There haven’t been many updates of late on the site simply because there hasn’t been much happening on the photographic front. But, as October draws to a close, that is about to change.
There have been changes, of course. The most obvious is that the web site has undergone a facelift and now sports a full page showcase gallery. I’ve long since wanted that but until the recent release of Photocrati – the plugin I use to set up and maintain the galleries – it simply wasn’t possible.
The second is that I’ve finally sorted out the veiledworld.com domain name. I have owned the domain name for some time now, but hadn’t got around to setting up the mechanism that allows people to type the name into their browser and get to my web site.
But, there have been struggles. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I’ve been having the same struggle that I’ve had for a couple of years now. When I first stared in photography I’d photograph anything that moved and then lament that fact that none of the photographs were any good. Over the years I’ve slowed down and become less ‘snap-happy’. I research a lot more, watch the scene a lot more and wait for the right moment a lot more. More than once I’ve even turned up at a site, watched the scene unfold before me and then leave a few hours later without raising the camera once, simply because I didn’t feel “it”. Whatever “it” is.
I’ve also drifted from architectural photography to landscape photography despite the insanely early mornings this can mean. But as I have become more confident in my handling of a location and as I have become more sure of the field of photography that interests me what was a nagging, but ill-defined, disquiet has also become clearer and in the past month, I have finally come to understand one thing: My photography will not improve until I stop taking photographs.
OK, that probably need some explanation! One of the photographers I follow on Twitter has been running an on-going series of posts about notable photographers, both past and present. In each post he recommends some books to highlight their work and, with a bit of spare money from sales on eBay, I decided to buy a few books. And, aside from some stunning images one fact was so obvious that I have no idea why I never thought of it: None of the photographers took just landscapes, or just portraits, or just wildlife. They specialised in one specific aspect of their chosen field. Mitch Dobrowner specialises in storm weather in the American Mid-West; Nick Brandt in endangered species in East Africa; Edward Burtynsky in how industry changes the natural world. And because of their specialisation they have built up an impressive body of work. And now I understand this, I can see why I’ll never improve beyond where I am: I have no focus.
Luckily for me, I have two possible options that of interest, both of which are fairly narrow in scope and – relatively speaking – not many photographers follow. My next trip should help clarify for me the path I will take although right now it just doesn’t feel right to have a self-imposed restriction.
But, the other thing I’ve learnt over the years, aside from patience, is that I’m not always right!