It all start in November when someone took my work apart on Facebook, you can read about that here but in short it put me back six months. I spent the first half of 2013 with my camera in my bag, demoralised and feeling like I’d got it all wrong. Despite some very kind words by people I respected and trusted it was to no avail.
It still haunts me today, a few weeks ago I spoke with a professional photographer who after seemingly being very intrigued by my work became almost similar in the view that it was intrusive and wrong when I said no to her suggestion that I really should talk to my subjects afterwards and explain what I was trying to achieve. I think I’m going to have to live with this from now on. I can’t change the way I am and the interaction I want with the subject is very specific.
So my output this year has been considerably lower, I didn’t enter any exhibitions until the autumn and I’ve had to readdress my approach, what was I doing? why was I doing it? what am I actually trying to achieve? I still don’t really know. My solution was to get back out there and get back on the bus. In fact it’s the only solution, I can only take the pictures I take, if someone doesn’t like them, fine. As I said in my August blog post this isn’t a time limited project, in fact the more time the better because fashion will kick in and these images will start to take on historical importance.
The other thing I did, which I resisted for so long, was to buy a different bit of kit and see if that helped. In truth I was already back on the bus by this time, so maybe this was a gift to myself as well as an investment to try and see how different technology would change my eye and the results. I’m still struggling with it, my second hand Fuji X100, but I love the challenge. For some reason the harder it is to take these pictures the better it feels when you capture something good. I just have to put to the back of my mind the amount of images I’ve missed that I knew I would have got if I had my Nikon in my hand.
So the year has ended better than it started and actually when I look at the crop of shots, they aren’t too bad at all. Not as good as last year but a couple of them show progression and it was nice to be accepted into the Photofusion Salon/13 exhibition for the second year running. Expectations lower, sitting on this bus is maybe what I needed and a reflective year has maybe done me more good that I can, at the moment, see.