About two and half years ago a friend of mine started an online teaching site - Learned.Live - and asked if I wanted to teach basic carpentry skills. Being a woodworker at the end of my tether, I suggested that maybe I could teach something else. During this process I had to find a camera to film myself, and oh boy! what a journey that was. A tight budget and desire for high quality led me down a truly tedious rabbit hole. What it did do though was reintroduce me to photography. Having taken a ten year sabbatical from what had been a hobby, I discovered I had gained new skills. Maybe I had subconsciously been taking notes, but suddenly cameras made sense. Composition was just second nature, and colour and purpose of shooting had a totally new meaning. The camera I initially bought was not for me. Too many sub menus to achieve what I was after. What I needed was a simple approach to shooting, that met my requirements. I had at some point played around with a couple of Leicas, but as I wasn't prepared to sell a limb, a Leica was out of the question. I had however wanted way back when a Fuji Xpro1, similar to a Leica in that all the controls are knobs on the cameras body or dials on the lenses. The camera itself was nearly ten years old, but they were cheap, had a great selection of lenses, but also could be jerry-rigged to take classic glass as well. By this point, teaching for my friends website had been shelved - for now, but my journey back into shooting had well and truly started.
I know it has become a bit of a cliché, but photography is a space I go to to take me away from life. The stress and strains of modern living affect me maybe more than they should, but photography rounds off the sharp edges, and I feel a certain kind of zen during and after a shoot. I started this journey with street and architecture, followed by landscape and now I find myself getting into portraiture; and the great thing is, I don't tire of any one of these styles. Each shoot teaches me a new process or focus, and I no longer shoot for others. I shoot for me. This is not to say that I am not aware of the end product. There is obviously a need for the image to be enjoyed, but my journey has taken me from pretty pictures, to maybe more abstract of less mainstream imagery.
So, after two and half years I wanted more. I have watched countless YouTube videos, read far too many articles and ignored as many photography forums as possible, but I had an itch. I really wanted to take my photography further, and that itch was university. Having never studied further than a BTEC, I needed to get the correct amount of points to get on a Uni course. I started a few weeks ago at Chichester College on an access course - essentially an art foundation course, and I'm still in a bit of a spin that my journey has begun. This is ultimately what this blog is about. I want to share my journey with you, through college, then Uni and then on to a career I hope in the arts. At 52 this might seem a strange move, but my careers have never really excited me, but photography always has, and art college always felt like the boat I had missed.
So come join me on my journey through art, creativity, education and watch me develop my skills along the way.
Trafalgar Street 2020