A new home – changes

Just to let you know, I’ve recently updated my blog with a fresh new look and address. It means that in time my ‘new blog will become an extension of my website rather than a stand alone feature. To all those people who are currently subscribing to this blog, I’d encourage you to head over and subscribe at:

http://blog.caswellimages.com/

Subscribing won’t take you long, plus you’ll get to view more images and follow what I’m up to alot more easily. Please feel free to leave comments as well.

See you there

John

 

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We always knew it

 

I took this in April and came across it recently in one of my trips into the archives. When I took the shot my intention was to remove the ugly power lines that cut the shot in half later on however when the time came, I ended up leaving them, here’s what my thinking was …..

We always knew it - Waitati (Blueskin Bay)

We always knew it – Waitati (Blueskin Bay)

Firstly, I thought if I didn’t want them in the shot I should have positioned myself better in the first place. However, the truth is that while on the way to school, I wasn’t really dressed for a trip through the long wet grass, over the railway track and through the muddy marsh, “do your cropping in camera” someone once said.

Secondly, it’s an example and a reminder of how a nice shot can be spoilt by power lines or power poles. I try to get rid of them whenever possible however sometimes you just can’t and while they aren’t always bad, more often than not they don’t help an image (to me anyway). I’m beginning to think that whoever set’s the locations of power lines and poles should get approval from photographers first!

The unfolding world.

I’ve been thinking (debating with myself) about; if photographing has lost some of the personal connection between the photograph, photographer and viewer, with so many photographs flying around the internet these days (and yes I do feel like the pot is calling the kettle black a bit). I find myself becoming more interested in making photographing a bit more personal. How to do that, well that’s the next question?

Maybe it’s a case of posting less images, but providing more detail about how the image came to life. To tell the truth, I’m not sure, however I do know that I’m becoming more attracted to photos that aren’t simply great or nice because of the capture and that the best and most beautiful images in the world carry with them something that is more than what can be seen – something from the heart or something with a bit of soul.

On Friday evening I found myself with a sense of wanting to watch the world pass bye for a bit and see what unfolded in front of me. Heading for the beach I explored a few sand-dunes, watched the waves crash in and out, listened to the birds as they swooped and dived while the seaweed caked the rock pools. The only intent I had was to take an image, IF one opened up in front of me, instead of looking for what I was going to take. After a while, I found a spot as the sun escaped and almost seemed to say “pleasant dreams, I hope you had a good week.” Before long I found the camera and filters were out.

“While in your pleasant dreams”

“While in your pleasant dreams”

Falling In love with the printed image, all over again.

I recently read a blog (Jeremy Nicholl, 2011) that was talking about the separation between the photographic worlds here on earth and the one in cyberspace. It has long been an interesting observation of mine that the more involved in the digital photographic world I become; the less I see my own work or others actually printed. Having recently had two pieces of work printed out in large format, it was almost like seeing the image again for the first time. I was amazed having viewed both images many times before, how powerful it was seeing them printed out in front of me. Wham, something strikes you like a bolt from the blue with the printed image that the digital screen just can’t do.

Eternity's Evening

Eternity’s Evening

While photography has never been more accessible to people than it is right now, we are also in danger of suffering from digital overload. On recent visits to sites like Google+, 500 px and Facebook it stuck me how so many photos and images never really seem to have a home. In cyberspace, it’s becoming more and more possible these days for an image to never truly have a home, just a download point. While some might argue that an account setting can be classified as a home or a source, and maybe in the modern digital age that we now live in accounts are just that, a home or a source, but do they really provide the emotional connection that can be obtained with a printed image?

These two photographic worlds (Earth and Cyberspace) are becoming more and more unaware of the other, and it is in fact possible in these contemporary times to be regarded as a highly influence artist, without ever needing to produce a work of art off the computer screen.  To my eyes, with the advent of the Google+, Facebook, Instagram or 500px photographer, there has almost reached a saturation point where thousands of photos are up load every day.  In fact, in October 2011 Google+ revealed that 40 million or so users uploaded 3.4 billion photographs in 100 days or on Flickr, the daily average of photo uploading in 2012 was 1.42 million per day. With that many photos from that many photographers, how can someone possible find an image that creates an emotional connection? Or, is what was once WOW, the new norm?

The digital platforms of Flickr, Facebook, Google+, Instagram or 500px are a fantastic place for a photographer to showcase their work and build a following; however I can’t help but think maybe we need to fall in love with the printed image once again. After all, there’s an emotional pull that happens when an image has the power to make you physically stop and linger. Maybe it’s time to not only fall in love with the printed image again, but also time to make photography unique, personal and emotional ….. once again.