Picture Yourself


A fraction of a moment


Everyone is already a photographer. If you possess a curiosity in making images, you are a photographer. Ignore elitists and gear heads. Photographs are made by people for people and need to be seen in order to live.


Lately I have partaken in several interesting internal q&a sessions on reality. It makes for some outwardly placid but inwardly lively moments. I find myself fascinated by how thin a veneer our concept of reality is. We think we know the world and then suddenly something happens to show us whole other ways of seeing, thinking or perceiving things around us.


On a simpler level, Infra-red and pinhole photography reminds me of this. I see the scene before me in one way with the two eyes I was born with. Then I set up my pinhole camera with its wide, soft view of things and its ability to render not a fraction of a moment but a string of them and I am in another place, seemingly as easy as that. We build our realities bit by bit, over the years and decades as we age, learn, collect experience and evolve as people.


If we know how, we can step from one to another. Maybe not in the grand fantasy sense of the notion but still certainly in a way that can dramatically change the world we inhabit.


And sometimes I stare at the night sky, see those stars a million light years away

And it makes me feel small like a bug on a wall, but who gives a shit anyway?





Life as well as Photography have their fair share of unpredictability. Chance and fortune and luck. In some ways we work to minimise that which we cannot predict, and we are not always aware we are doing so. In some ways we work to embrace it. Consider all the unpredictable elements that went into this image. First I headed to Barmouth on the Welsh Coast… Would it be raining when I got there? Or sunny? Or neither? And no matter what it was when I arrived, who knew what it would be an hour after that. And then I loaded my camera with  expired film. And on top of all that this was pinhole photography to stretch this exposure out several minutes.


Was I worried about any of this going awry? No because at the end of the day it was just a  piece of film, no big deal really. It wasn’t like I lost my time, I enjoyed the wait and the stay on the shore, the gaze over the ocean regardless of the exposure. Marvelled at the boat builders as they were getting their vessels sea worthy again. It wasn’t like I’d lose that fabulous sense of curiosity that makes me want to do things like this, if anything a “failure” would only have fed it.


This image only turned out halfway like I expected it to. Some aspects of the final photograph matched my hopes or intentions but the other half were unplanned or responses to unplanned factors that revealed themselves in the final image and required some adaptation on my part in the scanning and post-processing.


But for me this is the name of the game. That element of chance mixed with curiosity combined with adaptation and evolution. Every time I go out to expose silver to light I end up seeing a bit more than I expected to see.