In case you missed me talking about it on Instagram, I was recently challenged by Pablo Strong to spend some time using a disposable camera. I kind of liked the idea of having to work within the limitations of a disposable camera so I agreed and Pablo sent me a Kodak Funsaver. And that’s when the dreaded creative block struck me.
Happy new year to you all! I hope you all had a good break over the festive period.
2016 was a pretty good year for me. We finally got on the property ladder and bought our own house and my photographs have started getting a little bit of recognition on the internet, which is nice. More than that though I’ve met and made friends with some fantastic people, albeit virtually. There are people out there that I’d consider true friends now and I am immensely grateful for that, you know who you are.
I figured that this year I would make a few new year’s resolutions and see how many I’m actually able to stick to. So here goes nothing.
Hi, my name is Matt and I am a recovering hoarder of photographs. For years I kept all of the photos I took and I ended up in an unimaginable mess. My best work was being hidden in a sea of shit photos that were cluttering up my Lightroom catalogue. I had lost sight of what it was I was trying to achieve other than collecting thousands of random snapshots. It was time to take some drastic action.
First off I should apologise for not posting for a while. With the stress of moving house, being overworked and a generally busy social calendar I just haven’t found the time! Hopefully that’ll change from here on in, especially as winter approaches and shooting gets harder – you already know I’m a fair weather photographer!
Anyway, onto something new. I’m going to start asking other photographers to join me in conversation about our work and see where it takes us. I don’t know about you, but personally I get a lot of joy from talking to other photographers, learning about what it is that makes them tick and I always find I learn something that I can take away from the conversation. I do this with my photography buddies anyway, so I figured I might as well post the conversations and hopefully you can also get some benefit from it. I’ve kept it pretty informal, because I want this series to be more conversational rather than a straight up interview.
The first photographer I approached was Phoebe Lee (Instagram: @shabberdoo) and she was kind enough to agree to take part. I’ve admired her photography for some time, so thought it would be worth striking up a conversation. Here’s how it went.
The weather has been pretty awesome this month, which is very unusual for this part of the world. In the UK, even in summer, we seem to get a few days of sun at most before it’s followed up with a week of misery and rain. For whatever reason the weather has really been kind to us recently, so when Faye suggested we take a day trip to the seaside I was really looking forward to it. We arranged to go to a place called Talacre on the North Wales coast. I’d been there before and besides having a huge lovely beach, I knew it was kitschy and had just the right amount of British seaside trash to pique my photographic interests. I was hoping to get some shots to add to my ‘beside the sea’ project. But somehow, and despite my earlier enthusiasm, I got there and I wasn’t really in the mood to take my photography seriously and I ended up coming away with only a handful of shots. This is yet another story of photographic frustration from me. Hope you’re not getting bored of this yet?! I just want you to realise you’re not alone and that we all have days where we doubt our abilities. This is just one of many, but there’s a twist at the end that made this one much more poignant for me.
So something really weird happened to me a couple of weeks back. It’s so bizarre, I would hazard a guess it’s probably something that no other street photographer has had to deal with to be honest.
If you read any photography magazines or blogs these days you could be fooled into thinking that the secret to better photographs is to buy the latest expensive camera that’s fresh on the market. Deep down, I think we all know that this isn’t the case, but we choose to carry on lying to ourselves in the quest for that camera that’s going to inspire us to shoot more and make better photos. But could £25 buy you a camera you’d be happy to use everyday? This is my review of the Sony DSC-W100.
As you may have gathered from my last couple of posts I have been having somewhat of a crisis in my photography lately. The depression of a long winter was bad enough, but having to put up with a broken camera made things worse. I’d found what I thought was the perfect tool for the job; the Ricoh GR was everything I wanted in a camera. I had a pretty clear idea of where my personal documentary photography was going and I was comfortable in my aims. Six months later, the camera let me down with sensor dust issues and searching for a replacement camera has caused me a ton of anxiety and has led to question everything I was so clear on before.
I hate winter. Actually, that’s not strictly true. I hate commuting in winter. I spend two hours a day in the car driving 35 miles each way to work and back. I leave in the dark and come home in the dark. It’s insanely boring and the dark nights and bad weather make it even more depressing. I’ve been doing this for 8 years, ever since I moved to Chester. Most of the time it’s not actually so bad. It’s thinking time. I tend to just switch off and zone out. I often snap back into the real world as I approach a roundabout and it takes a moment or two to get my bearings and figure out where I am.
I don’t know why but at some point this winter I took my camera out of my pocket and starting shooting randomly. Mostly out of frustration I think. I was uninspired and generally frustrated with my photography and this is the product. The image proportions are the same as the windscreen through which I captured most of them, they’re in black and white because I shot at really high ISO – there’s not much colour there to speak of anyway.
I am hopelessly in love with an inanimate object. The Ricoh GR is the object of my affections. She’s been in my life since August last year and I’ve loved every minute we’ve spent together. I honestly thought I’d found a camera I could love forever. Alas, she is a heartbreaker.
I love the 28mm wide angle lens, it’s brilliant feature set and customisable settings. I love the ergonomics and more than anything, I love the size. The Ricoh GR is an unassuming camera that fits right into your pocket. It takes great photos and I carry it with me everywhere. But like everything good in the world, it has flaws.