
Hopefully, viewing these photos will give someone an insight into what it is that makes a Glasgow, Glasgow? Maybe everyone says that their home city or town is special, and we are all just guilty of bias, but I truly believe that we are in some way moulded by where we are brought up, and that the experience of home goes on to shape how you deal with your surroundings as you walk the plank of life. Or maybe I’m just feeling sentimental and rabbiting on a load of tripe – who knows?
Untitled self, London, 2013.
Tokyo, by Graeme Robertson.
Tales From the Township - Digital Portrait of Malawi
The way of the world.
This week I got the last of the film developed that I had used in Africa. In the end, I used seven rolls of Kodak 400TX, one roll of Illford FP4, and around 11 rolls of Fujifilm Superia X-tra, not to mention the thousands of digital images taken.
Though I was over the moon with the digital work, and at this point have already spent a great deal of time processing the vast majority of the photos, the images captured on film are of a much higher standard. The sheer composition and technical simplicity of each shot allows them to portray something much more than their digital counterparts.
Biased though I may be, I can’t help but think that these are powerful images, and I want to do them justice by presenting them in an appropriate manner, and by allowing a wider audience to see them. While Flickr is a great tool for making photographs accessible, I don’t feel that it is the right medium to host work of this nature, so I have decided to start a blog in the coming week.
At first, the blog will serve as an organisational tool for me to organise, display, and write about different sets of photographs and communicate what exactly they mean to me. In the future, the blog will ideally act as something which encourages me to document the photos I take, and actively talk about them.
I spent a while travelling round southeast Africa in the summer, and spent some time at Cape Maclear at Lake Malawi.
It was an incredibly beautiful place; a massive fresh-water lake lined with golden beaches and traditional villages.
This boy was out on the lake fishing, the surest source of income for the people who live by the Lake. We pulled up beside his hollowed-out canoe, and bought some cichlids from him so that we could feed some fish eagles. While the girls were inspecting the fish I took some photos before he go too shy and turned away.
Lake Malawi, 2012.