Week 4: Begin at the Beginning
Today I want you to rediscover why you love to take photographs.
Review your earliest work an reflect: What do you see in it? Can you find a theme that connects it to the work you make today? What do you like and dislike about the early work? What was it about these photographs that made you want to be a photographer?
Use the space below to share and discuss these photographs with your classmates. Comment on the work of your peers – especially if you are familiar with the kind of work they are doing now. Tell them what you see in their early work and how it connects to what they do now.
I was taking photographs from the age of about 8 and with access to a darkroom, it was not long before I was printing my own work. As a youngster I used to love my time in the darkroom. There was definitely a sense of magic in watching the images develop: it seemed to be a very special place, working under filtered light in a small space with and a smell of chemicals that I have always liked! What can I say… I have a BSc and was formally Head of Science at a school – the enjoyment of chemicals has never left me!
Sadly I cannot locate any of my images from those early days, but by the time I was 17 I was teaching myself A-Level photography, with a portfolio based on the local landscape: living on the edge of Dartmoor I was rather spoilt for choice and loved being outside taking photographs. I developed a penchant for printing images very hard on Ilford Multigrade…
I also spent much time photographing the sports and events around the school, with running costs being covered by the school (they would get to use my images for the school magazine) and prints also being sold to my friends. While I loved photography, and enjoyed providing a much appreciated service for my friends, I was also enjoying making money out of the process – a very important thing for a teenager!
University gave me the occasional chance to dabble with press work. I managed to be first on the scene with a camera when the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Squad were dealing with a series of incendiaries planted in shops on Cornmarket Street – usually the busiest shopping street in Oxford.
I continue to love sports photography, whether for the school in which I work, or for a somewhat broader market. I will never grow tired of being outdoors, particularly with a camera, and do enjoy the feedback from those who see my work. Any monies are always welcomed!
So to my Research Project… photographing stained glass windows in Oxford chapels. Well, I wanted a challenge: it seemed too easy to stick with that which I had always done.